After two EP’s and one full length, Stockholm’s Canopy return with their second long player. Kinda. Will and Perception shares the name with their quality self-released EP, includes a complete rerecording of that release, a rehashing of a song from their debut EP During Day One, and two new songs. Despite this pieced-together arrangement, it comes across as a cohesive album of mostly high quality Swedish melodic death metal.
For those unfamiliar with Canopy (which is likely most of you), their particular take on the melodeath genre mixes the early days of Stockholm with a hefty portion of Edge of Sanity, a touch of doom/death mood, and a smattering of Opethian prog. On Will and Perception (this one), the original EP has been rendered far more enjoyable by way of a punchier production and tighter band performances (a detailed review of the original is also available, which gives further insight into the songwriting). Closer “Will,” a dynamic and intense 10 minute monster, benefits the most, and really solidifies the album’s value. Of the two new songs, the shifting “Riddance” is easily the stronger, as “Coucels and Maxims” is a largely throwaway interlude. Overall the band seems more mature and professional than they have on previous recordings. The once amateurish “Common Walls,” originally from 2004’s During Day One, is now a highlight for the guitar tandem of Jonatan Hedlin and Erik Björkman.
Put together as an album, Will and Perception stands superior to Canopy’s other full length Serene Catharsis. Although it’s far from being the best choice for melodic death metal in 2009, it’s also not nearly the worst, and is worth investigating for fans of the style.