Album Review – Sven Gali / 3 EP (2020)

The time is now for one of the pioneers of Canadian Hard Rock to strike again with their first studio release in 25 years.

Formed in the distant year of 1987 in Niagara Falls, a Canadian city at the famous waterfalls of the same name, the old school unity that goes by the name of Sven Gali is known in for bringing the 80’s and 90’s Hard Rock and Heavy Metal wave to Canada, with their 1992 self-titled debut album leading them to play from coast to coast and across the United States and Europe for the following decade. Now in 2020, after a long recording hiatus that lasted from their 1995 album Inwire until the release of their 2018 single Kill The Lies, the band comprised of founding members Dave Wanless on vocals, Andy Frank on the guitar and Shawn Minden on bass, as well as newcomers Sean Williamson on the guitars and Dan Fila on drums, is ready to rock our world once again with a brand new EP simply titled 3, presenting a slightly new musical style flirting with modernized and edgy rock music while at the same time remaining loyal to their Hard Rock roots.

Those hard rockers don’t waste a single second and begin blasting a contemporary version of their classic sonority in Kill The Lies, with Shawn’s bass punches and Dan’s beats providing Dave all he needs to shine on vocals, followed by another straightforward Heavy Rock tune titled You Won’t Break Me, released as a single in 2019, with the guitars by Andy and Sean overflowing heaviness and groove, also feeling like a hybrid between the music by Motley Crüe and Alice In Chains while sounding a lot more alternative than their usual songs. Then it’s time to scream and shout with the boys in the electrifying Now, where Dave sounds amazing with both his high-pitched roars and his deeper vocals while his bandmates generate a dense and captivating ambience, also presenting sharper-than-a-knife guitar riffs and solos for our total delight; whereas the excellent Hurt is another groovy and melodic composition where Andy, Sean and Shawn smash their strings in great fashion accompanied by the pounding beats by Dan, also showcasing Dave’s heaviest vocal performance of the EP. Needless to say, as a longtime metalhead this is by far my favorite song of their comeback (and hopefully a path they will follow in the coming years). In addition, depending on what version of the EP you get, you might still be treated to an edited version of the song Now made to be played on any Rock N’ Roll radio station worldwide.

As a Canadian webzine that’s truly proud of all the amazing rock and metal bands from the Great White North, we at The Headbanging Moose are beyond thrilled with the return of Sven Gali not only to the stages in Canada and anywhere else in the world where good rock music is truly appreciated, but in special with the fact the band is writing and recording new music like what they have to offer us all in their new EP 3, marking the beginning of a new and exciting era for such important band of the Canadian rock and metal scene. Hence, don’t forget to follow the band on Facebook and on Instagram to keep updated on all things Sven Gali, including their tour dates, subscribe to their YouTube channel and visit them on Spotify for more of their music, and keep an eye on the RFL Records webstore because sooner than later the entertaining EP 3 will be available for purchase. The time is now for Sven Gali to rock our world once again, with their short and sweet brand new EP being a solid statement that although the band might have been gone for a while, they still have a lot of fuel to burn in the name of Rock N’ Roll.

Best moments of the album: Now and Hurt.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2020 RFL Records

Track listing
1. Kill The Lies 3:39
2. You Won’t Break Me 3:40
3. Now 4:59
4. Hurt 3:10

Bonus track
5. Now (Radio Edit) 3:32

Band members
Dave Wanless – vocals
Andy Frank – guitars
Sean Williamson – guitars
Shawn Minden – bass
Dan Fila – drums

Album Review – Laugh At The Fakes / Dethrone The Crown (2014)

This promising Canadian band is here to provide us all some good old Rock N’ Roll and Heavy Metal, crafted in the Great White North.

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Album Cover - Laught At The Fakes - Dethrone The Crown - 2014“O Canada! Our home and native land!”

And also a land with so many awesome indie metal bands I could spend hours and hours talking about each one of them. However, if there’s one new Canadian group that truly deserves a lot of our attention, it’s Hard Rock/Heavy Metal band Laugh At The Fakes. Formed in 2010 in Toronto, Ontario, and after releasing their debut six-song EP One Night Only in 2011, this quartet is about to release their first full-length album, entitled Dethrone The Crown, a very honest and exciting celebration of the only music we love, our good old Rock N’ Roll.

Do not expect to listen to modern North American metal, electronic sound effects, infinite doses of virtuosity or anything like that in any of the songs from Dethrone The Crown. Laugh At The Fakes focus heavily on raw traditional rock music, influenced by the musicality of bands such as Iron Maiden, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Alice In Chains, among many other classics, and dealing with contemporary topics like murder, corruption and war.

From the very first riff of the opening track, Not Like Me, you can enjoy their traditional Hard Rock with a huge Heavy Metal influence, something like a mix of Led Zeppelin and Alice In Chains, which is reinforced by the 70’s/80’s Rock N’ Roll vocals by singer/guitarist Everett Mason. It’s a nice song for headbanging, with the final part of it being totally awesome, especially the guitar solo and the accelerated drums. The second track, Death Awaits, is a more metallic tune (probably inspired by the NWOBHM) that gets a lot heavier and progressive halfway through the song, with highlights to its lyrics that couldn’t be more real than that (“The uniform buys you time, a luxury you’d never give / Pulling the trigger, it makes you feel bigger, for taking a life away, from our own”), followed by the superb Cut To The Chase, a soulful Hard Rock tune perfect for hitting the road, with its excellent guitar solo making it even more enjoyable.

Killing Time, the first single of the album (a perfect choice, by the way), is a very professional and pleasant music journey guided by its amazing riffs, with lots of elements from the beginnings of Heavy Metal and 70’s Rock N’ Roll, while Fighting Dirty focuses on more traditional Heavy Metal the likes of old school Deep Purple, with highlights to its nice chorus and all the progressive parts that flow until the end of it. Then we have Got No Regrets, which sounds like the stuff Maiden recorded in Piece Of Mind, especially its rhythmic drums, vocals and lyrics (“I don’t belong here, I got no reason left to stay / I’m getting lost dear, my mind is far far away”), and Harmonica Playing Man, a song that flirts with Pop Rock and maybe due to that it’s a little below the rest of the album in terms of quality.

Laugh At The Fakes - Photo Credit - Naryan Wong 3Finally, closing the album on a high note we have And I, another good Hard Rock song with a huge influence from Rock N’ Roll from the 70’s, with its smooth vocals blended really well with the melodic bass lines, and the title-track, Dethrone The Crown, a more ferocious song with hints of Thrash/Death Metal, which despite being very technical, it doesn’t sound cheesy at all.

If you hadn’t had a chance to see those guys playing live, like I did when they opened for Blaze Bayley at the Metal Showcase on October 17 during Indie Week Canada, you can check their music at their official website or at their Facebook page, and stay tuned for the release of Dethrone The Crown pretty soon on their iTunes profile page, as well as in other online and physical stores. And do not miss their CD release party this November 14 (Friday) at Bovine Sex Club, in Toronto. Just like the Centennial Flame in Ottawa will never die, Laugh At The Fakes are making sure Canadian Rock N’ Roll won’t die either with their honest music crafted in the Great White North.

Best moments of the album: Cut To The Chase, Killing Time and Fighting Dirty.

Worst moments of the album: Harmonica Playing Man.

Released in 2014 Independent

Track listing
1. Not Like Me 6:28
2. Death Awaits 4:52
3. Cut To The Chase 3:37
4. Killing Time 6:14
5. Fighting Dirty 5:38
6. Got No Regrets 4:03
7. Harmonica Playing Man 6:15
8. And I 6:56
9. Dethrone The Crown 5:14

Band members
Everett Mason – guitar, vocals
Kevin Daliri – guitar
Galen Weir – bass
Chris Avalos – drums