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Metalian – Vortex

by Rachel Montgomery at 16 July 2019, 8:00 PM

METALIAN is a band from Montreal that touts itself on its falsetto sound, a sound that I’m personally not a fan of. However, vocals aside, I love their complex, melodic guitar work and instrumentals. The intro track is a good, fast instrumental that shows the intricate, quality guitar work throughout the album. I like the climbing blues chords and the fist-pumping intro that gets you pumped for the rest of the album.

The second track, appropriately named “The Sirens Wail” is stereotypically 80's with a decidedly MOTÖRHEAD vibe. Instrumentally, it’s good, but for the love of God, if the vocalist could never, ever do falsetto again, it would be wonderful. He has a nice upper range (and his lower register is really, really nice), just, when he goes into the screechy, pitchy… whatever that was, it’s a nope from me.

The rest of the album is more conservative with the screechy falsetto and Ian kindly stays in his natural upper range, which is good, until he doesn’t. Except, interestingly, on one of my favorite songs on the album: “Vortex”. The title track has epic guitars and I love the guitar solo; I wish they could remaster this song with a more contemporary production.

The next two tracks have those wonderfully intricate guitars. Even with an 80s-style production (in my experience, it can muddy the individual parts of a song), they come through well. The solo on “Liquid Fire” is more typical, but with some good sweeps and climbing key changes. Another one of my favorite songs, “Broke Down” is also simpler, but the sword-and-sorcery lyrics accompanying soaring instrumentals makes me feel like I’m going to ride a dragon. It’s less intricate instrumentally, but vocally, it soars without as much of the screech.

No Home” is a typical 80s Metal party song, complete with some reverb in the beginning which is mediocre. As an aside, it made my husband dance, so there’s that. At first, I didn’t think it was a great closer: bland, nothing to make it stand out, until the long outro guitars, mirroring the opening track. Good sweeps, great percussive technique that’s prominent near the end of the song, it hits home how great the instrumentals are here.

Overall, it’s a good album due to the progressive instrumentals, specifically the guitar playing. I’m not a fan of the falsetto personally, but the band is pretty up-front about it being there, so it’s no surprise. If you’re into classic 80s sounds, this is worth checking out for the guitar work.

Songwriting: 9
Production: 7
Originality: 7
Memorability: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Prologue
2. The Sirens Wail
3. Full Throttle
4. Vortex
5. Land of the Brave
6. Liquid Fire
7. Broke Down
8. No Home
Ian – Vocals & Guitar
Simon – Guitar
Andres – Bass
Tony – Drums
Record Label: High Roller Records


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Edited 28 January 2023

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