Canadian trad metalers Metalian are lifers in the truest sense. These dudes have been keeping the torch lit for old-school metal for nearly 20 years. So when it came time for the Quebec-based quartet to release their fifth album, Beyond the Wall, we figured we should not only stream said scorcher in its entirety, but give the musicians who crafted it—Ian Wilson (vocals/guitar), Simon Costa (guitar), Tony Cantara (drums), Andres Arango (bass)—a chance to give us the lowdown on each track.
Before we get to that, here’s what we know about Beyond the Wall (other than it’s a full-tilt trip back to the early ’80s). It was recorded and mixed by Ryan Battistuzzi in a mere three days during the pandemic at Le Stuzzio, Montreal. It’s set for release on October 24, via Quebec’s Temple of Mystery Records, on CD and vinyl and digitally. For Canada, USA and non-EU countries, you can preorder it here. Anyone in EU countries can order here.
Now, let’s get to the track-by-track commentary:
1. “March to the Death”
It’s the apocalypse. The human race marches on, forward into the wasteland.
“Simon had the opening riff five years ago; we didn’t really know what to do with it but it finally came together, and then it came in easy. It’s an epic with lots of changes and a nice ’70s groove!”
A rogue warrior ravages the land upon his metal stead.
“Simon’s riffing in this song is an up-beat anthemic ode to Kiss and Accept. This is the only song on the album with drum overdubs. Compared to our previous album, Vortex, this one has no other drum overdubs or extra percussion!”
3. “Fire on the Road”
Rubber melts on the outskirts as exiles race in a game of life of death.
“Fast, mean, with a shredded beefy riff, and a tornado of guitars!”
4. “Last Chance to Ride”
Motorcycling away from mushroom clouds as buildings crumble
“Simon was very influenced by Iron Maiden when writing this song, haha!”
5. “Solar Winds”
As a solar flare is thrown towards our planet with the strength to destroy all life on Earth as we know it, the planet sits unaware.
“Another song written by Simon, then arranged by the band.”
6. “Rise of the A.I.”
When an effort to increase productivity and efficiency backfires.
“The main riff in this song was written by Ian!”
7. “Beyond the Wall”
Ignorance breeds fear, paradise lies beyond the wall, but it’s not accessible to all.
“This is another song wholly written by Ian, and arranged by us all.”
8. “Behind the Lies”
Workers are taken advantage of, corrupted system designed to keep the rich, rich, and the poor, poor.
“This song features a cool riff written by Simon.”
9. “Cold Thunder”
Drone strikes provoking innocent bystanders to take up arms against an invisible enemy.
“Cold Thunder is a variety of Sativa that grows well (and big!) in cold climates like in Canada! The song was completely written by Ian, in one take, after lighting one up, haha!”
10. “Dark City”
Blood, urine, feces and drugs flow in the gutters of the dark city!
“Nobody in the band liked this song except for Tony and Ian, haha! But now everyone likes it.”