Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Attacker - Giants of Canaan

Attacker is among the most seminal US power metal bands to ever exist. It is has been nearly 30 years since their legendary first two records, and though they’ve been reformed for well over a decade, it doesn’t seem like they’ve picked up much of a buzz until their most recent release, “Giants of Canaan”. If you ever doubted the band, this release will turn you around. The music largely matches up to the album cover: epic. In fact, the only thing that would be more appropriate would be to have a giant eagle (ala Primal Fear) swooping in to cause mayhem.

The band wastes no time, as they kick things into high gear with the title track. On this song, Bobby Lucas (perhaps best known for his work in Morbid Sin) delivers some truly ear-piercing vocals. His range is incredibly high, and he greatly compliments the energy of the music. “Giants of Canaan” features fantastic shredding and soaring melodies that one would come to expect in this type of music. Despite this use of melody, the music is ultimately quite aggressive. The rhythmic delivery of the vocals in the verse of the title track is actually fairly abrasive, and matches up well with the riffs it supports. Beyond “Giants of Canaan”, another highlight is “Black Winds Calling”. This song is another prime example of the brilliance of Lucas’ over-the-top style of vocals, as they drive the chorus effectively until it is permanently etched into your brain.

What lies beyond these two songs is an album filled with solid tunes. There is nothing that will surprise you (in a good or bad way), but let’s be honest here, if you are still listening to US power metal in 2013, you are probably longing for the sound of the 80’s anyways (I sure am!). There are plenty of great moments across “Giants of Canaan”, however. For example, the opening of “The Hammer” shows Lucas pushing his voice to the limits, while the guitarists deliver a truly crushing riff. "Washed In Blood" is a track that features some very active riffing; though the band doesn't play with excessive speed on this track, they pump out a ton of notes in each riff. The chorus also features heavy use of pinch harmonics underneath Lucas' awesome wailing. As you may have guessed by now, your enjoyment of “Giants of Canaan” is highly correlated with how much you appreciate Lucas’ vocals. The music is delivered with the utmost of care and attention to songwriting, so if this style of wild, roaring vocals is your thing, “Giants of Canaan” will be an absolute winner.

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"Giants of Canaan"
"The Hammer"
"Black Winds Calling"

Final Rating
3.9/5 or 78%. 

Written by Scott