Metal On Ice

CD subtitle: Tunes From Canada’s Hard Rock And Heavy Metal Heroes


Oh man, this is a fantastic CD.

This is the best $5 I’ve spent on spec in ages. Bar none.

Mike was recently ranting about Wal-Mart, and that’s where I found this CD, in the bin for $5. When I got it home, I texted Mike pics of the disc, and told him about it (I even emailed a teaser track so he could try it out). His interest was definitely piqued, so I went back and got him a copy and stuck it in the mail to him. His far more insightful review of this disc will likely appear on his excellent website at some point.

Metal On Ice is a book Sean Kelly wrote about Canadian metal musicians hoping to get a record deal, and make it big in America. Now, Sean Kelly was not a name that meant a whole lot to me without Wikipedia, and I never owned anything by Crash Kelly (or many of the other bands with which he’s been involved). But I do know Helix, and he was a bassist for them. He’s all over this disc, as guitarist on all tracks and as producer (along with Aaron Murray).

So, let’s get to the tunes on this EP:

Heavy Metal Love (f. Brian Vollmer) is the big, roomy rocker with which Helix rocked us in the 80s. Most excitingly, Mr. Vollmer still has it. He owns this song. What a blast!

Metal Queen (f. Lee Aaron) makes the disc worth three times the price all by itself. This classic Aaron track absolutely smokes. The riff is huge, and Aaron’s vocals are absolutely killer. This is a highlight track. Everything about it… just WOW.

On The Road To Rock (f. Nick Walsh) is a fun one, for me. See, I love Kick Axe, and here we have Walsh (of Slik Toxik) jamming out on this excellent cover of the Kick Axe tune. It rocks as hard as the original, sounds massive, and everyone just nails it.

Hey Operator (f. Carl Dixon) is a pure rocker from Coney Hatch in the vein of Reckless-era Bryan Adams (with a touch more edge to it, if that makes sense). And that’s no criticism, it’s an indicator that this is a well-crafted rock track. And Dixon (of Guess Who, April Wine and Coney Hatch) completely commands his vocals. This is rock solid rawk.

Don’t It Make Ya Feel (f. Darby Mills) showcases the Mills’ soaring vocals on this Headpins’ classic. It’s a bit like a lost Honeymoon Suite track (to me), but Mills ensures it’s not so obvious. Whatever, this is a really heavy, fun rocker that perfectly dovetails with the metal feel of the rest of the album.

Keep The Spirit Alive (f. Russ Dwarf) is the classic KiLLeR DWaRFs song. To me, it sounds like one of those ultimate inspirational 80s metal rock songs that used to appear on movie soundtracks. You know the ones I mean. It’s a big rawk song all on its own, too, nestled comfortably into a CD full of them. Very, very well done.

Metal On Ice [bonus track] (f. Brian Vollmer, Lee Aaron, Nick Walsh, Carl Dixon and Darby Mills) ought to feel top heavy, featuring (as it does) all of the guest singers from the project. However, in typically stellar fashion, they all contribute seamlessly. The song itself is a perfect track for the end credits of the movie they ought to make of all this (ya hear me, folks?), a big showcase rocker that totally satisfies.

In sum?

This CD completely rocks. Seriously, the first time I played it, I spun it again straight away just because I wanted more. And that leads me to my only complaint with the disc: it’s too damn short. Maybe I’m greedy? Probably. But 7 tracks feels like we’re only getting started on this. At minimum there oughta be 3 more tracks (10 total). At best, I’d say 5 more (12). But ideally? 7 more (14)! Hell, just keep going… call everyone from that era and let everybody who wants to participate have a track. Make it a double CD!

This is so well done, and it sounds so good. I cannot recommend it enough. Kudos to all involved.

Both metal horns emphatically raised high.

\m/  \m/

6 thoughts on “Metal On Ice

  1. Deke says:

    Ahem……and we do have a Thunder Bay name drop on Metal On Ice….
    This is fantastic and the book kicks ass……


  2. mikeladano says:

    THANKS for this CD!

    Everything in this review = seconded.

    My fave song is Keep The Spirit Alive. One thing I will stress is that Sean Kelly’s solos on every song are awesome. The guy’s a master and he brings each song to a new level. (Yes he played bass in Helix but that was just for 3 months while they needed somebody. He’s a guitar player in his day job with Four By Fate.)


    1. keepsmealive says:

      YOU ARE SO WELCOME for this CD! 😉

      If you’ve seconded it, I’ll third-ed it! Um…

      You’re absolutely right, I focussed so much on the guest singers and only spoke generally about the actually playing on this CD. It’s so so so so GOOD! There isn’t a mediocre anything anywhere here.

      I thank you for the Helix info – 3 months in Helix is still 3 months longer than I’ve gotten to be in Helix! I wonder if he can put that on his CV. I mean, isn’t 3 mnths the minimum probationary period at any job? Hahahahaaaa!


      1. mikeladano says:

        The thing is, I would almost consider Sean Kelly to be Helix’s unofficial sixth member. Ever since that 3 month stint as bass player (only ended due to the return of classic member Daryl Gray) he’s been deeply involved with anything Helix. He’s co-produced an co-wrote every album since then (including the single All I Want For Christmas Is The Leafs To Win The Cup). So Helix has definitely been a huge part of his life these last 5 years, and I would say it’s definitely on his resume. A resume that includes top rated classical guitar albums and tours with Nelly Furtado. He’s just super talented all around.


Put yer words here:

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.