Here at Hellbound it’s been our practice to honour our Canadian origins with regular celebrations of Canadian heavy metal. We do this every year’s end with our top Canadian albums lists, but we also do this every July 1, Canada Day, when we Canucks celebrate our nation’s birthday. This year’s post is, in part, a look back at much of the Canadian metal we have celebrated in the past, but it’s also a glimpse of some of the Canadian history you can find in Canadian metal.
Canadian metal favourites according to Hellbound
Favourite Canadian metal album (2009):
This list was too open for much consensus, but the artist named the most often was… VOIVOD.
Favourite Rush song (2010):
Runner up: “Subdivisions”
Favourite Rush album (2010):
Winner: Moving Pictures
Runner Up: A Farewell to Kings and 2112 (tie)
Favourite Canadian metal songs (2011):
As with our favourite Canadian metal albums, this list produced a wide range of selections. The winner, by a slight margin, was…
Anvil – “Metal on Metal”
Best Canadian metal album of 2012:
Mares of Thrace – The Pilgrimage
Best Canadian album of 2013:
Gorguts – Colored Sands (Season of Mist)
Best Canadian metal albums from years ending in “4”:
Rush – Rush (1974)
Voivod – War & Pain (1984)
Cryptopsy – Blasphemy Made Flesh (1994)
Woods of Ypres – Pursuit of the Sun & Allure of the Earth (2004)
Archspire – The Lucid Collective (2014) … as of July 1 list, or, Thantifaxath – Sacred White Noise (2014) … as of Dec 31 list
Some Canadian albums we appreciated in 2015:
Abyss – Heretical Anatomy
Adrenochrome – Tales from Adrenechrome
Norilsk – The Idea of North
Sea Witch – The Blackened Sea
Vile Creature – A Steady Descent Into The Soil
Best Canadian metal albums of 2016:
Winner: Anciients – Voice of the Void
Runner up: Blood Ceremony – Lord of Misrule
But there’s more.
This year Canada, as a political entity, turns 150. It’s a nice round number but doesn’t, of course, encapsulate the history of human activity on these lands and, clearly, fails to honour the peoples here long before European colonization. We can’t correct this with a simple post on a metal site, but we can draw attention to where Canadian metal has tried to engage with the history of this land and the political institutions that have been erected upon it.
Ahna – “Colony”
“From across the sea / He finds a land to claim his own…”
Longhouse – “No Name, No Marker”
“No mark where we lay / Our names not engraved / But not forgotten”
Forteresse / Chasse-Galerie / Monarque / Csejthe – Légendes
Happy Canada Day. Let’s celebrate what’s great about this country, but let’s also remember that it hasn’t been great here for everyone. And, while we’re at it, why not imagine how Canada could be even better.