Calgary’s Riot City bring enough metal fire power to blow the t-tops out of your ’84 Camaro mid-cruise. The band’s debut album is full of ripping solos, galloping double-bass and soaring vocals that will be transport you back to a time when heavy metal parking lots were a way of life. Between time warriors, steel riders and living’ fast, this band covers all the authentic metal topics in a single release. Fans of NWOBHM and 80’s metal pick this up now!
Swords and sorcery and heavy metal have been linked since the primordial days of the genre. Both interests were most certainly pursued in basements across the country so it is no surprise that they would soon influence one another. The fantasy influence remains strong with many current metal bands including the likes of Pittsburgh’s Legendry and Texas’ Eternal Champion among others. Picking up the battle ax to continue the journey is Columbus’ Grayhawk with their ambitious new album The Sacred Seal.
The band’s first full-length is an epic 12 track story complete with an intro that serves as a prologue to the story that unfolds as well as the band themselves. The story really takes off with the galloping opener All Is One. Jack Proctor’s drums and Ron Camstra’s bass are the horses carrying Zac Szymusiak’s fiery guitar work into the first of many solos about three minutes into the first track. The band really starts to find it’s groove on Dragic’s Deal with a chugging riff and a hook that requires repeated listens. The album’s centerpiece Test Your Metal is a thrash metal epic that takes some proggy turns before it races to a glorious double-bass finish. The Sacred Seal closes with The Tale to Come… which hopefully means there are more metal adventures to come from Grayhawk. Are you willing to roll the dice on this journey?
Hot takes on new and recent releases as well as some that we just discovered.
Jesus Piece – Only Self
Philly hardcore band’s much anticipated first full-length does not disappoint. Dense production and multiple influences elevate this album above the standard hardcore fare. Only Self firmly establishes Jesus Piece as the standard-bearer of the new generation of hardcore bands.
Deathbell – With The Beyond
French doom band that absolutely kills it on their first release. Soaring female vocals float over huge riffs. If Windhand is your thing, pick up this release right away.
Potion – Women Of The Wand
Doom three piece out of Sydney, Australia adds some big guitar solos and psych flair to the fuzzed-out riffs. Two excellent singles released so far.
Shadowmaster – Shadowmaster
Cinematic doom metal in the vein of Electric Wizard or Ramesses. Hypnotic riffs awash in swirling cymbals punctured by tortured, distorted vocals.
Vuil – Hell
Old school thrash out of Scotland takes us back to the early 80’s packing plenty of speed and riffs. The band channels Motorhead on the ferocious track Hellracer.