Canopy - _Menhir_
(Independent, 2010)
by: Pedro Azevedo (8.5 out of 10)
Who knew an independent release would be as good as any Swedish death metal I've heard in recent years? Yet that is precisely the case with Canopy with their seven song effort _Menhir_. What Canopy play is essentially Swedish death metal, which for some will immediately point to a lack of originality; however, their approach is anything but mired in mundane revivalism. Crushing riffs and rhythms, tastefully applied melodic and even progressive elements, a powerful death metal roar, and a fine sense of songwriting dynamics -- this is easily some of the most enjoyable death metal I have heard in years, and it doesn't come across as just a homage to bygone days. _Menhir_ is neither too brutal nor too melodic; neither sloppy in any way nor concerned with showing off Canopy's instrumental prowess at every turn. It simply flows effortlessly from one impressive passage to the next, based on a solid Swedish death metal foundation, but without remaining utterly attached to it.

While this is an independent release, I am not cutting the band any slack here. Every song is well worth its time, each with plenty to sink your teeth into, distinctive structures and numerous hooks. On "Inward Burst" however, they opted for a half-shouted chorus which, in my view, is their only misstep on the entire record -- though not a particularly severe one. The album as a whole is cohesive and intense throughout, powered by a devastating production job that really propels the music. It really is hard not to be impressed when the opening title track truly comes to life, and that feeling never really fades away until the end.

Canopy are selling high quality digital copies of this record for a rather low price, so I suggest you spend a few minutes listening to the samples they have put up and decide for yourself. You will not regret it.


(article published 28/3/2011)

5/25/2007 J Ulrey 8.5 Canopy - Serene Catharsis
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