If you’re not familiar with Bunker 66 they hail from Messina in Sicily and formed in 2007. “Chained Down In Dirt” is their third full length and the follow up to 2014’s “Screaming Rock Believers” now read that album title again….doesn’t it sound fucking ace!!??

Bunker 66 are a crusty mix of punk, thrash and death metal and this new album is a total blast from beginning to end.

Opener “Satan’s Countess” is a banger, with squealing leads that just scream “METAL” in your face straight away over a solid D-beat and a galloping bass line that Steve Harris would be proud of. The harsh growling vocals give way to clean in the big sing-along a Satan chorus. This first track is quite reminiscent of modern Darkthrone, only more fun and put a massive grin on my face and if I had long hair (or indeed, any hair), would have plastered it across my face with sweaty glee.

“Black Steel Fever” next. Now, here’s a question, anyone remember E-X-E? that old NY thrash band from the 80’s? (get hold of their debut LP “Stricken By Might” if you can, thank me later). Well this song reminded me of them with its aggressive driving riffs and overall air of malevolence.

This whole record is just such a hoot. Album highlight for me is “Her Claws Of Death” which is a total thrash joy with Maiden-esque leads and Damien Thorne has some serious pipes on him. Seriously, if you don’t have a bottom lip moment when you hear this then you’re dead to me!

Bunker 66 kill it here and the whole album will appeal to any metal fan, death / thrash / trad whatever. This is not a po-faced, up their own arse indulgent musical hand wringer…. this is a 25 minute long, leather and studs, denim and patches, greasy fucking metalfest and all the better for it.

(9/10 Mark Eve)