Reviewed: July, 2018
Released: 2018, Gates of Hell Records
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz
Never underestimate a good demo tape.
Listening to endless of hours of metal across the spectrum for more years than I care to recollect has taught me that lesson, and the new split LP from Calgary’s Traveler and Tampere’s Coronary only serves to support it. Combining the powers of their 2018 demos like a heavy metal version of the Wonder Twins, the result is a fun dose of exceptionally crafted traditional metal.
Traveler owns the first half of the platter, and their new school approach to classic sounds should readily appeal to fans of Enforcer, Cauldron, Skull Fist, and Gatekeeper (which also happens to feature vocalist Jean-Pierre Abboud). Full of pounding riffs, slick licks, and memorable vocal lines, you’ll find yourself singing along to “Starbreaker” and “Behind the Iron” before you even realize it.
Coronary brings it home with a more German flavored approach, recalling the likes of Accept, Running Wild and Grave Digger in their heyday. With a grittier, more aggressive sound than Traveler, Coronary’s contributions offer a nice counterbalance to the record. “Firewings” is 80’s Euro power metal at its finest, while “Mestengo” rubs some bluesy groove on top of the crunch, sounding a bit like Udo fronting the Scorpions. It’s good stuff, for sure.
I’ve spun this split more times in the last week than I can count, it’s damn near infectious. 30 minutes of top notch, quality metal from a pair of bands that’ll easily command your attention – it’s kind of a no brainer. Limited to 500 physical copies and due for release late-July, you’ll want to get your pre-orders in early for this one.