Stallion burst onto the scene in 2013 with their first two-track demo, which was an energetic ode to riffs and speed. Not unlike Canadian speed metallers Skull Fist, Stallion is one of those bands that just oozes metal. For that reason, their first full-length album, “Rise and Ride”, was incredibly anticipated for me (unfortunately High Roller Records doesn’t have the best North American distribution, so it took a while to buy a copy of this). The good news is that this album completely lives up to every expectation I had. From start to finish, it is one of the most fun records imaginable.
For newcomers to the band, Stallion’s music is driven by classic 80s-styled riffs, a high-pitched wailer of a singer, and incredible guitar work. It’s actually a little bit absurd just how crazy Stallion’s frontman gets with his vocals. Of course, this over-the-top approach is exactly what makes the band so great. Whether they’re raging at full speed like in the aptly named “Wild Stallions”, or rocking out hard on the title track or “Streets of Sin”, Stallion always gives you absolutely everything they have. Their metalness shines through most on “Stigmatized”, which has some pretty strong words about being true to metal and yourself. This song is followed up by one of the most technical tracks on the record: “Canadian Steele”, which references a number of my favourite hometown bands (and other great Canadian talent).
The second half of the record definitely is not as strong as the first half. It’s not that any of the last 5 tracks are bad or sound out of place, but the first 5 songs rock so hard that it’s pretty much impossible to follow them. This is one of only two minor complaints I have about this record. My second issue with the album is that they re-recorded “Canadian Steele”, but not “Give It To Me”. Both songs are absolutely essential, and the latter ranks among my favourite songs ever. Nevertheless, that’s really just an excuse to seek out their other material. “Rise and Ride” stands on its own as one of the great releases from all of the newer traditional heavy metal and speed metal bands, and despite my own bias towards bands from the Toronto scene, it’s easy to say that Stallion is up there with those genre giants.
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"Rise and Ride"
"Streets of Sin"
4.6/5 or 92%.
Written by Scott