Thursday, August 15, 2013

Iron Jaws - Guilty Of Ignorance

Pure Steel Records

The Italian band Iron Jaws, which is due to release this, their sophomore recording, at the tail end of August, first came together back in 2006. Drawn together over the shared love of all things speed metal (Exciter, Abattoir, Agent Steel, etc) the band would go on to release their full-length debut, the aptly-titled "Louder Is Not Enough". This self-produced release ended up being well-received especially in Germany and Japan. In fact Metal Bound Records, a German underground label, would soon come calling and the next thing anyone knows the group's debut-album would be released on vinyl! After listening to this new album by Iron Jaws it's easy enough to grasp what all the fuss is about. You see there's speed metal and then there is Iron Jaws' version of speed metal. What's the difference? Within the ranks of Iron Jaws you have a bunch of speed metal fanatics doing what they do best (in this case it's thrashing about like a bunch of fist-bangin' metal maniacs) and doing it in such a way where it catches hold of your attention and just will not let go! Iron Jaws' style of speed metal has a lot going for it. From it's furious delivery to it's technical approach (not to mention the fact that a lot of what you find on "Guilty Of Ignorance" is down right catchy!) this is one band that sticks out in the overcrowded field of speed metal! The band features lead vocalist Andrea “Mixy" Finotti, whose vocal delivery comes across like this mad mash-up of all thing's German (or rather German thrash as his voice easily draws comparisons to the various lead vocalists of Kreator, Destruction and Sodom!) and a pair of Robertos in Roberto "Rock 'N' Rob" Massasso (bass) and Roberto "Micini" Quaglia (guitars). Drummer Riccardo "Ricky" Porzio completes the line-up of Iron Jaws. This album, which comes packed with a pretty cool cover of "Metal Merchants" (Hallow's Eve), is simply track after track of killer (old-school) speed metal. We're not talking about the European-style of speed metal mind you, but real speed metal like it used to be played!  This fun bunch pushes the scene back in time to the eighties, but they never fall into the dreaded "retro-speed metal" scene. The sound here is natural and just raw enough to give the whole album an underground appeal. This kind of long-forgotten and horribly missed speed metal finds Iron Jaws playing the hero role and I for one applaud this Italian band. Is the stage set  for more bands like Iron Jaws to emerge? Let's hope so. For now though this is the best of the bunch as it's the best speed metal release I have heard this year or frankly in a long, long time!

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