LYCANTHRO – Lycanthro (EP Review)

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Lycanthro EP - Decibel GeekDon’t go around tonight, it’s bound to take your life. There’s a bad moon on the rise! Seems this bad moon has given rise to Lycanthro, a young metal band out of Ottawa, ON. These young musicians have been tearing up local metal shows and have shared stages with the likes of Beyond CreationHibriaUntimely Demise and the legendary Blaze Bayley (ex-Iron Maiden). Comprised of James Delbridge – Vocals/Guitar, David Shute– Guitar, Michael Lanning – Bass and Jon Picard– Drums, Lycanthro has recently released their self-titled four track EP for the metal masses.

Keeping with the “horror” element of their name “Crucible” starts with a somewhat eerie acoustic/keyboard intro before turning on the metal. Sometimes you’re in the mood to simply bang your head and this track delivers that in spades. Riffing guitars, soaring high vocals and shredding leads, all the ingredients are here and reminds me of early Dianno-era Maiden. Clocking in at over 7 minutes, its a raw in-your-face heavy metal feast and it sounds to me that that was absolutely the intention of “Crucible”.

If you are looking for over polished production, this EP may not be for you. This is raw and can be sometimes harsh but in the world of HEAVY METAL this is not necessarily a bad thing. “Into Oblivion” kicks in with a solid chugging head banging riff before dropping down to a bass/drums section that took me back to Sebastian Bach‘s Bring Em Bach Alive release. Overall another fun tune that I would love to see live.

“Break Through The Fire” rips in with another great riff. A well crafted head-banging riff is the cornerstone of a great power-metal tune and so far Lycanthro have proven they have the skill to deliver on this front. Lyrics here are certainly a little cliche, but again that is almost a badge of honor within the metal community. Unfortunately it’s on the last track where the wheels fall off for me personally. Lacking the definitive headbanging riff/hook of the previous songs it feels disjointed. Left me wondering if the band may have been running out of studio time and were rushing to make a fourth song happen. The vocals seem strained and without a substantial riff to hang my hat on, it falls flat.

As it stands 3/4 is a promising start for a debut outing. These guys write some amazing riffs, better than many with decades more experience. As the songwriting matures Lycanthro could climb the metal ranks into something special. It has indeed sparked my curiosity and I would be very interested to catch these guys live as more times than not the energy and intensity gets elevated on stage. Horns up gentlemen, I look forward to hearing a sophomore release down the road!

BUY: Lycanthro

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