Slough Feg Atavism

Their first album since shortening their moniker from the ridiculous sounding The Lord Weird Slough Feg, Atavism finds the San Fransisco-based metal band — who also share members with the also excellent Hammers of Misfortune — making the best album of their highly underrated career. Slough Feg make unadulterated classic heavy metal and do so in convincing fashion, which is a rarity in this day and age. Similar in style to what you would have if you crossed early ’80s Iron Maiden-style NWOBHM with um, Irish drinking anthems, the songs are short, concise and stacked with enough hooks and hard left turns to keep things really interesting. The band members are all great players, with plenty of twin guitar leads and vocalist Michael Scalzi — whose vocal style is somewhat similar to that of Manilla Road's Mark Shelton — is lucky enough to have a great backing band behind him, something Shelton definitely does not have. This album might take a bit of searching out as you're not going to find it in your local mall store, but if you've read this far and are at all intrigued, do yourself a favour and get this at all costs. (Cruz Del Sur)