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scott adams


Drummer Carl Canedy came to prominence in the early eighties as the driving force behind NYC Metal trio The Rods, a great band who supported many of the greats of the day without ever quite getting the attention or respect they deserved.

The Rods petered out and Canedy branched out into the world of production, becoming something of a "house" producer in the early days of thrash – you'll see his name on albums by Anthrax, Overkill, Exciter and Possessed, amongst many others – before seemingly disappearing from view as a new century dawned.

As is the way, The Rods reformed in 2011 and now here's Canedy with his first ever solo album, the appropriately-monikered 'Headbanger'. Old school heavy rock/Metal is the name of the game and, despite the preponderance of drum interludes, it's not a bad listen at all.

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Sensibly Canedy has drafted in some of his Metal mates to get the job done, with guitarist Chris Caffery (Savatage/Trans Siberian Orchestra) and vocalists Mark Tornillo (Accept/TT Quick) and Joe Comeau (Overkill, Annihilator) in particular catching the ear with their contributions.

Young ears will find this all a bit undemanding, but listeners of Canedy's vintage will find 'Headbanger' to be a pleasing listen, as the "band" veers between tuneful, US–styled hard rock in the vein of Y&T ('Heat Of The Night', marvellously sung by Tornillo) and heavier, Rodsesque stompers such as 'Ride Free' or 'Die' in enjoyable fashion.

This is all solid stuff, but the highlight for many will be the bonus track, 'The Code'. Why? Because it features the one and only Ronnie James Dio, and it's a corker, that's why. A crawling, stomping belter in the vein of Dio's 'Last In Line' era – but with better drumming, natch – 'The Code' is a true lost Heavy Metal classic and deserves to be heard by audiences far and wide.

As Canedy himself says in the album's booklet: "I've added 'The Code' as a bonus track. Ronnie, the greatest Metal singer of all time, singing one of my songs is truly the highlight of my career." – indulgent, maybe, but once you hear the song you'll be pleased Canedy decided to treat himself in such a way. It's a fine way to end a fine slab of honest, no frills Metal.

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