By Bob Nalbandian

Lethal Agenda
Demolition Records

Temple Of Brutality features former Megadeth bassist David Ellefson and former WASP drummer Stet Howland along with vocalist Todd Barnes and guitarist Peter Scheithauer. Unlike Ellefson's other band F5 that combines metal with an alternative edge, Temple Of Brutality is sheer in-yer-face, uncompromising brutal metal! On Lethal Agenda the band successfully combines traditional power-metal and bone-crushing thrash without crossing into the overly polluted realm of death metal and hard-core. This is true unadulterated thrash-metal, pure and simple! The guitar riffs are stellar, the rhythm section is rock-solid and the vocals are fiercely intense yet show vocal clarity, something rarely found in metal today. There's no question that Ellefson, an original member of Megadeth since 1983, was one of the forefathers of thrash metal and he continues to lay down that foundation with the Temple honoring the classic '80s thrash sound of 'Deth, Overkill, Slayer, Exodus, and Kreator with a more refined and contemporary attack that sounds remarkably refreshing. At times the band even show slight influence from modern punk/metal stalwarts Zeke and Speedealer. Highlight tracks include the riff-ranging "Already Dead," the pile-driving "Isabel," "Beating the Man" (amazing chord changes in this song) and "Built To Last" which features a brilliant rant-raving vocal performance from Barnes. In fact, every song on this CD just kills! The only complaint I have is with the cover artwork. After receiving the CD, it took me a few minutes to figure out who this was as the band name is quite transparent on the front cover as well as spine cover. Other than that (and the fact that you need a magnifying glass to read the credits and lyrics) this album annihilates. This is modern thrash-metal at its finest!

Metal God Essentials Vol. 1
Metal God Entertainment

This double disc set (it includes a bonus DVD) is a great collection of Rob Halford's post-Priest (before they reunited) material from his greatly underrated solo projects Fight (now called K5) and Halford. A brilliant businessman as well as vocalist Halford released Metal God Essentials Vol. 1 through his custom label Metal God Entertainment. The CD features three previously unreleased new Halford recordings (from 2006 and 2007): "Forgotten Generation," "Drop Out," and "Hypocrisy" as well as a couple live tracks from Halford's 2001 Live Inssurection release. The bonus DVD includes eight tracks including Live Inssurection and Resurrection behind the scenes footage. I'm currently digging on the K5 tracks "Nailed to the Gun" and "Into The Pit" (reminding me how greatly underrated those old Fight records were) and "Golgotha" and "Sun" from Crucible as well as the new tunes. Available as a nicely packaged CD or through exclusive download at and, this collection is a must have for fans of Judas Priest.

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