Guitarist Marzi Montazeri is best known (and I realise that’s a relative term) for his work as leader of Heavy as Texas, as well as being a sideman in various Anselmo projects; For his latest release our hero has teamed up with metal throat for hire Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens, in what seems like an attempt to create the sort of music Rob Halford may have tried to get Judas Priest to play in the turbulent times between the release of Priest’s Painkiller and Halford’s subsequent evacuation to his first solo project, Fight

And taken as such, it’s pretty much a qualified success; Montazeri cranks up the groove-based riffage like the pro he clearly is, and Owens brings the screams (and my word there’s a particularly good one at the start of first track Monster Within) and sings his heart out for the cause. But often, as happened in the latter day Pantera era that this record seems to want to ape, heaviness for the sake of being heavy sometimes gets in the way of the actual songwriting, the result being an EP of four tracks (with an intro and an outro) that’ll see your attention waning midway through track three.

Guitarists will enjoy wallowing in Montazeri’s technique, and metalheads of all instrumental inclination will revel in another chance to hear the Ripper do what he does best, so there’ll clearly be a market for this release. But if there’s a follow up, can we have a few better songs please?

The Uprising is released on June 23rd. Go here to secure a copy.