ALBUM REVIEW: Traveler – Prequel To Madness

It’s no secret that Canada has a long and storied history of producing quality Heavy Metal. From classic bands such as Anvil, Annihilator, and Exciter to more recent acts like 3 Inches Of Blood, Cauldron and Unleash The Archers, Canadians always seem to hit the traditional Metal mark.

Formed in 2017, Calgary quintet Traveler are fast becoming another name to add to that list. Already with two full-length albums under their belts, Prequel to Madness (No Remorse Records) finds the band in top form, full of energy and Speed Metal fury.

From the brilliantly eighties-style cover art to the song titles, you know exactly what you’re in for and the band don’t mess about, ramming their point home from the start with the thunderous instrumental “Mayday”. True opener “Take the Wheel” reeks of early Iron Maiden and several other NWOBHM acts, vocalist JeanPierre Abboud showing his range early, hitting higher notes with total conviction.

“Dark Skull” has Judas Priest‘s fingerprints all over it, guitarists Matt Ries and Toryin Schadlich ripping out some serious old school fretwork. “The Law”, “Heavy Hearts”, the power-packed riff mayhem of “Vagrants of Time” and the Terminator-themed “No Fate” are all surging, fast-paced blasts of classic US Power Metal, the pace tempered only by the monstrously moody “Rebels of Earth”.

Arguably the album’s finest moment is left until last, the pulse-pounding seven-minute title cut closing the album in suitably ferocious style while showing more than a passing resemblance to early Helloween.

Fired onwards by a relentless rhythm section consisting of bassist Jake Axl Wendt and drummer Nolan Benedetti, every song is a memorable, hook-laden anthem bristling with Speed Metal spirit and the purest of Heavy Metal. While clearly a molten throwback to decades ago, Prequel to Madness also manages to sound fresh and modern, the record sure to please every like-minded Metal warrior exposed to its addictive and contagious energy.


Buy the album here:

7 / 10