TRAVELER – Traveler
January 14, 2019, a month ago
(Gates Of Hell)
So I really loved the debut demo from these dudes last year and not wasting any time, these Canadian speed metallers are out full-force with their debut full-length album and that sci-fi type artwork is emblematic of the music found here. If you love melodic twin guitar soloing akin to the legends like Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, then this is the album for you because man the guitars just rip and shred on this record. It makes total sense becuase the band employs former / current members of Striker (bassist Dave Arnold), Hrom and Gatekrashör (guitarist Matt Ries), and Hazzerd (guitarist Toryin “Junior” Schadlich. And the man behind the mic is Jean-Pierre Abboud, who also fronts Gatekeeper and some will remember him from Borrowed Time. The best way to describe is a wilder version of Jon Oliva. So yeah, this guys has some pipes, and I just wish his voice was a little higher in the mix and if that were the case, I would have scored this a tad higher.
Traveler is sterling speed / traditional heavy metal rooted in NWOBHM and it all comes crashing in with opener “Starbreaker” (found on the demo, and no it’s not a Priest cover). It’s pure, unadulterated speed metal that depicts an evil invader destroying earth. The guitar transitions and soloing are mind-boggling. The monster that springs forth these capabilities the most is the mesmerizing “Mindless Maze”. Marked by a desperate and memorable chorus provided by Abboud, I absolutely loved this one from the demo and it sounds even better within the context of a full-length. Just a killer tune! The engine churning “Street Machine”, the Dianno Maiden vibes from “Behind The Iron”, and the tight instrumental of “Konamized” are all sparkling examples of the talent this band possesses. The only head scratcher is “Fallen Heroes”, which feels like they are going for a live fist-pumper, but it doesn’t mesh with the rest of the record.
Once that final note on the perfectly named “Speed Queen” ends, you’ll get an itch for more. This Traveler is a force to be reckoned with. Great job boys!