Thursday 23 October 2014

Iron Reagan - The Tyranny Of Will (Album Review)

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 12/9/2014
Label: Relapse Records

The Tyranny of Will’ CD/DD/LP track listing:

01. Tyranny of Will
02. I Won t Go
03. Eyeball Gore
04. Close to Toast
05. Bet on Black
06. Miserable Failure
07. The Living Skull
08. In Greed We Trust
09. Glocking Out
10. Rat Shit
11. U Lock the Bike Cop
12. Broken Bottles
13. Bleeding Frenzy
14. Bored to Death
15. Class Holes
16. Obsolete Man
17. Nameless
18. Exit the Game
19. Your Kid’s an Asshole
20. Patriotic Shock
21. Bill of Fights
22. Consensual Harassment
23. Just Say Go
24. Four More Years
25. The Sentence is Death


IRON REAGAN’S Relapse debut ‘The Tyranny Of Will’ is a 24 song wrecking ball of hardcore- punk/thrash fury.  Fronted by the venomously lyical Tony Foresta (Municipal Waste), on paper IRON REAGAN is a Richmond, VA supergroup (the band also features Phil Hall of Municipal Waste, Cannabis Corpse, etc  as well as Ryan Parrish of Darkest Hour together with members of Mammoth Grinder).  In practice IRON REAGAN are WAY more than just a supergroup project---they have toured the world several times over levelling audiences with their furious live show.  This is a fully formed raging band that have delivered one of the heaviest hardcore records of the year that is guaranteed to be on the top of both metalheads’ and punk rockers’ year end lists.

The Band:

Tony Foresta | Vocals
Phil Hall | Guitar
Mark Bronzino | Guitar
Rob Skotis | Bass
Ryan Parrish | Drums


Straight out of Richmond with 40 ounces in hand and enough hair to make a Sasquatch jealous, is the glorious return of sensual thrash outfit, Iron Reagan. Following their self-titled, debut album and secondary EP, ‘Spoiled Identity’ both released independently--Reagan’s latest, ‘The Tyranny of Will’, was recently dropped by the good people at Relapse Records and it’s 33 minutes of pure, unadulterated, face-melting thrash!

Formed by vocalist Tony Foresta and guitarist Phil “LandPhil” Hall,--both of Municipal Waste fame--Iron Reagan is a super group in the head-banging world with Ryan Parrish (Darkest Hour) on drums, Mark Bronzino (Kicking Spit & Mammoth Grinder) on second guitar and Rob Skotis on bass, their latest additional to the presidential party. By combining early thrash metal with punk ethics, Reagan straddles the best of both worlds in the same vain as Municipal Waste, but stray from Waste’s “party ‘til you puke” sound with personal and political lyrics.

Thankfully, ‘The Tyranny of Will’ isn’t a departure from Reagan’s previous releases, continuing an abrasive path of musical destruction. While numbers like “Your Kid’s an Asshole” exemplify the band’s humor, songs like the title-track, “In Greed We Trust” and “Bill of Fights” are straight-in-your-face political songs with a punk edge. Iron Reagan might be a bunch of long-haired metal heads but this is an outfit who can see what’s going on and have something to say about it. . . or at least inspire their audience to get really pissed off.

Quickly after the album’s release, the band posted a hilarious video of them taking over downtown Portland for “Miserable Failure” a visceral two-minute track that epitomizes Reagan’s sound. Short, bloody and fast, in its simplicity are complex layers between Bronzino & Hall’s guitars and the backbone of Skotis and Parrish. The music is blasted by Foresta’s shotgun vocals and honest songwriting about the consequences of living by your own rules and why you shouldn’t give a fuck about other’s judgments.

On a more touching note, ‘Tyranny’ features a track called “The Living Skull” about the late, great Dave Brockie of Gwar, whom the album is also dedicated to. The number opens with a quick soundbite exchange of ex-lead singer for A Band of Orcs, Jerrad Laign, and Brockie from last year’s ‘Madness At The Core of Time’ tour—the last U.S. run Gwar would make before the singer’s untimely death.

Laign: “What happened? Who made you mad, dude?” Brockie: “Nobody made me mad, I was just trying to have a good time!

I only mention this because I was working for A Band of Orcs on that tour and that quote by Dave symbolizes a lot of the man I met for those two and a half months. An insanely intelligent, hard working man, Brockie was also a madman in the best of ways; always down to have a good time, no matter what the cost and often misinterpreted. As Foresta said in an interview for published on September 11th of this year,
“[Brockie] taught me a lot about having a strong work ethic, whether being at home or on the road; how to be down to earth, but not letting people walk over you.”

The metal family is a close one, with many friendships that run deeper than blood. Iron Reagan is one of the bands at the heart of the American community, with ties extending across the nation and the world in a globalization of metal. ‘The Tyranny of Will’ is strong and relentless, reigning hellfire on anyone ballsy enough to mess with Iron Reagan’s shot at FOUR MORE BEERS!!!!

Words by: Mat Weir

You can pick up a copy here

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