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Philthy Motörocking Done Right - 80%

TheStormIRide, December 6th, 2017

Bunker 66 has been around for a decade now and is just now releasing their third full length album. The band had the same lineup since its inception, featuring Damien Thorne on bass and vocals, Dee Dee Altar on drums, and Bone Incinerator on guitars, that is until Bone Incinerator was replaced by former Schizo guitarist J.J. Priestkiller. This new lineup unleashed Chained Down in Dirt, a short and furiously fun album, through High Roller Records, in October of 2017.

The original trio released one hell of an album with 2014's Screaming Rock Believers, so I approached their newest effort with cautious optimism. The entire band was on fire with that album, doing their best impression of Motörhead meets Hellhammer, even if the album's production was remarkably dirty and muddy. Thankfully J.J. Priestkiller fits in quite nicely, perhaps even better than the original guitarist did. Chained Down in Dirt offers blackened, thrashing, speeding, heavy metal with a touch of punk rock attitude that does not let up at all. From the sleazy opening lick on “Satan's Countess” all the way through to the Hellhammer-esque rampage that is “Evil Wings”, Bunker 66 packs a walloping punch of rollicking old school metal. The riffing moves from feisty speed metal rhythms into primordial first wave pummeling into punkened crossover territory and back again while managing to sound smooth and unforced. Honestly, the riffs are delivered by the truckload, so have a shovel ready to dig your way through.

Chained Down in Dirt is the logical continuation of Bunker 66's sound. It embodies everything that the band has been delivering since their inception, just with a better production and a more straight to the point songwriting style. One of the most notable improvements are with the vocals, as Damien Thorne no longer sounds like garbled static, instead delivering a biting growl mixed with some punk-tinged clean vocal harmonies. The bass and percussion are pure speed metal Motörhead worship, making Lemmy and Philthy Phil immensely proud with rampant double kicks and rumbling bass runs. Really, the only complaint I have with this installment is the brevity: eight tracks clocking in around twenty-four minutes feels quite short for a full length. Regardless, fans of Whipstriker and Bulldozing Bastard should find plenty to enjoy here.