Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Triton Warrior on Supreme Echo Records

It's hard to decide what's more important about this release; the 12 page insert with a detailed history of this early seventies Canadian heavy metal band, Triton Warrior or the record itself. Either one on it's own would be missing the other. I've always believed that the story behind a record is as important as the recording itself and so does Jason Flower from Supereme Echo Records who has grown up as something of an archivist for, among other things, the origins of Canadian punk and metal. Somewhere along the way he stumbled on this seven inch and like Robert Manis with Death's first record had to go and reissue it himself before it was lost forever.

A-Side's "Satan's Train" opens on a warm up jam in session with barre harmonics over a hyper high hat roll getting things wound up to the devils tempo. A thin '70s riff cranks in with that whiny distortion, a snarl of bent strings. From Jason's interview on the insert it sounds like less than ideal circumstances where they recorded this but it's a good thing these guys barely out of high school didn't know any better or it might not have seen the light of day in the first place. Excellent phased tom solo from Ken Ambrose that started to directly reference Sabbath for me. The vocals are almost detached from the rest of this, cranked way up in front with a huge echo over massively separated guitars in both channels is so great. I love that kind of almost psych experimentation in this era's metal that one else was even attempting - like the looped cough at the beginning of Sweet Leaf. Far out.
B-Side's "Sealed in a Grave" was actually written while in their previous band Mama Moose and for this track they went into a big time studio and layered together more crazy synth sounding '70s guitar tone in perfect precision for the opening. The guitars in unison are getting more into that fuzzy Sabbath place. The vocals are drilled down into the mix with almost no effects this time. Still into that psych channeled sound and the solo blasting out of the left side of this mix is great. Seems like they almost move from the heavy groove of Ozzy to an almost progressive epic style on this track. Not only is this single the only vinyl document of the band but shows an evolution across the two sides.

Pick this up from Supreme Echo Records.

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