I love being Canadian. And I love Canadian Metal. Some Canadian music makes me ashamed (Celine Dion, Anne Murray, Nickelback), some rocks (Neil Young, Rush), but Canadian Metal makes me proud. Here's the Top 5 Canadian releases that made me proud to be Canadian in 2009.
5. Arise & Ruin - Nightstorms Hailfire (Guelph, ON): Vicious metalcore sans clean vox. I was told by vocalist Ryan Bauchman himself that he will never lighten up his vocals. Good. Hints of doom and thrash work their way into the mix. All this makes for one hell of a live show.
4. Culted - Beyond the Thunders of the Upper Deep (Winnepeg, MB/Sweden): This Winnepeg duo's collaboration with a Swedish vocalist produced some heavy fuckin' shit. Seriously awesome doom with scary blackened vocals. Best enjoyed loud as hell and blazed out of your mind.
3. Ex Deo - Romulus (Montreal, PQ): Some bands create concept albums, some bands create concept bands. Ex Deo is basically Kataklysm doing Roman themed epic metal. Nothing wrong with that! Great music and a history lesson all in one. Battle of the Bands idea: Ex Deo vs. Nile.
2. Buried Inside - Spoils of Failure (Ottawa, ON): Bands like this I find hard to categorize. Pummeling doomy music with hardcore-ish bellowed Neurosis type vocals. The song titles are Roman numerals and I can't understand most of the vocals but they've always been a very cerebral band. I'd like to see a lyric sheet. I challenge you to try and not scream along anyway. This album rules.
1. Titan - Colossus EP (Toronto, ON): More or less in the same vein as Buried Inside but with more variation musically and vocally. "Bangover"-inducing ferocity throughout with just enough breathing room to recover before you pass out. I managed to see Titan live twice in 2009 and both times they kicked my ass! Extra kudos to the band for knocking out the power to a city block during one of their shows. That's fuckin' metal.
Honourable Mentions: 3 Inches of Blood and Bastard Child Death Cult.