Iron Reagan hails from Richmond, Virginia and brings with them an onslaught of blitz-like punches on their newest record, Crossover Ministry, which for some odd reason shares the same name of a free health care clinic also in Richmond. Iron Reagan is the complete opposite of any health clinic as they bring an additional layer of depth to the Thrash Metal genre. Consisting of Phil “Landphil” Hall and Mark Bronzino on the guitar, Rob Skotis on the bass guitar, Ryan Parrish on the percussion and Tony Foresta on the Vocals, Iron Reagan also recruited production heavyweight Kurt Ballou who has worked with everyone and anyone in the metal community, especially with some of the better releases of 2016-2017 with Code Orange, Nails, and even The Dillinger Escape Plan with their latest record, Dissociation.
While Iron Reagan has been around since 2012, it was not until Worse Than Dead did they finally come under my radar and instantly blew me away with their classic punk sound. I actually mistook them for a band that formed in the 80’s as their aggressive thrash metal style and punk-like message created this blast from the past mentality that would combine both ripping guitars and a large focus on breaking down everything in Iron Reagan’s path. With their newest record, Crossover Ministry, they once again reach into that “fun” aspect of listening to music where circle pits, mosh pits, dancing, and movement is all encouraged, a seamless throwback but step forward for metal music.
First launching with “A Dying World,” Iron Reagan makes quick work of punishing with a wall of sound that can bounce between Parrish’s rapid drum rolls and the screeching feedback from both guitars. Immediately, Iron Reagan jumps directly into the fire and comes out unscathed as they begin a two-step pattern on the percussion and use the guitars to blaze a trail that opens up for vocalist, Tony Foresta to repeat the lines, “Plague, anguish, pain, it kills to breathe, toxins course through my veins. Welcome to the tragic end of all life.” Crossover Ministry continues on the path of destruction that Iron Reagan has spoken about in the past, their lyrical style and the lyrical style of most hardcore bands includes daunting lyrics that touch upon the complete annihilation of mankind, Iron Reagan switches up their style on later tracks like “Fuck The Neighbors” where they instead speak about how incredibly annoying neighbors are and the fun of partying till the break of dawn.
Iron Reagan moves powerfully and transitions between tracks in a blasting motion, there are no seconds wasted before a guitar is being ripped apart, drums are pounding, and vocals are shouted over the hits of music that reign in a constant shifting style. It feels almost as every track on Crossover Ministry is in a race with itself and wants to keep the steady pace of sprinting. Iron Reagan takes no breaks through the near thirty-minute journey of crushing instrumentals and an overarching theme of aggression that will trade blows and always come out on top.