Advertisements

15 of the best rock and metal bands from Canada

Yesterday marked Canada Day, the annual national day of Canada, and 2017 sees a major milestone; the 150th anniversary of Canada. The country has produced many bands that are major players in the global rock and heavy metal world and many of Canada’s finest rock and metal exports have driven change to a particular style or stuck firmly to their guns to give an uncompromising sonic assault. Now, as the country celebrates their 150th anniversary, we count down the best 15 rock and metal bands to emerge from The Great White North and taken our world by absolute storm.

15 – PROTEST THE HERO

Progressive metallers PROTEST THE HERO have helped Canada stake a name in the progressive metal world. Throughout their 16 year career, the outfit from Ontario have established a broad and varied soundscape that has helped the band stand firm as progressive metal continues to expand at a rapid pace. Four superb records that ignited countless clone bands, PROTEST THE HERO are one of the finest progressive bands to emerge from Canada.

Words: James Weaver

14 – REVENGE

Known for their uncompromising and ruthless sonic assault, REVENGE are one of the most volatile and explosive bands to emerge from Canada. Blistering speed, gargantuan snarls and a utterly relentless attitude are on the agenda throughout here, and the result is overtly violent. Since roaring onto the scene 17 years ago, REVENGE have released five studio albums, 2015’s Behold.Total.Rejection being the most recent, and with each being more monstrous than the last REVENGE are truly a force to be reckoned with and showcasing that Canadian extreme is in a very strong place indeed.

Words: James Weaver

13 – THE AGONIST

When utilising both clean and harsh vocals became more and more the trend, THE AGONIST not only perfected this element of sound but sought for a wider soundscape to create a truly fresh and intriguing experience. A plethora of riffs from Danny Marino dance their way across a pallet of melodies whilst the vocals interchange consistently which don’t hinder the end product. Whilst the band have undergone several reshuffles in their lineup, most notably being Alissa White-Gluz departing for ARCH ENEMY and Vicky Psarakis taking her place, THE AGONIST add something a little bit different to their sound, helping them bring recognition to their homeland.

Words: James Weaver

12 – GORGUTS

Technical death metal is a vast and populated scene nowadays and Canadians GORGUTS are largely responsible for igniting one of heavy music’s most technical and expansive movements. Despite countless changes to the band’s personnel and that Luc Lemay remains the only original member, through his creative force GORGUTS have built a fierce and respected reputation through their complex and dense musical brand of technical death metal and have influenced countless names from OBSCURA, SPAWN OF POSSESSION and ULCERATE to name just a few. Never resting for a typical sound, the band is ever-evolving and as technical metal continues to grow and expand, rest assured, GORGUTS will remain a driving influence in the style’s evolution.

Words: James Weaver

11 – VOIVOD

As thrash metal in the US really started to explode, over the boarder VOIVOD aimed to do things a little bit differently. Fusing progressive elements with the typical sound of thrash, Canada’s VOIVOD stood apart from their peers and resulted in a fruitful career that spans over three decades and spawned thirteen studio records. Now, 35 years after their formation, the band’s influence is enormous and their place in the history books of heavy music is more than cemented. Through their rather intriguing sound and accepting new musical quirks with open arms, VOIVOD are in a league of their own and one that showcased the sheer talent within Canada’s music scene.

Words: James Weaver

10 – DESPISED ICON

As deathcore started to gain serious momentum, Canada’s DESPISED ICON were at the forefront of the movement. Utilising mid-range growls and pig squeals from vocalists Steve Marois and Alex Erian helped add an extra level of destructive force to DESPISED ICON‘s arsenal and unleashing enough breakdowns to level a city, DESPISED ICON are a force to be reckoned with. And now that the band have emerged from the wilderness of hiatus through last year’s BeastDESPISED ICON continue to lead the charge for both deathcore and Canada’s heavy music scene.

Words: James Weaver

9 – CRYPTOPSY

Similar to fellow countrymen GORGUTS, the influence that CRYPTOPSY have had on extreme metal is absolutely monolithic. The band’s early material, especially 1996’s None So Vile, are considered benchmarks in extreme metal and their impact contributed largely to bands that would follow in their footsteps. Whilst modern times have not been kind to the band, there is no disputing the impact CRYPTOPSY have had on metal and without the Canadian outfit, extreme metal could be a truly different beast indeed.

Words: James Weaver

8 – ALEXISONFIRE

Post-hardcore heroes ALEXISONFIRE have enjoyed large success in the alternative music world putting Canada on the map for rock music. Widely praised for their razor sharp and emotive driven sound, the Ontario outfit drove the scene into the mainstream, especially in their homeland. Their legacy is enormous and opened countless young ears to heavy music, ALEXISONFIRE are essential, not just for Canada, but for the entirety of the global alternative world. Now, with just a few sprinkling of shows and festival appearances from the band, we yearn for ALEXISONFIRE to come storming back for good.

Words: James Weaver

7 – SUM 41

For those who grew up in the pop punk skater era of the nineties, SUM 41 are a stable of the time. Recognisable initially from the rest of the genre’s bands thanks to the bleached blonde spiked hair of vocalist/guitarist Deryck Whibley, SUM 41 have stood the test of time with their hit tunes. While many have gone on to find interest in other areas of rock and metal, it’s because of bands like SUM 41. There have been some well publicised personal demons for the frontman to deal with, and for the band to keep their chins jutted out and a song in their lungs, is testament to how the spirit of rock is still within them. Today, some might find the bopping and bouncing juvenile, but honestly, SUM 41 proved with their outlook is genuinely good fun. Their resent resurgence proves that those who want to let loose and embrace their inner skater will always come back to SUM 41.

Words: Laura McCarthy

6 – ANNIHILATOR

Regarded as the highest-selling metal band in Canada, ANNIHILATOR are one of the biggest bands to emerge from The Great White North. With more than three million records sold worldwide, Jeff Waters and co. have crafted a mightily impressive legacy; one which has inspired countless copycat bands and influenced dozens of musicians within our world today. With a career spanning over three decades and showing no signs of slowing down, ANNIHILATOR are one of the finest bands to grace our eardrums and where would be without them?

Words: James Weaver

5 – KATAKLYSM

A rising name in the death metal scene in the last few decades, KATAKLYSM have brutality that for many fans, captivates and engages from the off. Having formed in the early 90’s, there have been a steady turnover of drummers, all of which have given a ferocity to the music. Regardless of the fact only constant member being guitarist Jean Francois Dagenais, the band have gone from strength to strength with their sound. Never relenting on their ferociousness, the thematic nature of their songs enhances their powerful albums. Touring has been consistent, and those who enjoy full on, slaughtering blast beats revel in the bands arrangements. KATAKLYSM have been recognised across the world for their efforts, and their output has been utterly faithful to the heart of what death metal is. Consistently powerful, the hyperblast energy that KATAKLYSM produce is unswerving, rendering them as one of the steadiest names within the genre.

Words: Laura McCarthy

4 – WOODS OF YPRES

Haunting melodies, sombre atmospheres and the unmistakable vocal deliveries from David GoldWOODS OF YPRES were truly a special band within the metal world. Their broad and vast soundscape incorporating elements of black metal, doom and folk forged across a nine year career resulted in a truly unique and special sound. With five outstanding releases from the band in their career, WOODS OF YPRES sunk their hooks in deep and transported you through an emotive and memorable listening experience. Tragically, as the band were beginning to hit newfound heights, WOODS OF YPRES came to and end following the death of David Gold in 2011 and an gaping void was left in their wake. We will never have a band like them again.

Words: James Weaver

3 – CANCER BATS

One of the finest bands to grace the modern hardcore scene, CANCER BATS fused a wide variety of influences of metal to craft a visceral and destructive listening experience. From slick riffing that oozes groove in the abundance, breakdowns that have the force of an atomic bomb and consistently solid and commanding vocal barks from Liam CormierCANCER BATS shook the hardcore scene with brute force when roaring onto the scene in 2004. Now, with five albums under their belt and a undisputed reputation performing live, the Canadian outfit are showing no signs of slowing down and will surely continue to blow people’s heads off.

Words: James Weaver

2 – RUSH

Having been a consistent influence on many of rock and metal’s most prolific names over the years, RUSH have a sound that encompasses high energy, technical playing and ludicrous musical dexterity. Being most well known for their advances in progressive and heavy rock, RUSH are influences on bands such as MESHUGGAH, FOO FIGHTERS, DREAM THEATRE and ANTHRAX to name a few. As craftsmen, RUSH have more than proven themselves as players with a style and verve for rock and roll like no other. When you consider they have been in action from the late 60’s, only slowing down their touring in the last couple of years, they well and truly earnt their place in both the rock and roll and the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. In addition to a back catalogue to rival any of the greats, all in all it’s easy to see why they’re considered one of the best bands to have ever come out or Canada.

Words: Laura McCarthy

1 – DEVIN TOWNSEND

It’s not often someone shows up with as much musical prowess, showmanship and bizarre imagination as DEVIN TOWNSEND. The guy is a heavyweight of the metal world, while more than twenty records with various bands such as STRAPPING YOUNG LAD and THE DEVIN TOWNS END PROJECT as back catalogue. Those who have seen him live will know of his awesome stage presence, and there’s something truly genuine in his mad antics, the pleasure he takes in the music he creates is glorious and inspiring. On top of being on display with his own music, TOWNSEND owns his own label, Heavy Devy Records, and is almost as well known for his great production as he is compositions. To make it even better, aside from being a wicked player, and infamous for his great vocal talent, TOWNSEND also has a pretty odd and brilliant sense of humour. Fans of his alter-ego ZILTOID may have had to pleasure of watching his live show, a musical bonanza of the most surreal variety. A class act, and an onslaught of consistently epic metal creativity, DEVIN TOWNSEND is one on his own.

Words: Laura McCarthy

And there you have it, Distorted Sound’s choices for the top 15 rock and metal bands to come from Canada and there are so many more great bands bubbling away under the surface. Don’t agree with our choices? Let us know what your favourite bands from Canada are in the comments below!

Advertisements

Comments

comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.