What is it with Canadian metal bands, is it there some sort of talent pill available there. Throughout my musical journey there is one thing you can count on; Canada unleashes some truly exceptional and creative outfits on the world and Korpius are the next in a long list of talent going back decades. Korpius’s debut album is an exceptional mixture of black, death and thrash that kicks off with the title track. The vocals are the snarled black variety here, the drumming is death metal and the leads are almost pure heavy metal in places. The opening song is absolutely packed with riffs and leads as the body of the song has a Hate Eternal feel about it. As the song ends it is straight into “On The Edge” which is quicker with a half blast that is stopped and started due to the complex riffing patterns employed. This isn’t in the league of say Brain Drill for battering technicality nor is it like Cynic, Athiest or Pestilence to name a few proggy death metal bands but is balanced very contentedly in its own sub-genre. The band never resorts to jazzy rhythms thankfully but prefers to use one riff after another with seamless fluidity in every song.
A huge feature of this album are the solos which are brilliantly thought out and avoid that annoying widdle for the sake of it or here look what I can do wankery. “Fury” is a prime example of wide-ranging riffs and melodies that are matched equally by the drumming though I have to say the band also uses slam riffs and the odd beatdown here and there which should not scare you away from this album at all. The production has an industrial flavour being mechanical but not turgid or clangy. “Awaking Terror” has a twin riff style like that of At The Gates and Arch Enemy to name a couple of bands from yesteryear and now for comparison.
The variety on this album is staggering; take “Disillusion” which has a marching snare beat that leads into a great thrash riff that is bolstered by a rapid kick drum gallop. The vocals take a turn deeper here as well as the song breaks into an acoustic section with cymbal work and a ballad like feel before returning to the Arch Enemy like riffing. The initially much darker “At The Point Of Death” builds to a technical thrash song and eventually to a semi-blast that has death metal traits and a great lead as parts are reminiscent of latter era Cryptopsy just not as fast though.
Thunder and cricket noises begin “Six Feet Deep” which only signal the arrival of a veritable pummelling and a much heavier approach all round, though even here the song drops to an acoustic fade out section. Closing this eclectic album is “The Final Charge” and a melody not too far from Dark Tranquillity on their “Gallery” album from way back. The harsh vocals have a blackened edge to them as a big riff change occurs out of nowhere before backtracking to the initial one. This is an exceptional album capturing a multitude of styles within death, thrash and black and I assure you that checking this band out will be worth your while and might even make your album of the year. Stunning metal.