“Rock Solid” is the second full length album from Montreal classic metal band Metalian. I have to give serious metal kudos to Heavy Artillery for their ongoing quest to keep the classic metal sound alive in the midst of the current barrage of whatever-core and screamo bands. There’s still plenty of good modern metal coming out, but I’m glad there are still bands and labels willing to make music reminiscent of a great period in metal history.
“Rock Solid” certainly sounds like it could have been released in the early to mid 80s. The style, the production, everything about it is very old school. They don’t really bring to mind any specific band from the period they just channel the spirit of the time. The guitars really drive the songs and the vocals do the steering. When I was a teen picking up the guitar and trying to learn I was always trying to achieve a guitar sound like this where it was heavy and distorted but also crisp and cutting. I suppose that greatly influences my taste in guitar tones today.
The vocals, much like those of (now former) White Wizzard singer Wyatt Anderson, manage to represent the best of metal vocals from early the 80s. They hit the high notes competently without being ear piercing and annoying, and since they hang out in the mid-range too I don’t get burned out on the singing. When guys sing up high the whole time (with the expection of King Diamond) it gets old for me real fast. I like a contrast, and I get that with this album.
I realize that not everyone will show the same excitement that I do over this style of metal. Sometimes you just had to be there. But I expect that the real audiophile types who really get into metal as something more than just casual listening are, like me, interested in all periods and styles of metal. For those people this can be either a pleasant reminder of the old days or a good example of what they missed out on if they were too young or not yet born when the style first emerged. Or if you don’t want to over-think it, it’s just good metal.