2015 has been a banner year for every metal subgenre, but with the notable exception of Royal Thunder, Atlanta’s metal scene has been suspiciously quiet since Mastodon’s disappointing Once More ‘Round the Sun in 2014. Canopy’s new EP is a blood-pumping surge of energy that proves Atlanta doesn’t always have to play a sludgy second fiddle to Savannah.
The three-song album rampages like soulless golem brought to life by frigid efficiency, scattering the bloodied bodies of metal purists with total disregard. Canopy has always had a knack for integrating post-rock elements into plodding doom, but on 2015 the transitions from hazy, serene post-rock to thundering sludge are visceral and shocking.
Canopy owe much of their sound to stoner giants Sleep, but the EP echoes with similarities to Russian Circles’ recent triumph, Memorial. The cavernous reverb and delicious riffs would seem almost theatrical if it wasn’t for the white-knuckled seriousness with which the trio deliver each heart-stopping chord. Despite being only three songs long, 2015 is a clinic in variety, as Canopy switch from death metal-inspired growls on “Life is just Terrible” to traditional Southern sludge on “Hexed.”
By the end of “Cosmic Void,” 2015’s final form is apparent: an unstoppable juggernaut delivering some of the best doom and post-rock Atlanta has to offer. Embrace it or take cover.
Canopy will perform on Friday, December 18 at the Drunken Unicorn when they play in support of Of the Vine, Riftworm and Pallow. Doors open at 9 p.m. $8 gets you in.