Fireball Ministry Fireball Ministry

Californian groove metal quartet Fireball Ministry have never been afraid to milk a sweet melody. Over the course of the past decade and four releases, they've proven themselves capable of both gritty, pumpin' rock'n'roll inspiration and Top Ten-worthy choruses despite looking like something that crawled out of a gutter Black Sabbath would have avoided after a wicked binge. Still, none of their previous moments have embraced overt poppiness as much as this eponymous affair. Riding a dangerous line between riff metal, hard rock and radio-friendly sap, many of these ten tunes are well penned and spirited but require a wealth of listening before embracing rock as sweet as "Thought It Out." When contrasted with the guttural plod of "Followed By A Fall," however, the band do strike a balance between accessibility and purity; it just takes longer than expected. (Restricted Release)