Warning Sign – Collateral Damage (Self-Released)

Thursday, 21st January 2021
Rating: 9.5/10

Many artists are using this downtime for COVID-19 to hunker down and become more productive with their recordings. A fruitful bounty of material pays dividends for Canada’s Warning Sign – who last year released a powerful second full-length with Path to Destruction. When submitting the latest EP Collateral Damage, vocalist/guitarist Maxim Beaulieu is quick to point out that ‘this is not b-side or filler songs – we just had so much material to pick from, these other songs felt best to come out on another release’. You’ll get to hear three new songs plus an extended, unedited version of “Path to Destruction” that showcase a veteran act adept at developing and executing a traditional, power platform sound with occasional thrash angles, well-rooted in many classic influences.

The guitar hooks, main riffing, as well as rhythm section mechanics that lock and load into the proper tempos and adding killer transitions or brighter dynamics to lift the energy make “Monster” and the follow-up “The Gauntlet” favorites. The former containing crunchy speed riffs, a pumping bass line, plus Maxim’s soaring, confident vocals that marry the range of Mike Howe with the personality and inflection of Andy B. Franck from Brainstorm, while the latter allows second guitarist Olivier Perrier-Maurel to add some flashy shred and finger pyrotechnics in spots as the gang background vocals aid the cause to this stomping anthem. Even on the longer opener “Baptism by Fire” at 6:07 Warning Sign inject plenty of versatility with the riff pacing, transitions and longer lead break section that includes killer tradeoffs/harmonies – Maxim again rearing back and infusing his emotional multi-octave pipes with the right passion, aggression, and attitude against the music that reminds this scribe of Jake E. Lee-era Ozzy Osbourne, Metal Church, and a bit of Primal Fear.

Warning Sign has all the skills, knowledge, abilities, and professionalism when it comes to the production, packaging, and performances to rival their mentors. An ideal band for those who love 1980’s/early 1990’s heavy/power metal from North American as well as European perspectives – and let’s hope that their work earns them higher profile accolades and success in the coming years.

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