Big Iron Falling Down

Mixing hefty amounts of flashy Pantera thrash with distinct neo-metal influences, Dallas-based Big Iron stand poised to transcend mere opening band status for a more substantial level in the biz. Their secret weapon is lead guitarist Alapeno, whose meaty hooks serve as spitting images of the same from Dimebag Darrell. Take opening shredder "Reality Check” — Alapeno’s steamrollering chords are the perfect foil to Dave Slaughter’s muscular kick drums and singer Dan Lehmann’s throaty, Phil Anselmo-like bellow. "American Pleasure Drive” finds Lehmann nailing System of a Down’s rap-like delivery, and the grimier title track rusts in a dusty corner of Superjoint Ritual’s garage. Minus the gang choruses, "Mouthhole” sports a Biohazard-like cadence with riff-alicious trimmings of Blind-era COC, while the ballad-like "The Truth” has a laid-back Disturbed/Godsmack vibe. "The Breakdown Is Coming” approaches the updated crunch of recent Anthrax, and "Vanish” and "Body Of A God” sound like outtakes from Pantera’s Reinventing The Steel sessions, with Alapeno’s incredibly accomplished guitar solos serving as a sonic stamp of approval for future greatness. As Falling Down is the shingle of a band that’s cut their teeth on touring and endless practice — nothing extemporaneous here — Big Iron are already taking Texas rock by the tail. (Neoblast)