Corsair – “Corsair” (Shadow Kingdom Records, 2013)

corsairTHIN LIZZY! MANILLA ROAD! SLOUGH FEG! LEGEND (the obscure USA heavy metal act)! These bands all engulf my thoughts as I listen to the self-titled debut from Pittsburgh’s CORSAIR, available as a re-release on the immaculate SHADOW KINGDOM RECORDS in January of next year.

Instrumental “Agathyrsi” opens the record with heavy groove and guitar noodling, sounding a bit modern in approach, leaving the listener to wonder what exactly they’re in for. However, the next song “Chamera” introduces us to a barrage of dual lead guitar riffage, that immediately brings to mind the great THIN LIZZY, with its upbeat, positive-vibes approach, and vocals that are like a poor man’s Phil Lynott. However, the comparisons stop there, as CORSAIR makes it crystal clear that with crystal logic, they intend to play metal the old way, while refusing to simply churn out an album of classic heavy metal covers. Stupidly put, this animal is a prog-dog.

Now, I wouldn’t say that their progressive tendencies bring to mind a band like PINK FLOYD or JETHRO TULL, as CORSAIR keeps things pretty metal through out. However, they instead bring to mind the heavy metal band LEGEND and their legendary (albeit obscure) album “From The Fjords.” Or perhaps the more progressive elements found on some MANILLA ROAD and SLOUGH FEG records.

It really just sounds like a bunch of metal heads, drinking beers, and jamming the fuck out (sometimes going off on jam-tangents, which is really what earns them that progressive-tag). If that sounds like a jolly, good time, then I’d say with total confidence that this record is up your alley, because that’s what stands out most about this debut: it sounds fun! I cannot think of the last metal record that I listened to that put me in a good mood. Let’s face it, metal tends to be a real downer sometimes, especially doom metal. This is the total opposite, and without ever resorting to sailing the seas of cheese (here’s looking at you thrash-revivalists!).

Seriously, 2013 isn’t even here yet, and I’d say this is already a contender for best album of 2013. It’s that damn good. But really when has SHADOW KINGDOM RECORDS released a dud? The label is so damn consistent it’s mind-boggling.

So grab an ice cold beer, crack it open, and head on over to SHADOW KINGDOM RECORD’s bandcamp page, where they are streaming CORSAIR’s album in its entirety. Then when January rolls around, get out your fucking check book, and buy this damn thing. You will not regret it.


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