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Various Artists

Akron Metal Assault, Volume I (Detained Records)

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When Judas Priest needed to replace the legendary Rob Halford, it found Tim "Ripper" Owens in the 330 area code. Similar hellions can still be found in those parts. Akron Metal Assault, the first release from Rubber City metal label Detained Records, is a 10-band salvo of longhairs from the southern territories who shred and shriek like fringed leather jackets were still in style.

Akron Metal Assault is slow, heavy, and low. Mob Scene singer Jeff Zaigen would be a worthy applicant if Halford goes AWOL again. God's Black Revolver features female bassist Kristin Venables, but the Massillon band's "Where's Your God?" is a dirty chunk of cock rock complete with singer-guitarist Jason Huppert's Sunset Strip-style sneer. Led by former N-Factor guitarist Kris Dann, Hatecore Inc. grinds out some simple riffs that let the downtuning do the talking. Ripcored's "Die for You" is a big, dirty biker ballad. If you don't think they make metal like they used to, here's what you've been missing -- without that long drive south.

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