Album review: Edge of Attack

Son, we live in a world that has heavy metal, and heavy metal has to be played by men and women with passion. Who’s gonna do it? You? I have a greater responsibility (as a reviewer) than you could possibly fathom. You weep over the death of hair bands, and you curse the Edge of Attack. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know. You don’t want the truth because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want guitar solos, you need marathon drum solos. We use words like old-school, thrash, power. Edge of Attack uses these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain them to someone who rises and sleeps under the blanket of awesomeness that Edge of Attack provides, and then questions the manner in which they provide it. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way.

Edge of Attack isn’t about to apologize for the nostalgic sound that harkens back to acid washed jeans and teased out hair that was ever-present in the 1980s. (Nor am I apologetic for invoking Jack Nicholson’s iconic Col. Jessup from “A Few Good Men”. Both have a time and a place, and when that all comes together, it sounds pretty awesome.) The crew from Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada only recently released their third installment (February 19th), a self-titled CD that makes good on their promise to provide old-school metal “with a modern edge.” It’s a formula that’s dangerous to handle, as nostalgic metal certainly has an appeal to an older demographic, but to be attractive to everyone, you have to provide something different.

Edge of Attack has ten, of what I call, war anthems. Each song portrays a battle being fought, from “In the Night,” (To fight or die, is your fate.) to “Set The World Aflame”. The CD’s opening song, “In Hell” has an Icelandic Folk Metal influence akin to Korpiklanni, but the vocals are sincerely their own. Their work has an eclectic blend of sounds interwoven within this CD. That’s aided by the fact that three of the songs feature vocals from outside the band – Ivan Giannini, Ryan Bovaird (Hallows Die, out of Ontario) and PelleK (Damnation Angels, out of England) – which enhances the overall experience. An awkwardly-placed “howler monkey”, three-minutes into the song nearly taints what, otherwise, is a refreshing lyrical experience provided to the listener by lead vocalist, Roxanne Gordy.

[A howler monkey describes the occurrence of lyrics being barked, grunted and bellowed, rendering the song incoherent; nonetheless, it has become commonplace in metal today.]

The signature track on the CD would have to be, “Set The World Aflame,” Timing in at nearly eight-and-a-half minutes, it presents a bombastic display of heavy metal goodness, showcasing Trevor Swain’s machine gun drums to the feverish guitar work of Jurekk Whipple (lead), Dallas Dyck (rhythm) and Denver Whipple (bass).

Not to take away from the band’s abundance of talent, or this CD to which I find to be a joyous experience, Edge of Attack works the nostalgic metal formula just well enough to be good. So much so, whatever it is preventing them from catapulting into the stratosphere, is somewhere in the night. And, it can be certain, they will be fighting. Otherwise, you want this CD. You need this CD.

Available on iTunes, here.