Album review: MEDEVIL – Conductor Of Storms

[Release date 26.08.16]

I am a metalhead. There are no two ways to put it. I’ve been a rabid worshipper of all things metal for pretty much my whole life. I love damn near every sub genre of metal and gain so much joy from spinning albums, new and old, that proudly wave the flag for metal. Getting the opportunity to write about bands- getting to listen to their albums before the masses get a chance, is something I cherish and honor deeply. Sure, if it’s a band that I’ve been a fan of for many years I get a little more excited about it than say a shit ton of djent and metalcore bands that I have to wade my way through, but there are times wading through the unknown acts that I stumble across something that I feel an instant bond with. Medevil, hailing from Chilliwack BC, are one of those bands.

Their debut album, Conductor of Storms, is pure old school, early American metal with elements of old school thrash and a dash of NWOBHM for good measure. When I looked at a promo shot of the band I had to chuckle a little bit. I just turned 44 this year so I am old enough to remember many legendary bands just starting to make waves early on and looking at their pictures thinking, “Man, they’re practically the same age as me.” Looking at Medevil I got that same feeling because these youngster’s look like they’re straight out of the 80’s adorned in jeans, leather, gauntlets, t-shirts, arms crossed, serious looks on their faces, and my laugh wasn’t mocking them, it was in pride. To think, these kids weren’t even alive when the music they love was coming to be, yet they hold such kinship towards it that they now embody something nearly as old as I – something I value above most things. But a band isn’t based on looks alone (or shouldn’t) so what should you expect when the laser hits the silver?

For starters, though the sound is very much throwback and not totally breaking new ground here, it is still very much worth a listen as the riffs are oozing with that classic sound while adding just enough modern finger work to keep it relevant. The voice is like a mix of Udo meets (and this reference will date me) Beefcake from the movie Phantom of The Paradise (if you haven’t seen this, you must! It’s a little dated as my reference, however it is a fantastic take on the Phantom of the Opera storyline castigating the music industry’s catering to trends, exploiting artists and songwriters, and the diminutive soft rock giant Paul Williams is excellent in the role of label mogul Swan, and though it’s an older movie it’s message is as poignant today as it was then,) but Beefcake has this really great growly voice. Anyway I really dig what these guys are doing. If I had to make a complaint it would be about the song “The Angel of Rain.” It has too much “quiet” involved with it that detracts from the album as opposed to enhancing it. It seems somewhat self-indulgant and unnecessary, but one track out of 8 (and really, it’s only the quiet parts I have a quarrel with) isn’t much of a complaint.

Even though it seems like the youth of today haven’t got a clue as to what’s going on in the world, it’s nice to see a group of youth’s keeping the metal spirit alive. It gives hope in a bleak world that as everything else is falling down around us, there will still be some great music out there. This album is definitely for fans of the old school metal sound. Medevil’s Conductor of Storms will teleport you old farts back to better days when we were still young, ambitious, and had hope for the future even though the soundtrack we had was usually dark and dreary. Ah to be young again! ****

Review by Chris Martin

David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 26 July.. In the first hour David pays tribute to the blues/rock guitarist Peter Green.

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