Now that retro true metal is upon us - see Earache's Heavy Metal Killers compilation (reviewed here) and Metal Blade's recent signing of Ravage - perhaps the "true" true stuff will get its due. Portugal's Ironsword is the real deal, having been blessed by Manilla Road's Mark Shelton, who adds guest vocals here. Overlords of Chaos (Shadow Kingdom, 2008) combines '80s trad metal with speed metal and Motörhead's grit. Sure-handed drums cradle meaty riffs and fist-pumping choruses. The vocals are the highlight - gruff and sonorous, not the usual castrato yelp. This is music of muscles and tempered steel, but the garb is denim, not loincloths.

- Cosmo Lee

Thanks to David M for the tip.

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