ALBUM REVIEW: RAIDER “Guardian of the Fire”

Raider – Guardian of Fire

March 20, 2020

By: Michelle Cooney

Waterloo’s Raider has been tearing up Ontario’s metal scene since 2017. Their new album, Guardian of the Fire, is coming out next week, and it’s one to look out for. From the first note of the album to its last guttural growl, it is pure death thrash. Prepare for 45 minutes of a fast and ruthless fusion of the death and thrash that’s a dead ringer for heavy hitters of the genre.

Featuring loads of heavy, palm muted chugging, and thrashy riffs, the guitar work here is something to behold. Grinding bass guitar and lightening-speed precision drumming bring the sound together to form an exciting and intense listening experience.

The vocals are an artful combination of black and death metal. Lyrics, presented in this powerful manner, are poetic and full of imagery. The profound nature of the lyrics brings to the mind visions of fire, chaos, and war. A particularly impressionable line in “Infernal Justice” is “Come to me/Shadow spawn/Bring me your master of nothing/Let infernal justice be done.”

Track “Ravenous Hydra,” an ode to the Greek mythological sea creature, begins with the sound of waves and ambient guitar. But don’t be fooled, as this is no soothing meditation track – it picks up with shredding guitar and impeccable double bass work – and is arguably the best track on the album with its lyricism and technical instrumentation.

Those with a well-tuned ear might notice something a bit different about the sound. Interestingly, the band plays in E standard tuning, which is generally uncharacteristic of the genre.

Look for Raider on the metal circuit this summer. In the meantime, check out Guardian of the Fire on March 20th. If it’s any indication of how tight they are live, we’re in for a newer, higher standard of death thrash.

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