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One of the great things about this column is not only having the chance to introduce new bands to readers, but also continually discovering new music for myself. One such case is San Diego’s Medius, whose debut album Burns Going Down is set for release on February 28th.

It’s only fitting that just after Pantera’s Vulgar Display of Power hit its 20th anniversary milestone that a band like Medius would come along and not necessarily lay claim to the throne so much as honor it. The mid-’90’s metal fan in me is having a field day with their debut, Burns Going Down, as it’s definitely a throwback to days of yore but also a solid debut with feet firmly planted in the 21st Century.

“The Way” starts Burns Going Down in glorious fashion by introducing mammoth Dimebag meets Zakk Wylde guitar squeals with a little bit of Eddie Van Halen soloing thrown in for good measure courtesy of Trevor “Natty” Blair. If that wasn’t enough to reel you in, then wait until vocalist Spencer Blair chimes in with a guttural growl that, even with everything out there today, is completely unique.

If you really wanna compare Medius with the Cowboys From Hell then listen through “Abscess” or the “Domination”-style riffage of “War Cry” featuring some unbelievable drumming from Chris Dunlea (Especially on “War Cry”). It’ll make old school metal fans weep for what could’ve happened if Pantera didn’t disintegrate when they did.

As far as debut metal albums go, Burns Going Down has it all: Sick riffing, tight songs, and an overall sound that stands out from the rest of the pack. The real treats come after creepy instrumental “In Visions” when “Neurosurgery” and closer “Wrecking Crew” lay waste to all your expectations.

The veritable riff machine that is Medius’ Burns Going Down is out on February 28th. Get yours here.

Grade: A

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