TRAVELER - Termination Shock
Release date April 14/20 (Independent/Bandcamp)
This is the second full length release by Canadian metal merchants Traveler since their formation in 2017.
Founder/guitarist/principle music writer Matt Ries has put together a strong batch of songs, with lyrics mostly written by vocalist Jean-Pierre Abboud. Traveler are essentially a traditional metal band with enough speed to attract the attention of Thundersteel-era Riot fans.
The main strength of this album is found in the song writing and guitar play between Ries and fellow guitarist Toryin Schadlich. Not only are the riffs well constructed, but the harmonies between the two are top notch. Abboud's vocals are strong and of the clean-soaring variety, and while that type is not this reviewer's favourite when it comes to metal, there is enough grit and variance so that they are not a weakness.
The production is good, with Chad Vallier's drums sounding organic not mechanical, but Dave Arnold's bass could be higher in the mix.
The highlights of the album include the speed metal of "Deepspace" and "Termination Shock", the Iron Maiden-like guitar harmonies of opener "Shaded Mirror" as well as "Stk", and the chugging trad metal of "Foreverman". Readers with a taste for old-school metal will find lots to like in this effort.