Prior to the Fire

Tee Pee

May 25, 2010 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Canada may have made a splash internationally in the 2000s with its wave of indie-rock bands, but one can be sure that this metal four-piece from Montréal couldn't care less. On its sophomore album, Priestess pulls no punches and delivers all blows in menacing fashion, borrowing heavily from the gods of metal's yesteryear. Throughout 43 blistering minutes, Priestess expertly mixes the original metal of Black Sabbath with the vitriol of Iron Maiden and late '70s Judas Priest, adding a stoner rock tinge of the likes of Fu Manchu, and throwing in a dose of heavy psych to boot. And the band doesn't lose the melodies in all the mayhem. "The Firebird" is downright anthemic, while still being heavy as hell, and "The Gem" is an epic in eight minutes of shapeshifting bliss, not completely unlike Metallica's "One" in scope and sequence. In Prior to the Fire, there's something for all hard rock fans. (

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