Canopy - During Day One (EP)
Death Metal Groove
4 songs (27:45)
Release year: 2004
Reviewed by Ken

What sort of impact would Dan Swanö have when only playing 58 seconds on a four song EP? I'm guessing that would all depend on how good the band is in the first place. What I do know is that if Dan Swanö takes even 58 seconds out of his day for another band there’s a good chance that whatever the style it will be of good quality.

Enter Sweden’s Canopy.

I first heard about this band through Swanö’s messageboard because he spent exactly 58 seconds recording an outro for Canopy’s “Symbiotic” from this, their first demo EP, During Day One. Intrigued, I sped on over to their website and gave the songs a good listen. I immediately bought both of their EPs. Yes, this is good music, and I am no big fan of death metal, I listen to very little of it. For a death metal band to catch my attention they have to be damn good, and trust me, when it comes to Canopy, it has nothing to do with Dan Swanö. They can clearly stand on their own.

During Day One closely resembles the style of another Swanö project, Edge Of Sanity. By that I mean that they’re simply not brutal death metal, I’d call them melodic death metal, but that tag has been taken already and even though Canopy are melodic, they’re not of the same ilk. What you have is mid-paced, heavy death metal-like tunes that groove and are layered with traditional death metal grunting—not as heavy as some, but not as “screamy” as typical melodic death metal. The argument can be made that they’re indeed melodic death metal, though, but it matters not.

The EP starts with “Common Walls,” a heavy groover with some excellent melancholic lead work played throughout the hook. The solos are excellent and very tasteful, the vocals are very heavy yet clear with good annunciation even though you won’t find it easy to understand what is being said. It’s just not that terrible, deep mumble-grumble that a lot of death metal bands seem to go for. “During Day One” is the second track and for me it’s the least memorable, it just kind of goes nowhere, and even though it has some nice moments throughout it fails to connect with me for more than brief periods of time. Things pick back up with “Symbiotic,” which is a fast, double-bass-laden scorcher with an excellent groove. The vocals are blood-curdling good. There’s a nice acoustic guitar passage in the mid-section giving this song a different look from the rest. As mentioned before, Dan Swanö recorded an outro for this song, which consists of a solo and a short, cleanly-sung verse over some acoustics. It was recorded separately—you can tell—and it only adds to the song, sort of tying things up with a nod to the acoustic mid-section. The EP ends with a bang with “Shades Of Truth,” the heaviest, most traditional death metal song on the album. I’m a bigger fan of the groovier tunes, but this is still a good song with some great shifts in structure and excellent solo work.

This EP was a nice little surprise for me; it’s not often that I enjoy this sort of death metal this much. I welcome anything that is this good. Still, don’t be fooled, there are flaws here, it’s not a masterpiece by any means. There are areas here that are a bit rough around the edges, things that I can safely say have already been fixed (explained in a future review), but this is still a quality debut. If you like bands like Edge Of Sanity and early Amorphis, definitely give Canopy a try.

AUDIO: Common Walls and Symbiotic

Note: In time these links will likely becoming outdated.

Killing Songs :
Common Walls, Symbiotic and Shades Of Truth
Ken quoted 70 / 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 - Will And Perception (EP) reviewed by Ken and quoted 95 / 100
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There are 14 replies to this review. Last one on Thu Feb 23, 2006 9:21 am
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