Saturday, March 23, 2013
Attacker- Giants of Canaan Review
There must be something in the air lately, as another lesser-known metal band has released an album this year. Here we feature New Jersey power metallers, Attacker. Those that are familiar with them might remember their cult classic albums, The Battle at Helm's Deep and The Second Coming, and those that aren't I highly recommend you do so! Their new album, Giants of Canaan, doesn't leave much room for disappointment.
The first track is a short instrumental with a slight chorus-y effect and warbling synth. It's subtle and has none of the pomp as you would hear from other power metal bands. It gives a dark undertone before the fury is unleashed in the first full song, "Giants of Canaan." Really, the first three songs ("Giants of Canaan," "Trapped in Black," and "The Hammer") just punch you in the teeth. Hell, the entire album shakes you up and asks for your lunch money.
Another upside to this is that it doesn't sound like an old band trying to recapture their youth. None of the songs sound tired and rehashed. Granted, 3/5s of the lineup are new members -only Pat Marinelli (guitars) and Mike Sabatini (drums) are original members- but the sound has so much fire to it. Guitar work is an integral part of heavy metal, especially for genres like power metal, and Pat Marinelli and Mike Benetatos don't leave you hanging. Aggressive and chunky riffs are apparent, along with classical-esque harmonies. The solos are great, like little pieces of shredding epicness, but they're nothing to put on a list of Best 10. The vocals, done by Bobby Lucas of Overlorde and Morbid Sin, are phenomenal. He sounds like a cross between Halford and Dickinson, aggressive and high-pitched but operatic.
There aren't many weak tracks. The album starts off strong, gives you a breather in the middle -barely-, and ends strong. Many of the choruses are catchy enough to chant along to, riffs are headbangable, and there are plenty of opportunities to break out your air guitar. For those that are interested in lyrical matter, Attacker has always been one of those bands that has had more-than-decent subjects. Nothing Tolkien-inspired like their first album, but here we see lyrics taken from history battles (Franks fighting the Moors in Spain), biblical matter (the gory parts that a lot of people tend to skip over), war, vikings, and then that one metal anthem. Nothing campy here.
In short, it's a solid, above-average album that actually went above my expectations. I expected sub-par playing and was very wrong. Do you feel like buying a power metal album without the fluff of modern symphonic bands? Listen to this!