The Occupy Wall Street movement has a sympathizer in Helloween singer Andi Deris. Disgusted by the obscene, unchecked greed and corruption of a diseased banking institution that’s somehow escaped punishment for its sins against humanity, Deris’ anger is palpable on his first solo album since 1999, recorded with his band, the aptly named Bad Bankers.

A hard-hitting protest record that gets in the gutter with its subject matter and beats it with brass knuckles, Million Dollar Haircuts on Ten Cent Heads has a grimy, contemporary metal edginess and visceral crunch that fuels his rage against fat cats and tyrants. At heart, though, Deris is still a power-metal proselytizer, prone to sculpting melodic curves out of walls of guitars and crushing rhythms to make dramatic statements in the sweeping “EnAmoria” and the equally expansive “Must Be Dreaming.”

Nevertheless, with its brawling guitar riffs and sneering vocals, the punishingly heavy opener “Cock” doesn’t mince words, couching its indignation in thick, grinding machinations, before the prowling, seething grooves of “Banker’s Delight (Alive or Dead)” express their frustration in a particularly vicious manner. Embracing nu metal samples and other production enhancements that bands like the Deftones and Korn make such effective use of, Deris and his rabble-rousers raise hell in a dark, blustery “Blind” that turns moody and watery, as does “Who Am I.” More scathing, “Don’t Listen to the Radio (TWOTW 1938)” is straightforward traditional metal with a hooky chorus and driving, slightly scratched-up guitars, and it’s a song of sturdy construction and strong opinions, the kind that leads to fist-pumping and other expressions of rebellion.

Even if all it amounts to is street-level sound and fury that, although it does actually signify something, never comes close to reaching deaf ears in corporate boardrooms, hearing Deris’ impassioned, well-articulated call to arms is, if nothing else, a direct and forceful shock to a financial system desperately in need of an overhaul. And Deris is in fine voice, expressive, charismatic and wide-ranging, clearly warming to the task he’s undertaken, and sounding especially vital when he gets his dander up.

Label: Armoury Records/earMUSIC