Posts Tagged ‘Canada’

Infrared - Saviours

Canadian thrashers Infrared follow up their debut full length ‘No Peace’, a collection of 80s written songs but never released, with their new record, ‘Saviours’. It is a collection of classic 80s thrash worshipping songs, with more than a few nods to the NWOBHM giants who preceded that movement. It is out now.

Opener ‘Project Karma’ is instantly recognisable as a product of classic thrash through a modern filter. The Bay Area chug is in full flight, but Infrared take more of a cue from the likes of Death Angel than Metallica. Galloping and technical thrash riffs are everywhere, as are hooky choruses and a joyous execution of heavy metal thunder. But, as much of a celebration of what made 80s metal great as this is, there are plenty of cool unique moments. The measured guitarplay of ‘Saviour’, the almost balladry moments of ‘The Fallen’ and the (good) latter day Megadethisms of the stunningly good ‘All in Favour’ make a triumvirate of killer mid-album tracks.

Infrared do everything you want in a thrash album, and ‘Saviours’ tears through the competition this year for some of the finest riffs and hookiest metal songs. It’s a perfect modernisation of classic Bay Area thrash, along with plenty of heavy metal nostalgia sprinkled upon it. You’d have to be pretty miserable not to have smiles and fists raised at least a couple of times!

https://www.facebook.com/infraredmetal/

http://infraredmetal.ca/

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Valyria - Into the Dying of Time

Canadian ‘more death than power’ metallers Valyria return to us with their first full length album after a strong EP debut. ‘Into the Dying of Time’ came out around May time with an independent release, and it really adds a bite of melodeath to their progressive, power metal moments.

After a dramatic, keyboard led intro piece (‘Final Empire’), first track proper ‘Steel Inquisition’ brings a strong comparison to the likes of Wintersun and Kiuas with the galloping guitar melodies, punishing double kicks and a soaring melodic power that matches the intensity. Based upon the ‘Mistborn’ saga of Brandon Sanderson, one of my favourite fantasy series, I must admit a little pre-bias on this, but this is an absolute stormer of a track. The guitar work is often technical and epic, while the massive choruses in the likes of ‘Floating World’ and ‘Tome of Shattered Vessels’ especially are instantly memorable and fist pumping. The grandiose scale is met well and truly equally by a heaviness that is often lacking in power metal pomposity.

I cannot help but be a sucker for well done, heavy power metal and Valyria hit the spot for me perfectly. There’s a fine blend of heavy riffing and epic, sweeping scale, where it isn’t over the top or ridiculous. Valyria haven’t succumbed entirely to the operatic/falsetto realms of power metal, and with the extra bite provided in here, that is to be applauded. ‘Into the Dying of Time’ is a stellar slab of modern, technical and epic metal.

https://www.facebook.com/ValyrianSteelCanada

https://valyriansteelcanada.bandcamp.com/

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The dreaded ‘modern doom blues’ moniker hangs over this release from Canadians Pink Cocoon, which generally means subpar Pentagram and Sabbath riffs played with ‘genuine atmosphere’ etc. But not in this case. ‘Alienation’ is a record that hums with a vibe and a talent that belies the newness of the band. It is out now through the band themselves.

‘Help Me’ instantly hits with a swaggering, Electric Wizard vibe to it; the guitar coated with a fuzz while the vocals have a little of Lee Dorrian about them too. Fully absorbed into the world of squalling feedback solos and a psychedelic blues atmosphere, Pink Cocoon immediately step above the rest of the Witchcraft clones by being truly doom in their output. ‘No Control’ has a more early Sabbath RAWK to it, while the lazy drawl of ‘Old Lady at the Window’ is a tripped out gem. And the more said about the grimy doom and roll of closer ‘Child of Death’ the better, as Pink Cocoon save the best for last.

Pink Cocoon capture the essence of trippy doom laden blues perfectly, equal parts retro fuzz and swaying psychedelic weirdness. If you’re into Uncle Acid, Electric Wizard and Sabbath, then Pink Cocoon have plenty hidden underneath their amplifier stack to keep you hooked. ‘Alienation’ is the future of retro doom.

https://www.pinkcocoonband.com/music

https://www.facebook.com/PinkCocoonOfficial/

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The rerelease of Droid’s superlative debut ‘Terrestrial Mutations’ on LP by Shadow Kingdom Records should be an event shouted from the rooftops. Originally put out last year, this will hopefully bring Droid to a bigger fanbase, as their technical thrash is a sight to behold. It is due for release early in August.

Opener ‘Amorphous Forms (Shapeless Shadows)’ gives you a little taste immediately of the kind of technical wizardry these guys can pull off. Spiralling guitar melodies wrap around some very Voivodian tones and labyrinthine riffing threatens to derail your mind at any moment. But Droid always reel you back in from the edge of technical insanity with solid songwriting underneath. It’s all very good slapping loads of riffs and notes together but if you don’t have a coherent song structure, then who cares? Droid care, and that’s why you get the hooks of ‘Cosmic Debt’, the galloping pit fodder of ‘Abandon Celestial State’ and the stunning structural intricacies of ‘Mission Drift’. It all builds an image of a band that are more concerned with getting their talents in line with their songs than just dazzling with musicianship.

‘Terrestrial Mutations’ is gloriously complexy but still capable of igniting a pit or two with their adherence to the basics of thrash. An air guitarist’s wet dream, but with beautifully written songs, Droid are staggering and this record is the proof. I love it, and you should as well.

https://shadowkingdomrecords.bandcamp.com/album/terrestrial-mutation

https://www.shadowkingdomrecords.com/

https://www.facebook.com/DroidDroidDroid/

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The hounds of war have been unleashed in the form of The Black Sorcery, a Canadian black/death machine of destruction whose debut record ‘And the Beast Spake Death from Above’ is another barrage in the unending war for extremity. It is out now on Krucyator Productions.

The opener ‘Ancient Dialects of Wind’ is one of the densest, nastiest sounding tracks I’ve had the pleasure of listening to this year. The vocals are bowel rattling, the riffing is ragged and raw and the atmosphere is one of dread and darkness. Add a maddening solo and some brutal drumming and this is an instant watermark. Guttural, brutal death metal vocals continue to stalk the whole record, through the pulsing ‘Frost Veined’ and the sadistic ‘Incursion’. In fact, ‘And the Beast Spake Death from Above’ is definitely one of the most intense records you’ll come across in 2018.

The Black Sorcery have delved deep into the darkest recesses of black/death metal to mine this particular seam, but the results are visceral; ravening like some monstrous beast, this is a record of malicious ideas and sickening brutality. So, pretty fucking excellent!

https://www.facebook.com/The-Black-Sorcery-133516247446955/

http://krucyator.com/product/pre-order-the-black-sorcery-and-the-beast-spake-death-from-above-tape

https://krucyator.bandcamp.com/album/and-the-beast-spake-death-from-above

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Canada’s North Hammer are a one man project focusing on bringing us tales of mighty Vikings and northern battles through folk inspired melodic death metal. ‘Stormcaller’ is their debut record, and it is due out in just a few weeks on March 16th. If you like some epic, charging Amon Amarthisms, you’re going to have a field day with ‘Stormcaller’.

Opener ‘Avatar’ is exactly that; massive chugging riffs with killer melodies and throaty roars launch from their longboats, ready to cleanse the heathen lands in blood. North Hammer clearly know exactly which side their bread is buttered on, and make no apologies for the huge riffs that rain blows down upon us mere mortals. The anthemic ‘Magic Mead’ is reminiscient of Ensiferum at their most singalong, and the clattering swords of ‘Tip of the Spear’ makes for a fine battle hymn. The acoustic shades of the drizzly ‘Black Forest Rain’ is washed away by the glorious ‘Spellbinder’, weaving epic leads into a galloping brute of a track.

North Hammer hit all the right notes with ‘Stormcaller’, a strong and swift record full of great tracks and it leaves you invigorating and ready for anything. A record for axe swinging, mead swilling and blood spilling, ‘Stormcaller’ is one of the most fun and fist pumping records you’ll hear this year.

https://www.facebook.com/NorthHammerOfficial/

https://andrewjames928.wixsite.com/northhammer

https://northhammer.bandcamp.com/releases

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‘Void Masquerading as Matter’ is mysterious Canadian trio Thantifaxath’s first release since 2014, and is another slab of bleak and dissonant black metal. Dark Descent Records are bringing this EP to us, and you can catch Thantifaxath on tour in Canada with Cruciamentum this month which sounds like a hellacious live apocalypse.

Opener, and superbly titled, ‘Ocean of Screaming Spheres’ is a burning torrent of black metal fire; relentless guitar work sprays dissonant riffs upon a scorched, heaving earth while blastbeats rain down. Eerie piano-led atmospherics provides respite, but not comfort from the onslaught and you’re left with a palpable sense of dread. ‘Self Devouring Womb’ opens with waves of dissonant guitar, building gradually under tortured screams into a hypnotic, throbbing beast. It builds and builds, never quite reaching the crescendo that you’re expecting, before the bottom drops out and quiet acoustica takes over in a jarring change of pace.

‘Void Masquerading as Matter’ is a disturbing record; dissonant black metal that never quite keeps to your expectations. It is that oddness, that otherworldly evil that pervades each track that keeps bringing me back to Thantifaxath. There’s a blackness about them that isn’t of this world, or even this space time. It makes their black metal both mentally jarring and terrifyingly dark at the same time. ‘Void Masquerading as Matter’ is one of the best and weirdest black metal records you’ll hear all year.

https://www.facebook.com/DarkDescentRecords/

https://darkdescentrecords.bandcamp.com/

http://www.darkdescentrecords.com/