Album Review: Traveler – Traveler (Gates of Hell Records)

On their eight-song, self-titled debut full-length album, Canada’s Traveler effortlessly weave a classic metal web that propels the style into the future without forsaking the past.

Shortly after the early 2018 release of their debut demo, Traveler had a good problem on its hands. The reception — from fans and critics — was so positive that founding member/primary songwriter/guitarist Matt Ries (also of Gatekrashör and Hrom) had no choice but to take what was originally a side-project and turn it into a full-fledged band. Before he did that, Traveler teamed with Finland’s Coronary for a split release via Gates of Hell Records. Now, in 2019, Traveler is ready to meet the demand with its self-titled first full-length album.

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Traveler are now rounded out by vocalist Jean-Pierre Abboud (also of Gatekeeper), second guitarist Toryin “Junior” Schadlich, bassist Dave Arnold (ex-Striker) and drummer Chad Vallier.

The self-titled album comprises three songs from the band’s debut demo, along with five brand-new compositions. It is out on the 22nd February 2019 via Gates of Hell Records.

Dig out the denim and leather, it’s time for Traveler.

On this self-titled album, the five-piece deliver a frantic and screaming blast of classic heavy metal. A heart-pounding release that gets the adrenaline pumping, the blood flowing and the hair swinging.

The influences of NWOBHM is everywhere to be found throughout but this is no tribute album. It doesn’t sound dated thanks to the ripping and tearing of the guitars, the gargantuan drum beats and soaring vocals.

The frenetic start of Starbreaker, an instant heavy metal classic, is only matched by Street Machine’s powerful guitar section before Behind the Iron bends the mind with a forceful display of guitar riffing and soloing.

As the halfway point is reached, Traveler go even faster and heavier with a 2-minute slice of scorching hot riffing in the form of Konamized. It’s quickly followed by the galloping guitars and chunky drum beat of Up to You. Another in the long list of top-quality Traveler tracks.

They really are the kings of riffs but it’s far from the only thing that stands out about them. The vocals, in particular on Fallen Heroes, is incredible with Abboud absolutely slaying the high notes. The best song on the album, it’s one of the most memorable and catchy.

This is an album that you don’t want to end but end it must, going out in style ensuring it will live very long in the memory. Mindless Maze and Speed Queen are the last two tracks and together grind the heel in. Enjoy the pain because heavy metal doesn’t always sound this good.

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Traveler – Traveler Full Track Listing:

1. Starbreaker
2. Street Machine
3. Behind the Iron
4. Konamized
5. Up to You
6. Fallen Heroes
7. Mindless Maze
8. Speed Queen



The album and previous releases can be ordered via Bandcamp while merchandise can be ordered via Big Cartel. Find out more by checking out Traveler’s Facebook Page and watch their videos on YouTube.


  • Carl Fisher

    Owner/Administrator/Editor/Writer/Interviewer/YouTuber - you name it, I do it. I love gaming, horror movies, and all forms of heavy metal and rock. I'm also a Discworld super-fan and love talking all things Terry Pratchett. Do you wanna party? It's party time!

Traveler - Traveler (Gates of Hell Records)
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