Album Review – Cannibal / Fire Meets Steel (2020)

Fire meets steel in the name of 80’s Heavy Metal in the debut opus by the new band of the unstoppable Canadian guitarist Jo Capitalicide.

Playing 80’s-inspired metal music with catchy choruses and shredding leads, Ottawa, Canada-based Heavy/Speed Metal unity Cannibal is the newest brainchild from the unrelenting guitarist Jo Capitalicide, who has offered us the new albums by Ice War and Expunged earlier this year, and who’s also behind Canadian speed metallers Aphrodite. Together with Gretchen Steel (Zex, Espionage) on vocals, B. Destroyer (Machine Messiah) on the guitar, Andy Lust on bass and Christ Disappointer on drums, Jo and his Cannibal are unleashing upon us their debut effort Fire Meets Steel, an ode to the golden years of metal recorded during the summer of 2020, mixed and mastered by Dez D’Outre-Tombe, and featuring an old school cover art by Spanish artist Raul Gonzalez and a classic chrome logo by Venezuelan artist Daniel Porta, everything brought into being in the best DIY way possible.

It’s time to embark on a frantic and metallic journey together with Cannibal in The Warlock, with Jo and B. Destroyer firing blazing riffs and solos while Christ Disappointer doesn’t disappoint at all with his Thrash Metal-fueled beats, while in Skulls And Wings the band offers our ears a Warlock-inspired sonority with Gretchen doing a very good job by adding her feminine touch to the raw sounds blasted by her bandmates. Needless to say, once again Jo and B. Destroyer are on absolute fire on the guitars, and speeding things up and sounding more melodic than before they bring forward Gates Of Hell, presenting a classic Heavy Metal sonority from the 80’s with no shenanigans, spiced up by a catchy chorus tailored for being sung along together with Cannibal on any rock pub, followed by  On Your Feet, with Andy showing no mercy for his bass, blasting a metallic sound that will beautifully hammer our heads while Gretchen is effectively supported by her henchmen’s backing vocals in a very pleasant fusion of Heavy and Speed Metal.

The excellent title-track Fire Meets Steel is an ode to all of our metal heroes such as Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Saxon, with Jo, B. Destroyer and Andy making a flammable stringed triumvirate while Christ Disappointer dictates the song’s vibrant pace behind his drums. Then the galloping bass by Andy supported by Christ Disappointer’s old school beats provide Gretchen all she needs to shine with her trademark she-wolf vocals in After All, bringing to our ears more of their straightforward metal music, with Jo and B. Destroyer yet again slashing their strings in great fashion. Last but not least, ending the album the quintet blasts the also raw and dirty Catacombs Of Hell, not as inspiring as the rest of the album (despite its great name) but still very cohesive and detailed. In addition, Gretchen’s vocals are not as powerful either, but the whole song still has a lot of good moments like the band’s trademark fiery riffage.

In summary, Cannibal don’t want to reinvent the wheel (or maybe I should say reinvent the steel) with their debut album; quite the contrary, Jo and his bandmates simply want to pay a humble tribute to the glory of the 80’s and 90’s with their music, offering us fans of classic Heavy Metal a very good reason for banging our heads while enjoying a cold beer together with our closest friends. As a matter of fact, with a Manowar-ish name like Fire Meets Steel, I don’t think you were expecting anything modern or futuristic, right? Hence, don’t forget to pay them a visit on Facebook and to purchase Fire Meets Steel, which is also available for a full listen on YouTube, from their own BandCamp page, keeping the fires of Cannibal burning bright and, therefore, helping them forge their steel to the best shape of all, which is of course the shape of our beloved Heavy Metal.

Best moments of the album: The Warlock and Fire Meets Steel.

Worst moments of the album: Catacombs Of Hell.

Released in 2020 Independent

Track listing
1. The Warlock 3:42
2. Skulls And Wings 3:47
3. Gates Of Hell 3:15
4. On Your Feet 3:09
5. Fire Meets Steel 3:35
6. After All 3:44
7. Catacombs Of Hell 3:54

Band members
Gretchen Steel – vocals
Jo Capitalicide – guitar
B. Destroyer – guitar
Andy Lust – bass
Christ Disappointer – drums

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