Iron Reagan – Crossover Ministry Review

Author: Laura Cosheril

It can be fucking hard to keep up with the metal subgenres these days, Blackened Thrash Metal, Avant-Garde Black Metal, Atmospheric Sludge Doom Metal… and the list goes on. IRON REAGAN fall into one of these relatively new Metal subgenres – Crossover Thrash.Crossover Thrash mixes elements of Thrash Metal and Hardcore Punk to make fast and aggressive noise. IRON REAGAN have released two albums before “Crossover Ministry” and both of these previous releases have gone down well with both fans and critics. Before writing this review I decided to check out their previous releases and I was quite impressed so I went into this album with quite high expectations judging by their previous releases.

It’s worth mentioning that this album is only 28 minutes long (the shortest track being around 7 seconds long); I’ve known demos with a longer running time than this! To some this might seem ridiculous, but to both the Thrash Metal and Hardcore Punk genres, songs this short are not uncommon so to fuse the two genres only makes sense that the songs are painfully short. I just wish that there was a little more of this album to review. Songs were passing me by before I’d even had the chance to jot down notes!

The album begins with “A Dying Word” and the aggression and ferocity hit you like a brick wall. IRON REAGAN waste no time in getting stuck into the onslaught. To be honest, this song is so short I didn’t even notice the transition between “A Dying World” and “You’ll Never Learn” (possibly because the latter track was only 43 seconds long). Both tracks sounded equally similar in tone and pace, it wasn’t until the third track on the album “Grim Business” that I’d noticed a change at all.

The actual album itself is interesting and sometimes inspiring. Vocalist Tony Foresta has such a unique voice for this type of music, he spits out his words with such aggression and I can’t help but think that if he weren’t in the band this would be a very different review. The instruments play extremely well, but all thrown together it can sometimes sound unintentionally messy and hard to follow. Do not mistake that statement for a dig at their playing, this is not the case. What is the case is that there’s so much technicality and “showing off” that it can clash, but by no means are they below average musicians; in fact quite the opposite I just wish there was more structure.

“Dead With My Friends” is the standout song for me. It begins with a dark and heavy intro and then as quick as lightening we’re exposed to the aggressive pummelling that we’ve come to love at this stage. This is the only song on the album that I’ve actively repeated and that has stuck out in my head.

While I appreciate what IRON REAGAN are doing and how they’re doing it, this album just doesn’t sit well with me. I love Thrash Metal and I’m fond of Hardcore Punk, but the two mixed together in this way just sounds out of whack. The songs showed little to no significant difference and some songs I didn’t even realise were playing! Unfortunately this album just doesn’t do it for me.

Rating: 2.5/5

1. A Dying World
2. You Never Learn
3. Grim Business
4. Dead with My Friends
5. No Sell
6. Condition Evolution
7. Fuck the Neighbors
8. Power of the Skull
9. Crossover Ministry
10. More War
11. Blatant Violence
12. Parents of Tomorrow
13. Bleed the Fifth
14. Megachurch
15. Shame Spiral
16. Dogsnotgods
17. Eat or Be Eaten
18. Twist Your Fate

Ryan Parrish – Drums
Mark Bronzino – Guitars
Landphil Hall – Guitars
Rob Skotis – Bass
Tony Foresta – Vocals

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