FEBRUARY 7th 2013

Review by Anka

Edge of Attack is a new Canadian band hailing from the ever-active Albertan metal scene. Nowadays Alberta seems to produce more melodic metal bands than the surrounding provinces, and manages to keep a beautiful diversity that can only be beneficial to their reputation. Bear in mind, most of these bands are just starting out and might have a long way to making it to the top, and by ‘top’ I don’t mean getting signed to a record label.  Obviously it takes years of work, experience and a somewhat consistent lineup. It could be the case for the band I am reviewing today. There is talent and passion but when you draw the line, there’s not much uniqueness to hold your attention - unless you’re a dedicated fan of the genre.

With this self-titled debut album, Edge of Attack is obviously ready to take up the challenge. This is female-fronted power metal with choirs and minimal symphonic elements delivered with a modern twist of thrash and some classic rock. The ten tracks are consistent throughout and incorporate shredding guitars, fast, precise drumming and memorable melodies.  

The album starts off at a fast pace with energetic riffing and a catchy keyboard theme. The second song loses a bit of the momentum in favor of a rather mellow thrash sound. The third song ‘Demon (Of the Northern Seas)’ features the guest musician Ivan Gianinni on vocals, a strong power metal voice that blends well with Roxanne’s rock-style vocals. Some of the following songs lost my attention easily, with the exception of some great guitar parts and some interesting hooks. Most of the songs start out with heavy riffing that excites and energizes, but then flow into stagnant verse parts, not much happening there except for a couple repeated chords and a vocal line that doesn’t have the opportunity to explore harmonically. One of the best songs on the album is without a doubt ‘The Damned’, which is also probably the heaviest song and has such great guitar work.  

There is some attention-worthy guitar shredding on this album and this is probably the part I enjoyed most. Then the dual riffing, very engaging solos, all is really nicely written and not too over the top. Overall there’s a classic heavy metal feel in the sound, at times thrashy and other times very power metal. The power metal vibe is always carried on through the layered vocal parts and the choirs.

Roxanne Gordey has a powerful voice but somehow I feel the entire production mix didn’t do it justice, the vocals sound flat at times. Most of the medium and high register singing sounds strained (not a bad thing for rock anyway) but the extreme high pitched notes are well executed and mixed, and they become highlights on every song they appear.

The male screams and growls are definitely a good addition and balance out the mellow parts nicely.  On tracks like ‘The Damned’, where we get a serious dose of the harsh male vocals, it all blends perfectly with the heavy instrumentals and makes more sense to the ears. I think I prefer male vocals much better on this album, as I am not really fond of the contrast between the female melodic vocals and the heavy shredding. Kudos for the guest appearance on ‘The Damned’, none other than Ryan Bovaird from one of my favorite Canadian bands, Hallows Die.

Songs to remember:  In Hell, Take me Alive, Rise Above, The Damned

Now of course the question is where does Edge of Attack stand in the female-fronted Canadian metal scene, dominated by bands like Unleash the Archers, Order of Chaos, and such, that appeal to fans of various metal genres with their skill, song writing and attitude. Well, being familiar with the other similar acts, I would say Edge of Attack doesn’t bring anything new for now. I pretty much taste the same recipe:  rock/non-impostation female vocals - some aggressive male vocals – the occasional high-pitched screams – catchy choruses – choirs - melodic riffs - fast drumming. For the fans of the genre this is a good release, but it doesn’t grab any new fans with anything out of the ordinary.