Wolf Counsel is a band from Switzerland, formed in 2014. They are riff-fanatics, interested only in creating epic doom metal and playing it as loud as possible. Their main set of influences seem to come from those seventies and eighties pioneers, including Black Sabbath (dyh), Candlemass, and Pentagram but I can also hear some Type O Negative influences, especially in the brilliant opener 'Pure As the Driven Snow'.
The title track feels like a heavy metal battle-chant, somewhere between the previously mentioned bands and an act like Manowar. I bet this one could become a fan favorite as the chorus is perfect for a little audience sing-along interaction. It's obvious that Wolf Counsel has been listening to a multitude of metal deities in the past. In 'Shield Wall' even the vocalist goes all Ozzy on our asses. I don't mind. I see this song as a decent tribute to what Black Sabbath have started.
The rest of the album continues to provide high quality doom metal, which is always extreme loyal to the vintage sound but is also very capable of pleasing today's sludge doom fans. The songs are heavy enough to get a crowd moving and the songwriting is more than sufficient. Another of my favorite tracks is 'Days Like Lost Dogs', which has something dark and eerie, something that reminds me a bit of those weird avant-garde new wave acts like Virgin Prunes, maybe. I don't know. Dark and eerie, that's all you need to remember.
The verdict: I wasn't sure about this album when I first heard it, but after several listens is seems to be firmly climbing that ladder towards the much dreaded "best-of" lists. 'Ironclad' is a vintage sounding doom metal album with well-written songs, plenty of variation, excellent vocals and a high level of musical craftsmanship. All I can do to end this review is recommend it to all you doomers out there. Stay heavy, stay slow !!!