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Conductor Of Storms

25th August 2016 – Self-released

01. Nightwalk
02. Machination Factory
03. An Empty Glass
04. In the Distance
05. The Angel of Rain
06. A Sacrifice
07. Escape
08. The Fabled Uroxicide

One of the newest bands making their entry into the traditional heavy metal scene, Medevil hail from Chilliwack near Vancouver, Canada, and have made a pretty hefty mark on their local scene for such a short existence. They won the local round of Wacken Metal Battle Canada, the yearly battle of the bands where the winner goes on to play at Wacken in Germany. They didn’t end up winning the competition, but they certainly raised their profile. Building on the back of this comes their debut album Conductor Of Storms.

Opening with solid chunks of heavy metal, there’s no messing around here; Medevil write some serious-sounding material, bringing to mind Manilla Road, Pagan Altar, or Witchfinder General, but with modern production. There’s a really nice flow here, with “Machination Factory” moving seamlessly into “An Empty Glass“.

It’s the second half of the record where Medevil really begin to show their best side however – starting with “Angel of Rain.” A moody piece, it features a slow build, clean guitars, a middle section where Medevil kick into full heavy metal splendour, backed by a strong, story-oriented atmosphere; there’s a hell of a lot packed into the just under eight-minute run time, and it works really well.

Compounding its effectiveness is a mix that sees the guitars eased off too much gain, so that each riff comes through. It’s a blend of the best parts of early NWOBHM with thoroughly modern capabilities’ the lead tones are nice and smooth, cutting through along with the classic-sounding drums. In fact, Medevil are summed up by that word: classic. It’s classic heavy metal in a modern setting; something a lot of bands claim, yet few actually achieve.

The true highlight of Conductor Of Storms is the vocal performance from Liam Collingwood; he exudes a snarly, gravely quality that seems familiar, but at the same time is hard to place. His phrasing and charisma are on par with greats like David deFeis (Virgin Steele), Nils Patrick Johansson (Astral Doors, Wuthering Heights), and Rolf Kasparek (Running Wild).

If the album has a weaknesses, it’s that there isn’t a ton of variation here. While songs like “The Angel of Rain” and closer “The Fabled Uroxicide” – which sees the band go full-on Manilla road with a twelve-minute epic – are great songs, the rest are fairly standard heavy metal. Their songwriting is interesting enough on “A Sacrifice” or “Escape” to make up for it, but songs like “Nightwalk” and “In the Distance”lack the astute memorability of the others. Still, having only a couple weak tracks on a debut is admirable, and leaves room for improvement from a band still in their infancy.

Perfectly situated to please fans of classic heavy metal, Conductor Of Storms is very strong debut from the young Medevil. With songwriting better than most bands their age, if they can improve further on this release they should quickly become a powerful force in the modern heavy metal scene.

Kevin writer banner Jan 2014