Canadian Metal

Ischemic – Ischemic Review

Ischemic – Ischemic Review

“As 2021 continues to be the DLC to 2020 that absolutely nobody asked for or wanted, bands are using the downtime due to lack of touring and promotion to work diligently on their musical output. Some bands, such as Toronto’s Ischemic, are even going as far as to record and mix their own music, further driving home the fact that DIY can’t, and won’t, be stopped. Not by pandemics, not by lockdowns, not by lack of touring. It’s this admirable and, quite frankly, necessary approach that will eventually separate the diehards from the pack, and on the band’s self-titled second full-length, they didn’t let the pandemic get in the way.” Crisis management.

Nordicwinter – Sorrow Review

Nordicwinter – Sorrow Review

“I don’t know how much the brand Ronseal means to people outside the UK but here, it immediately conjures an advertising slogan: “Does exactly what it says on the tin.” Sometimes, you come across bands that embody this. Nordicwinter is Ronseal. Despite being from Canada, it would appear that its very raison d’être is to deliver in audible form the desolate, lonely wastes of a single Scandinavian season – I’m not going to say it, you know, the one … traditionally between Autumn and Spring. Sorrow takes this to extremes, however.” 12 inches of Sorrow.

Olde – Pilgrimage Review

Olde – Pilgrimage Review

“Ontario’s Olde have been banging around the sludge scene for an unknown period of time, formerly as Corvuss until around 2014 when they decided to change their name to what it is today. I’m usually pretty good at keeping an ear out for quality sludge and doom releases, but I will admit I’ve never heard of Olde until the accompanying one-sheet bio claimed that they’re for fans of High on FireTroubleThe Melvins, and Entombed How do I say no to that?!” Olde and slowe.

Malice Divine – Malice Divine Review

Malice Divine – Malice Divine Review

Malice Divine is the brainchild of classically-trained Toronto musician Ric Galvez. The self-titled record finds Galvez handling the entire creative process and all of the performances with the exception of the drums. Known primarily as a lead guitarist in the Toronto scene, Galvez was excited about the opportunity to indulge in a solo project. But old habits die hard, and Malice Divine glistens like a guitar fan’s wet dream. Galvez combines the melodic blackened death sounds of Necrophobic and Dissection with the emotive soloing and progressive song structures of Death and the technical majesty of Wintersun.” Malice in Meloblackland.

Plague Weaver – Ascendant Blasphemy Review

Plague Weaver – Ascendant Blasphemy Review

“♫Ohhh, Plague Weaver, I don’t believe he will make it through the night.♫ Had to be done, I have no regrats. Anywho, Canada’s Plague Weaver is the work of a dynamic duo of miserable misers and on their full-length debut Ascendant Blasphemy they seek to blend the nastiest bits of raw black metal, doom, and death into an unpleasant concoction best served with a heavy antibiotic regime. They bill the end product as black metal with doom death influences and that’s an entirely fair description, though what you get is a bit more slimy and ugly than you might expect.” Right out of the plague book.

Yer Metal Is Olde: Sabre – On the Prowl

Yer Metal Is Olde: Sabre – On the Prowl

“As such, my hometown heroes are Bobnoxious, a stupendously fun hard rock band fronted by Bob Reid, whom you may recognize from Razor’s terrific records Shotgun Justice and Open Hostility, and the lesser Decibels. There was, however, another special band from London, Ontario. That band was the power trio known as Sabre, and they released only one record in On the Prowl.” Olde swords.

Keys of Orthanc – Of the Lineage of Kings Review

Keys of Orthanc – Of the Lineage of Kings Review

“The title track and introduction for Of the Lineage of Kings, the fourth full-length release from Canadian Lord-of-the-Rings-meets-black-metal fans Keys of Orthanc, amusingly, feels like the perfect theme music for me as I compose this introduction paragraph. For one thing, this review is late — I’m not sure I’ve ever penned a review quite so long after the album has already come out. Life, it gets in the way. And yet, I am determined — determined, against all odds, to overcome the aforementioned life and get news of Of the Lineage of Kings out to you, the reader.” What heroes do.

Altered Dead – Returned to Life Review

Altered Dead – Returned to Life Review

“After the overwhelmingly putrid scent of sweet death delighted the senses of genre enthusiasts in 2020, can death metal in 2021 piggyback off the momentum of a banner year for the genre and keep the brutality rolling in 2021 with similar levels of quality? Canada’s Altered Dead throw their bones in the ring of death on the follow-up to their self-titled debut from back in 2016.” Reanimatdead.