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Canopy
Menhir
March 2011
Released: 2010, Self Released
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz

Canopy are a Swedish death metal outfit that have apparently been releasing material since ’04, with little recognition outside of their own home territory. Now I know that you’re probably thinking that “I need another Swedish death metal band like I need a hole in the head.” But Canopy are band that you’d do well to get acquainted with, primarily because their latest release MENHIR is 7 tracks of old school awesome.



MENHIR takes the best elements of old school euro death metal and paints them with a contemporary brush. Remember when a death metal could incorporate melody without being labeled “melodic death metal?” I’m talking Edge of Sanity, Morgoth, or even Soilwork circa-‘98/’99. Canopy’s got some flair, but not at the expense of the heavy – and I love it. Opening with the title track, there’s some atmospheric intro build up before the band launches into the meat of the tune, and it’s really the only filler on the disc. It’s a restrained, mid-paced number that’s representative of the band’s overall style, but Canopy packs a lot of variety into this formula. “A Storm within a Storm” follows, and is my favorite of the batch on MENHIR. Walloping drums create an impending sense of urgency which gives way to darker, brooding riffs pulled from the way-back machine; it’s headbangin’ good stuff.



The band tears through the rest of the disc in similar fashion, and while it gets a little familiar at time, the presentation of each song and the sincerity in the delivery more than makes up for any déjà-vu moments. Particularly with songs like “Inward Burst,” with its doomy dirge riffs – I’ve heard this prescription dozens of times before and over a dozen years ago, but tune is executed with a level of reverence that speaks volumes.



The individual members of Canopy all appear pretty competent in their roles, but there’s no unnecessary flash or jazz hands. The band retains their focus on the context of the songs, which is really a refreshing quality. Vocalist Fredrik Huldtgren is sick, low, and guttural, adding some additional credibility to the band’s mission. I had zero expectations about Canopy prior to listening to MENHIR, but I was sold after the first listen. Canopy is proof for other budding death metal bands across the globe that being influence by a band/style/era doesn’t have to equal being derivative or stale. MENHIR is being self released by the band is available through their web store, go check it out.
Track Listing

1. Menhir
2. A Storm Within a Storm
3. Earth Splits Into Fire
4. New Construct
5. The Entire City
6. Inward Burst
7. Zenith

Lineup

Fredrik Huldtgren - Vocals
Jonatan Hedlin - Guitar
Erik Björkman - Guitar
Fredrik Segell - Guitar
Daniel Ahlm - Bass
Peter Lindqvist - Drums

Other reviews

» Menhir
by Aaron Yurkiewicz


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