Released: 2012, Indie
In 2011 the Canadian Academy Of Recording Arts And Sciences (CARAS) made an announcement of interest to the Canadian Metal community. Namely they announced that after a 17-year hiatus, Canada’s national music recognition program (aka the Juno Awards) would be rejoining the rest of the civilized world and re-establishing the Metal Category for the 2011. By the time this review goes to publication, it is possible they will have announced the final nominees for the category, with the winner to be presented the award at the end of April, 2012. In the spirit of supporting underground Canadian Metal I’ve decided to do a spotlight on some Canadian acts. I feel these are some excellent Metal records from across Canada. The other artists in this spotlight are Anonymus, Demisery, Final Darkness, Gales Of Avalon, Morningless, Nephelium and Villianizer. Feel free to read the reviews of these albums.
As the population grows in the Western Canadian province of Saskatchewan, so does the Metal scene. Previously only know for Kick Axe many, many years ago and more recently Into Eternity, the region has seen an increase in the number of fans, shows and bands. In addition to the recent success stories of Saskatchewan bands, Shooting Guns and Untimely Demise, there is another act emerging. The band, Magnetic have just issued their debut album STORM.
This 13 track independent debut is going to catch the attention of some Metal fans, not because of the nice digipak and quality layout and cool cover art, but because of who is in the band. STORM features the talents of Into Eternity guitarist, Justin Bender, and one time Annihilator bassist, Cam Dixon. Although I'd hesitate to label this an 'All-Star Project' or 'Supergroup', I'd say they have strong Metal credentials. The quintet is rounded out by Drew Hanwell on guitar, Harley K on bass and Colin Molleken on drums, who in fact used to work with Rob Doherty (ex-Into Eternity) in a local band called Metalist, back in the day. So these guys are veterans of the Metal wars.
STROM will fulfill your need for classic Metal. Nice melodies, aggressive vocals but not growling and Cam can hit a few of the higher notes as well. The band is not afraid to show a softer side with the acoustic-tinged cut, ‘Strength Within’. They are also not afraid to open the throttle on cuts like ‘One Eye Open’, and ‘Adrenaline’ featuring some nice soloing in the intro. Speaking of soloing, Tim Roth (Into Eternity) comes down to join his buddies for a quick guest-shred as well. There isn't a huge among of originality in the compositions but I'd rather have a well-performed, well-delivered album of a classic Metal sound than some quirky originality for the sake of being different. The production is decent, guitar tone is good and perhaps overall I'd like to see a bit more intensity in tempo, but the song-writing is solid.
There seems to be a strong little scene of classic Metal bands who are slogging it out in the trenches of Western Canada's bar circuit; bands like Derailed, Hellrazor, and now Magnetic has joined the chase for the crown and the ring. With a decent debut like STORM, Magnetic have as much chance of making it as the next band of experienced, battle-weary veterans.