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Boneyard - Oathbreaker Award winner

by Jean-François Poulin at 21 December 2020, 10:35 AM

BONEYARD is a Hard Rock/Heavy Metal band from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. They started as a cover band back in 2015 covering songs from bands like SAXON, IRON MAIDEN, JUDAS PRIEST amongst countless others and then they decided to do their own thing. This project is all about blood, sweat and tears and they poured their soul in their first full-length album. This album was really delayed by the worldwide epidemic and it was obviously well worth the wait of almost 18 months.

You have to love that cover, it’s comic book style meets MOTORHEAD, hell she even has that Lemmy hat on top, this really made me smile from ear to ear. It also reminded me of the album cover of THRASH LA REINE, the colours used were quite reminiscent of this local band. I like the comic book style and I don’t know the artist’s name but I would really enjoy seeing his other work. It’s a simple design but so effective and it grabs your attention. I mean it would be the type of album that would really catch my attention in the music store, it’s that impressive.

The opening track really reminded me of early ICED EARTH, the Matt Barlow era never the less. It sounds so loud at the beginning with the marching troops and the production is rather excellent for a band that were self produced. I have heard a lot of bands, more well known bands sound way worse than this. I was pleasantly surprised to say the least. Pamtera has great power in her voice, a bit of Doro Pesch without that raw emotion that the queen of metal possesses. She captures your attention and you can tell she is front and center in the band. She has a good range, not great but possesses a lot of charisma. We have so many female singers out there that sound the same, especially in Symphonic Metal but in the other genres you must stand out. You kind of get used to the same old same old but she has a little something different from countless others.

The second song is as good as the first one, it made me think of PRIMAL FEAR with some Progressive Metal elements thrown in especially at the beginning of the song. It has some really nice hooks and a pretty nice solo very reminiscent of good old JUDAS PRIEST. It’s the most old school Metal song on the album and it really sets the tone for the rest of the album.  If you enjoy those classics from JUDAS PRIEST like ‘’Screaming for Vengeance’’ or ‘’British Steel’’, you will absolutely love this song.

Other standouts are ‘’Rat Race’’ which is balls-out RAMONES meets GIRLSCHOOL. It has those Punk-Rock elements known to both bands and this song really stands out because they show another side of what they are capable of. They are not a one trick pony to say the least and they showed they can pay homage to the greats of the genre. It is all attitude, all the time! A pleasant surprise because it’s in the middle of the album but I was glad for the departure in a sense from the opening songs though.

Another song that really stood out is the last song, ‘’Catch Me if You Can’’, a real great way to finish the album. It is really anthemic, it’s old school HELLOWEEN meets WARLOCK, it’s catchy as hell and you kind of want more after this song. You tell yourself wait…what? This is the end? I wanted more of this old school goodness! It was a great way to finish the album and you want to listen to the album once again after finishing it, that’s the pure truth!

This is the type of band that the live setting is where they shine. All of these songs, well maybe not their power ballad ‘’Oathbreaker’’ are crowd pleasers and the crowd participation would be a given. I know some people really love those mid tempo songs like this, it’s a change of pace but it did not do anything for me unfortunately. It sounded like a bit like mid 80’s HEART actually. It’s not bad persay and it shows their softer side but I wasn’t too keen on that particular song yet I know a lot of people out there will love this one obviously.

The lyrics are easily accessible and the choruses can be sung by the crowd and it would add that little special touch to these songs. Most of these songs would be great live and I bet they put out a killer show. What a pleasant surprise, so much promise and talent all rolled into one nice package. One of the best independent albums I have heard all year and I would gladly see them live when all this is over.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Fates Warning
2. Gone
3. Evil Ways
4. Smoke the Sky
5. Oathbreaker
6. Rat Race
7. Monster
8. Born Again
9. Hope
10. Tune Attack
11. Catch Me if You Can
Pamtera – Vocals and Guitars
Jeff Cunningham – Drums and Percussions
Dennis Cooke – Bass
Grant Tarapacki – Lead Guitars
Record Label: Independent


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