Released: 2006, Self-released
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
Speedy, traditional Heavy Metal from Los Angeles, CA... Just two guys and a drum machine? Huh? Now how bad can that be may you wonder? Well, actually not as bad as you might at first think. Henry and Nick who are behind this creation called Imperious Rex (love this name, by the way), are a pretty impressive duo when it comes to playing this kinda old-fashioned Heavy Metal that clearly has some of its main influences from such bands as Priest, Annihilator, Griffin (US), Trouble and probably even a host of some other bands as well. Imperious Rex manages to sound cheerfully ´80s-flavored with their songs on SPEED METAL KINGS, and I guess that´s the main idea behind the masterplan of these two fellows of Imperious Rex.
The first song, “Until the End” could well be ripped from the catalogue of Annihilator songs; there´s a fair amount of typical Jeff Waters-ish riffs present in this song, and the song pretty much kicks ass because of that. Or let´s bring in the 2nd song titled “Book of Vengeance”. You remember US Griffin´s FLIGHT OF THE GRIFFIN album? Good... “Book of Vengeance” could well be one of those songs from “Flight...” sessions. Fast tempo, traditional Heavy Metal has rarely sounded this good... expect in the ´80s, of course! As for some of those Priest influences, “Full Bore”, which is the 3rd song on the album, starts off like a Priest song. It´s straight-forward, amazingly catchy and headbangingly traditional metal at its purest form. And this is just the beginning because the rest of the songs follow the same formula. A marriage between Speed Metal and traditional Heavy Metal has found a relatively ´sexy´ formula in the hands of Imperious Rex. Nicholas also manages to crown the cake by his excellent vocals that remind me of a mixture of such strong voices in Heavy Metal as William McKay (Griffin), Martin Walkyier (Sabbat) and Eric Wagner (Trouble).
However, despite of all these flattering and uplifting words about Imperious Rex, there´s still some things that need to be improved. They have used a drum machine on this album instead of a human skinpounder, and unfortunately those robotic drum parts have this unfortunate tendency to ruin the overall atmosphere of the whole album. Thank God they are looking for a real drummer for their line-up right at the very moment. Also, they should record their next output in a real studio because to be honest this sounds like a demo recording more than anything else. The production is kinda thin which is a shame because Nicklas and Henry both have proven to be killer song writers on this 9-song effort, and it really sucks when the production isn´t at as high of a level as the songs. But like I already said, there´s always next time, right guys?