Chevalier-A Call to Arms
It's well known that I am a huge fan of female-fronted rock and heavy metal bands. If you are a loyal follower of Heavy Metal Time Machine then you can attest to this fact. For our new readers and/or fans of this up-and-coming band from Finland there is one word that I should probably add to the proclamation. The word in question is "good". In a overcrowded scene where even female-fronted heavy metal bands are a dime a dozen, Chevalier sticks out from the rest because of it's high-level of talent and skill. Obviously it is not enough to simply have a beautiful woman standing in front of a microphone. You need someone who can actually sing. Extra points are awarded if you can find a lead vocalist with class, style, and substance. When it comes to this (epic metal-inspired!) heavy/speed metal band from Helsinki that would be Emma Grönqvist. Emma has a great voice that is full of power and when she hits some of those high notes then it is lights out and game over! She leads a talented group of musicians that just so happens to include bassist Sebastian Bergman from the band Steel Machine. In addition to Emma Grönqvist, Sebastian Berman, and drummer Joel, Finland's Chevalier features two members with ties to the blackened thrash metal band Demon's Gate. Those two gentlemen are Mikko Ylijoki (lead guitar) and Tommi (lead guitar and backing vocals).
Even though Chevalier is a fairly new name to cross paths with, having just formed last year and all of that jazz, "A Call to Arms" is a great deal more mature than one might expect from such a young outfit! Chevalier self-describes themselves as "Medieval speed metal from Finland" and their influences include Judas Priest, Brocas Helm, Omen, Mercyful Fate, ADX, Running Wild, and Legionnaire. That little bit of information comes in handy when we are talking about Chevalier's studio debut. With the exception of it's rough production job, "A Call to Arms" is a bold new look at epic heavy metal and traditional speed. This six-track EP is the end result of young and hungry band that grew up on a steady diet of traditional heavy metal, vintage speed metal, N.W.O.B.H.M., eighties power metal, and epic metal. Even though I usually fail badly at them, Chevalier's diet is something I can stand behind and fully support! At the end of the day there is some much to appreciate about this new band and a EP like "A Call to Arms". As righteous as this six-pack of true metal is, one can only imagine what would happen if you were to give Emma Grönqvist and crew a proper budget and top-notch producer...