From their 2006 beginnings as Reign Of Terror to a name change to Reign Of Fury leading to a two year split before reforming as a punk band called Ransom (featuring three current members of Reign Of Fury), their songs became more metal orientated so they reverted back to Reign Of Fury. Their signature melodic thrash sound was laid down with the addition of vocalist Matt ‘Bison’ Steed in 2009.
Considering their recorded output so far is the 2011 EP Psycho Intentions and their 2012 debut album World Detonation, their songwriting has found a tour de force of maturity on the forthcoming release Death Be Thy Shepherd. Their penchant for long songs on World Detonation continues as they have expanded the new ones even more to cram in even more intense time changes. Opener ‘Faustian Mastery’ clocks in at just over the nine minute mark and closer ‘Death Be Thy Shepherd’ a minute longer with another four of the eight tracks tipping the scales at over six minutes.
The album belies it’s hour long duration by whizzing by in a thrash metal vortex, pulling the listener into a barrage of furious thrash metal which should hopefully take the band to the next level. Reign Of Fury are mainly well known for their involvement with the Headbanger’s Balls 2013 and 2014 tours, playing on an ever changing bill each night to raise funds for the Teenage Cancer Trust and the 2015 Death Be Thy Shepherd tour is already under way.
Album opener ‘Faustian Mastery’ paves the way for what is to follow as a grinding Egyptian like intro leads into furious tempos similar to ‘Blackened’. Huge backing vocals over the buzzing riffs bring to mind early Exodus as a raging twin guitar assault midway hits hard. Following track ‘Harbinger Of Decay’ sees Bison hitting higher notes than ever here that Joey Belladonna would be proud of as the song zooms along in an adrenaline rush Spreading The Disease era Anthrax. The pounding main riff of ‘Gates Of Sanity’ is broken up by an almost death metal mid section as wailing guitar solos herald a headbanging inducing ending.
‘Hypnotise The Masses’ begins with some fiery lead guitar as it develops into a full throttle number highlighting that the partnership of guitarists Jon Priestley and Ed Fury Westlake are becoming a force to be reckoned with. ‘All Is Lost’ is probably the nearest thing to a ballad on here but it still crushes as the ‘Call Of Ktulu’ like intro leads to an emotional vocal backed by thumping riffs building to a frenetic mid section as twin lead breaks duel to the finish. The two minute stuttering intro riff to ‘The Love Of A Dying God’ is the calm before the storm as a dizzying mix of rhythms backed by huge backing vocals make this my favourite track here.
‘Sorrow Made Flesh’ is easily the fastest track with 100mph Slayer like riffs zipping in and out of some of the heaviest riffs with a slamming mid section that threatens to punch a hole through your speakers! Album closer and title track finishes Death Be Thy Shepherd on a high as precision riffs bringing to mind the technique of Jeff Waters slam to a pit forming mid section. An ‘Orion’ like segment allows some respite before the riffs build back up to a brief spoken word lyric and a foot to the floor finish.
The production on the album is crisp and very much in your face which is a testament to Reign Of Fury as they record, produce and mix at their own studio. They press and release their CDs on the Moshtuneage label and will be out on February 27th, a triumph for UK thrash metal.
Reign Of Fury band :-
Matt ‘Bison’ Steed – Lead vocals.
Paul Bielby – Bass guitar.
Magic Dave – Drums.
Jon Priestley – Lead guitar.
Ed ‘Fury’ Westlake – Lead guitar.
Album track listing :-
Harbinger Of Decay.
Hypnotise The Masses.
Gates Of Sanity.
All Is Lost.
The Love Of A Dying God.
Sorrow Made Flesh.
Death Be Thy Shepherd.