Ignitor Year of the Metal Tiger

Ignitor Year of the Metal Tiger
There's much to love here, most importantly, Jason McMaster (Watchtower, Dangerous Toys) on vocals, a realistic running time and that amazing album title. Opener "Heavy Metal Holocaust" storms out of the gates surprisingly slow and heavy, with McMaster doing his hysterical vocal wail overtop, spewing out amazing lines about the power and glory of metal. "Beast in Black" picks up the pace, going at a frantic Blind Guardian clip, but with enough seriousness to show that the silly album title and opener aren't all this band are capable of. "Raiders from the Void" goes long, slow, epic and, yes, very metal. Unfortunately, by the time "Shadow of the Needle" comes along, that's two almost six-minute, mid-tempo/no-fun numbers in a row, so it's a bit of a tough slog, even with those always enjoyable vocals soaring above it all. The rest of the album picks up the pace and the fun factor, but nothing comes through on the promise of the opening cut. Still, this is a respectable romp through Maiden-esque, metallic drama. (MVD)