The Reckoning (OarFin)
Old-school metalheads Dave Ellefson and Jimmy DeGrasso-who both did time in Megadeth's rhythm section-try to snag a new generation of fans with The Reckoning, F5's second album. This aggressive five-man band blurs Megadeth, Symphony X and Disturbed with a dark, dense and raw arsenal that includes twin guitars, thudding bass and drums, and gritty, urgent vocals.
But the bludgeoning riffs from Steve Conley and John Davis on "Love Is Dead" signal that F5 is more than simply a vanity project for Ellefson and DeGrasso. "Final Hour" sounds as frantic as its title suggests, while other cuts ("Wake Up" and the title track) venture into progressive-metal territory, as Dale Steele's voice reveals additional character and depth over the album's more-straightforward headbangers.
The Reckoning won't land on any year-end best-of lists, but metal fans of a certain ilk will no doubt embrace it.