Released: 2012, Maple Metal Records
Canadian Metal Spotlight-Part 1
About once a year or so I’ll dig down deep into the frozen permafrost of the Canadian Metal scene and share some worthy releases with a wider audience. Since we don’t get summer up here in the Great White North I’ll bring you a little cold front of Metal albums and do a quick review of seven recent albums by newer bands from coast to coast. Being a Canadian writing for a Canadian site it is the least I can do, in a patriotic sense, to help give a little exposure to my fellow Metallions of the north but that doesn’t means they get a free ride, just because they are Canadian! These bands actually deserve your attention;
Haiduk (Calgary, Alberta)
Kemilon (Montreal, Quebec)
Striker (Edmonton, Alberta)
Titan’s Eve (Vancouver, British Columbia)
Valfreya (Montreal, Quebec)
Ye Goat-Herd Gods (Calgary, Alberta)
Please feel free to check out the other reviews in this feature. Next month we will feature:
Auroch (Vancouver, British Columbia)
Begrime Exemious (Edmonton, Alberta)
Black Moor (Dartmouth, Nova Scotia)
Dark Forest (Calgary, Alberta)
Maglor (Calgary, Alberta)
Odium (Walkerton, Ontario)
Ze (Calgary, Alberta)
Of all the bands in this feature Kemilon are likely the most progressive and innovative in terms of song-writing and performing. Falling firmly in Progressive Power camp this sound is hard to do well. There are countless bands in Europe that do this and do it well, but here in Canada there are only a handful of bands that attempt this sound. Truth be told the Canadian home-grown audience is not as receptive to this European sound but it is not surprising that most of the fans of this style and bands in this style come from Quebec, just like Kemilon.
TWISTED STORM is a well-produced debut album that runs about 45 minutes. This six-piece features the classic keyboard, twin-guitar attack so favoured in this genre. An obvious and immediate highlight is the vocal prowess of Yan Gagne. He sounds a lot like Gary Hughes (Ten) in his tone and delivery and that is a huge compliment. He delivers conventional and classic lyrics like ‘The Gates Of Heavy Metal’ and ‘Warriors of Space’. Jaiso (formerly of Shadowblade and recently of Kobra And The Lotus) adds backing vocals to many of the songs. Musically the bands gallops through time and space with flowing keyboards, lots of great solos and a smooth, classy sound that never gets into that Germanic, anthemic marching sound. The pace is pretty fast for the most part. The songs are elegant and well-arranged and have enough power to appease; it’s hard to hit that sweet-spot and the band do it well.
Kemilon are destined to be one of the bright lights in Canadian Power Metal and TWISTED STORM is a very strong debut likely to impress here at home and gain an even bigger fanbase in Europe.