Cellbound realizes most of its grand ambitions with the six tracks of coed retro metal on its debut EP. Image is vital to metal, and the group's promo photos tell you everything you need to know about the music: With each rocker representing a different metal aesthetic, the leather-clad Akron group looks like King Diamond's kid cousins, members of Lacuna Coil, and
the local chapter of the necromancers' union. Guitarist Jozey Zeitler's last project was the sadly defunct Mob Scene, which became a favorite for metalheads who thought the form peaked in 1990.
Playing slow-but-steady power metal, the group advances like a tank. Frontwoman Chris Emig's formidable pipes offset T.J. Rock's acid-reflux gurgling. Zeitler riffs more and solos less than he did in Mob Scene, but it's a good fit. The rhythm section is the group's hidden strength; on the title track, drummer Todd Alley rides out double-bass rolls with impressive restraint, but without sacrificing force. File between Sepultura and Lacuna Coil.