"The Overlord Messiah" (Alone Records; 2017)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

"The Overlord Messiah," by Retched, is an unabashed, unflinching and unapologetic heavy metal listening experience that will delight some listeners and make others smirk.

Me, I'm the delighted kind of listener. "The Overlord Messiah" is six tracks of pure, raw heavy metal. Loud guitars, fiery leads, vocals that sometimes scream like a banshee. It's a guilty pleasure of a CD, solidly packed with heavy metal clichés of the instrumental type (think Manowar), the vocal type (think King Diamond's piercing style) and the sometimes clumsy lyrical type (um ... think Manowar again). With tracks titled "Black Leather and Me," "Metal Knights" and "The Pharoah's Curse," you get what you think you're going to get and, if you were expecting something else, you're listening to the wrong CD.

Let's be honest: There are parts of "The Overloard Messiah" that will make anyone roll their eyes at the pure outrageous silliness of it. But the band's dedication to the music, their outright pleasure in playing it, and their unadulterated fearlessness in doing so, make "The Overlord Messiah" a  truly entertaining listening experience. It will make you remember what you liked about metal when you first discovered it ... and there's nothing at all wrong with that.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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