Released: 2013, Horror Pain Death Gore Productions
Alberta Assault! In early 2014 Calgary, Alberta will be hosting the WACKEN METAL BATTLE. This contest has regional acts perform to audiences and judges who then decide who gets to go further in the contest, with the winner getting a trip to perform at Wacken. This is a good a time as any to do my bi-annual, quick, regional round-up of releases from Alberta Metal bands. Even though not all of these bands may be competing in WMB, I’d like to thank the bands who provided review copies for me for my radio show and Metal-Rules.com. The bands are Armifera, Black Pestilence, Bloated Pig, Enemyus, Exit Strategy, Ides Of Winter, Kataplexis, Misanthropy, Scythia, Throne Of Vengeance, Trollband, Vile Insignia and Villainizer. Please feel free to check out the other reviews in this feature.
There must be some connection between the Philadelphia Metal scene and the Edmonton, Alberta metal scene. The Philly based label Horror Pain, Gore Death (or HPGD) has signed a couple of bands out of Edmonton, Mortillery and Armifera. Amifera are a relatively new act and recently released their full-length debut album ERADICATION.
The nine-cut, 49 minute long album sports an eye-catching cover and with the cover art, logo and name you could be forgiven if you assumed that it was a Power Metal act. Not so. Armifera are far more thrashy and this quintet are one of few pure thrash type acts in Alberta that doesn’t blend too many alternate sub-genres or influences into their sound. There are a few sonic flourishes as the album opens with the sound of battle, swords clashing and so on, it’s almost as these guys are inventing an new sub-genre which I’m going to call battle-thrash! The vocals are a mix of harsh and clean but not annoyingly so. The pace of the album is pretty fast but not just double-kick all the time. There are some decent tempo changes in the songs that range from punchy three minute numbers to more adventurous eight minute cuts. The riffs are good and the guitar tone has a nice bite.
Lyrically the band is solid and they have a cut called ‘Metal Massacre’ which caught my ear. Many, many bands, specifically thrash bands have written songs where the lyrics are about the history of thrash and the prose consists of song titles and album titles. This is one of those great songs and they do a fine job on this tribute to their thrash heroes.
I’m pretty impressed with these guys, ERADICATION is a very competent and proficient debut. It’s a nice change from all the Death, Black and assorted sub-genres that seem to be predominant on the Alberta scene. Armifera are not really ‘retro’ in that sound but certainly acknowledge the roots of thrash and make it their own.