Antioch – VI – Molten Rainbow (Iron Shield Records)

Friday, 14th July 2023
Rating: 7.5 / 10

Classic heavy metal is alive and kicking thanks in part to active scenes within parts of the world like Canada where older (and newer) musicians profess their love for the genre, spreading their craft on record and stages domestically and abroad. Previously under this scribe’s listening radar for 2021’s V EP, the follow-up VI – Molten Rainbow is a nine-song platter that continues an energetic blend of traditional riffs, savage vocals, plus heavy tempos that flies firmly in the camp that the trio will not compromise to achieve purity in the conquest for the cause.

Performing double duty at bass/guitars, Jordan Rhyno layers his riffs plus bottom end support with this gallop-oriented meets steel nature – where obvious reference points to older mainstays like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, or Manowar will be top of mind when taking in the main musical hooks/runs to “Lucifer in Chains” as well as the intricate portions of the title track. Quieter, thoughtful passages appear in a longer cut such as “Imps in the Coal”, the arrangement progressing from a ballad-oriented state the front half only to switch gears into a more mid-tempo, power / progressive-like movement for the longer instrumental sequence where tons of shredding frenzied notes set the aural landscape ablaze. Laser-oriented effects add some 80’s-like video game intrigue to “Hold My Heart”, where Nicholas Allaire uses more of a low range, Alice Cooper-ish raspy voice during the verses/chorus to add more spine-tingling atmosphere that matches the musical theme seamlessly. Nicholas continues to be a polarizing figure in terms of his voice/melodies – you’ll know right away in the elevated screams of opener “Defiler” if you’ll be able to handle his 3 Inches of Blood/ King Diamond-esque off kilter falsetto when he chooses to execute it, or just step out of the mix as it’s a love it or leave it proposition.

In the end, Antioch is well within their means to keep the spirit, energy, and raw power of classic heavy metal alive through VI – Molten Rainbow. It gets the job done adequately with a few highlights but won’t exactly win originality points for most.

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