Canadian Metal

Spell – Opulent Decay Review

Spell – Opulent Decay Review

“The retro waves never stop crashing ashore, they just shift decades. Beginning around 2000 the metalverse became inundated with 80s throwback acts, and over the past ten or so years there’s been an increasing drive to mine 70s rock for inspiration as well. Canadian act Spell are in on this big dig, incorporating a lot of 70s rock ideas into a slurry containing NWoBHM and goth rock. Opulent Decay is their third attempt to get this tricky recipe right, showcasing an intriguing blend of eras and styles which results in something very old sounding and full of occult auras.” Olden magic.

Wake – Devouring Ruin Review

Wake – Devouring Ruin Review

“Finding catharsis in the midst of chaos is the name of the game these days. It’s why every tenth article in your COVID co-opted news avalanche feed is about a bunny who adopted stray kittens. It’s why last Saturday I watched a live stream of a drag queen disinfecting every surface in her kitchen while performing Queen‘s “I Want to Break Free.” As the world around us is brought to its knees by the weight of uncertainty, we instinctively seek out and appreciate these small pressure release valves. Bands who ply their trade in chaotic styles should pay attention. Chaos plus time equals background noise, but there are two options to keep an audience engaged. The first is brevity. This is why hardcore punk albums are traditionally 25-30 mins long. The second is the thoughtful placement of sonic perches to rest upon.” Choose wisely.

Ritual Dictates – Give in to Despair Review

Ritual Dictates – Give in to Despair Review

“When I think of grind as a genre, I think of unrelenting brutality. I think of short, crushingly visceral songs. I think of pounding drums and churning, impenetrable walls of guitar. I think of Napalm Death, of Pig Destroyer and of Nasum. I do not think of Three Inches of Blood – yes, the “kill the orcs, slay the orcs, destroy the orcs,” heavy, power metal Three Inches of Blood. So it was with some surprise that I stumbled across Ritual Dictates, a Canadian grind duo comprising ex-Three Inches of Blood members Ash Pearson, who mans the kit, and Justin Hagberg, who mans everything else.” Despair falls in Middle Earth.

Loviatar – Lightless Review

Loviatar – Lightless Review

“What makes a great doom record? Adequate levels of sadness, helplessness, or loss expressed in a desperate croon? Perhaps doom is defined by plodding tempos and debilitating riffs? Could it simply be a quality of emptiness that pervades every moment of the music, regardless of the superficial qualities inherent to the sound? I honestly couldn’t tell you. All I know is that when a doom metal band brings its A-game, boy howdy does it wreck my shit sideways, backwards and diagonally. Enter Canadian quartet Loviatar, whose sophomore full-length Lightless wrecks my shit sideways, backwards and diagonally.” Stuff is getting wrecked here.

Aeternam – Al Qassam Review

Aeternam – Al Qassam Review

“Our overlord’s prolonged stay in the dark dungeons of higher education has yielded mostly secondhand stress and delayed Record o’ the Month articles for Angry Metal Guy Himself. But in my case, it has now resulted in not one but two offers to review the great Aeternam, one of the very best when it comes to MENA-folk influenced metal.” Storm in the sands.

Neck of the Woods – The Annex of Ire Review

Neck of the Woods – The Annex of Ire Review

“Do you ever have that feeling of listening to an album and feeling that it’s somehow better than you’re giving it credit for? Or, as GardensTale put it to me, the feeling that “I’m probably just not good enough for the album”? That’s how I felt about the second full-length from Vancouver’s Neck of the Woods, until about 4pm today.” You’re good enough and people like you.

Anvil – Legal at Last Review

Anvil – Legal at Last Review

“Not to say Anvil has no semi-classic records to their names, but those were over a dozen albums ago. By now they’ve recorded more than AC/DC, in a shorter time span, yet their sound also shows as much growth as their Australian counterparts. Is the new pro-weed romp another carbon copy or have the fumes brought some inspiration to the geezers?” Anvil is Anvil.

Raphael Weinroth-Browne – Worlds Within Review

Raphael Weinroth-Browne – Worlds Within Review

“And he now works with Leprous as a dedicated cellist, while he also participates in neo-folk troupe Musk Ox and classical duo Kamancello. Across these projects, he has exhibited a flair for flexible use of his instrument, the cello, and I was therefore excited to observe a release called Worlds Within under his own name, solely composed by himself. How does his music fare when divested from the creative control of others’ grubby hands?” Cello again.

Hazzerd – Delirium Review

Hazzerd – Delirium Review

“While I relish the disgusting lurch and crawl of Asphyx and Autopsy, I’ve never been able to shake my love of blistering, thrashing metal. Reign in Blood kicked down the door, and through that door has charged classics like Slaughter’s Strappado, MercilessThe Awakening, and Morbid Priest’s Spectrum of Death into my iron heart and album collection. I can’t get enough of the stuff, but after listening to …And Justice for All again, I rediscovered my enjoyment of that vein of thrash as well – Metallica was my gateway into metal, after all. Hazzerd is a relatively young Canadian band who play this second type of thrash.” Speed Hazzerds ahead.

Annihilator – Ballistic, Sadistic Review

Annihilator – Ballistic, Sadistic Review

Annihilator is one of those eternal, inevitable metal acts, and just like country-mates Anvil, they’ll likely be releasing albums 20 years after the end of all life on Earth. I’ve reviewed a ton of their albums for AMG and I’m well past the point where I feel the need to sing the usual song about them never having lived up to the enormous promise shown on their first 2 releases. At this stage of their career they’re playing something like a hybrid of thrash and traditional metal and they’ve been doing it more or less the same way for decades. You know what you’re going to get and you either like it or you don’t.” Sadism in effect.