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Iron Testes To The Layman - 69%

CHAIRTHROWER, December 13th, 2019
Written based on this version: 2019, Digital, Independent

Launching with a grainy and raw projection amidst a laid-back rhythmic guitar riff infused by a whipp(lash)ing gate-smasher of an introductory solo is Steelballs' secondary EP, which, along with 2016' titular motion, summarily sandwiches the Argentinians' nine-tracked full-length debut from '18, Thunder Strikes Again - if you will, a "tempestuous" coupling i.e. accompaniment piece, in both appellation and mien, to Blackslash's cloyingly melodic sophomore offering, Lightning Strikes Again (also issued last summer). For the sake of consistency, this brief token morsel keeps the band's carnal twitch alive and running...

One thing can be said about Heavy Monster Monster - "Widundret" to our genially enthused Swedish comrades: we're immediately locked in by the trad/arch-speed metal formation's boxy and stentorian, mid-pace stomping throttle with the same commanding, imperative force as, say, Pope Innocent XIII's sacerdotal chastity belt, for want of a cool, however hoary and blasphemous, comparison.

Now, while the titular (can) opener's relatively sluggish tempo scales it back into anthem-ic, yet not quite AOR-ish, textbook "heavy metal", "Gates of Hell" kicks both mitts and boots to the pre-apocalyptic curb by rapidly shuffling itself into a Mortal Whisper (of Chile) reminiscent slab of bashing, certainly not bashful, drumming gyrations subtly interwoven with ear-straining, practically unheard bass lines. As such, it's a disconcerting situation which, for the life and death of me, needs to be addressed post-haste, thus impugning this twisted Canuck minstrel with sufficient nut bracing gumption to rate the Buenos Aires quintet's (potential) third full-length accordingly. To (t)wit, an A (+) grade, in tandem with similar bravado and awe as, say, Ecuador's newborn Curse Breaker. (Blame this uncouth shoehorn on the outfit's delirious MA ineligibility which stirs one to (tr)action in a resignedly churlish, mealy-mouthed and/or stuffy manner!)

If anything, Heavy Metal Monster's nine minutes of cheekily rocking South American throwback vibes entail a fitting interlude for work-time smoke breaks, in addition to various anodyne instance(s) of idleness/idolatry. Nevertheless, at this juncture, I'd expected the gang to tighten its collective bullet belt beyond this here minute party sampling akin to a butt plug fit to size intended for the debut; neither is it testosterone-fueled like the fore-mentioned, preceding EP. Despite this here humdrum bout of heavy metal monster mash, Steelballs remains a worthy, if not ribald, combatant worth keeping (cerveza) tabs on...