Iron Reagan – Crossover Ministry

Subtlety is not a word that is often applied to thrash metal or punk rock, but in the case of Iron Reagan’s new album, ‘Crossover Ministry’, it might as well be written upside down in Cromarty on a 17th century nun’s inner thigh, that is to say far, far, far, far removed. From the “does what it says on the tin” Ronseal title to the religion-baiting artwork, via song titles such as ‘Dead With My Friends’, ‘Blatant Violence’ and ‘Bleed the Fifth’, this is classic crossover thrash, done with all the requisite unbridled chaos, and dripping in 1980s spooge. From the thunderous opening barrage of drums through to the final dying wails of feedback, this is short, sharp stuff, with nearly a third of the songs clocking in at under 50 seconds, and if you’re a fan of the likes of S.O.D, D.R.I and M.O.D. (bands with more than three letters are also available upon request), there’s much to enjoy. Yes, it occasionally sounds like someone has dropped a box of cymbals down the stairs, yes, the unrelenting battery can become slightly monotonous, and yes, a song like ‘Fuck The Neighbours’ is perhaps an obnoxious step too far in 2017, but it’s accomplished, frantic, consistent and at times surprising, for example Andreas Sandberg’s sneering, whining guest vocals on ‘Megachurch’. Although they seem to appear in flashes through a veiled windmill of sweat, hair and teeth, obscured by the frenzy and scared of the light, darting back into the melee like a solar flare, there are also some brilliant riffs on offer, and while it’s hard to choose standout tracks in a genre so dedicated to the stomp stomp stomp approach, ‘More War’, ‘Eat Or Be Eaten’ and ‘Blatant Violence’ peek above the parapets with their hooks, melodies and sheer pugnacious power respectively. Compared with 2014’s ‘The Tyranny of Will’, there is little change in the band’s approach, aside from better production, but if it aint broke, smash it up, pour beer on the remains and then put it back together again.

Iron Reagon Church

Categories: Album Reviews, Reviews

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