Album: Liberation of Dissonance (2007)

Artist: Canobliss

Label: self-released

Where available/price: canobliss.com, CDBaby.com for $8; iTunes and Napster.com for $9.90

Songs: 1) Riot 2) Insurrection 3) Sinister Minister 4) Liberation of Dissonance 5) Hello 6) Diye 7) Pneumatic 8) Automation 9) Independence 10) Worldwide Criminal Affair

Band: Johan Maldonado (vocals), Samson Pedroza (guitar), Jon Russo (guitar), Chenzo Vidalez (bass), Mike Russo (drums)

Extra info: Canobliss is scheduled to play O’Connell’s on Saturday, March 8.

What Canobliss lacks in innovation they compensate for with fervor and commitment. Longstanding local metal favorites, the band has polished its act to a gleam, even if that act is a rehash of their genre’s top successes. Soaring vocals, racecar-quick guitars, and machine-gun-popping drums have all been done, but not better than Canobliss can do them.

The 2006 addition of lead vocalist Maldonado brings fresh life and energy to their latest release. Maldonado’s voice rings in somewhere between the emotion of Dio and the ferocity and machismo of Hetfield and spurs on the interplay between Russo’s drumming and the dual guitars.

With the splintering of metal into the alphabet soup of subgenres (black, Norse, speed, death), it’s refreshing to hear good old-fashioned heavy metal in the tradition of early Metallica, Megadeth, and Slayer. (Call them “thrash” if you’d like, but anything pre-1990 is considered “old fashioned” to me.) Only post-Halford, pre-Tankian purists will appreciate what Canobliss offers, a fact that will limit their demographic and subsequently their distribution and popularity.

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