Unearthing The Metal Underground: The Canadian Metal Scene
Band Photo: Scythia (?)
It’s Monday again, which means it’s time to explore three more lesser known bands in the metal underground. Today’s exploration to the underground world features our neighbors to the north, which is home to its fair share of metal legends, from the most extreme to the most melodic. We’ve actually looked at Canadian acts several times before, specifically focusing on Toronto and the Maritimes previously, and today we’ll trek there again for three bands that cross the genre spectrum.
I suppose I should start out with a bit of disclosure: I’m not from Canada, and I’ve only been there once for a fishing trip years ago, although the border is only a few hours north of me. So unfortunately these are bands I know solely via their music and their online presence, and I haven’t had the pleasure of interacting with them in the live scene personally.
While working on the review for the new Chariots of the Gods album “Tides of War,” I got to thinking about the very solid lineup of bands from the frigid north, especially in the underground metal scene. There’s a fairly large grouping of what are essentially “second tier” bands currently active – these guys bring the metal full force, but they haven’t gotten signed with Nuclear Blast or Metal Blade or any of the larger labels focusing on heavy music. They still manage to get hooked up with PR companies to keep their presence known however, release high quality albums, and a good deal of them stay busy with touring and festival appearances.
Chariots of the Gods
Is this Ottawa act composed of thrash maniacs who are really into melodic death metal, or are they in an MDM band that can’t give up their love for Megadeth? Either way, this is pretty crushing, headbanging-mandatory stuff.
Chariots of the Gods will be officially dropping debut full-length album “Tides of War” later this month (January 29th to be precise), and the band has already released teasers that should more than pique the interest of metalheads. We recently had the opportunity to premiere the track “Unbound,” which features a guest appearance by Aleksi Sihvonen of Norther, and you can also hear the album’s title track below. For some more background on the band and info on the album’s themes, check out our recent interview here.
Edge of Attack
Another thrash hybrid, Alberta’s Edge of Attack is a female-fronted act that works in elements of a wide range of genres. There’s thrash, there’s power metal, there’s melodic-yet-powerful vocals, and a modern edge, so maybe after all that we’ll just call Edge of Attack pure “heavy metal.”
Hear for yourself what the band has going on by listening to the recent Metalunderground.com premiered track “In Hell,” or watch the video of “Forever” below. Edge of Attack’s new self-titled album sees release this coming February 19th, 2013.
Wrapping up today’s look at Canadian bands is Vancouver folk metal outfit Scythia. Whether you’re into Alestorm, Eluveitie, Korpiklaani, or any other iteration of the folk sound, there’s probably something you’ll dig in the music of Scythia.
Unlike some of the more straight faced bands, Scythia isn’t without a sense of humor and a willingness to not take the whole metal thing too seriously (being headliners of the “Nerdfest” should have been a dead giveaway). The band followed up the “…Of War” and “…Of Exile” albums with an “…Of Santa” Christmas single, and also released an awesomely epic video game inspired medley (available below).
To hear more from these folksters, you can download the “For the King” single for free at Bandcamp here or stream the “For The Bear” EP below.
These are only three of the many metal bands that call Canada home, and there are many more quality acts to explore from that neck of the woods. Let us know what you thought of these picks below, and feel free to recommend any other stellar Canadian bands you dig. Check back in again next Monday as we continue to Unearth the metal underground.
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