Posts Tagged ‘Canada’

The debut cassette release from métal noir Québécois (I hope I got that right) newcomers Anges de la Mort (ADLM) is here to shroud our world in a particularly French Canadian bleakness. It is out now through Les Productions Hérétiques.

The opening title track is exactly as you’d expect from a more modern black metal band. There’s an innate rawness to the vocal performance and the riffing but the production is great and doesn’t feel tinny or thin. The snarling ‘Mangeurs de Cadavres’ has a delicious thrashy vibe, and the fact that this is mastered by Joel Grind of Toxic Holocaust fame probably answers why. It showcases many nice dynamic pace changes too, and leads into the fiery old school black metal of ‘Que Crève le Léviathan’. This is the centrepiece, flowing with that measured blaze that latter Satyricon nailed.

Closing with the cold acoustics of ‘Ode aux Esprits Vivants’, ADLM are a welcome addition to the world’s black metal scene. Whether this varied and interesting line up of songs will stretch to a full length is the next question, but they seem to have the ability to answer in the affirmative. I look forward to it

https://lesproductionsheretiques.com/

https://adlm.bandcamp.com/album/anges-de-la-mort

Canadians VHS have never been one to take themselves too seriously, and their latest full length ‘We’re Gonna Need Some Bigger Riffs’, is a fine example of their infectious, riotous take on death metal. It is out at the end of July through Rotten Roll Records and HPGD Productions.

After a suitably sinister and dramatic intro (‘Full Scream Ahead’), VHS charge into the fray with the thrashy chug of ‘Zombie vs Shark’. Lacking any semblance of subtlety but riddled with virulent riffing, VHS immediately infect you with a desire to bang your fucking head. Imagine if Municipal Waste played death metal and you’ll be on the right track. It isn’t all high speed stuff though, as the grinding ‘Rooting for the Villain’ adds a nice change of pace. At a sprightly 30 minutes, that change of pace isn’t needed but it is still good to have. The worst thing a band can be in today’s scene is one dimensional, but VHS have that covered.

VHS have got a great sound, and are doing something a little unique in the world of death metal. The riffs are heavy, the brutality is real and yet there is a true sense of fun and irreverence. ‘We’re Gonna Need Some Bigger Riffs’ is definitely worth checking out, and with songs as strong as ‘Oozing Bubbling Black Mass ‘ and the crushing ‘Marine Monstrosity’, you’d be a fool to ignore them.

https://www.facebook.com/vhsthunderbay/

https://rottenrollrex.com/en/vhs-cd-were-gonna-need-some-bigger-riffs-pre-order-26-july-2019

https://hpgd.bandcamp.com/album/were-gonna-need-some-bigger-riffs

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Canadian progressive death metallers Technical Damage have just recently released their debut full length, ‘The Introspect’, and with it they look to stake a claim in the crowded but normally pretty good genre. It is out now through their Bandcamp.

Travelling along well trodden paths, Technical Damage’s music is full of the kind of spiralling, glacial clean moments that you find in the likes of Tesseract but it also has a good bite to it when the chugging heaviness begins. Juddering riffs crash upon you in the sleek ‘Reshape’, while you’ll take well needed breathers in the more tranquil parts of ‘II: Awakenings’. The snaking solo of ‘Crystal Angels’ is a highlight, as is the thunderous death rampaging through the same song. Closing with the labyrinthine ‘The Introspect’, this is a record that doesn’t really do a huge amount new (although I’ve never heard anything quite like parts of ‘Eviscerate’) but what it does is excellent.

‘The Introspect’ is a promising debut that leans a little too heavily on the tried and tested styles of the genre, and I’d like to see Technical Damage branch out a little further. The musical talent is exemplary, so they have the chops to do it. I’ll be following these guys closer in the future, because if they can build on what they have here, it should be pretty damn good.

https://technicaldamage.bandcamp.com/album/the-introspect

https://www.facebook.com/technicaldamageofficial/

Haiduk - Exomancer

I reviewed (and subsequently got myself a copy) Haiduk’s ‘Demonicon’ record from 2015, available to read here, and found it to be well written if lacking a little in variety. Well their new record, ‘Exomancer’, does not fall into those same issues, and is out now self released.

Opener ‘Death Portent’ is a roiling, weaving black metal thrillride, with awesome riffing, evil melodies and it just sets up what is to come beautifully. ‘Exomancer’ is a record full of moments where the music makes you just feel right. The spidery riffs in the middle of ‘Doom Seer’, the creepy tonal changes of ‘Icevoid Nemesis’ and the blistering savagery of ‘Blood Ripple’ are all points where you just say ‘FUCK YES!’. It is always refreshing to get that in an album these days. The almost Eastern tones of ‘Unsummon’ reminds me of Melechesh, and those tones emerge at numerous points throughout. This is not an album that says a lot through vocals, but a lot comes through the songwriting.

‘Exomancer’ has banished the sameyness of Haiduk’s previous work to become the beast we all hoped it could be. Sinister, spiralling, atonal and dark, ‘Exomancer’ is going to be an underrated gem from 2018, but let’s hope that it gets more attention. Haiduk’s work is glorious, cosmic darkness.

https://www.facebook.com/haidukmetal

https://haiduk.bandcamp.com/

https://www.haiduk.ca/

https://www.youtube.com/user/HAIDUKplague

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/

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/