When I listen to Closing In, the new riff-fucking-tastic retro-metalfest from Early Man -- the duo of singer/guitarist/bassist Mike Conte and drummer Adam Bennati that, thanks to the power of overdubbing, sounds at least three members larger -- several things rush into my mind all at once: Heavy Metal Parking Lot; Sabbath's Master of Reality; that dirtbag Hessian in eighth-grade homeroom scrawling band logos and Maiden's Eddie on the back of his ratty spiral notebook; Metallica's Kill 'Em All; getting rides home from school in my friend Steve's trashed '75 Nova and nearly choking to death on the stench of exhaust fumes; stale Schlitz and overstuffed ashtrays; the cover of Priest's Screaming for Vengeance (thanks mostly to "War Eagle," during which Conte shrieks, "I am an eagle made of steel . . . my eyes shoot laser beams at will/They're dialed in and set to kill," pulling a little Halford outta his ass to turn that last word into a high-octave "Kiiiieeeeeeeeyyyaaaaiiyyyyhhhll!"); that sixth bong hit; rifling through musty stacks of Creem and Kerrang! in Tad Gileo's basement; walking out of a million rock shows with no hearing and feeling like I got body-slammed by King Kong Bundy. Dudes, it's a beautiful thing. And on tour, Early Man expands to a quartet for maximum mind-blowing metalosity.