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Released: 1999, Metal Blade/Attic/Prosthetic
This a collection of early demos released by the U.K. band Canvas. Canvas are a bit of an oddity. Formed as "Schmuck" in 1996 by brothers Andy and John Sutcliffe, they began to make a name for themselves around the U.K. metal/hardcore scene. Before I go any further let me tell you about their music. The easiest thing way to describe them is a cross between Machine Head/Soulfly and Cradle of Filth. The music most closely resembles Machine Head with black metal vocals. The high pitched scream of Dani Filth comes to mind a lot when listening to this disc. That is on most tracks. Some tracks degenerate into the confused babble of Soulfly.
The CD opens with the track "Unworthy of Perfection" A tune which features a slow plodding guitar line and screamed vocals ala Dani Filth. The CD carries on in much the same vein as this track. The quality of most of the songs is very good for what were demos. Track 3 "Last Prayer for Judas" stands out as it incorporates a number of time changes and vocals styles instead of just the bludgeoned riff and the black scream. For me Track 9 was the highlight of the CD.. I have no idea of its name as the tracks aren’t listed in anyway that can be deciphered.. This track has a very distinct Slayer influence on the musical side but the vocals are black metal. On the opposite side of the spectrum track 8 is nothing but noise. It is a medley of crashes, bangs and electronic noises. Not what I call music.
This is a CD worth checking out if you are into something a little off the beaten path. You have to remember that it’s a collection of demos. Canvas look like they have some work to do in some areas. The vocals are weak in some places and they need to get rid of the noise. The concoction of hardcore and black metal does not work for me. Canvas bring it all together in a strange brew that is not enough black and too much hardcore. A full length of new material is to be released tentatively in January of 2000. Let's hope that Canvas has matured enough to pull of their marriage of hardcore and metal.
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