"Haunted By Rock & Roll"

By Colonel Angus

There was recent quote by Mike Portnoy (Sons of Apollo, Winery Dogs, ex-Dream Theater) where he said that “metal is bigger and better than ever” and he has a point.  Each day I am introduced to new bands that have been playing and releasing new material for quite a while.  Take Ignitor as an example.  They have been around for over a decade with this being their sixth release and this is the first time I am getting exposed to them.  Hailing from the great state of Texas, these guys are following a heavy metal template that was created over 30 years ago.  If you are a fan of the NWOBHM with a good smattering of good ol’ American metal and thrash, then you are in for a treat.  Right off the bat, Ignitor batter your ear drums with “To Brave The War” and don’t let up until the last note of “Hung Drawn And Quartered”.  The beauty of this record is that it is just straight up metal where each song is either a fist pumping anthem or a headbanging metal rocker.  They even through in a few thrash parts like in “Hatchet (The Ballad Of Victor Crowley)” and “No Sanctuary”.  Even though they included the aforementioned Raven cover “Hung Drawn And Quartered” (awesome cut) from 1983’s "All For One", their original material stands up nicely alongside that classic.  With just 9 songs total on this disk, not one track would I label as is filler nor would I skip any of them.  It is an album you can enjoy from start to finish.

When I started going through the roster of band members, I came across a name I knew very well.  Jason McMaster has been with a number of bands but I mostly enjoyed his singing with Watchtower, Dangerous Toys, and Broken Teeth.  As usual, he puts on a great vocal performance on Haunted By Rock & Roll. Unlike many metal screamers, he hasn’t lost his ability to hit those high notes.  The guitars are handled by founding member Stuart Laurence and Robert Williams.  Both come up with some hard crunching riffs while Laurence adds the lead work throughout.  Pat Doyle (another founding member) bashes away at the drum kit like he is auditioning for the band.  You can actually hear the energy in his playing.  Ignitor is rounded out by bassist Billy Dansfiell who along with Doyle, make up a rock solid rhythm section.  While all of these guys are well seasoned musicians, the songs are the focal point of "Haunted By Rock & Roll".  If you like your metal straight up without any bells and whistles, then this is album is for you.