20 Canadian New Wave Traditional Heavy Metal Bands

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Put on your Canadian tuxedo, pop a can of Lucky beer and get ready to rock like it’s 1982. When it comes to retro bands playing speed metal and traditional British-influenced heavy metal, Canada played a pioneering role in -keeping the spirit alive. Perhaps because the style is more accessible than most, Canadian bands playing the NWOTHM style have had more success than most, with some of the bands featured here playing headlining tours with acts legendary or their own tours in the UK and beyond do. Even if you previously ignored some of these bands, it’s never too late to get into them now, as this music is as timeless as the bands that inspired it.

city ​​of riots

Since their inception in 2011, Calgary’s Riot City have set the NWOTHM world on fire with albums in the 10/10 range, whether they sound in 1984 or 2024. burning the night was released in 2019 and made waves across the pond, leading to Riot City touring the UK. In October 2022 the band released their second work, Electric elite, her first full-length album with singer Jordan Jacobs. What was accomplished on their debut has been pushed ten times over on this release and is the best album of the year. Keep an eye out for another UK tour with Seven Sisters coming in 2023.

skull fist

Skull Fist led the pack of Canadian bands NWOTHM after they formed in 2006 and released a demo that would become the band’s (and tattoo’s) theme. No fake metal. As of 2022, the band has now released four full-length albums, their latest Paid in full. In 2023 the band will go on tour in Latin America and ensure that the way of the fist eventually becomes known throughout the world.


The latest Calgary band to shock the city’s rock scene is the 80’s inspired Lÿnx. The band has released two EPs and is currently preparing their first full-length album. Claw out. Upon exiting, expect to walk into a Lÿnx show and remember the time I saw Guns N’ Roses in a small club in the late 80’s.


Tight jeans, shabby mustaches and even shabby rock n’ roll. Toronto, Ontario native Deadwolff embodies the look, sound and attitude of the 80s. Formed just two years ago, the band released a self-titled EP and recently toured Canada with friends Rebel Priest . This October, they embarked on a tour with The Casualties, spreading Wolff’s gospel to the punk crowd in Canada.


A rebellious priest

Rebel Priest has been described as Motorhead meets Motley Crue. The band plays hard and sleazy while getting to the heart of the themes of their songs, ticking thematic boxes in terms of wild neon nights. “Lesson in Love” and “Dive Bomber” are standout tracks found on it a lesson in love EP though I was happy to finally hear a song about my many crushes on “Coat Check Girl”.


Striker is another band name shared by about a dozen other bands (including another Canadian band formerly called Stryker), but for today we will focus on this heavy/power metal band based in Edmonton. Formed in 2007, the band has been extremely consistent in both touring and release releases, keeping their name in Canadian metal talk year after year. During Play to win was their last LP released in 2018, the band was still busy with the new single “Strange Love” which will be released in 2022.

It thundered

The sound of a motorbike revving up before Thunderor burst into action on ‘Fire It Up’ off the eponymous album should give you a hint of what’s in store. The riffs build to a boiling point and then drummer JJ Tartaglia opens his mouth – are those angels I hear? There was no indication that this was coming. Made up of members from Skull Fist, Autumn Myst and Entropy, the Toronto-based band balances the heavier and melodic aspects of speed metal, making it a must-read for fans of the genre.


Hrom is Slovak and Czech for thunder, and this band from Calgary definitely brings it. Formed in 2008, Hrom were ahead of the curve with the NWOTHM revival, establishing themselves in the local deathgrind and punk scene before releasing their debut album, Blesk, in 2009. The band then toured and went epic, releasing a two-part album series. with Legends of the Strong Heart. Both take you to the past and find you there.


Hailing from Halifax, Nova ScotiaTurbo are your East Coast darlings who recently released their debut album, Fast as Fvck. Like Riot City, the band has a penchant for cyborg beasts on their album covers, with Turbo’s record showing a scissor-wielding raptor with a mech leg and tail hurling itself into the sky. Judas Priests turboit is not, as the band grows somber and growling throughout the album’s seven tracks.

A traveler

Another Calgary based band bringing back the Canadian tuxedo in style is Traveler. Formed in 2017 and with two albums already under their belt, the band has been flexing their coversong muscles recently, contributing “The Prince” to the Diamond Head tribute album we are bad Like Riot City and Turbo, Traveler also have an animal mascot on their album cover – this time it’s a beast with heavy tentacles.


Toronto based Diemonds are a hard rock band featuring the naturally charismatic Priya Panda. After signing a deal with Napalm Records, their second album you never want to die was produced by Eric Ratz (Billy Talent, Cancer Bats) and supported the band Steel Panther on their 2016 Canadian tour. Musically they have some similarities to Halestorm, although their aesthetic and attitude are very much on the Sunset Strip.


Former Skull Fist members Emily Anne and Sir Shred joined singer Dirty D Kerr (Lockhart) in 2011 to form Axxion. The Toronto band has a galloping, Iron Maiden-esque vibe. Instead of riding a horse, however, the band lend themselves to the neon night rides hinted at on their album cover. Back in time Album.

About Raptor

Quebec’s Ültra Raptors take the animal motifs seen in other bands on the scene and make a prehistoric animal their name. Well, they couldn’t have chosen a better dinosaur to represent the band because Ültra Raptors are cunning, fast and deadly. These clever girls released their full length, tyrants in 2021. The dinosaur-eating sacrifices on a Mayan temple on the cover should be proof enough that this one will rock, but just listen to “Missile (Metal Warrior)” to remove the doubt.

midnight malice

Babes, beers, fights and debauchery are what Midnight Malice sings about, and really, who needs anything else in life? The Toronto-based band formed in 2010 and has split and traded members with Skull Fist. proof is their debut album from 2014, which includes some impressive tracks like “In the Dead of Night” and “Pray for Death”. We pray for another release of these baby-loving thugs.

Cobra and the lotus

Kobra and the Lotus, fronted by the one and only Kobra Paige, started in 2008 and are a two-time Juno Award nominated band (Canada’s version of the Grammy Awards) who have shared the stage with the likes of Kiss, Def Leppard, Disturbed. , and Sebastian Bach , while playing at festivals such as Wacken, Hellfest and Download. A list like this probably won’t make KATL in the long run since they’ve already hit that high water mark, but if you haven’t checked them out and you have heavy riffs and soaring female vocals, check them out.


Peterborough, Ontario based MokoMokoi have been around since 2011 with their only full-length album sun bank will be released in 2018. The band is a little hard to categorize at times – their instrumentals are heavier, sounding like doom and stoner bands on songs like “Poison Whiptail,” although John Ellis’ vocal style is undeniably in the traditional realm of heavy metal However, if they speed up, they stand firm with the rest of the family. Check out Heavy Metal Sky and join yourself.

a cauldron

Throbbing, melodic, sexy and hypnotic. Cauldron takes those sensual mid-tempo rhythm parts that made your mother sweat in the 80s and brings them into the modern age. So, with five albums released since bursting onto the scene in 2006, Cauldron has made sure moms-to-be across Canada have something to wear when things get a little sleazy. Honestly, though, Cauldron brings something missing from the scene – a focus on vibe and groove rather than speed or high vocals. Someone put them on the next one Nightmare on Elm Street Soundtrack.


Formed in 2003, Metalian are one of the early bands dedicated to creating traditional heavy metal in Canada (and long before it was “in” again). Metalian deserves all the praise for this. Since their inception, they have released four full-length albums, including 2022 Behind the wall to be the newest. The wall-divided utopia/dystopia on the cover is an intriguing sci-fi concept, with songs like “Rise of the AI” and “Beyond the Wall” fleshing out that theme.


ArkenFire from Kelowna, British Columbia are five denim clad men who play a lovable, simpler style of traditional heavy metal with a cosmic twist. “The snake got angry. He promised to send us back. For a darker age from which we will not return,” sings singer Jacob LeBlanc on her track Leviathan. If you want to mix a bit more fantasy into your heavy metal, ArkenFire has you covered with songs like “Blood of Gaia” and “Cosmic Sorceress”.


For metal to metal. This is the title of Ammo’s first single from 2016, but looking at the promo photos of these guys I don’t doubt it’s true. The Toronto based band has been playing purified heavy metal since 2014 with their 2019 EP ascends the throne being a mashup of the best aspects of Iron Maiden and Dio.


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