REVIEW by THOMAS NEIL
Canavar are a four man punk-infused metal band from Southampton, comprising of Deklan Webb on guitar/vocals, Jack Bowden on guitar, Rowan Rashley on bass, and Toby Rashley on drums, and today, I’ll be reviewing their self-titled debut album.
‘Sacrilege’ kicks things off with a bang, thrashing guitars and heavy vocals that hit you right in the face, and there is a really nice counterpoint to this track where the vocalist slows things down, showing a softer side to his voice, then ratchets things back up again. It’s jarring, but in a really good way.
Also the extended instrumental section towards the end is phenomenal, and improved even more with some screaming to give it that extra edge.
‘Brick by Brick’ opens with fast-paced guitars and some epic screaming, and having tried and failed to start my own metal band, I know how hard this type of high intensity screaming is, especially without it just becoming noise, but the singer really knows how to keep a grip on his voice while letting it all out.
I also love the densely layered instrumental sections, I’ve spent the past few weeks reviewing folk and indie music, so this was probably more of a shift than had I been reviewing heavier stuff, but I actually think coming from that has helped me appreciate the band’s style that much more.
‘Moral Compass’ has a nice slowed down bassy intro, and the track really shows both a different side to the band as a whole, as well as a different side to the lead vocalist’s voice.
Some people who are talented at screaming can’t transition well into other types of vocals, but I think the lead singer has a strong, distinctive voice, and when he’s backed up by such strong instrumentals, it’s not hard to put out tracks like this.
‘Daybreak’ hammers through its opening line, all speed and edge, and you just get swept away with it, I personally love this track because it’s decisive and clear, and you get to know the band really well. This track, along with ‘Sacrilege’, are singles that have been previously released, with some good music videos you can check out.
‘Devils in the Details’ is another vocal transition that really gives the singer a chance to shine, I listened to the tracks a good few times while writing this review, and this song was the one that got stuck in my head the most.
It has what I liked about the previous few tracks, but there’s just something that’s a little different about it, which made me really enjoy it.
‘Deadly Sins’ slows things down, with softer, more mellow guitars, bass and drums that support a more melancholic vocal section. You get a lot from this track, and you get picked up along with it as it rises and the melancholy is replaced with passion and energy.
‘Fire Inside’ is a big track, with long, sweeping guitar notes, backed up by a consistent and tight bassline, it both seems busy and very open as a track, a nice balance of things, and as I’ve noticed with the previous tracks, you just kind of get swept away in their rhythms.
‘Lost and Found’ follows ‘Devil in the Details’ as a personal favourite of the album, I just think by this point in the album, especially since I’m experiencing each track and the band as a whole for the first time, they’ve really cemented a style, and that’s very clear in this track. I wasn’t lost after listening to this track, and I’m certainly glad I found it, terrible joke aside, it was really good.
‘Burnout’ really fought with the previous track for second top track on this album, it’s a really strong addition, but what kept it from beating out ‘Lost and Found’ was that while being a good track, I didn’t really feel like it was saying anything, as sometimes when listening to an album as a whole, you get an impression from each track, other times you get something from the full album, and so far, every other track has been different, but this one just feels a little too similar.
‘Blacklist’ has my favourite opening on the entire album, some sweeping guitar and building up to the vocal sections, which I could go on about for ages, but I’ll just say, at this point I’m definitely a fan of it, and the band, as a whole.
‘Ready and Willing’ is the last track on the album, which can sometimes make or break the release, but it doesn’t let ‘Canavar’ down, as it’s a great track to end on, its got energy to it, but it’s a little slower as we wind down to a finish on what is a strong debut release from the band.
TOP TRACK: ‘Devils In The Details’