Under Review

Various Artists

Metal on Ice (Coalition Records)

Review by Slavko Bucifal

Fluff up that long hair and adorn those tight leathers, oh metalheads, for there is reason to celebrate: A new seven-track compilation of Canada’s top metal bands curated by Sean Kelly and featuring Lee Aaron, Brian Vollmer (Helix), Darby Mills (Headpins), Carl Dixon (Coney Hatch), Nick Walsh (Slik Toxik), and Russ Dwarf (Killer Dwarfs).

Six of the seven tracks are remakes of the hits from the days when metal ruled. The title track is brand new and includes a who’s who of Canadian metal. Metal On Ice the album accompanies the book of the same name. The song, like the book, is a blast from the past to reminisce about ‘Winter nights and barroom fights.” The track certainly features some staple riffs from the hard rock/metal genre including a group chorus worthy of a fist pump and huge guitar solos. There certainly lacks some of that youthful rebellious energy that the artists might have had in their heyday, but it’s not a bad piece of work overall. The remakes kick a little more proverbial butt and the singers, now 30 years past their best-before date, still bellow out the lines like it was 1984. This is actually no surprise seeing as most of the musicians still hit the road for shows.

Aaron can still hit those high wails on “Metal Queen” and Vollmer sounds as good as ever on Helix’s chart-topping “Heavy Metal Love.” Of course, no Canadian metal compilation is complete without something from the Killer Dwarves, and “Keep That Spirit Alive” is not only the highlight on the record, but its mantra sums up the energy behind Metal on Ice. Revel in the hard rock glory days and celebrate some of Canada’s best metal heroes.