Anything that immediately reminds me of Rush has got to be a good thing, right? Well, that depends on your opinion of Rush, I guess. Still, there is something in the instrumental opening to All Hail The Minotaur that speaks to me of that same ability to write “musical statements” (their words, not mine) that seem to talk without using lyrics. The same musical eloquence. The same sonic elegance. This opening salvo quickly settles into its unique blend of classic rock, metal (particularly laced with elements of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal) and old-school blues, but as a way of grabbing my attention. If I were wearing a hat, I would take it off to them.

Shotgun Love sees them explore those bluesier urges; it’s hard and heavy, riff-driven and solid but also melodic, groovy, and swings. And such a trade-off between blues and metal lies at the heart of Rule of Two’s sound, the ability to slam home the music but make you dance to their tune whilst they do so. Full on Metal-Boogie…is that a thing? If not, it is now!

American Gods sees them muse about what we worship in society today and if most of our society’s problems are based on our dedication to money, greed, and material possessions rather than older and more honest energies and empathy. (Being a Neil Gaimen fan, I like to think that this was inspired by his book of the same name…perhaps, perhaps not.)

Perhaps saving the best till last, Thunderbird builds a thunderous (natch) tribal beat over which it laces threads of guitar powered on by robust, depth charge bass drives.

It’s a great album, one that doesn’t forget where rock and metal come from but which helps grow the genre and move it forward through clever reinvention rather than by anything too revolutionary. But then again, you can make a good argument for rock music having more or less found its perfect form a long time ago. And like they say if it ain’t broke…

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