by Vinnie Apicella
Four legendary metal veterans, six songs, two “projects,” and seven years ago… IR8 vs. Sexoturica, hailed as “old school” metal of a roots-driven kind, which means about as much to the metal tradition as Voivod’s Roooaaaaarrrrrr album. IR8 features the trio of Jason Newsted on bass and vox, Devin Townsend doing the six string and Exodus’ “Toxic” Tom Hunting on drums. Originally recorded in ’94, “Colossus,” “Nothing,” and “Black on Black” are three original tracks of a slightly better than demo quality. Newsted’s bark-from-the-belly approach vocals are a brutal combination of belch fits and bitter beer face in full-blown brunt. Townsend, now a Strapping 30-something Lad, does some lightning fast riffing and rugged chops, particularly on the last two, vintage thrash with Hunting’s ain’t-dead-yet blasts.
Sexoturica was deployed only a year later, same place, same rules, same guys, only the guitar licks are by a Kisser, Sepultura guitarist Andreas Kisser, replacing Townsend for three deeper, doomier cuts which owe nothing to any of their individual bands. “Alone” has an aggressive feel to it, “Zone Of Death” has a creepy, Venom-like vibe which opens with Newsted’s stalking bass, and “Dead Soul at Sleep” is a cross between Motörhead’s “Orgasmatron” and Six Feet Under. Definitely more groove-inspired than the others. Sexoturica = Sepultura-Exodus-Metallica… catchy huh? Altogether, some heavy-handed shit that conjures images of the Anselmo side-step out amongst the doom, gloom, and dark.