Article By: Dave ‘Sunshine’ LaMay ‡ Edited By: Leanne Ridgeway
Since its initial, successful run ended in the latter portion of the 1980s, traditional metal hasn’t been truly able to make a comeback on any kind of worthwhile scale.
Unfortunately, a great many of its practitioners over the years since have been more concerned with clichés than a heartfelt presentation. Denim vests loaded with band patches and bullet belts may look the part, but that won’t get you through.
When your singer can’t carry a note and your material is dripping with sappy, happy power metal overtones with no bite or hooks, a spot-on image won’t hide your ineptitude. That’s right, a Manowar/Gamma Ray hybrid ain’t gonna cut it, as it was allowed to for far too long.
Quebec’s Metalian is having none of that. Having formed a dozen years back, but only releasing their début proper a week or so before my writing this, this quartet is more than ready to strike.
Coming in at a lean 35 minutes for eight songs, the quartet wastes zero time on bullshit. Every track pulls together the elegant guitar melodies of Maiden and Riot, the Teutonic surge of ‘Breaker’-era Accept, and tops it off with high-speed runs of Judas Priest tying it all together.
The aforementioned vocal issue? One listen to the album’s title track will knock you back with its sky-soaring and grit intertwining perfectly. Mr. Halford would be most proud.
‘Midnight Rider’ makes Metalian not a mere band to watch, but a full-fledged contender in the old-school sweepstakes. Riding along in full stride with the likes of underground powerhouses Blade Killer, Substratum, and the reformed Ruthless.
For the moment, Metalian just may be the next Night Demon, ready to bring it all back in once again to a larger, welcoming arena.
Have a listen for yourself on the Bandcamp stream below.