I’d heard of Ironic Hue before when I first started looking for new music. I didn’t know that the band had only released Into the Mirror back in 2007. Now seven years later, the band has returned with For Melting Steel. It’s likely that this will be the first time most people will have heard of the band. Mohho of Guten Birds recommended that I listen to the album.

ironic hue for melting steel

Unfortunately I was never able to listen to Into the Mirror and For Melting Steel is the first time I’ve heard an official release. Starting with “Rewind,” the album introduces the music with an instrumental rock song. It moves quickly with repeating verses and sets up the album. “물과 태양” is the second track and offers a rock and folk style song. The vocals comes across in a folk-style, but the instrumentals are based in rock. It has an aged sound, but comes across as a clean introduction.

The next song, “Fantasy,” changes the style by slowing the tempo down, adding female vocals, and sounding like a mixture of indie rock and a rockabilly style. I don’t know how, but “Fantasy” is entrancing. The instrumental bridge is excellent with a guitar solo that slides right along with the verses. Moving into the latter half of the album you’ll hit “거짓말.” It’s different from other songs on For Melting Steel because it is more based in hard rock and in some smaller ways post-rock elements. The vocals glue the verses together while the instruments provide a base layer of sound. It keeps the volume low until the song hits the chorus where everything crescendos.

The song, “문,” falls back on the quieter style of previous songs, but the technical talents of each member are shown off. The guitars mix melodies and the bass and drums provide a base for the song to follow. Vocals on “문” are haunting and seem to flow in and out of the instrumentals.

“작은사람” is a 14 minute song. It follows a lot of the style of post-rock songs, but mixes all the elements heard on previous songs. “작은사람” sounds like two or three songs combined, but wait until you get about 75% through when the dual vocals hit. This is one of the best songs I’ve ever heard.

“작은사람” flows into the last song “Dummy.” It’s a fitting last song on For Melting Steel because combines all the energy of the album into one last song. The instrumental track is the bookend to the album and it’s easy to hear how “Dummy” could be the last song of a live set.

Ironic Hue’s return after seven years is a re-introduction of the band. Since most people will have no knowledge of the band, getting the first listen through For Melting Steel is perfect. While the album starts a little mellow, the second half of the album delivers so much energy. It’s one of my favorites this year.

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Korean Indie Editor-At-Large The person in the background watching over everything.