FAME Review: Ignitor - Year of the Metal Tiger
Ignitor - Year of the Metal Tiger

Year of the Metal Tiger


MVD Visual - MVD5350A

Available from MVD Entertainmant Group.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mark S. Tucker

Metal's had an interesting history as a dominant sub-genre of rock and roll. Myself a headbanger from the git-go—having seen Hendrix, Iron Butterffly, Grand Funk Raliroad, Blue Oyster cult, Ten Years After, King Crimson, Uriah Heep during Hensley's tenure, Sabbath in their prime, and God only knows how many wall pounders—I've never 'outgrown' the mode, and you can still find Dust, Gun, Budgie, and the old guard on my plattern as readily as Trouble, Rammstein, Voivod, Cradle of Filth, and a gaggle of others. Nothing quite satisfies that primal sonic urge like a good earthshaking skull piercing heavy metal band. Thus, I'm happy to report Ignitor—formerly with the rather good Roadrunner label, now on MVD—has its shit together in the most curious and satisfying way.

Weighing in with tangs of Iron Maiden, Dio, NWOBHM, arena rock, and doom pulse, the band centers in a twin guitar attack, Stuart Lawrence and Beverly Barrington (yep, a chick! sweet!), heavy on hurtling steamroller chords and staccato tempos with Jason McMaster raging right alongside…and this guy knows how scream, growl, encant, and adumbrate with the best. Ignitor's sound is classic top-end 70s, the kind of sound labels like Metal Blade eternally reached for in the 80s but achieved all too spottily. Had this CD emerged in that era, it would've crushed its competition in Varney's ol' turf, instantly showing crap bands (Bitch, Lizzy Borden, too much Tokyo Blade, etc.) for the poseurs they were.

Wryly, Ignitor's lyrics and album title are pretentious and clumsy as hell, almost Spinal Tap-ish, but perfectly in tune with the chosen mode. Hardly matters, because McMaster's voice is what's important, and this guy just rips. He could be reciting McGuffey's Primer, Poe, or the damned Bible, and you'd be just as enthralled. Pat Doyle lays down a brisk percussive barrage as Brendon Bigalow centers the rhythm section on bass, but that thick hellfire of the guitars breaks through everything, tightens the chest, and will cause involuntary St. Vitus Dance even in your grandmother. Thus, should you find your forehead uncomfortably smooth, eardrums sadly undamaged, and that sackashit Brooks Bros. suit conspicuously lacking in studs, chains, and grease, well, Bunky, here's the brainmelting cure for it all. Tell the boss you'll be back late from lunch…and that he'd better barricade the doors.

Track List:

  • Heavy Metal Holocaust
  • Beast in Black
  • 'Raiders from the Void
  • Shadow of the Needle (Lawrence / Barrington)
  • Island of the Damned
  • The Kaiser
  • We are IGNITOR (Lawrence / Barrington)
All songs written by Stuart Lawrence except as noted.

Edited by: David N. Pyles

Copyright 2012, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
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