Iron Reagan - The Tyranny of Will | Review

Even as a statuette the idea of an iron-ized Ronald Reagan is fucking terrifying. Lewis Black was one who shared similar sentiments when he (jokingly) suggested America freak out other countries by voting for someone who is dead. And that dead person was the Alzheimer’s champ, former President Reagan. And while Reagan may be dead, super group Iron Reagan is very much reigning.

Those that somehow missed last year's blessed Worse Than Dead debut on A389 Records have some catching up to do. Iron Reagan is a cross over thrash/hardcore-punk band featuring vocalist Tony Foresta (Municipal Waste, No Friends), drummer Ryan Parrish (ex-Darkest Hour), Landphil Hall (Cannabis Corpse and Municipal Waste) and Mark Bronzino (ANS) on guitars, and Rob Skotis (Hellbear) on bass. It's a who's who of metal and hardcore thrown into a blender. Their second album The Tyranny of Will is a continuation of ragers and bangers that you've come to expect.

Production on The Tyranny of Will has gotten a lot tighter in the short span of a year. Though Iron Reagan has moved on to Relapse Records, their approach hasn't changed a bit. Songs come in short spurts, shredding and thrashing monstrously. Songs are thoroughly soaked in whiskey and the whole package might just be enough to make you break out in a sweat there's so much rage packed into each punch.

Songs are more distinguishable this time around too. Worse Than Dead was a great album but it wasn't without a blender effect. The album moved so fast that it was almost stumbling over itself. The Tyranny of Will his just the right marks with its balancing act of hardcore-punk and thrash metal. Pieces like the four minute finale “Four More Years” doesn't go out at lightning speed, instead slowing down for an anthem chant of “Four more years! Four more years!” sending the album out much the way it came in. Frothing but groovy.

Other tracks like “You're Kid's an Asshole” or “Glocking Out” are straight-up get-to-the-point tracks that flash by. Yet other tracks like “Miserable Failure” or “I Won't Go” are the perfect balancing, showcasing Iron Reagan in its finest hours. Flailing shredding with and storming energy that practically summon circle pits upon command.

Overall, The Tyranny of Will is a more distinguished album and an absolute blast to listen to. It kills on every level and leaves no room for boredom. Not once. There's tongue-in-cheek humor galore and plenty of social commentary in the lyrics. What's more, I can't find a single thing wrong with this album. Iron Reagan plays some of the best cross-over music you're likely to ever hear. It doesn't even manage to hit a generic note. Much like All Pigs Must Die are the modern d-beat kings, Iron Reagan are the hardcore-punk/thrash blast from the past that the scene needs; absolutely one of the best bands today. And The Tyranny of Will is one of the best albums you'll hear this year in metal, hardcore-punk or any other genre.

Christopher Luedtke

Band info:
Label info:

Chris is a film reviewer for (good luck finding his work there) and journalist for Metal Injection (better luck finding his work there). In his spare time he video blogs and promises a second installment of the Guilty Gear Retrospective on YouTube under theOfficialChris. He also writes novels, applies for jobs, attempts to write music, eats cheap food, drinks lots of coffee, enjoys opera, worships grind, and works. He can be found posting songs and bitching about the awful V/H/S film franchise on Twitter: @CoffeeCupReview.