Chariots of the Gods Tides of War

It's nice to hear melodic metal that isn't cloying or cliché in any way. This Ottawa, ON five-piece rise above the melodic metal masses with their debut full-length, which is definitely worth a listen if you'd like to hear the sonics of young hardcore/metal pups like Unearth mixed with Gothenburg vets and old school guitar-thrash like Annihilator. With just enough raging riff heroics (check out "Ambrosian Wings"), near-death metal blasting, in "Revillusion (1905)," and a hardcore edge to keep the pummel going throughout, the band definitely have their own personality beyond being another As I Lay Dying or Trivium clone. Add in the fact that this has a great production sound and Tides of War is a winner, despite the 48-minute run time, the album's main stumbling point. But whenever the run time has you glancing at the clock, just stop for a second and take in a bit of this album's most excellent guitar work, which takes it out of the melodic metal land of the lost and into a much better place. (Independent)