Edge of Attack [Canada]
Edge of Attack
Spread the Metal Records
Whenever a band is publicised as “female-fronted”, or make use of the fact that they have female members in the band, it always leaves quite a negative first impression, almost as though this were just another gimmick. So when I first received Edge of Attack‘s debut full length along with their bio, it was almost a subconscious reaction to push back the listening of the album.
But randomly browsing through my music library and clicking on the album got me by surprise, and this Canadian power/thrash metal outfit proves that they are more than just pretty faces in a band with the powerful music that is contained on their self-titled debut. The hard hitting opening riffs of In Hell immediately proved any negative impressions that I had about the band wrong, and the heavy thrash metal influence that the band has put into their craft immediately shines through, and the speed and intensity of the music right from the start is rather reminiscent of Teutonic thrash bands such as Kreator, though obviously there is more than that on Edge of Attack, with the band being predominantly a power metal band. Yet even their power metal style bears a strong resemblance to the German style, reminding one of works of bands such as Helloween, and the symphonic portions of the album even brings the metal opera project, Avantasia to mind. And the thrashy side of the band certainly complements the power metal sections to create a more impactful sound for the band.
The instrumentation on the album is also superb, especially the lead guitars of Jurekk, whose solos are often neo-classical inspired, and the harmonising that is often helps to make the songs sound more dynamic. The band’s songwriting ability is also evident, with most of the tracks on the album being rather catchy, yet retaining some form of technicality throughout. There is also quite a large variety of influences that the band has put in their music, such as the folkish intro of Demon (of the Northern Seas).
Unfortunately, as the album progresses, the band starts to lose some of the energy that they kicked off with and the album for the most part goes at a rather slow pace, as though the band sacrificed some of their speed for the sake of melody and catchiness. Honestly though, the music could have easily benefitted from a slight increase in speed, as the slow pace of tracks like Demon (of the Northern Sea) could potentially put one to sleep.
The weakest link on the album personally lies in the vocals of Roxanne. Not that she isn’t a good singer, as evident on the numerous powerful, sustained high pitched notes that she displays throughout the album like the wails towards the end of the intro of Demon (of the Northern Seas), but for the most part of the album it sounds as though her vocals aren’t fully utilised and explored (and even sounding slightly uninspired at times), resulting in a rather stark contrast between the powerful music and her rather mediocre vocal performance on the album. It certainly would have been nice if she had dared to fully displayed her prowess on the album, and this could potentially make the band’s debut all the more memorable and powerful.
The production on the album is also another issue, with my main gripe being the guitar tone, sounding rather flat. The rather low mix of the bass on the album also meant that the stringed section sound rather weak, and somewhat amateurish. Which is honestly perplexing considering the nice sound that the rest of the instruments have on the album.
Still, Edge of Attack with their debut has shown the potential that they contain, especially in the guitar playing of Jurekk, which was one of the personal highlights on the album. Unfortunately, numerous issues plague this release, and should the band work on these in future releases, they could easily produce some powerful, yet catchy power metal material.