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Iron Fist Of The Sun
Who Will Help Me Wash My Right Hand Kevin Mccaighy , September 2nd, 2013 06:39

With a genre like powerviolence, waiting is the crucial element. Anticipating the next sound, the next tremor; the next time the anvil will drop. For all its self flagellation and supposed machismo, powerviolence is the desired outlet for those who wish to mould their creations into forms that can only be contained by sheer force.

One such artist is Lee Howard, a solo musician working under the gilded moniker of Iron Fist Of The Sun. His latest album Who Will Help Me Wash My Right Hand is both a searingly new approach to and a ferocious reaffirmation of the genre itself. It possesses a sheen of poisonous intent that is profoundly disquieting, beginning with the opening salvo of 'For You I Will'.

Its chilling ambience and Morse code synths are more redolent of sinister post-punk radicals like Cabaret Voltaire and Fad Gadget than anything else. Howard’s vocal threats lie buried beneath descending bass patterns and fevered glitches – for the moment, at least.

The undead milieu is further demonstrated by 'This Dog Has No Master', a minimalist slice of drone desolation that displays Howard’s skill with tone and tempo. Iron Fist Of The Sun is his emboldened and inspired incarnation, re-imagining familiar genre tropes just as he is in thrall to their allure. 'Be Forever Green' sees the beast finally loosed from his chains and the atavistic tendencies that dominated his previous releases are once again unleashed in a sine wave-racked explosion of pure terror.

Howard’s authorial voice, both as a vocalist and as a composer is so penetrating that the various sonics employed to amplify it actively works to restrain its considerable force, all the better to preserve their position in the album’s overall structure. The title track is the reckoning, and fully deserves its place as the excoriating lead-off track on Cold Spring’s stunning 2xCD label anthology Throne. The blistering, high-end howl and scalded vocal miasma enact a sorrowful psychedelic drone destruction.

Who Will Help Me Wash My Right Hand is the work of a new master of extremity, a fearsome gaze into the fathomless dark.