Wade Allison, guitarist for Texas hardcore band Iron Age, has died

Wade Allison of Iron Age has died
(Image credit: YouTube/Max Volume Silence )

Wade Allison, guitarist for Texas hardcore band Iron Age, has died.

20 Buck Spin, the label that reissued Iron Age’s final album, The Sleeping Eye, last year, wrote on Instagram: “RIP Wade. So very grateful to you for giving me an opportunity to be a small part of the @realironage lore. Condolences to all his friends and family. Iron Age’s impact is huge and will reverberate in hardcore and metal for a long time to come.”

Formed in 2004, Iron Age released two albums, 2006's Constant Struggle and 2009's The Sleeping Eye. The band first split up in 2011, followed by several reunions.

In an interview with Bandcamp about the 20 Buck Spin reissue of The Sleeping Eye, Allison said of the album, “From a stylistic side, going heavier, more epic, and more atmospheric meant the music was informed by a broader range of influences – whether that be from the various strains that evolved over the decades in the Black Sabbath lineage or from bands like Venom, Bathory, Celtic Frost, and Sodom, or from more epic bands.

”We wanted to make bigger, heavier, more substantial music with a stronger sense of its own atmosphere.”

Allison and Iron Age were also known to have been a major influence on Texas thrash act Power Trip, which suffered their own loss last month with the death of frontman Riley Gale, who was just 34.

In a 2017 interview with The Guardian, Gale said of the band: “Power Trip definitely wouldn’t be the band we are without Iron Age. Those guys are sort of like our older brothers, and showed me a lot of really good music, not just thrash metal but a lot of cool shit in general.”

Gale continued, “The way Wade Allison writes his riffs is like no other guitar player that I can name, and I think it’s insane to have had a band that had a style that was so distinctly their own. You cannot tell me that Iron Age sounds like any other band, or that any other band sounds like Iron Age – you hear people try, and it doesn’t work. 

"That’s a one-in-a-million thing, and it’s an absolutely essential listen, especially if you’re like, ‘Oh, I like this Texas band Power Trip, who should I listen to that would even remotely strike a chord?’ – that would be the band, for sure.”

In addition to Iron Age, Allison also played in the metal bands Mammoth Grinder and Eternal Champion. At present, no cause of death has been given.

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Richard Bienstock

Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.