Canadian speed metal alert! As some of you may know, I write a monthly column for Sentinel Daily entitled the Crusade of Power, and I came across this superb little specimen from Ultra Raptor as I was putting together this month’s column, but to late to include it.
Ultra Raptor are purveyors of what they term ‘Xenozoic Speed Metal’, a term which I believe refers to the comic book series Xenozoic Tales. I know nothing about this – but I know something about heavy metal and I’m delighted to report that this five track EP is one of the best things I’ve heard in a long time.
Tracks like Raptor Riders and CyberFortress fuse the relentless old-school speed/thrash of fellow Canadians Exciter to a more refined heavy metal base, with the drums of Rick Wild in particular being reminiscent of Beehleresque times past. Under the Claw is simply a sonic bulldozer of epic power, but there really is nothing to choose between any of the five tracks on offer here.
It’s almost as if this band were cryonically preserved in 1986 and have only now thawed out of their chrysalis, such is the sure-footed accuracy of their portrayal of this kind of music, and so free of any modern-minded infringement. It’s rare indeed that I rate a record numerically – how can you? – but on listening over and over again to tracks like Under the Claw the term ‘one hundred percent’ keep coming to mind. Heavy metal is an imperfect science – but this is a near perfect record.
Ültra Raptör is out now.