I discovered Kraken while trawling a website I had found that provided links to an awful lot of bootlegs and metal rarities. I saw the words ‘Canadian’, ‘metal’, and the date ’1980′ and thought, ‘yep, that’ll do’. Canada has played a quirky role in the history of rock and metal, but that story is best left to one of our two Canadian scribes to tell.
Needless to say, I was excited to see what Kraken might have to offer. It emerged that they were a power trio, who had released one album back in the very early 80s then vanished without trace, never making much of a career (from what I can tell). They did release an album of old material in 2010, and are apparently still going(!). ‘Power trio’ + ‘Canada’ might suggest Rush, but rest assured, Kraken lean toward speed metal rather than progressive tendencies. The music rattles along at a decent clip, with inventive riffs and structures abounding. There is nothing groundbreaking going on, just solid metal. The vocalist is decent and the guitarist rather skilled as well. I especially appreciate the odd neo-classical/medieval intro they utilise, and the reliability of the hooks and propulsivenes of the rhythm section. The style is trad-cum-speed, with one track in particular having a mid-section that is VERY close to Wrathchild by Maiden. Aside from Priest and Maiden, I am not sure who to cite as an influence for these guys.
More than anything else though, I love the production of the tracks that I have found. I am pretty sure they are all either demo or live, with the demo of their first album (Kraken/Greed and Deception) being a right little gem. They play their material perfectly, the fuzz and mix doing their music a great service. It is lovely to hear a fizzy guitar tone, a bass right up front, natural drums and the all important studio bleed as well. It has a special roughness to it – it is all high-grade material, but delivered in such a fashion to preserve a joie de vivre, a youthful frivolity. It marks its age and thus its importance. Here, the production maketh the album, not to take anything anyway from the music.
It looks like their material isn’t available on amazon, the closest being this
About this entry
You’re currently reading “From The Vault – Kraken (Canada),” an entry on Scrutinizing The Steel