Sunday, March 31, 2013


This past autumn I started contributing short fiction to an art zine based in the West Coast called Kung Fu Breakfast. One of the perks of working with a community of artists like this is sharing work with other creative people whose pieces appear alongside yours (and make your work look even better). I was lucky enough to have my featured story this month in an issue with a cover painted by Caitlin Anne, an “illustrator, artist, and friend to all creatures great and small.” Caitlin Anne’s towering fox-giants are just the beginning of her strange, beautiful world. I encourage every reader to follow the links to enjoy her artwork, it makes you believe the world has plenty of magic and secrets left.

Visit her official website here:

Check out the newest issue of Kung Fu Breakfast featuring both of our material here (it’s a FREE digital download if you sign up for a free Magcloud account):

And take a further look into her creative process at her Tumblr:

Saturday, March 30, 2013


The Great Kat is one of the most interactive personalities in heavy music, updating all of her accounts personally to communicate with fans and even mailing autographed specialty photographs celebrating holidays (like this weekend’s fitting crucifixion pose on a blood-splattered cross). She has released several DVDs with music videos and live performances, and “Extreme Guitar Shred” is a collection of six performances with blood, blasphemy, studded bras, and, above all else, shredding.

While the production quality spans from cinematic (like the lurid black and white of “Torture Chamber”) to deranged public access video (“Zapateado”), there is a very Tromatic vibe to the proceedings. For those who aren’t hip to the kings of independent shlock, Troma Entertainment is responsible for The Toxic Avenger and a filmography of splat-stick cult films that wallow gleefully in filth. “Extreme Guitar Shred” carries the same energy as an early John Waters film, where offensiveness approaches tastelessness, and every taboo is celebrated with a guitar solo.

“Torture Chamber” is the first of several songs featuring The Great Kat in dominatrix mode, and the slick video shows her sadistic assaults on her legions of male slaves. If I learned anything from this DVD it’s that being a slave to the Great Kat is not a particularly great gig for someone hoping to live into old age. Her followers are beaten, whipped, forced to eat like dogs from bowls, boiled alive, attacked with massive drill bits, and eventually executed with the same expression of frozen shred-rage the Great Kat has perfected through the years. “Castration” and “Dominatrix” feature similar imagery, though the former includes the best gore, complete with a censored, severed mushroom tip. These three videos, along with her live performance from a Chicago concert, should be watched rabidly by the fans that worship the Great Kat. Not only does she rain fiery words of degradation down on her servants, but she also dispatches her victims with blood slick on her face, fret-burning fingers, and cleavage. These are moments of pure heavy metal excess that, for a dedicated fan of the Great Kat, will be their raison d’être.

The only video I actually feel compelled to warn viewers of is “War.” While the piece matches the “Zapateado” video’s guerilla production value there are also many images and clips of Holocaust devastation and 9/11 footage that may upset some people. While I generally roll my eyes at trigger warnings I feel like this may be the place to say “there are actual corpses on screen.” Even mentioning this may increase appeal to the mondo gorehounds and Faces of Death junkies who seek that sort of stuff out.

While the total running time is modest (13 minutes, not including the special features)I think this is essential for the fans who say they worship their Classical-Shred Messiah. While the outlandish, nightmarish images may distract from the music there’s no denying that when the Great Kat’s fingers spray blood due to her insane speeds on this DVD it is only barely fictionalized. This collection of videos captures the grimy underbelly of heavy metal that intends to shock and alarm, and has a helluva time doing it.

“Extreme Guitar Shred” is now Available on Amazon Instant Video here:

For more information on the Great Kat visit the hub of all Great Kat information:

To visit the Great Kat store and purchase your very own autographed “Shredding Easter” photo go here:

And don’t forget to follow her on Facebook for immediate updates on all news here:

Friday, March 29, 2013


Maybe Easter would be the perfect day to review a Rotting Christ album, but Good Friday is pretty damn close. I dabble in blasphemy like ex-Presidents dabble in painting dogs. My first introduction to Rotting Christ was rather upsetting to 14 year old me: I saved enough money by hoarding my lunch money (and surviving off Dunkaroos) to order Tiamat, Rotting Christ, and Emperor albums together to save shipping costs. Unfortunately the package was lost and I did not purchase insurance because that was a whole six dollars (two lunches) more. Years later, the internet is all sorts of amazing, and you can enjoy Rotting Christ on Spotify immediately. Spoiled little prick kids.

Their newest album, Κata Τon Daimona Εaytoy, is a riveting piece of symphonic metal with bursts of blackened speed and a mischievous, adventurous spirit. The Tolis brothers, Themis (drums) and Sakis (everything else), have crafted a fine album that takes huge creative risks and plays by its own rules. The opening track, “In Yumen - Xibalba,” is the most danceable black metal song I’ve ever heard, moving from droning, monochromatic doom to blazing looped guitars over a blast beat. Somehow the sum of all that equals a song that could make the burliest metal warrior breakdance. “P'unchaw Kachun/Tuta Kachun” continues the trance-inducing approach of the album, with a distant monk choir haunting chugging palm-muted riffs before concluding with majestic harmonized guitars. Despite the nearly spiritual overall feel of the album there are also shades of their harsher black metal days to be found here, including the ragers “Κατά τον δαίμονα του εαυτού” and “Русалка,” which both expertly build and release anger.

While there are a couple uninspired songs, such as the sleepy “Grandis Spiritus Diavolos” and the slow-burning “Ahura Mazdā-Aŋra Mainiuu,” even these cuts offer moments of brilliance, like the funky wah-wah solo of the former. Just how did these Greek veteran rockers grow the grapefruit-sized-nuts to use a Cry Baby pedal in a black metal song? Κata Τon Daimona Εaytoy is an album that defies expectations in the best ways possible, offering the anthemic qualities of arena rock without sacrificing aggression or experimentation. Some songs feel like Theli-era Therion, but with more care taken with the metallic aspects. That’s the most impressive part of this album for me: Despite all the chanting and piano and operatic guest vocals and assorted oddities, at its heart this is a throwback metal album from an accomplished band who never stop pushing at the boundaries of heavy music.

I knew there were DVD copies of Nosferatu released with Type O Negative providing the soundtrack. I think if there’s any horror film that fits Κata Τon Daimona Εaytoy it would be Rosemary’s Baby. I could definitely hear “Gilgameš” playing while the devil stares down at Mia Farrow with those yellow eyes. If there was ever a soundtrack for Satanic insemination, it was Rotting Christ’s music. I love Cadbury Eggs as much as the next non-religious, pathological-consumer-of-candy, but Rotting Christ provided my real Easter treat this year.

Listen to Rotting Christ on Spotify and visit their official website here:

And check out their merch over at Season of Mist:

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


I did some quick research on Durham, UK in preparation for this review of End Reign’s Suicide Collection, featuring the band's compiled releases over the last several years, and was greeted with a ton of tourist information regarding lovely coastal strolls and picturesque castles. I did, however, also come across a nearby mining museum appropriately called Killhope. This is where I imagine End Reign perform their brand of crusty, dark hardcore; deep in the dusky, dusty bowels of a subterranean labyrinth savaged of its precious metal and left dry, now just a series of cold tunnels waiting to implode under the weight of the earth above. I can safely say the music contained in Suicide Collection is heavier than all those layers of rock and soil above the mine. I won’t say that being in an End Reign mosh pit is more dangerous than being a 19th century lead miner, but the two could be a draw.

Witch Hunter Records has put Suicide Collection together in preparation for a new LP from End Reign expected later this year. The track listing is chronological, starting with the newest tracks first. The opener, “Sacrifice,” is a nasty cut of blackened crust and offers a sneak peak of their new material as the sole demo from the upcoming record. It’s manic and razor-sharp and single-handedly creates buzz on its own merit. The rest of the album, gathered from self-released demos, split albums, and EPs, is consistently awesome, proving that End Reign is not some flash-in-the-pan hardcore group lucky enough to hop on the hype train. Release to release, the material is reliably ornery and absolutely bruising. This music will never, ever wake up on the right side of the bed, and it’s very interested in sharing it’s bad mood with you as loudly as possible. If you’re like me, you’re happiest when you’re listening to others in a bad mood.

Other highlights include the sludgy re-recording of “Release the Wolves,” the versatile ripper “Azrael,” and my personal favorite, “Dream Eater.” Starting with a clean guitar intro that lures the listener into an apocalyptic doom riff, “Dream Eater” mutates into a d-beat thrasher before settling back into a grimy hardcore stomp. When End Reign play at their fastest they remind me of Young and in the Way, another group of misanthropes who make blisteringly heavy music. End Reign leans more into the hardcore camp than punk however, with fist-pumping tempo shifts and chugging breakdowns joining the crusty fray, and use a wider variety of stylistic approaches to shape their songs. Occasionally a riff overstays its welcome (like in “Horror” and “The Freeze”) but even these songs finish strongly after they splinter off into faster paced directions. Geoff Cairns’ vocals sound like they have been scraped raw and now only pure, primal rage remains. You can’t teach or fake the sort of passion on these songs, they feel totally, and terrifyingly, genuine.

I’ll be impatiently waiting for the new End Reign LP to surface, listening to Suicide Collection and urging others to do the same. This collection makes you feel grimier than the black soot and mud covering the original Killhope miners. Forget oil, this music is the real black gold worth digging for.

Check out their entire discography here:

Pre-order the Suicide Collection tape and keep track of the upcoming LP over at Witch Hunter Records:

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


With an album title like Unrelenting Fucking Hatred the listener shouldn’t expect subtlety. While the lingering results of genocide, war, and hate crimes (among other atrocities) may impact the human psyche in subtle ways, the violent results are as immediate and brutal as the album title suggests. If Rage Nucléaire had a collective ringtone it would be the bomb sirens that blare in several tracks, warning of the oncoming onslaught. This record is a dizzying lo-fi assault that captures the rawness of the tape-trading age of black metal while maintaining its own peculiar charm. Charm may be a strange word for a vicious black metal record, but this is not your grand dad’s sullen strand of black metal. And if it is, then your grand dad is pretty awesome.

Rage Nucléaire features vocalist Lord Worm, a provocative and engaging frontman formerly of Cryptopsy. Now as the demented elocutionist of a black metal band he spits and screeches with startling commitment. There’s not a single half-assed snarl on this album. These (inaudible) words are absolutely screamed with conviction. I picture Lord Worm as some mad preacher rummaging through the ruins of bomb-blasted cities surviving on the flesh of charred battle casualties. His voice is deranged and menacing, from the high-pitched howls to the strange robotic croaking that becomes so unhinged it seems unconcerned with the accompanying music’s rhythm in “Gift of the Furnace” and  “30 Second in the Killhouse.” There is charisma, danger, and wit in Lord Worm’s songwriting/vocal performance on Unrelenting Fucking Hatred. This is just another example of why Lord Worm deservedly became a household name in the metal community.

The accompanying music on Unrelenting Fucking Hatred is driven by keyboard melodies while the buzz of the guitars and the mechanical hammer of the drums provide the spine for each song. While the album is undeniably fast and heavy it’s more of a foundation for the gothic flamboyance of the keyboardist’s electronic strings and 8-bit organ. The keyboards do the real heavy lifting when it comes to what differentiates the songs from each other, which makes this brutal music still feel weirdly warm, and at times, harmless. While Emperor and even Cradle of Filth (like on their early demo, titled with eerie similarity Total Fucking Darkness) have experimented with this approach before, both of those bands featured the guitars more prominently, using the keyboards strictly as a supporting instrument for additional texture. Mystic Circle’s dragon saying concept album Drachenblut might be the closest comparison, though it doesn’t possess the fuzzy grit Rage Nucleaire achieve on this album.

If it’s not clear yet, Unrelenting Fucking Hatred is a strange animal. At its best, like in “Endziel” and “The Gallows and the Black Coffin,” Rage Nucléaire change speeds to highlight the crunchy, crusty elements of their black wall of sound and include terrifying sound-strokes like Lord Worm’s occasional droning delivery or samples of screaming swine. These songs definitely have sharp teeth, but not all of them have the strongest jaws. A few of them grab the listener and let them escape as the keyboard’s dominance distracts from the surrounding mayhem. For songs about unrelenting fucking hatred the keyboard sounds pretty unrelentingly fucking polite at times.

I think this album is definitely worth your time if you’re a fan of black metal and feel immense nostalgia for mail-order days spent studying ‘zine back pages for obscure, evil music. Also, if you’re tired of the grim grind of pitch-black metal and want something with (comparatively) softer edges, Rage Nucléaire offers that while still featuring an entertainingly combative, confrontational vocal performance. It’s not the most brutal release of the past year, but it ranks among the most interesting. Also, I’m not sure what a Murderworm is, as mentioned on  “Hunt with Murderworms, Sculpt With Flies,” but I imagine it looking like one of the creatures from Tremors, and I really want one as a pet.

Support Rage Nucléaire on Spotify or over at Bandcamp to hear the horrors of the Murderworm:
And check out their humorous band description/mission statement over at Season of Mist while checking out merch over at:

Monday, March 25, 2013


Somewhere in or around Chicago (my gut tells me Ravenswood) there is a coven of witches with impeccable musical taste who conjured Mount Salem from a smoking cauldron of black water. There is very little information available about the members of Mount Salem but the music they’ve created on Endless feels supernatural and triggers my overactive imagination. I’m not sure of the exact recipe the coven used, but it goes something like this: A heavy broth base of massive doom riffs, healthy doses of doped-up Muddy Waters electric Chicago blues, a splash of garage rock (from the darkest imaginable garage, built on an old burial ground), and a hallucinogenic pinch of occult rock psychadelia. And eye of newt, of course. Somewhere there’s a very sad pack of blind newts swimming aimlessly in a bog.

From the opening quote on “Good Times,” provided by none other than Charles Manson, Endless exists on a twisted, ethereal plain anchored by metallic heaviness while supporting the soothing vocals of their female lead singer. A minute into the song there’s already mention of burned churches, and with this musical accompaniment you can picture someone walking through the ashes enjoying the fragrance like floral incense. This is music that creates images, demands attention, and engages all senses. Endless is also accessible in the best of ways: It does not betray its heaviness with catchiness and melody. The riffs that carry these songs on their backs compare favorably to some of the best work by Sleep and Electric Wizard and feel like gentle giants: Huge in size and sound, but displaying soul.

Every song on this album is essential. Even “Mescaline,” the mid-album instrumental intermission, now a staple within the doom genre, is the perfect somber, dreamy departure from the heavy crunch of the rest of the record. Mount Salem has also already perfected what I call “psychedelic dirges,” where the keyboards and vocals dance slyly, even seductively, over ominous, heavily distorted breakdowns. It has all the same mystery and beauty of a Dario Argento horror scene, complete with the stylized bloodletting. Endless ironically concludes with “The End,” perhaps the best example of musicianship on the album, including every element of their signature sound, from smoky, goth blues to brutally loud, fuzzy stoner rock. This song will be my lullaby for a long time.

Endless feels like it’s trapped in the nightmarish head-space of a psychic medium on a bad trip. This is another album that I feel I could play for diehard metalheads and curious rock fans who may be unfamiliar with doom and receive enthusiastic responses from both. While the vocalist may sing that “this is the end of everything,” as a fan of heavy music I will gladly delay the apocalypse for a few more albums from Mount Salem.

Listen to the album here and support the band on their merch page:

And follow them on Facebook to learn more about their upcoming tour:

Saturday, March 23, 2013


The first official guest post is still on the way, with a half-dozen good samaritans lined up to submit reviews to Mister Growl. Most of the contributors will be open-minded non-metal fans sharing their thoughts on artists including Torche, The Hooded Menace, Evoken, and The Shrine. But today we have Jess, from the fantastic blog “Jessicana,” sharing her thoughts on bad-ass gardening and the “Top Seven Most Metal Plant Varieties.” Jess is also the owner of the Jeezum Crow Vintage shop, a great source of unique, funky clothes and accessories. She also recently discovered the magic of Hisingen Blues, the masterpiece album from Swedish hard rockers Graveyard. One of these days she will definitely be a denim-clad stoner metal warrior. Enjoy her insightful and consistently hilarious posts over at “Jessicana” and check out her business at the links below.

Find her post, Nature is a (Goth) Whore, here:

And peruse the treasure chest of vintage items at Jeezum Crow over here:

Friday, March 22, 2013


I have no idea if the guys in Complete Failure are Steelers fans but this brutal Pittsburgh band hits harder than James Harrison, the (recently released) defensive star who has been fined around a quarter of a million dollars in his career due to brutal tackles and excessive force. He’s one of the most feared players of the past decade, a role that Complete Failure understands quite well. There is no worrying about your well-being here, just the determination to break every bone in your body if you get in the way.

Complete Failure absolutely highlight the “core” in grindcore with their latest album, The Art Gospel of Aggravated Assault. While the album grinds as viciously as anyone in the genre, their hardcore sensibilities surface often, separating their sound from the legions of faster-than-thou bands who buzzsaw into one ear and out the other. From the opening taunts of Mark Bogacki’s bass and Joe Mack’s charismatic bark in “Mind Compf,” the album blasts forward with speed and precision. The first four tracks pummel with great passion, with Mike Rosswog’s amazing drumming keeping the runaway train wobbling on the tracks around every sharp turn instead of crashing off a cliff. The album’s namesake and “Head Hanger To Be” are more catchy than music this abrasive has any right to be. They hammer the listener with blast-beats, breakdowns, and an official shit-ton of groove that feels like sludge on hyper-effective basement-brewed stimulants.

When The Art Gospel of Aggravated Assault deviates from crusty, grinding hardcore and slow things down the songs don’t quite hold up. I can appreciate “change of pace” tracks, and there are often lumbering mid-album songs that work well to divide the faster, shorter bursts of intensity. In fact, some of the very best songs on Complete Failure’s previous release (the excellent Heal No Evil) were those that slowed things down and oozed between the grind attacks. “Drag Migrator” limps forward with dissonant unease but doesn’t build to a pay-off. After the first underwhelming half of “Hero of the Church Herd,” where Mack summons the spirit of Henry Rollins for some un-screamed spoken word that feels out of place, the song amps up the aggression and even achieves effective melody before speeding to the finish line.

The album’s second half still possesses great cuts like “Disinvictus,” which is driven by punk riffs dyed black from sewer grime, and “The Unlove Unhue,” which violently thrashes before ripping the mosh pit an asshole with a queasy breakdown. With songs focused on the specifics of the human experience, not generic anti-establishment/pro-bloodshed posturing, Complete Failure has a lot to say, and they say it loudly. There might be a couple missteps on this album, but it features absolutely top-notch grind execution and drumming, projects unrivaled rage, and at full-throttle the album is totally untouchable. If you’re speeding towards a bleak future and want company, The Art Gospel of Aggravated Assault is the perfect surly companion for your downfall.

Listen to the album on Spotify or at Bandcamp here:

And learn more about Complete Failure and their mission statement over at the Season of Mist site here:

Thursday, March 21, 2013


After describing their ferocious sound in a review last week, guitarist BJ Rochinich and bassist Joel Wadsworth of Ancient Shores were both kind enough to answer some questions. Keep reading to learn more about one of the loudest bands on the loudest label, A389 Records. Wilderness, jazz, and busted heads; we’ve got it all:

Mister Growl: How did you decide on the name Ancient Shores and what does it mean to you?

Joel: The name to me means that we are able to try different sounds and not stick to one specific niche. From the beginning, the band has always been trying to be a little "off" and non-conventional sounding. I know I personally enjoy the fact that we don't have to stick to one specific sound to keep listeners engaged. It's very liberating to be able to walk into practice with an idea that is drastically different from the last idea presented and it be able to get fleshed out.

Mister Growl: Outside of music, what else has influenced your sound or approach to music?

BJ: I can not really substantiate anything other than "each other".  I can bounce any idea off of anyone else in the band in person at practice, or by sending ideas through the internet, or by simply talking about parts whenever I see one of my bandmates in public. The amount of feedback and rate of response has helped me develop as a songwriter; I appreciate everyone for that. Having earned the trust of other musicians has been essential for me.

Joel: When we were writing for the 12" split I was spending a lot of time on a job out in the woods in the middle of nowhere. I was walking along hillsides for days and to help pass the time I'd constantly be humming chord progressions in my head. Due to nothing but repetition I was able to remember a good portion of progressions that wound up on the record.  I'm sure a lot of great riffs didn't make it out of the woods though.

Mister Growl: How did your relationship with A389 develop?

BJ: Basically we sent them some music we had, and it went from there. Dom is great about listening to music; he loves music. If you watch the documentary piece about A389, you will see what I mean.

(Editor’s Note: This is ABSOLUTELY worth your time. - MG) 

Mister Growl: What's the local music scene like in Morgantown, WV? How has your city/geography impacted the band?

BJ: It is a great scene. A variety of music styles and bands exist in the area, and surrounding areas as well. Members of bands in Morgantown moved elsewhere but still play in their respective 'Morgantown' bands. It is really a good place to be to play and see music. It is also in proximity to a lot of cities that get good tour packages. I can not really provide evidence where the geography has impacted the band's music, but being close to cities where music is a significant part of their culture is pretty, pretty great. Driving in a region dense with mountains worsens our fuel efficiency. I do like West Virginia very much, though.

Joel: I live about two hours south of Morgantown and Greg lives around an hour northwest. Being separated makes for very efficient practices when we all get together. They're more focused and there's a lot less bullshitting while we have our amps on since we don't get four practices in a week. For me it makes for shows mean a little more too. I don't get to see the guys that often so it's cool that when I do it pretty much always involves loud, awesome music.

Mister Growl: Most surprising album you love?

BJ: John Coltrane's Meditations is an album that I really enjoy that may surprise some. I think it has things that Coltrane did carefully, but at the same time it can not be diagnosed by just musical experts or just people who skim or skip around through a records content. It is polarizing in that people at both end of the spectrums of appreciation think its aimed right at them. Meditations should be experienced.

Joel: I don't really have any that would be surprising to me. Everyone's got their thing and music that's theirs. In terms of an album that caught me off guard and actually surprised me I'd probably have to go with Isis - Oceanic. That record completely changed the way I thought about music and the creation of music. At that moment it surprised me because I wasn't listening to longer drawn out pieces of music. In the overall context of time it's not surprising I love that album because it's perfect.   

 Mister Growl: How receptive have listeners from outside the heavy music community been to your band?

BJ: I personally can not even tell. We have great friends with eclectic tastes that support us no matter what. It's possible they hate the tunes, but they would not tell us. I think our friends and anyone that does listen to us sense that we love writing music and at least work at it. Our friends and relatives are amazing supporters.

Joel: Yeah, that's tough. I don't know how many people who listen to music outside of heavier styles would be actively reaching to listen to us. In a live setting, people can be swayed with the visual part just as much as the audio. Greg busted his head open during our last set and people really got into his intensity. We didn't play with any other bands that were "heavy" in a traditional sense so it's hard to say.

Mister Growl: If Ancient Shores had to have a mascot what would it be?

BJ: An empty field.

Mister Growl: What's been the most insane moment at one of your live shows?

BJ: Playing on a stage that Black Flag also played.

Mister Growl: What projects are you currently working on?

Joel: Starting the writing process over. Some of the guys are in other bands too. Check out Sweet Life, Sleepwalker, Karma to Burn, and Pat Pat.

Many thanks to BJ and Joel for their time! Follow the links below to support the band and the label, it’s well worth your beer money. Also, thanks to Andy Pickens for the band photo.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


If the first image in your head after hearing the name Iron Reagan was the Gipper replacing Tony Stark and fighting crime in a mechanical war suit, you may not share the same political platform as this band. Worse Than Dead, the band’s first full-length, paints a portrait of Reagan the villain, sucking the blood from the poor and leaving their emaciated bodies rotting in gutters overflowing with urine and rat carcasses. Like all my favorite political music, the lines between punk, thrash and speed metal vanish in a blur of machine gun riffing and fiery rage burning hotter than a combusted Molotov. If your favorite Slayer album after Reign in Blood is Undisputed Attitude then carve an anarchy symbol on the closest police car and escape to listen to this album now.

With members of Municipal Waste and Suppression/Darkest Hour, this is a group of crossover renegades who know how to rock long hair and sweat bands while inspiring raised fists and violent resistance. From the shouted countdown kicking off “Drop the Gun” to the appropriate warning sirens of “Walking Out,” this is a furious, frenzied assault on the conservative elite. While speed is the name of the game this in no way sacrifices the creativity of the riffs, which branch off from thrash to include moments of hardcore stomp-and-start and ominous melody, as heard in “Pay Check.” There are also the guest vocals from Lock-Up’s Tomas Lindberg on “Snake Chopper” and the show-stealing (and hilariously titled) instrumental track “I Ripped That Testament A New Asshole” as examples of surprises available to listeners who think they’ve heard everything exceptionally fast metal had to offer.

I have heard the same complaint from fans reluctant to embrace a specific sub-genre over and over: All the songs sound the same. This is not specific to thrash, though I have heard increasing scrutiny of crust/d-beat bands that have “nothing new to offer.” One of the things that makes Worse Than Dead such a compelling listen is how contemporary it feels while still displaying inspiration and appreciation for the pioneers of hardcore punk. The old-school mid-gallop solo on “Midlothian Murder Mile” and the gang vocals driving “The Debt Collector” are sure to push original fans of D.R.I. and Gorilla Biscuits fans into the pit to share their veteran moshing experience with the younguns. This music is cross-generational, totally fresh and modern. Still, Iron Reagan would grab the nearest crowbar and smash bank windows side-by-side with the forefathers of thrash.

Regardless of political affiliation, if you like your riffs faster than a stock market crash and fueled by the meanest breeds of punk, Worse Than Dead is a gritty, catchy slice of crossover chaos your ears will gladly bleed for. Arm yourself with this album and prepare for the revolution.

Go check out Iron Reagan’s Facebook page over at:

And grab a copy of their album from those lovely, mean bastards over at A389 here: