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Recently, I'm reluctant to tear into bands. I think generally it's better to promote the good than punish the bad, but this band is a prime example of what we need less of. I'm almost reluctant to write this review because I fear it'll prompt "oh, I'm going to check this band out because they can't be that bad". I don't want to inadvertently promote this blight on the "scene", but I also have to be honest.
First and foremost, what is this band name? Edge of...Attack? The only reason I even stumbled upon this band was because when they were submitted I thought "this band name is totally Engrish, this must be a Japanese band or something". No...Canadian. Sorry, this band name is unacceptable if you are a native English speaker. Awful, and the music matches it.
When I put "scene" in quotes, it's because I wouldn't call this band power metal. They are metalcore with power metal influences.
This album is the bastard child of an exceedingly generic and weak power metal band and a metalcore band. The whole thing stinks of teen angst and underdeveloped musical skills. Incredibly weak melodies, juvenile lyrics, fairly off singing, overly loud and cheesy keyboards, amateurish production values, and tiring, overdone guitar work. A chore. What a chore.
The forced "epic" Set the World Aflame is torturous in its coerced length and tired leads. The Damned is a metalcore song and a really, really poor metalcore song at that with tedious, straightforward groove riff and mediocre harsh vocals. Take Me Alive has some of the worst singing I've heard in a good while. I mean, honestly...this album is replete with cringe-inducing moments.
I read a few good reviews around on the web. I am really curious who is listening to "power metal" these days. My god. This is absolutely awful.
I thought of a better band name for this band.
Edge of Sell-All-Your-Music-Equipment-And-Travel-To-Tibet-To-Find-Yourself-And-Your-Purpose-In-Life-Because-It's-Clearly-Not-Music
Edge of Attack is an enjoyable power metal band from Alberta, Canada fronted by the charismatic and grounded female singer Roxanne Gordey and completed by bassist Denver and her brother Jurekk Whipple on lead guitar who also provides a couple of more metalcore inspired vocals as well as the diversified drummer Trevor Swain and last but not least rhythm guitarist Dallas Dyck. The band delivers us a more European form of power metal without denying the American version in form of some more thrash metal orientated riffs. The whole concept gets even more interesting as a modern and fresh production is added to the music that is surprisingly good for a debut release. The band also employs a few metalcore moments that are very rare but the more efficient. This record simply never gets boring.
In addition to all of this, the band invited three quite different guest vocalists. First of all, there is Ivan Giannini who is involved in the Italian power metal bands Derdian and Ivory who does a solid job as guest vocalist in "Demon" but his skills could have had a bigger impact. The second one is Ryan Bovaird of the Canadian melodic death metal band Hallows Die who adds a more agressive and emotional touch to his song which is the energizing "The Damned". The last and in my opinion by far most convincing guest vocalist is the Norwegian Per Fredrik Asly alias PelleK who plays in the symphonic power metal bands Damnation Angels and who has also a solo project called PelleK. He adds indeed a more progressive approach to the excellent album closer and highlight "Set the World Aflame".
The band though also convinces without guest vocalists. The opener "In Hell" opens with dark thrash metal riffs and comes as a surprise as it develops a sinister atmosphere. The song soon gets more epic and sounds a little bit like an Iced Earth track before dominant keyboards set in that rather remind me of Gwyllion. Charismatic and melodic but never too high pitched and artificial female vocals kick in. Roxanne Gordey is surely not the best vocalist of its kind and maybe more limited than others but she knows what she does best and never tries to sing something she wouldn't be able to. That's why her performance is refreshingly down to earth and might also please to those who normally avoid female fronted power metal acts. The opener's chorus is very catchy and could come from an old Edguy release minus Tobias Sammet's technically brilliant vocals. The middle part includes a few unchained screams by Jurekk Whipple and leads towards a slow guitar and a faster keyboard solo. As you can see, the opener mixes catchy parts with diversity and kicks of the debut release in a promising way.
The band then offers a few more or less exchangeable tracks and finally kicks off another great song with the atmospheric and calmer "In The Night" that has some background choirs and keyboard parts that dominate heavy mid tempo riffs. The track convinces with its simplicity and a few catchy hooks that give the track an old school touch that reminds me slightly of bands such as Girlschool or Warlock and goes away from the power metal genre.
The second half of the album has even greater things to offer. The title track "Edge of Attack" really stands for what the band plays and mixes a grounded vocal performance with simple but efficient riffs with a very catchy old school chorus. The vocal performance sounds very charismatic and cool on this song and definitely stands out of the rest. Power metal fans will adore the guitar solos and the faster rhythms towards the middle of the track. "Rise Above" hits the same vein while "Forever" is probably the catchiest song on the record and would be a perfect single choice. The chorus is addicting, catchy and very retro. The closing double pack "The Damned" and "Set the World Aflame" are the most experimental songs on the release and probably the tracks I listen to the most as they offer a lot of diversity to discover over and over again.
In the end, the Canadian band delivers a strong debut record that is worth your attention, money and time if you like grounded power metal with retro moments as well as slightly epic or progressive moments. Let's underline once again that the album production is very well done as well. The band doesn't reinvent anything but they perform with passion and have already a very good song writing and deliver loads of catchy choruses for example. Especially the last three songs on the release are on a very elevated level and set the expectations high for an upcoming release. The band should make itself a name in a genre that desperately needs some fresh blood.