Like a clap from Thunder Bay, this Ontario based band brings a ground shaking elemental force through their music. Rumbling up from the Earth, they play a style of metal music crossing a number of genre elements from Melodic Death Metal to Heavy Metal to Metalcore to Groove Metal and beyond. This is all accomplished between the minds of five highly talented musicians worthy of keeping an eye (and ears) on…
Railgun are primed and ready to fire going into the release of their album “Tension”! While it does not have a definite release date beyond this Summer of 2018, rest assured the album is very much complete and very good to boot! It comes packed together between 9 tracks forged in the fires of metal and ready to be wielded by new listeners the world over! That being the case, stay tuned… and grab your pre-order over on Amazon!
Speaking of which! If you would like to follow along, you may do so by checking in with Railgun over on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Soundcloud, and YouTube. Show some support and give a follow, why don’t ya?
“Tension” will act as the band’s 3rd release to date. Following the 2012 LP “This Is War” and 2016 EP “Creature in the Night”, they’ve been striving to up the ante and achieve a sound that’s truly on the next level. Do they succeed? You can judge for yourself by checking out the music video for the album’s title track below, waiting for the album release itself, or read on for our answer to this particular question.
And the answer to that question is T = mg + ma! Eureka! Just kidding… This is music, not physics. Let’s try this again from the top…
One of the immediate takeaways from this album is the incredible guitar work shared between Aaron Radford and Ray Milton. The leads from the very start of “Fear The Brave” onwards are sure to hook listeners in and keep them seated. It’s not unnecessarily complex while landing with all the sensibility of a flash bang grenade. There’s clearly a sense of songwriting matched with a mission and a love for riffery here. Every single track has standout guitar work. It’s also worth noting that bassist Mike Henderson does a fine job of complimenting all of this – both when his strings are projected towards the top of the mix or when he’s bringing the music together below.
Vocally, Zack Kangas-Sainsbury fearlessly leads the charge. His delivery is relatively consistent but there are surprises to be found here and there. For example, there’s a particular high scream used in “Confinement” (around the one minute mark) which is just phenomenal! Sounds like a wraith from Lord of the Rings or some some evil beast in pursuit of the listener’s ear drums!
Drummer Jake Pechiwa, same as the other instrumentalists in Railgun, is ridiculously talented. From track to track, he utilizes his kit to the full with some very clean playing that holds the entire presentation in a fine grip. There never seems to be a dull moment from the stool while he serves as the band’s foundation.
Despite a certain modern edge to this record, there’s a concrete feeling of nostalgia that can be traced through a number of these tracks. Railgun seem to harken to certain greats found across time within the metal genre. Clearly, the band has done some studying and it reflects in how they go about crafting a number of their songs. This is, of course, an admirable quality. However, on the other hand, I can’t say this is the most original project I’ve ever heard – though it certainly excels in just about every turn it takes. The reason why I say this, despite the album borrowing from a number of different metallic styles, is because I’ve heard all these metallic styles (and beyond) many times before. Lines can easily be traced to a number of probable influences. The LP wants to break into new territory but ultimately ends up being an awesome metal exhibition within itself. Which is perfectly fine and quite entertaining at the end of the day.
More than anything, this album is a lot of fun! You really can’t put a price on this quality and Railgun seem to excel at it through almost every turn. Every track has a driving force to keep listeners energized and engaged with music that is somewhat deceptively simple. As hinted earlier, lots of subtle complexities leak through the delivery without being overbearing on the listener’s ear. All in all, it’s not hard to imagine Railgun going over very well at certain live events. That being the case, be sure to check ’em out if they come near!
Speaking of admirable qualities, there’s also a definite sense of positivity to be found in a number of these tracks. From what I’ve heard through my listens to “Tension”, there’s a lot of talk of overcoming adversity and these words generally come off as positively influenced life advice. So, if you’re looking for a good uplift session, this album may help. It reminds me of the more affirmative lyrics from bands like Hatebreed for example. That’s not to say it’s all sunshine, daisies, and weight lifting though. Tracks like “Underdog” issue a vicious challenge while simultaneously remaining upbeat.
As stated before, “Tension” delivers 9 tracks and, to be perfectly honest, I would recommend any one of them to metal fans. There’s no filler or slag slowing down the presentation. It’s consistently a great record that seems to loop in on itself in a way. More specifically, I’m referring to when the album ends on an instrumental note with “Drifter”. This feels appropriate and epic as these talented musicians tastefully close out the experience with fireworks that almost serve as a response to the opening notes of the album on “Fear The Brave”. This makes for a very clean, almost thematic ending to the aural event that is “Tension”. More so, it may make listeners want to hit that repeat button fast!
There was clearly a lot of work put in behind the scenes of “Tension”. This is a great sounding album in terms of production with a great mix and master to boot. It’s done in a way that feels just about right. Everything comes across clearly and has its place without being oppressive on the ears. Bravo!
To answer the earlier question of this being a “next level” release or not, I would answer yes and no. This band is most definitely the real deal that can stand toe to toe with any number of contemporaries but they haven’t necessarily placed their flag on the map as something entirely new. In any case, Railgun have taken a shot with “Tension” and smacked the target very close to the heart. For all of that, this album racks up a well deserved 8.5 out of 10.
Once again, it’s highly recommended that all metal fans give this one a go by pressing the “play” button on this music video provided above and prepare for what comes next by pre-ordering over on Amazon! Be sure to follow along with these talented musicians on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Soundcloud, and YouTube as the official album release drifts closer… and closer… Expect much more content and good times including a new Railgun music video currently in the works! Huzzah! \m/