Canedy – Warrior Review

I was always taught to respect my elders and it’s still a good rule to live by. Our elders possess wisdom gained through years of life experience and usually have something of value to teach us. Carl Canedy has experienced several lifetimes worth of metal misadventures over his long tenure in the music business. As the original drummer for Manowar and a member of early metal adopters, The Rods, he’s been knocking around for 40-plus years and thus qualifies as a trve metal forbearer. He’s also responsible for producing (or misproducing depending on your auditory preferences) a wealth of classic metal albums like Overkill‘s Feel the Fire, Exciter‘s Violence and Force, Possessed‘s Beyond the Gates, and Anthrax‘s Spreading the Disease.1 Now late in his career, Mr. Canedy has launched an eponymous solo project, and I doubt there’s ever been a more dad metal moment pressed onto wax. In fact, this may even qualify as granddad metal. Whatever ageist designation you stamp Warrior with, it’s an awkward but interesting amalgam of styles and plays out like a involuntary family road-trip through metal’s history with crazy Uncle Canedy at the wheel. Now settle down back there and don’t make him turn this thing around or you’ll be sorry!

Going into this expecting material akin to Mr. Canedy’s proto-metal wellspring, The Rods, I was taken aback by the very nü-metal opener “Do It Now,” which feels like something that fell off the back of the Adrenaline Mob tour Ü-Haul. It’s powered by typically staccato nü-metal riffage as vocalist Mike Santarsiero finds a hitherto unsearched for niche halfway between nü and hair metal. It’s not totally awful, but it’s nothing you’ll ever need to hear again. Things get stranger from there as “Not Even Love” is exactly what you would expect from a collaboration between Glenn Danzig and Don Dokken. The simple, driving riffs sound like they were hoisted from the Danzig debut but instead of Mr. Shirtless on the mic, Santarsiero channels Donny Boy as he cock rocks you to Heck and back. Oddly enough, it kinda sorta works, so… hail Donzig! Elsewhere, “Hellride” goes for a burly biker rock shtick recalling the masculine bravado of Black Label Society, and it too kind of works. What gives?

Things continue to move in different directions as we’re greeted by functional hard rocker “3rd Times a Charm” and the very Riot-like “In This Sign,” only to be sucker punched by the slightly proggy, very poppy “The Prize,” which sounds like Joe Lynn Turner era Rainbow meets Mike and the Mechanics, and damn if it doesn’t stick in your head, resist though you must. One of the most cringe-tastic moments in recent memory arrives on the title track, where the band unleashes a bitter diatribe about how metal left them behind when the 80s ended. This “things were better when we were young(ER)” olde man screed is delivered in assisted living Manowar style with references to axes, lightning and brotherhood shoehorned in for extra Trve Pöints. It’s both hilariously goofy and strangely fascinating, and as a metalhead in my 50s, I know I should hitch my trousers up to my chest and rally to this ancient banner, but I just can’t. Things wind out with an upbeat, Christian rock-esque kind of anthem called “Attia” and again I’m forced to admit it isn’t bad. It could even pass for a Creed semi-hit.

As chaotic and kooky as Warrior is, the band does pull off some half-way compelling moments. It’s better than what we last heard from The Rods and dare I say it, more in touch with the times, if only barely. Santarsiero is a competent singer and shows he can adapt to a series of different styles without sounding terribly out of his wheelhouse. There are a number of earwormy guitar moments courtesy of Charles Russello, and Mr. Canedy is ever-competent on drums. They make a fine local club circuit act and I can see enjoying them live whilst quaffing beers with bros. Whether I need to own their recorded output is another story, but I’ve definitely heard worse.

Warrior is a mötley crëw of moldy, olde hard rock and metal tropes made surprisingly palatable by a crew of veteran rockers. The band may feel like metal left them behind, and based on this release, it has, but I respect Mr. Canedy and company for sticking around anyway. The more the merrier after all, though only elders and elder wannabes need sample this one. Paging Doctor Huck N’ Stein!

Rating: 2.5/5.0
DR: 7 | Format Reviewed: 192 kbps mp3
Label: Sleaszy Rider
Websites: |
Releases Worldwide: August 7th, 2020

Show 1 footnote

  1. Infecting each of them with the “Canedy sound,” which is clunky, funky and muddy.
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