Jonathan Smith

Echtra – Paragate

Echtra are among those bands that do not invite the exuberance or intensity of much extreme music, instead appealing to listeners’ more contemplative sensibilities. Paragate, of all the band’s output, is the most cohesive and single-minded work they’ve yet released.

Hauntingly Epic: Agalloch, Worm Ouroboros, and Musk Ox @ London Music Hall, March 25th, 2011

“The stage set-up slowly began to take shape and the smell of woodsy incense filled the air. As the cello notes of a recorded ‘They Have Escaped The Weight Of Darkness‘ floated through the venue, the shapes of the men behind Agalloch could be seen readying their instruments through a smoky haze lit by pale lighting.”

Jonathan Smith encounters Portland, Oregon’s Agalloch, who recently stopped in London, Ontario along with Worm Ouroboros and Musk Ox. Photo evidence from Adam Wills.

Windfaerer – Tribus

There’s hardly any filler to be found here, not even a short, throwaway instrumental track. Tribus was one of the latter great albums of 2010, one that I’m sorry to have missed until well into 2011.

Eastern Front – Blood on Snow

While it’s not clear how educational their first full-length record might be, musically it’s entertaining enough. Blood on Snow is mostly black metal with some death metal influences thrown in, just enough to distinguish themselves from the pack of BM artists that are circulating right now.


Since is a Canadian-owned and operated metal publication, we do things a little bit different than most. As 2010 quickly is coming to a close, we asked all of our contributors to pick their Top Canadian metal albums of the year. We then tabulated up their responses and have created our second annual Top 10 Canadian Metal Albums writers poll. Please enjoy.