C Average, affectionately known around Olympia, WA, as "Cave Rage," kick out hard sludge rock and demonic speed metal riffs on their largely instrumental sophomore outing, Second Reckoning. Musical alchemists -- guitarist John Merithew and drummer Brad Baisley -- mix Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, a dash of the Who, and seriously medieval album artwork and song titles to bring forth something mighty (especially for just two guys). The opening song "Starhok" totally rocks, "The Witch" is a Sonics cover, and "Strider '88" is a thumping, crunching, evil paean to J.R.R. Tolkien, Middle Earth, and Dungeons & Dragons. "Prolock (the Protector)" is a 45-minute adventure of epic proportions which rather unfortunately has seven minutes of a skipping record that instead of sounding eerie comes off just plain annoying. But it is thoroughly made up for by the inclusion of an entire live show nearly 30 minutes long. Don't miss the awesome narrative about "The two who possess a magic so powerful that they could, like, rid evil from the land of Ilgagaard, eh, forever, eh." This album leaves only two wishes unanswered for the average metal wizard or warlock listener: (1) more metal-worthy vocals (anything from Zeppelin to Chris Cornell to Josh Homme's Queens of the Stone Age stoner moan would do); and (2) more of them. Who can't do with more lyrics about orcs, darkriders, swords, and quests? In D&D speak, that would give C Average almost unlimited hit points.