Heathen of Influence


There’s no dressing up a Heathen of Influence, so you might as well grab your best denim vest and join the festivities when Flashback throws down the proverbial metal-studded gauntlet.

A long, Sabbathy, drag off a perilously short cigarette, the Calgary-based outfit’s third LP burns from tip to filter with an arsenal of hemispheric headnodders.

Raised in the den of the Steppenwolf, the single “Widow’s Breath” is a sonic saga infused with a lust for life and liberty that would have Fonda and Hopper delivering drive-by high-fives from beyond the grave. Epic guitar swells and pounding percussion set the four-man warship a-heave as vocalist/guitarist Aidan Demarais’s commanding growl gouges through a sea of sludge.

The evil rip-chord chug of “Darkened Plague” recalls an outboard motor that runs on petrol and Pabst. There’s just enough time for a fat booty boogie guitar solo before all of the oxygen has been sucked from the room.

Forging a new mythos out of melody and madness, Flashback hurls venomous lightning bolts, navigates warp-speed tempo shifts and revels in dense mercurial meltdowns. From the harshly acidic “The Atomic Fog,” to the hair-toss gong-crash of “Fortune’s Guild,” and the Satriani honeybucket “Fortune’s Guild,” this old school hard rock outfit is clearly happy to flex its ample talent before stretching out for inspection like some fuzzy-lensed centerfold.

Best Track: “Widow’s Breath”