Wednesday, September 17, 2014





by Vlad McNeally

With an amusing portmanteau of Maiden and The Gipper for a name, Tyranny of the Will is the sophomore effort of this crossover metal-punk act from Richmond, Virginia. With a name like Iron Reagan, one’s suspicions are probable and apt, as this project featuring members of Municipal Waste, Darkest Hour, and friends is a hodgepodge of metal riffs, shout-a-long choruses, and lyrics rife with blunt humor, politics, and kitsch.

The lead-off single, “Eyeball Gore”, dodges anything deep, but is a worthy example of their humorous side. With a flurry of chaotic drums, a tempest of riffs and a sludgy staccato breakdown at its heart, it’s a one-minute ode to ocular destruction that leaves no room for pointless dawdling. While the noodly guitar dirge of the rollicking “Rat Shit” continues their B-horror movie bloodlust with serial killers and their rat-based cleanup crew, other numbers like “Broken Bottles” – a brunt anthem to curbside drinking – pay tribute towards shenanigans involving partying and violence. Conversely, Iron Reagan’s moments where their aims are higher than comedic anthems are equally catchy and best exemplified by the album’s bookend tracks. Exploding from a ponderous dirge mire, “Tyranny of the Will” offers a punk metal podium for Tony Foresta to bark out lines like ‘hidden agendas / informing the world of made up facts you use to push your views’ over a tempest of galloping snares and a squealing guitar solo. Conversely, the presidential “Four More Years” offers the sarcastic viewpoint of a corrupt figurehead, with Foresta’s scratchy snarl begging for a re-election/money over a chugging wall of bass and guitars.

With only a single track amongst its two dozen entries clocking in at over four minutes, Tyranny is not aiming to tax anyone’s attention span. Sort of like a metal head homage to the Dead Kennedys, this quartet certainly inject some fun amidst their screeds, it may be dismissed by purists as being crossover in both sound and message, but for a half an hour worth of politics and puerile humor, Iron Reagan without doubt entertain.

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