On ITunes, for new albums there’s generally a description at the top of the track list that has some sort of description of the album that you’re about to listen to. Usually, these are ponderous treatises on the album that border on pretentious hilarity. On the header for Crossover Ministry by Iron Reagan, it merely says “Punishing Thrash. No Chill.”
Iron Reagan inhabit the area of thrash metal that takes more cues from hardcore punk than metal. Bands like Megadeth and Testament have their fair share of technical wizardry, and that’s all good and nice, but Iron Reagan will have none of that. It’s pretty clear that these guys love S.O.D. With song lengths that range from two and a half minutes all the way down to a brisk five seconds, and featuring track titles like “Fuck the Neighbors” and “Bleed the Fifth”, the album leaves you little time to breathe as it blasts from track to track. In fact, just taking a look at the track list, in which eighteen tracks are crammed into less than half an hour, should tell you all you need to know about the sheer pace of the thing.
And God does that half hour feel great.
I feel like as time goes on I have less and less patience for the type of super cleanly produced, uber technical heavy metal that I used to absorb like a sponge. It’s stuff like this that I generally gravitate towards lately. Like any metal band, Iron Reagan are only as good as their riffs, and Crossover Ministry has riffs for miles. It’s especially effective when the band cut right to the chase with that slamming 4/4 punk beat. The production is just barely clear enough for you to hear all the instruments, which is perfect, as it still leaves plenty of that beautiful searing white noise to caress your eardrums. But I think what truly holds all of this together are the vocals of Tony Foresta, who also sings in Municipal Waste, another brilliantly knuckleheaded crossover thrash band. He’s in that school of Tom Arya type metal singers who don’t really scream or growl, but very articulately shout the words at high speeds.
Keeping in spirit of the album, I’m gonna keep this review relatively succinct. There’s not a whole lot to say about this one other than that it’s a great slab of thrash metal and that you should totally check it out if you want something visceral and heavy.