Reign Of Fury: Death Be Thy Shepherd

deathbethyshepherdWhy did all the good metal also have to die when grunge came along and killed hair metal? That’s the question raised by Reign Of Fury’s existence, and the answer is still a resounding, “It didn’t have to. Now let’s fucking rock.” It’s beautiful to hear a British band bringing back New Wave Of British Metal (NWOBM), picking up where Metallica left off when they veered off course to make The Black Album.

In my review of Reign Of Fury’s last album I held back a half-clown rating because, while I heralded the return to 80’s and early 90’s metal, I bemoaned that they weren’t pushing the genre forward in a way that was different from the way it has developed. That was idiotic. Who f’ing cares if it’s moving forward or not when it’s this good? Besides, this time around the band left out the 60 seconds of Cookie Monster vocals, so at least they’re cutting even more of the unfortunate developments of the last 20 years.

In that last review I also said that I thought they really didn’t outdo Metallica, Testament, et al. And, fine, maybe they still don’t, but I will put this right up there with the best of that era. This album is damned near perfect. It slips shy of five clowns by being a bit unnecessarily lengthy in parts. More specifically, I feel like the last verse often doesn’t add much to the build of the song. If you’re always going at 100 MPH, you don’t get much of a feel for the acceleration phase. And yet their main attempt at slowing down and having a huge build, “All Is Lost,” leaves me flat until the big build.

But again, who f’ing cares? This is the best thrash-heavy metal I’ve heard since, say, …And Justice For All and Rust In Peace. And some of these Really Likes might be Loves, but why get hung up on nitpicks when I could just be rock horning, head banging, and air guitaring? RAWK.

Mix: “Hypnotize The Masses”
Love: “Death Be Thy Shepherd
Really Like: “Faustian Mastery,” “Harbinger Of Decay,” “Gates Of Sanity,” “All Is Lost,” “The Love Of A Dying God”
Song Notes: After the jump

  1. Faustian Mastery – 9:20
  2. Harbinger Of Decay – 6:45
  3. Hypnotize The Masses –
  4. Gates Of Sanity –
  5. All Is Lost – `6:45, first half is reminiscent of “Doug The Unforgiven” by Metallica Second half is pure awesomeness
  6. The Love Of A Dying God – reminiscent of Master Of Puppets. Also “Harvester Of Sorrow”
  7. Sorrow Made Flesh –
  8. Death Be Thy Shepherd – reminiscent of “Harvester Of Sorrow”

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