Words by Jackson Balling. Photo by Morgan Laurie-Day.
Spring has filled the air, college kids such as myself are winding down into the few weeks of concentrated work, stress, and other experiences designed to prepare us all for the real world, and instead of focusing on those I was able to relax for a brief moment with the four guys from Iron Sword. Despite being an hour late, due to those experiences I was just rambling about, we got to talk about the upcoming Big Heavy World new website launch event on the 12th, which they will be headlining, and how it also happens to be the beginning of the end for them. As I found out rather suddenly, the sludgy, doom filled stoner metal group will be walking off into the most metal of sunsets after two years of living the college musician’s dream.
For those who haven’t been introduced to the group, they formed in early 2012 after becoming friends at their respective campuses and at local shows. Their full lineup was solidified by fall of the same year, with Mike Graham, Brandon Pratt, Ben Morrisette and Drew Storcks. After quick progression the four college guys settled into the sound that they blast at shows, using Iron Sword as the moniker for their ferocious yet self-proclaimed “chill natured” style of metal. Their history is filled with playing for fun, allowing it to be the reasoning behind any decisions, and it has been embraced by the metalheads of Burlington as well as throughout New England.
Their future was defined to me as the speakers of Mr. Mikes blasted “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and the kind of songs that get thrown on an NHL video game soundtrack, specifically NHL 2002, which all warranted a chuckle or slight crack of a smile as soon as they began. Following the upcoming show this weekend they’ll be playing a smattering of gigs across town, all before a big farewell show at their house at some point in June.
From there it became clear that their craziest experiences come at their shows, which should only build greater excitement for their performance this Saturday as well as the remaining shows they’ll be playing within the next two months. They described their EP release show as one where “everyone threw up”, with their music being the heavy soundtrack for a night of absolute insanity, which they seemed to revel in.
The level of chaos that they described hit its peak when I was told about a show in Maine that resulted in firecrackers being set off in the crowd. While that won’t be found at their upcoming 242 shows, their fun-loving nature and desire to have a good party will surely bring a level of intensity to the beginning of their farewell as Iron Sword. Beyond June isn’t too defined for the party lovers, but their love for making music that is as sludgy and heavy as possible doesn’t seem to be ending here.