Reviewed: June 2017
Released: 2017, self release
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
A tasty mix of Stoner Rock, Blues and a feel good factor, Woodhawk emerged from Calgary in 2014, with their debut EP. Now in 2017 they are bringing us their first full album, and it aims to bring a smile to the listener’s face. The Trio are able to deliver a full sound from their set up of Turner Midzain on vocals/guitar, Mike Badmington on Bass & Vocals and finished off by Kevin Nelson on Drums. Recorded by Jesse Gander at Rain City Recordings, it was mastered at Audiosiege, Portland by Brad Boatright.
The vocals are set high in the register, the melodies are solid, the influence of bands such as Black Sabbath are evident but not overwhelming, it stands on the shoulders of giants rather than hiding behind them, with a modern approach it feels fresh and contemporary. The band certainly demonstrate skills in song-writing and musicianship while also promoting a sense of fun at times.
With a sense of suspense, ‘Beyond the Sun’ is an evocative and moody piece, rich in texture and driven by a bass that is infections and intense. As an opener it really captures the essence of the band, heavy riffs that cut through the sound with their sharpness, sometimes Muse-like in its affectations. ‘The High Priest’ is a catchy number, shrill vocals mark the style, fast paced with plenty of energy, it has a very 70’s feel about it at times, but its impossible to ignore. Next comes their epic offering, ‘Living In The Sand’ a track that has some guest vocals from Kevin Keegan, (presuming this is the English Football player as nothing else is reported), the mix of his deeper vocals and the high pitched vocals of Midzian blend well and compliment each other, its a bluesier rocker with a hearty beat. ‘Magnetic North’ is a brooding opus, delicious harmonies fill in the gaps between the strutting riffs and stomping bass lines, its a song about home, the cold winters and the warm welcomes there.
With the pace of a galloping stallion, a cowboy hat perched merrily and a brash rhythm that catches the attention, an enjoyable yet brief song is ‘Lawless’. Equally speedy, ‘Quest For Clarity’ conjures up images of heroic knights, of modern victors and the path of right and wrong clearly set out before you. Ideal for Star Wars fans, ‘A New Hope’ pays homage to the film, with reference to Darth Vader, and a mystical vibe, its a brilliant piece of writing that will appeal to anyone who has watched the films, a stand out song, this is a real delight and is very catchy. A short but interesting instrumental break comes in the form of ‘Forsee The Future’, it shows them at a different tempo to the other tracks, and demonstrates their grown up side to great effect, it would be lovely expanded on though as it is only just over 2 minutes. Finally, returning to the racing speed, with ‘Chrononaut’, a song about time travel and the battle of good and evil, with a eerie and startling instrumental breakdown, before its bleak finale.
The band have certainly produced something with plenty of promise and potential, what they deliver is an album that takes a sideways look at the battles of good & evil through time, and its an entertaining diversion. It feels like it needs a bit more development, but its a great introduction to what this band are able to create, the heaviness is countered well with the lightheartedness, and overall it will leave you wanting more, which is a good thing for a bands longevity. I get the feeling that a live show would leave the audience breathless at the ferocity of the speed and force delivered.
Review By: Lisa Nash
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