Year of the Metal Tiger (awesome title, by the way) is the fourth full-length release from Texas-based traditional metal band Ignitor. Well, assuming a 7-song, 37-minute album counts as a full-length. It's also the second Ignitor album to feature Jason McMaster (ex-Dangerous Toys, ex-Watchtower) on vocals.
Ignitor is clearly riding the so-called New Wave of Traditional Metal, so Year of the Metal Tiger has a simple, no-frills heavy metal approach that's all about Judas Priest, Metal Church, (old) Metallica and Armored Saint. It's full of pounding metal rhythms, thrashing guitar riffs and of course McMaster's unique vocals. This is fun, mindless heavy metal and the songs cover all the (awesome) clichés like fighting (for metal), living fast (also for metal) and, um, metal (obviously). It's well-worn territory, especially these days when you have a ton of bands like Enforcer, Cauldron, Skull Fist and the like popping up all over the globe, but it rocks pretty hard and it's fun to listen to.
Let's go with a 3.5 star rating here. Year of the Metal Tiger is not remotely original, nor is it at the same level as say Widow's Life's Blood or Twisted Tower Dire's Make It Dark. It is, however, a totally solid and totally enjoyable serving of hard-hitting, old school heavy metal, which is something we can always use more of. You'll want to crank it up and bang your head while it's spinning, but you'll forget about it soon afterwards.