Alberta, Canada is the stamping ground of new power metal hopefuls Edge Of Attack. Featuring some names that the more parochial of us may find a little curious (Dallas Dyck foremost and two people with the actually rather lovely name Whipple) they would have me believe that this is Power metal with lots off thrash influence and a modern edge and a few guest appearances.
Demon (Of The Northern Seas) starts with a little folk jig and some seriously impressive vocal gymnastics. It has a good little bounce to it but the curious thing is that even as the vocals switch to Roxanne Gordey who has a fine tone and range herself, the energy just drops away. There’s a hole in the bass and midrange guitar as though the production has just not bothered with them and so, for all the vocal prowess on show, the song is a bit of a plod. The sound is pretty traditional power; just about perfectly balanced between the easy but accurate comparisons of Sonata Arctica and early slowed down Dragonforce. Throughout the album I personally detect precious little evidence of a thrash connection at all. The guitar leads are neat and tight but hardly a ripping thrash attack. And the ‘modern edge’ appears to be invested in some unexpected hardcore gang vocals. If you’re hoping for some 3 Inches Of Blood inspired insanity though you’ll be a little disappointed as this is much more sedate than Advance And Vanquish. The song Forever is the first time they use this but frankly for me it just doesn’t work in essentially a mid paced routine workout. In Hell does, I suppose, briefly flirt with the hint of a thrash edge but it soon disappears under a soft Nightwish keyboard refrain. And while I’m being hyper-critical the drum sound unfortunately sounds very trigger-y; not saying it is, but the production does nothing to dispel the idea. And I haven’t mentioned a touch, a hint off a flatness in the voice a couple of times.
I don’t want to be a nay-sayer so if you can get excited by a song like In The Night then fine and there is no reason not to get the album. For me though it just sounds like the song stands still. Instead of epic, too often Edge Of Attack have a mid paced riff pushed too far into the background not leave gasping holes that kill the excitement. To be honest this whole album sounds more like a heavily budget restricted self release at times I’m afraid.
Sadly the album never reaches any sweet spots for me, never really takes flight. There is a… Well exasperatingly, a lack of attack I’m afraid. In an overcrowded genre, at the moment Edge Of Attack are still firmly in the chasing pack. It is only their first album, so it will hopefully be a foundation to build on and no rain that they came pull it round next time. They have the tools, just more fire needed at the forge before they can make a strong impression.