Iron Lung – Reviews


March, 2017 – Lizard Magazyn, Poland
Review by Rafał Zbrzeski)


March, 2017 – Longplay Recenzje, Poland
Review by Robert Ratajczak) – full review:

GORILLA MASK: Iron Lung /2017/
“Trio Gorilla Mask tworzy trzech wyjątkowo aktywnych i wszechstronnych artystycznie muzyków, udzielających się w rozmaitych projektach. Od 2008 roku zamieszkały w Berlinie kanadyjski saksofonista Peter Van Huffel poza działalnością w ramach Gorilla Mask, znany jest z wielu odważnych projektów muzycznych: kameralnego składu House of Mirrors, oraz doskonałych albumów nagranych z Michaelem Batesem i Jeffem Davisem (“Boom Crane“, 2013), Andreasem Willersem i Oliverem Steidle (“The Scrambling Ex“, 2014), Kwintetem Meinrada Kneera (“Oneirology“, 2015) czy wreszcie z świetnym gitarzystą Alexem Maksymiwem (“KRONIX“, 2016). Niezwykle agresywny sposób gry alcisty, pełen jest swego rodzaju duchowości spod znaku Charliego Parkera i Erica Dolphy oraz wyczuwalnych w każdym niemal dźwięku uczuć.”

March 4th, 2017 – Jazz & Blues Blogspot, Germany
ull review:

Gorilla Mask – Iron Lung (Clean Feed, 2016)
“Gorilla Mask is a very exciting band consisting of Peter Van Huffel on alto saxophone, Roland Fidezius on electric bass with effects and Rudi Fischerlehner on drums. Their music is an amalgam of jazz with shades of punk rock and heavy metal. “Hammerhead” has a blasting, choppy and relentless beat right out of the gate with thick bass and explosive drums, with the saxophone fighting to carve space. They enter into an intense improvisational dialogue with fractured rhythms, deep sonic bass and wailing saxophone. Epic bass and drums open “Before I Die” sending a chest trembling rumble forward, met by Van Huffel’s scorching and deeply emotional saxophone. They are able to play with dynamics, shifting between loud squalls and open spaced passages. Bass and drums develop a funky and possibly dub based duet, before the saxophonist storms in and leads the trio back into a powerful collective improvisation. There is fine interplay between the musicians throughout the piece with precise use of space. “

March 4th, 2017 – Something Else!, USA
Review by Victor S. Aaron) – full review:

Peter Van Huffel’s Gorilla Mask – Iron Lung (2017)
“Canadian expat and adventurous alto saxophone maestro Peter Van Huffel created Gorilla Mask around 2010 with Berliners Roland Fidezius (electric bass/effects) and Rudi Fischerlehner (drums) to give jazz a swift kick in the nuts with its punk/metal intensity….

The mission on Gorilla Mask’s third long player Iron Lung, now out on Clean Feed Records, is much the same: Fidezius and Fischerlehner may improvise, but they are rarely playing actual jazz (save for part of “Steam Roller”). They and Van Huffel form a short, stout unit that brings spontaneity and, at times, some math-like complexity to metal. Van Huffel finds no difficulty thriving in the foundation the rhythm section lays for him, often able to simply handle the lyrical parts while complex rhythms, figures and pure passion swelters underneath. That makes the moments where Van Huffel does shred stand out all the more.”

February 26th, 2017 – Touching Extremes, Italy
Review by Massimo Ricci) – full review:

“The alternance of rather violent vamps (see also the general “chip-on-a-shoulder” mood depicted by the bulk of the titles) and intersections of fractured tempos often reminiscent of pages from the harmolodic book (“Hammerhead”) is probably the explanation of an immediate recognition. Van Huffel, Fidezius and Fischerlehner truly interact like a joint unit lacking the necessities of personalized satisfaction, and it feels. The sound is compact and articulate, heavy and defined at the same time. Notwithstanding the manifestly advanced technical level, what we get first and foremost is an overall sense of reliability and sturdiness. And even some hints at dub, for good measure (“Before I Die”). Powerful stuff by three refined machos who don’t want to be confused with semi-literate skronking bums. They are right to wish so.”

February 15th, 2017 – Free Jazz Blog, USA
Review by Philip Coombs) – full review:

GORILLA MASK – Iron Lung (Clean Feed, 2017)
“Peter Van Huffel (alto saxophone), Roland Fidezius (electric bass, effects) and Rudi Fischerlehner (drums) come straight out of the gate with a driving complex tune that screams, not only with the Gorilla Mask intensity, but also a new layer of maturity. ‘Hammerhead’ combines the sleekness of truncated rhythms mixed with freer jazz interludes which rarely gives your ears time to get a grasp of which direction they are heading in. This is followed up with ‘Before I Die’, which Fidezius’ bass sets the tone and becomes the foundation of the track as it pounds through the tune. It starts with a fist shaped pick and slowly evolves into a reggae grove with some harmonic effects added for good measure. Huffel enters with a note like he is stabbing a flag into a newly discovered land. This is sounding like a band who have played together for some time and are confident in what they want and how it should sound as this record is produced by Huffel himself.”

February 13th, 2017 – Recyclable Sounds, Germany/Russia
(Russian language review)

GORILLA MASK – Iron Lung (2017):

February 9th, 2017 – Dragon Jazz, Belgium
Review by Pierre Dulieu) – full review:

Près de trois années après Bite My Blues, le trio de Gorilla Mask est de retour et les poumons d’acier figurant sur la pochette laissent imaginer que son esthétique punk-jazz n’a rien perdu ni de son urgence ni de sa fureur. Et le fait est que des morceaux comme Hammerhead (un intitulé que n’aurait pas renié un Lemmy Kilmister) ou Thump!, à l’extrême opposé du jazz cool, donnent la chair de poule par leur vertigineuse intensité. Le plus étonnant reste cette incroyable articulation entre les trois compères qui se relancent constamment les uns les autres dans une totale imprévisibilité, créant un véritable léviathan sonore qui se densifie en se nourrissant d’une improvisation collective à haut indice d’octane. Peter Van Huffel serait-il le nouveau “angry man of jazz” ?

February 8th, 2017 – Archaic Pop (album feature)
Extract from the album “Iron Lung” (Clean Feed Records – 2017) –

“We discovered Gorilla Mask in 2014 with the explosive “Chained”, a metal-blues-jazz track, perfect opening of their 1st released “Bite My Blues”.

The trio is back with a new album “Iron Lung”. As the evolution of the 2 album covers suggests, it seems that Gorilla Mask went from a powerful raw scream to an in-deep electric surgical operation of their own sound. And the result is very existing. It keeps the extraordinary energy while exploring further sonic possibilities. “Before I Die” is a perfect example: you will find in the middle of their trash-free-jazz, a kind of reggae-trash-jazz part we never heard before; clearly epic.”

Check back soon for more reviews …

Musician / Composer

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