This Canadian band now presents their third full length release. Their career has been long, over ten years, but with other life commitments, releases have been sparse. I have a couple of their EP releases and so there are not many surprises presented to me on ‘Vortex’.
That said, you can’t fail to get excited when a track like ‘Full Throttle’ gets going. It’s upbeat, in line with British metal (Priest, Toledo Steel etc…), and displays that their work on harmonising both guitars and vocals has really paid off. This is also true for ‘Liquid Fire’ that has a similar presence. What I have found with the last two tracks, especially ‘Broke Down’, they sound much more focussed on the NWoBHM movement. Vocally, there’s that touch of melody and a touch more restraint, rather than the high octane notes prevalent on the former album tracks. The style also develops a different feeling, whilst Metalian doesn’t have the usual hammer-on riffs that usually get criminally associated with this scene; they have captured the NWoBHM spirit and essence, more so on ‘Broken Down’ than ‘No Home’.
What I do get (also indicated by the mp3 file tagging) is a sense that these the final two tracks were recorded in a different studio and at a different time. I may well be wrong, but it does have a different feel when you listen. You’ll have to see what you think.
The artwork I really don’t find inspiring at all, I do think this hasn’t been a great plus point throughout most of the Metalian releases, there’s a great logo though.
All in all, I didn’t find this as enjoyable as ‘Metal, Fire and Ice’ and I have not heard ‘Midnight Rider’. ‘Vortex’ is a decent release but I think it’s perhaps hampered as I have found this more a collection of songs recorded rather than an album. Maybe it’s the time between recordings.
Metalian play metal, ‘Vortex’ hammer’s the harmonies, the listener raises a fist in the air, Metalian are very much in their comfort zone, let’s see if this is stretched more on the next release.
(7/10 Paul Maddison)