Lycanthro plays Heavy Metal. No amount of writing, critiquing, grand descriptions, or technical minutia will ever come close to describing Lycanthro as well as those two little words: Heavy Metal. It’s heartening to see the spirit of Iron Maiden and metal’s other 70s originators still well represented in the modern scene. They even pull in ex-Exciter shredder Jacques Bélanger on the thirteen-minute epic “Pale Rider,” for that extra dash of authenticity.
Lycanthro’s hometown of Ottawa has always had a history with this particular brand of fist-pumping speed metal. Whether it was Annihilator or the aforementioned Exciter, there’s something about the capital that draws people towards tight pants, spiked leather gloves, and shredding. The only problem is that this puts pressure on Lycanthro to deliver if they ever want to rub shoulders with the big boys in their local scene. For the most part, they deliver. It might not be the most original composition in metal history, but the four tracks on Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse can go toe-to-toe with anything either of those other bands have released in the last two decades. Good on Lycanthro for pulling that off.
Ultimately, how much you end up liking Four Horsemen is dependent on how much you liked this kind of thing the first time around. People who can’t get enough of the late 70s, early 80s metal aesthetic, before Slayer took metal to a dark place it has never really returned from, will lap up Lycanthro’s material like it is manna from Satan. James Delbridge’s vocals are powerful, bringing to mind Blind Guardian at their singalong peak, and you really can’t beat Judas Priest-like guitar riffs like those on “Conquest” and “Pale Rider”. But if your tastes fall anywhere in the last 35 years (as many of ours do), this might not be for you…
Written by Max Morin
*edited by Mike Milito