Produced by Dean Boland. Engineered, mixed and mastered by Vic Levak at HUSH in Burnaby, B.C.
This debut album from Canadian heavy metallers Derailed is really rather good indeed.
According to Metal Odysssey the album was tipped for a September 2010 release on an independent label. I’m not sure if I have that release—this copy looks more like it was printed on a desktop colour printer which made me wonder if it was simply self-released or perhaps this is an advance demo. Nevertheless, the music rocks… let’s get on with it!
This album falls firmly in the old school heavy metal. If they weren’t from Canada then you might forgive yourself for thinking that this band emerged from the New Wave of British Heavy Metal.
The album opens with “Into the mist” that simply sets the scene in a spooky, atmospheric way. “Adrenaline”, another instrumental track, then kicks in with a riff that could have been salvaged from the cutting room floor of pretty much any mid-80s Iron Maiden album. It really is that good! This flows into “Derailed” and for the first time you hear Johnie Sin(clair)’s vocals. What a voice! These three songs really fit together like a triptych.
Title track “Judgement day” kicks off with fine chugging riff that carries it through to the end with a short detour through a guitar solo that fits the part and doesn’t distract.
“Shine” takes a slower path and reminds me of some of Rob Halford’s solo work. “I’d love to change the world” is in a similar vein, opening with a picked acoustic guitar. It’s quite a beautiful song, to be honest.
If I have one criticism about the album it’s perhaps that about ⅔ of the way through things start to sound a bit same-y. Perhaps this may have been a little more focused with fewer songs, and releasing the remaining songs as an EP… but that is really nit-picking, with songs of this quality.
The album draws to a close with another instrumental “Your world” which has tremendous energy and a good melody, and then the final track “Grey skies” which again reminds me of Halford. It’s perhaps one of my favourite songs on the album.
The album is a fine fusion of metal and hard rock. It’s heavy, it’s melodic, it’s accessible, it’s solid. This is clearly a band that knows its stuff, they clearly paid attention in the school of heavy metal. The song writing is exquisite, the playing is solid, the production and mix are excellent.
I started this review with a comparison with Iron Maiden. I’ll end with one too. In 2010 Iron Maiden released The Final Frontier. I must be honest and say that I much prefer this album.
Review score: 90%