Blessed Black Wings
Label: Relapse Records
Matt Pike proves himself a true auteur of all that is heavy with Blessed Black Wings -- if the first druid metal minute of "To Cross the Bridge" doesn't prove that, then the thrumming, volcanic pillaging that ensues should do the trick. This is heavy metal made by a man who rarely wears a shirt, and he plays that way. Just the beginnings of these songs are better than most albums. Other over-the-top statements that can be made here are that the guitar solos all rule, the vocals are bloodthirstily monumental, you can't play it loud enough and you can't play it loud enough.