Canopy - Will And Perception (EP)
Death Metal Groove
5 songs (27:41)
Release year: 2005
Reviewed by Ken

Sweden’s Canopy kicked down the door to the death metal world in grand fashion. Their debut demo EP, 2004’s During Day One, was stamped with a heavy-handed endorsement: Dan Swanö Approved! The mastermind producer and musician behind the heavy prog-rock/metal Nightingale and Swedish death metal stalwarts Edge Of Sanity (to name a few) recorded a guitar solo and a vocal outro for the song “Symbiotic.” Oftentimes a name can sell an album (Mike Patton), but even more often the music contained therein does not live up to the hype (Mike Patton). Luckily for Canopy, having Dan Swanö on a track only added to an already killer demo. There were some areas that needed work—mainly the flow of some songs sort of fell off here and there and just meandered about—but for a debut it was a step above the norm. In 2005 they released their second EP, Will And Perception, another killer slab of groovy, quasi-progressive death metal. The improvements are a hundredfold.

The album begins with “Decipher”, sixteen seconds of melancholic Katatonia-like guitar work is kicked in the teeth by a balls out, breakneck groover with plenty of double-bass, some great melodic lead work, vicious and acidic vocals, and—dare I say?—a catchy chorus. It’s immediately evident, as the song digs in, that the band has perfectly tapped yet another solid vein, a delicate balance of brutality and beauty. “Perception” is up next, it’s a short song clocking in at just over two minutes, but it’s more of a set up song that features some eerie, heavy and melodic guitar work and some deep, yet clear, vocals that are very reminiscent of Mikael Åkerfeldt of Opeth, the grandmasters of progressive death metal. That death metal groove returns on “For The Sickened Voice To Hear” accompanied by some more traditional death metal speed. The song is punctuated by another great chorus, an excellent breakdown and some prodigious solo work. “Void” begins with another mellow intro and kicks in with some mid-paced riffing that reminds me of the main riff in Metallica’s “Orion.” The comparison to Metallica is quickly sidestepped and the song takes on a similar form of the previous songs; a killer, groovy death metal tune with melodic leads and gut-wrenching vocals.

The epic of Canopy’s career so far comes in the form of the final track, the 10-minute plus “Will.” It begins with some hurried acoustic strumming and soft drums, a short time later the song kicks in with a seethingly heavy riff that reminds me of Machine Head’s “A Thousand Lies”. Again, that comparison is brief as the song quickly turns into a mid- to fast-paced, double-bass-laden death metal masterpiece with some stunning solos, adroit bass work, a vitriolic vocal assault, melodic interludes interspersed throughout and even some piano work! A masterpiece, indeed.

Canopy have not only followed up an excellent debut, but they’ve improved immeasurably. From the production to the music to the songs, everything is virtually flawless. 2006 will see the release of the band’s first full-length, Serene Catharsis, and if history proves anything the album will be staggering display of death metal.

Simply put, Will And Perception is a masterstroke of death metal brilliance.

AUDIO: Decipher, Perception and Will

VIDEO: For The Sickened Voice To Hear

Note: In time these links will likely becoming outdated.

Killing Songs :
Ken quoted 95 / 100
Other albums by Canopy that we have reviewed:
Canopy - Menhir reviewed by Goat and quoted 90 / 100
Canopy - Will And Perception reviewed by Goat and quoted no quote
Canopy - Serene Catharsis reviewed by Kayla and quoted 91 / 100
Canopy - During Day One (EP) reviewed by Ken and quoted 70 / 100
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