Shocking Its Prey

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This six-track release, a side project featuring Ryan Waste and Land Phil of Municipal Waste, is a tribute to the glories of early-'80s heavy metal. Not hair band metal, but raw proto-speed metal à la Iron Maiden, Mercyful Fate, Accept, et al. The vocals are high-pitched, heading toward all-out screaming at times; the guitar solos are speedy and stinging; the drumming is fast but loose, with a punky aggression; and the whole package is a dose of pure metal adrenaline, played with zero irony and plenty of enthusiasm. The sole exception to the go-go-go tendency is the disc's final track, "Heathens' Revenge," a doomy stomper that recalls Black Sabbath more than, say, Diamond Head. Volture's lyrics run the traditional metal gamut, from apocalyptic fantasy-mongering ("The Horde," "Night Walker ) to declarations of glory ("Volture," "Heavy Metal Machine") and crude sexual outbursts ("Cheap Thrillz"), while the cover art -- a robotic vulture shooting lightning from its claws -- is a tribute to the mythic beasties that adorned Judas Priest albums in the '80s. Overall, this will thrill metalheads of a certain age, though younger listeners may not get it.

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