Canadian heavy metal

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Voivod at the 2009 Masters of Rock festival in Vizovice. VOIVOD.png
Voivod at the 2009 Masters of Rock festival in Vizovice.

Canadian heavy metal music has a long history. Going back to the late 1960s, Canada has produced metal bands that have and continue to influence metal bands to this day.[ citation needed ] In 1964, Toronto-based band The Sparrows was formed. This band later changed their name to Steppenwolf and featured Canadians John Kay, Goldy McJohn and Jerry Edmonton. Steppenwolf's 1968 single "Born to be Wild" was the first use of the words 'heavy metal' in a song's lyric. In 1970, Woodstock, Ontario based Warpig released their metal music debut, which, although never reaching mainstream success like fellow heavy metal bands Black Sabbath and Blue Cheer, has become a cult favourite within the Doom metal scene.[ citation needed ]

The Sparrows, also known as Jack London and the Sparrows from 1964 to 1965, was a Canadian blues rock band that existed in the 1960s. Notable for being the first group to break out musician John Kay into the mainstream, The Sparrows later morphed into the popular heavy rock group Steppenwolf.

Steppenwolf (band) Canadian-American rock group

Steppenwolf is a Canadian-American rock band, prominent from 1968 to 1972. The group was formed in late 1967 in Los Angeles by lead singer John Kay, keyboardist Goldy McJohn, and drummer Jerry Edmonton. Guitarist Michael Monarch and bass guitarist Rushton Moreve were recruited by notices placed in Los Angeles-area record and musical instrument stores.


Some of Canada's most successful metal bands opted to change their style from the early 1980s roots metal sound to the growing glam metal style that became mainstream in the late 1980s. [ citation needed ] Bands like Helix, Kick Axe, Brighton Rock, Killer Dwarfs, Annihilator, and Slik Toxik saw growing popularity in the mid 1980s thanks in part to Much Music and MTV playing their videos in regular rotation. [ citation needed ]

Glam metal is a subgenre of heavy metal, which features pop-influenced hooks and guitar riffs, and borrows from the fashion of 1970s glam rock.

Helix (band) hard rock band

Helix is a Canadian hard rock and heavy metal band. They formed in 1974, and are best known for their 1984 single "Rock You". The original lineup was formed by drummer Bruce Arnold, and consisted of lead vocalist Brian Vollmer, guitarists Ron Watson and Rick "Minstrel" Trembley, keyboardist Don Simmons, and bassist Keith "Bert" Zurbrigg. However, their most well known lineup, and the one that recorded "Rock You", was the 1980s version of the band: Vollmer on vocals, accompanied by guitarists Brent "The Doctor" Doerner and Paul Hackman, bassist Daryl Gray, and drummer Greg "Fritz" Hinz. The history of the band has been marked by many lineup changes, with Vollmer being the sole constant member and only remaining member of the original lineup. Although Hackman was killed in a tour bus accident in 1992, the surviving members of the 1980s lineup reunited in 2009 for an album and have continued to tour since 2011. Watson died in 2019.

Kick Axe is a Canadian heavy metal band from Regina, Saskatchewan. Influenced by rambunctious arena rock from the 70s and early 80s, the group is perhaps best known for their 1984 album Vices, praised by publications such as Allmusic for its "down-and-dirty guitar riffs" and notably managing to crack the American market. The band achieved moderate commercial success in the mid-1980s on the strength of the singles "Heavy Metal Shuffle", "On the Road to Rock", "With a Little Help from My Friends" and "Rock The World". Following the release of their 1986 album Rock the World, Kick Axe disbanded and remained on hiatus for many years. In 2004, they re-emerged with the album Kick Axe IV.

Canada's death metal scene has produced artists most of whom are based out of Quebec. Bands like Kataklysm, Cryptopsy, Quo Vadis, Gorguts, Augury, Voivod, Martyr, and Neuraxis have a strong underground following and are signed to major independent metal labels. In the 2000s, Canadian extreme metal has been put on the map by Vancouver band Strapping Young Lad (featuring Devin Townsend), 3 Inches of Blood, Ottawa grindcore quartet Fuck The Facts, Regina band Into Eternity, and progressive metal band Protest the Hero. James Labrie lead singer of Dream Theater is Canadian born.[ citation needed ] Some notable black metal bands have come from Ontario, including Woods of Ypres, Wolven Ancestry, Zogroth and Eclipse Eternal. The cult black/death metal band Blasphemy, formed in 1984 in British Columbia, are still touring despite not having released a studio album since 1993. Canada has a very strong underground metal scene in cities such as Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Montreal, Winnipeg, and Quebec City. In the early 1980s, Vancouver gained itself the reputation of being called the "Metal Central of Canada". However, this title has more recently been associated with Toronto, mostly because of an international interest in the burgeoning traditional heavy metal scene that began erupting in the late 2000's.

Death metal is an extreme subgenre of heavy metal music. It typically employs heavily distorted and low-tuned guitars, played with techniques such as palm muting and tremolo picking, deep growling vocals, aggressive, powerful drumming featuring double kick and blast beat techniques, minor keys or atonality, abrupt tempo, key, and time signature changes, and chromatic chord progressions. The lyrical themes of death metal may invoke slasher film-stylized violence, religion, occultism, Lovecraftian horror, nature, mysticism, mythology, philosophy, science fiction, and politics, and they may describe extreme acts, including mutilation, dissection, torture, rape, cannibalism, and necrophilia.

Quebec Province of Canada

Quebec is one of the thirteen provinces and territories of Canada. It is bordered to the west by the province of Ontario and the bodies of water James Bay and Hudson Bay; to the north by Hudson Strait and Ungava Bay; to the east by the Gulf of Saint Lawrence and the province of Newfoundland and Labrador; and to the south by the province of New Brunswick and the U.S. states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York. It also shares maritime borders with Nunavut, Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia. Quebec is Canada's largest province by area and its second-largest administrative division; only the territory of Nunavut is larger. It is historically and politically considered to be part of Central Canada.

Kataklysm is a Canadian death metal band. They have released thirteen studio albums, one EP and two DVDs as of 2018. Kataklysm won their first Juno Award for best album of the year in the "heavy metal" category for their 2015 album Of Ghosts & Gods.The band's albums have charted throughout the world, including the Billboard Top 100 in the United States.




Anvil at the 2010 Independent Spirit Awards. Anvil backstage at the 2010 Independent Spirit Awards.jpg
Anvil at the 2010 Independent Spirit Awards.

Anvil are a Canadian heavy metal band from Toronto, Ontario, formed in 1978. The band has released fifteen studio albums, and has been cited as having influenced many notable heavy metal groups, including Megadeth, Slayer, Anthrax and Metallica. [1] The band was the subject of the 2008 documentary film, Anvil! The Story of Anvil . Upon its release, the film garnered critical acclaim from many major publications, and has since brought the band renewed recognition, including opening slots with AC/DC and Saxon. Helix is a Canadian hard rock/heavy metal band. They formed in 1974, and are best known for their 1984 single "Rock You." Helix have toured with bands such as Kiss, Aerosmith, Rush, Mötley Crüe, Alice Cooper, Whitesnake, Night Ranger, Heart, Quiet Riot, W.A.S.P., Ian Gillan, and Motörhead among others. Their most recent studio album is 2009's Vagabond Bones .

Anvil (band) Canadian heavy metal band from Toronto, Ontario, formed in 1978

Anvil are a Canadian heavy metal band from Toronto, Ontario, formed in 1978. The band consists of Steve "Lips" Kudlow, Robb Reiner (drums) and Chris Robertson (bass). As of early 2019, the band has released seventeen studio albums, and has been cited as having influenced many notable heavy metal groups, including Megadeth, Slayer, Anthrax and Metallica.

Toronto Provincial capital city in Ontario, Canada

Toronto is the provincial capital of Ontario and the most populous city in Canada, with a population of 2,731,571 in 2016. Current to 2016, the Toronto census metropolitan area (CMA), of which the majority is within the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), held a population of 5,928,040, making it Canada's most populous CMA. Toronto is the anchor of an urban agglomeration, known as the Golden Horseshoe in Southern Ontario, located on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario. A global city, Toronto is a centre of business, finance, arts, and culture, and is recognized as one of the most multicultural and cosmopolitan cities in the world.

Ontario Province of Canada

Ontario is one of the 13 provinces and territories of Canada and is located in east-central Canada. It is Canada's most populous province accounting for 38.3 percent of the country's population, and is the second-largest province in total area. Ontario is fourth-largest jurisdiction in total area when the territories of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut are included. It is home to the nation's capital city, Ottawa, and the nation's most populous city, Toronto, which is also Ontario's provincial capital.

Kick Axe is a Canadian heavy metal band from Regina, Saskatchewan. The band achieved moderate commercial success in the mid-1980s on the strength of the singles "Heavy Metal Shuffle", "On the Road to Rock", and "Rock The World". Following the release of their 1986 album Rock the World , Kick Axe disbanded and remained on hiatus until 2004 when they re-emerged with the album Kick Axe IV .

Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the United Kingdom. With roots in blues rock, psychedelic rock, and acid rock, the bands that created heavy metal developed a thick, massive sound, characterized by highly amplified distortion, extended guitar solos, emphatic beats, and overall loudness. The genre's lyrics and performance styles are sometimes associated with aggression and machismo.

Regina, Saskatchewan Provincial capital city in Saskatchewan, Canada

Regina is the capital city of the Canadian province of Saskatchewan. The city is the second-largest in the province, after Saskatoon, and a cultural and commercial centre for southern Saskatchewan. It is governed by Regina City Council. The city is surrounded by the Rural Municipality of Sherwood No. 159.

<i>Rock the World</i> (Kick Axe album) 1986 studio album by Kick Axe

Rock the World is the third studio album by Canadian rock band Kick Axe. The album was released in 1986.

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Speed metal is an extreme subgenre of heavy metal music that originated in the late 1970s from new wave of British heavy metal (NWOBHM) roots. It is described by AllMusic as "extremely fast, abrasive, and technically demanding" music.

<i>Blue Öyster Cult</i> (album) 1972 studio album by Blue Öyster Cult

Blue Öyster Cult is the eponymous debut studio album by the American hard rock band Blue Öyster Cult, released on January 16, 1972 by Columbia Records. The album featured songs such as "Cities on Flame with Rock and Roll", "Stairway to the Stars", and "Then Came the Last Days of May", all of which the band still plays regularly during its concerts. Despite positive reviews, the album failed to chart for some time before finally cracking the Billboard 200 chart on May 20, 1972, peaking at No. 172. Blue Öyster Cult toured with artists such as The Byrds, Alice Cooper and the Mahavishnu Orchestra to support the album.

Rock music of Canada is a wide and diverse part of the general music of Canada, beginning with American and British style rock and roll in the mid-20th century. Since then Canada has had a considerable impact on the development of the modern popular music called rock. Canada has produced many of the genre's most significant groups and performers, while contributing substantively to the development of the most popular subgenres, which include pop rock, progressive rock, country rock, folk rock, hard rock, punk rock, heavy metal and indie rock.

Sean Kelly is a Canadian musician living in Toronto, currently playing guitar with Nelly Furtado and Lee Aaron. He founded the Toronto-based glam rock band Crash Kelly, and is the band's lead singer and guitarist. Kelly was a member of Canadian rock band Helix, playing bass guitar. He stayed with them for most of 2009 at which time joined Furtado's band on guitar. He is also guitarist for the Toronto rock group 69 Duster, which he co-founded with the ex-singer for Images in Vogue, Dale Martindale. He has done session guitar work for other bands as well, including Neil Leyton's 2003 album, Midnight Sun, and was a member of Jeff Pearce's band Rye. Kelly has also collaborated with Gilby Clarke, Rough Trade, Rudy Sarzo, Coney Hatch, and Canadian Brass.

Brighton Rock are a Canadian hard rock band who released three albums in their home country during the 1980s and 1990s. They broke up in 1991 before reuniting and releasing a live album in 2002.

<i>Long Way to Heaven</i> 1985 studio album by Helix

Long Way to Heaven is the fifth studio album by the Canadian heavy metal band Helix. This album was their third for Capitol Records, and there were bigger expectations from the band after the success of the previous Walkin' the Razor's Edge. The first single was "Deep Cuts the Knife", cowritten by Paul Hackman and Bob Halligan, Jr. The song received heavy airplay in the U.S., gaining "double breaker" status, and in Canada was added to heavy video play on MuchMusic. Q107 in Toronto had the song riding at #1 for several weeks on their "Top Ten at Ten". Their first tour to kick off the album was in Sweden where they became the first Canadian rock band ever to tour that country extensively. For this they achieved their first #1 album in that country.

Starchild (band) Canadian rock band

Starchild was a Canadian progressive rock band that released an LP record called Children of the Stars on the Toronto based Axe Records label in 1978, followed by a single “No Control for Rock-n-Roll” " a few years later. Both records are quite rare and collectible.

<i>Plugged in Permanent</i> 1996 studio album by Anvil

Plugged in Permanent is the seventh studio album by Canadian heavy metal band Anvil, released in 1996. The new official bass player was Glenn Gyorffy but studio bass tracks are credited to Mike Duncan, in his first and only release, replacing Ian Dickson.

<i>Absolutely No Alternative</i> 1997 studio album by Anvil

Absolutely No Alternative is the eighth studio album by Canadian heavy metal band Anvil, released in 1997.

Canadian music genres

Canadian music genres identifies musical sounds as belonging to a particular category and type of music that can be distinguished from other types of music made by Canadians. The music of Canada has reflected the multi-cultural influences that have shaped the country. First Nations people, the French, the British, the Americans and many others nationalities have all made unique contributions to the musical genres of Canada. During the swing boom of the late 1930s and early 1940s, Canada produced such notable bandleaders as Ellis McLintock, Bert Niosi, Jimmy Davidson, and Mart Kenney. In the 1940s, Bert Niosi and Oscar Peterson became widely known. Canada has also produced a number of respected classical music ensembles, including the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Canadian rock describes a wide and diverse variety of music produced by Canadians, with the most notable Canadian rock band being Rush, who currently place fifth behind The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, KISS and Aerosmith for the most consecutive gold and platinum albums by a rock band. The Canadian hip hop scene was first established in the 1980s. Some of the most well known Canadian rappers and hip-hop artists include Drake and Maestro Fresh-Wes.

The Power of Rock and Roll is a CD released by heavy metal band Helix in 2007. It is Helix' 10th full-length studio album and 19th album released overall. It compiled all 7 tracks from their previous independent release, the EP Get Up! and four new songs. It was released by EMI on July 21, 2007 in Canada, August 20, 2007 in the UK, and September 4, 2007 in the United States. The title track was chosen as the theme song for the 2007 Sweden Rock Festival.

Get Up! is a CD released by heavy metal band Helix in 2006. It was Helix' first official EP, and their 18th official release. It was released independently by Brian Vollmer's Dirty Dog Records. All 7 tracks would be re-released internationally on the 2007 full-length album The Power of Rock and Roll.

Brian Vollmer is the lead singer and only remaining original member of Canadian hard rock group Helix. Since the band's inception in 1974, Vollmer had gone from lead singer to de facto leader of the band, weathering numerous lineup changes. Vollmer was born in Listowel, Ontario before relocating to Kitchener. He currently resides in London, Ontario with his wife, Lynda.

<i>Speed of Sound</i> (Anvil album) 1999 studio album by Anvil

Speed of Sound is the ninth studio album by Canadian heavy metal band Anvil, released in 1999.

Canadian hardcore punk

Canadian hardcore punk originated in the early 1980s. It was harder, faster, and heavier than the Canadian punk rock that preceded it. Hardcore punk is a punk rock music genre and subculture that originated in the late 1970s. The origin of the term "hardcore punk" is uncertain. The Vancouver-based band D.O.A. may have helped to popularize the term with the title of their 1981 album, Hardcore '81. Hardcore historian Steven Blush said that the term "hardcore" is also a reference to the sense of being "fed up" with the existing punk and new wave music. Blush also states that the term refers to "an extreme: the absolute most Punk." One definition of the genre is "a form of exceptionally harsh punk rock."

Paul Wayne Hackman was a Canadian guitarist who performed with the rock band Helix from 1976 until his death in a road accident. Among the hits which contain his playing are the #32 Canadian single "Rock You" and the #20 mainstream Canadian rock single "Deep Cuts the Knife", which he co-wrote with Bob Halligan Jr..

Sacrifice (band) Canadian thrash metal band

Sacrifice is a Canadian thrash metal band from Toronto, Ontario. The band was formed by guitarists Rob Urbinati and Joe Rico in 1983. Sacrifice played a prominent role in the 1980s underground metal scene in Toronto, and along with Voivod, Razor and Annihilator, they are considered one of the "Big 4" of Canadian thrash metal. The band released four studio albums before parting ways in 1993. After coming back together to play a reunion concert in 2006, they released their fifth studio album The Ones I Condemn on Brazilian label Marquee Records in 2009. Although the band faced numerous lineup changes, especially in their early days, founding guitarists Urbinati, Rico and bassist Scott Watts recorded every studio album and demo and drummer Gus Pynn on everything but the Apocalypse Inside demo and CD.


  1. Rodman, Sarah (April 12, 2009). "Metal band Anvil lives!". The Boston Globe . Archived from the original on 15 April 2009. Retrieved 2 May 2009.