Dead Asylum Kicks Off Western Canadian Tour in Kelowna

Death/thrash metal band Dead Asylum kicked off their Western Canadian tour in Kelowna last night. Not only that but local band Drop Dead Fred played (and headlined) their first show in 1.5 years. Opening acts Death Machine and Eden Echo.

I arrived early with the new podcast gear that I had spent some time during the week setting up. It was very easy to do and basically a plug’n’play with a couple tweaks. A far cry from the set up Terence and I had “working” for the few weeks prior to this show. This turned out to be a very good thing because I had lined up Mike and Samantha from Dead Asylum to join me in an interview. I have to admit there was a bit of nervousness having the equipment all set up outside of my familiar surroundings. In the end it all worked out and I felt really good about how the night went!

Eden Echo

This was the third time now that I have seen this group live and once again they played their hearts out and the crowd really opened up to them. Before the show I sat down with the boys of Eden Echo as well. One interesting tidbit that came up was when I asked the band about how I sort of hear a folk-like influence in the music and Matt brought up that a few members of the band were in Opeth. When he told me that it clicked with me and made a lot of sense. There is influences of Opeth and more of a folk-rock vibe.

Eden Echo playing in Kelowna

It is clear they are getting tighter and gaining more confidence every show.

They played a couple of songs that are not on their new EP “Kingdom of the Shadow“. One of which I managed to capture here:

Eden Echo YouTube playlist

Eden Echo Spotify

Death Machine

A great blend of tech and traditional death metal. Maybe only traditional death metal for the time being. That is until they have more material that they don’t need to play their demo songs anymore. Whenever I run into Spencer or Chandler (rocking an Equipoise shirt last night) and get talking about metal the bands and influences they speak about are much more tech death than straight death. The newer songs are much more technical and have very interesting parts.


Death Machine playing live in Kelowna, BC

Honestly I really enjoy watching Death Machine. Such an intense and menacing performance. Taylor really gets the crowd going and gives it his all behind the drums. It will be a real pleasure watching where this band ends up going and how they get there.

Death Machine YouTube Playlist
Death Machine Bandcamp

Dead Asylum

Hot off their show in Kamloops with Wolfheart and Shatterless Dead Asylum kicked off their 8 date Back to Western Canada tour at Muninn’s Post. Like in Kamloops they put on a really good show here in Kelowna. Each member is interacting with the crowd and have build a stage presence that is engaging and fun to watch.

Vocalist Mike and drummer Samantha sat down with me before the show to discuss the metal scene in British Columbia and what it takes to be a band with members spread across the country. That episode should be coming up real soon.

If Dead Asylum is coming to your area for this tour I recommend seeing them. It’s worth the price to hear some good death/thrash metal performed by a tight and great group of people.

Dead Asylum YouTube Playlist
Dead Asylum Bandcamp

See Dead Asylum on one of their upcoming dates as they tour through BC and Alberta.

Dead Asylum Back to Western Canada tour

Drop Dead Fred

There was a medical emergency that I attended to for part of Drop Dead Fred’s set and for that I feel really bad that I didn’t get any photographs to share on social media for them. Unfortunately as a train health care attendant sometimes situations happen where I need to do my duty for the public.

Yes, everyone was fine. 🙂

I’ve not listened to this band before so this was my first experience with them. Generally I don’t like going in blind to shows and like to have at least an idea of what to expect. Here I felt very adventurous and went in blind. Only this morning to look them up and do some research.

At first their sound was quite death metal but I felt there was enough core influences that they were actually deathcore. The breakdowns that happened in the last few songs eventually did confirm this.

GREAT INTENSITY. I felt these songs were really tight and entertaining. Music I would listen to outside of seeing the show.  Even searching them online I find it difficult to find any real solid information outside from their FB, YouTube and Bandcamp page.

Drop Dead Fred YouTube Playlist

Drop Dead Fred Bandcamp

I’m really looking forward to seeing these guys play again. As anyone following the blog and podcast would know I’m really digging deathcore lately and this is absolutely no different.

I got to meet a few new people last night as well. A couple really into glam and hair metal and as far as I could hear (god damn loud metal!!) they were wanting to come out and support the local scene and bands. That was a really nice conversation and I really hope to meet them again at a future show. I invited them to next week’s ArkenFire show with WMDVillianTime Rift and Roadrash. The whole heavy/speed/power thing might be up their alley.

It’s always amazing introducing people to new metal music or metal in general. There is truly so much to gain from it.

If you enjoy the bands consider coming out to the shows and if you cannot support them on their Bandcamp!!



Wolfheart, Dead Asylum and Shatterless in Kamloops, BC

During their tour with Children of Bodom and Swallow the Sun, Wolfheart scheduled this one off show in Kamloops, BC with Vancouver death/thrash act Dead Asylum and Kamloops’ own Shatterless.

I originally wanted to take the 4-5 hour trip down to Vancouver to see the Children of Bodom tour. This is something I have normally done throughout the years. Last time they were in town I went down to see them play their 20th anniversary tour. But having seen them so many times (7 I believe now) and Swallow the Sun as well. I had decided to sacrifice seeing Wolfheart live and NOT go down for the show.

This was before I had heard the new CoB album Hexed in its glory. Now I am kicking myself for deciding not to go. Well almost.

When I found out Wolfheart was to play a headlining show in Kamloops with two local acts I had to jump all over it. Especially for only $10!!! And in a city I haven’t seen a gig at before. This was a chance to also make some connections in the local scene.

I worked the night shift the night before the show. So I was forced to sleep the morning of the show and drive up to Kamloops in the afternoon. As I do with all gigs I attend (granted it’s available) I checked out past setlists on Setlist.fm and made a couple of Spotify playlists of Wolfheart and Dead Asylum‘s most recent sets. These were basic guesses considering I wasn’t sure how long a setlist Wolfheart would play and the Dead Asylum setlist I found was 1.5 years old.

I had one ear in through my nightshift playing the Wolfheart playlist. The drive to Kamloops was spent listening to a mix of Wolfheart and Dead Asylum. I hadn’t had time to seek out and listen to Shatterless which I felt bad about as I am always wanting to listen to fresh new music.

I arrived an hour before the doors opened so that managed to give me some time to seek out Taylor Pottle and the Shatterless members after their soundcheck. I had the opportunity to sit down with Taylor for an interview and then with Justin Bentley in an alleyway behind the Blue Grotto as well.

Not only does Taylor put on shows in Kamloops with T&A Productions but he also does vocals with the Okanagan-based symphonic black/power metal act Gladius Sky.

Shatterless

Shatterless kicked it off at 8pm with a three song set which they plowed through very quickly with the 20 mins they had. I am now listening to their album on Spotify and, yes, they’d definitely need longer than 20 mins taken the length of their songs.

They put on a really good performance. Progressive heavy rock with some metal influences. I found Justin’s vocal range from clean melodic to death growls/screams to be very well performed along with (other) Justin’s drumming sounding very tight. It was a pleasant surprise to hear how well they were live.

You can listen to their album Galactic Sorcery on Spotify and contact the band on their Facebook page to support them by purchasing it.

Dead Asylum

I had the opportunity to sit down and chat with Mike and Samantha before their show. They were very nice people who really looked forward to coming to Kelowna for their gig and an opportunity to sit down on the podcast.

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Mike turned out to be extremely comfortable on stage and interactive with the crowd. His intensity along with the shredding of Jay and Roger enhanced the music beyond how it sounded in the studio. Samantha may not have been playing her own drumset but that didn’t stop her from sounding tight and keeping the songs driving forward.

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I’m really looking forward to their Kelowna show that is coming up.

You can purchse Dead Asylum’s music from their Bandcamp page.

Wolfheart

I’ve always felt Tuomas Saukkonen was one of those artists that changed his projects when he either received a new source of inspiration or felt his own writing and playing skills had reached a new level.

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His previous projects had always been part of my rotation. Not heavily rotated but I always checkout out his newest releases and have had a very soft spot for his style of melodic death metal. It is a very Finnish style with long melodies that have a very melancholy overtone to them.

While I was living in Kouvola, Finland I had met a fellow named Mikko Heikkilä who, at that time, was playing in the gothic metal band Sinamore and Tuomas’ then project Black Sun Aeon.

During this time (this was 2009-10) I was also part of an amateur photography club in Kuusankoski called Versus. We had one photoshoot take place with a band. Now with this part my memory is a little fuzzy. I cannot remember if it was Sinamore or Tuomas’ project Before the Dawn. Some research into the bands shows that Mikko was never in Before the Dawn.

Also my trusted list of gigs I’ve been to shows that I attended Before the Dawn and Black Sun Aeon on May 14th, 2010 at the Donnington Rock Club in Kouvola. I also saw Sinamore and Black Sun Aeon play at the Dark River Festival in 2010. So I have some history seeing Tuomas and related projects perform live.

This show was quite dark. The lights lit up the backdrop with almost nothing in the front so it made for a dark setting. It fit very well for the music but as for my footage maybe not so.

I had been listening to my Wolfheart playlist which was a full set that they had almost matched. I recall hearing Aeon of Cold, Strength and Valour, Zero Gravity, I and Ghost of Karelia. It didn’t seem to be a complete set. Maybe 45 minutes. But damn did the band put their all into it. The only things I could think of which dampered the show slightly were the keyboards and acoustic guitars were all pre-recorded.

Wolfheart playlist (4 songs)

I also met up with Mikko Kotimäki and Juho Räihä from Swallow the Sun who were just hanging out at The Blue Grotto enjoying the night off. Juho is from Kouvola so I got to spend some time reminiscing on the old times of living in Finland.

swallow the sun in kamloops
Swallow the Sun hanging out in Kamloops

Throughout the night I got to meet a few new people. One person in particular was a man from Revelstoke who visits Kamloops often for work. He does his best to plan his worktrips around live music events due to him being a musician himself. Metal isn’t really his go to for music but he loves coming out to metal shows because of the sheer talent these musicians have. I do remember his stating he played bass(?) in a band of his own but I do not recall him telling me the name of it. That’s too bad because it would have been nice to hear his band too!

ArkenFire, Tzimani, and Indecipherable Noise at Muninn’s Post

Power and heavy metal takes over Muninn’s Post! ArkenFire headlined a show Friday night at the local Feast Hall along with Tzimani hailing from San Diego and progressive instrumental metal act Indecipherable Noise from Peachland, BC.

Indecipherable Noise

Instrumental progressive metal project of local talent Jevon Carignan (guitar), Dylan Gutierrez (guitar), Vaughn Janes (bass), and Mitchell Corbach (drums). They play a style influenced by Animals as Leaders and Rush. A great way to warm up the crowd and get people on their feet before the main acts took stage. I quite enjoyed it and they seemed to have some really nice ideas there.

Indecipherable Noise on Bandcamp

Tzimani

This two piece hailing from San Diego shredded their way through their set. Straight up heavy metal brothers rocking their way across North America. Eddie can really play the guitar. Each song they played were full of mean riffs and ripping solos.

tzimani in kelowna

Their self-titled EP came out a year ago so still being somewhat fresh they played most songs off it. I’m not aware if they were playing any new material. Their songs have catchy choruses and great solos. There isn’t much more to ask for from a heavy metal band!

Tzimani on Bandcamp

ArkenFire

I only had time to stick around for the first three songs. Morning shift beckoned. Raid Winds and Night Sister were the first two songs played. I do not recall the third. The band sounded just as good as at Wacken Battle of the Bands. These guys are on fire every time they play. It is a real treat to watch them on stage and they definitely deserve a larger one at that. There is a soft spot in my heart for heavy/power metal and have been for years.

arkenfire at muninn's post

ArkenFire on Bandcamp

There were lots of familiar faces among the crowd and a couple new ones. I brought out my good friend Justin who really enjoyed the music, met some new people and had an overall great night. He’s a huge fan of all genres of music and always a fan of metal but just doesn’t come to shows very often. That’s about to change! It always makes me feel good to see both familiar and new faces. The fan base here is a dedicated bunch of people who all contribute to the scene in their own interesting and unique ways.

Wacken Battle of the Bands Round 3

Wacken Battle of the Bands round 3 took place last night at Muninn’s Post here in Kelowna. This was yet another sold out show for the popular Viking feast hall. We had judges present including Byron Stroud from Strapping Young Lad fame and his most recent project Imonolith.

Northern Steel

The first band up were our friends travelling all the way from Prince George. This three piece metal act put on a really nice show. It was a pleasure listening to their intense but melodic songs. Lots of memorable licks. The first few songs were quite short and felt more like ideas that were in the midst of being fleshed out into songs. But their last few songs were really well done.

I had the pleasure to talk with the guys later on through the night. Really awesome people who are struggling to help the Prince George metal scene flourish. Good luck Northern Steel! When they are back in town we’ll be sure to have them on the podcast.

Northern Steel Playlist (2 songs)

Death Machine

Spencer and the boys rip. That’s all I can say about these guys. Their blend of old school and technical death metal is such a pleasure to listen to. Dylan and Chandler playing off each other with the solos and Dylan just nailing some of them. Sounding so tight. Spencer’s presence on stage is huge and menacing. Pairing so well with his vocal style. Taylor destroying it on the drums as per usual.

Kelowna will be left a smoldering crater when Death Machine releases studio recordings.

Death Machine Playlist (2 songs)

Eden Echo

Eden Echo played last weekend and tonight they sounded even tighter than that set. A difference in the confidence in the live performance could be noticed already and the crowd was so supportive. I really dig their style of European folk melodeath. The fantasy themes to the songs are right up my alley and I dig all the vocal styles.

ArkenFire

The only reason ArkenFire didn’t win tonight is they’d be giving all the other NWBHM/power metal bands a run for their money at Wacken Open Air. Not only is it cool af that we have a local power metal band but damn are they tight and have some really good material. Jacob’s vocal style is similar to Bruce Dickinson and his onstage presence is second to none. He’s having a blast up there as the band grinds out their riffs. Randy and Ian rip solo after solo.

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Apollyon

WACKEN BATTLE OF THE BANDS ROUND 3 WINNERS!!!

Congratulations to Apollyon for absolutely destroying Muninn’s last night. Anyone who has seen this band live knows they deserve the victory. Matt’s vocals and stage presence is so good and a lot of fun to watch. Shout out to his Emperor shirt. Horns up! They debuted a new song titled Wretched Grandiose. An intense and incredibly fast track which undoubtedly kicked everyone’s ass.

They will be representing the Okanagan well at the BC Finals taking place in Vancouver at The Red Room on April 28th. There is a chance I may miss it but you don’t want to!

This was a really great night. I met some new people and made new connections. Got lots of footage to share with local fans and the Internet. This will most likely be brought up a number of times but I just love what’s going on in Kelowna right now. This little scene is producing some great talent and people.

Friday Tzimani is in town with ArkenFire and Indecipherable Noise. Cover is only $10 which is a steal for the type of entertainment provided. Come out and support the local metal scene!

Truent and Technical Damage at Muninn’s Post

Vancouver metal bands Truent and Technical Damage played Muninn’s Post on Saturday night (March 16, 2019) with supporting acts The Unending and Eden Echo. As far as I knew this was still one of Eden Echo’s first live shows. They have maybe a half dozen under their belt. This was also The Unending’s first show in a long time with a new lineup too.

I also had the pleasure of meeting a number of new people whom I struck up conversation with. One woman coming from Vernon to see the shows at the Post due to the lack of metal culture in Vernon. As we touched on in our dialogue Vernon does have the odd metal show and the blackened death metal band Xul hails from there as well. It is not a lost cause! Also, as she told me, it is worth driving the 45 or so minutes to Kelowna for a show. She also has a relative in a black metal band called SVNEATR which is coming to town this year. I’ll be contacting them for an interview. I listened to their album and really dig their old school style of black metal.

There was one man I met who had said that he had been going to metal concerts in Kelowna since the 80’s. The other night when Enterprise Earth and Aethere were in town was the first time he was turned away at the door because the show was sold out. This show is the second sold out this week. It is starting to feel like metal is really on the verge of becoming something bigger in this area.

Eden Echo

Eden Echo presented their songs very well. The style felt a little like a slight mix of Jari’s Ensiferum meets his first Wintersun album. Very creative with tons of different vocal styles and musical influences. These guys have a great opportunity to tighten their sound and continue creating awesome music!

YouTube playlist (2 songs)

The Unending

Wow, I was very impressed with The Unending. I had the pleasure of talking with Tyler a couple evenings before. He will be on the podcast in the future to discuss this band along with his metal history. This was their first show in, if memory serves me correct, five years and Tyler has been writing music for 9-10. These songs sounded very tight, interesting and very hard hitting. All the members had a fantastic onstage presence and were 100% into the show.

The Unending was a pleasure to watch and I’m looking forward to seeing them again. I had a difficult time describing the style so I will just let the videos do that for me.

YouTube playlist (4 songs)

Technical Damage

Technical Damage has this machine like sound to their tone, riffs and licks. It sounds unique to my ears and wasn’t something I could really get into at first. I had listened to their Bandcamp songs enough that I purchased their newest release and continued to listen to it for some time. Eventually it grew on me and I quite enjoy it now. They put on a great set. Lots of intensity and I highly enjoyed it.

YouTube playlist (3 songs)

Truent

These guys put on a hell of a show. Great stage presence and very tight sounding. Unfortunately the singer and guitarist Johnny Roodenrys had an injured hand so not only was he unable to play guitar but also had to cut the set short. He still put on a fantastic show despite his injury. The entire band did.

I purchased their EP off Bandcamp after they so graciously asked me to for listening to it too much. I felt they had the potential to put on a great show with their style mixing (which sounds to my ears like) Lamb of God, early SYL and System of a Down. They absolutely did not disappoint.

YouTube playlist (4 songs)

Enterprise Earth and Aethere at Muninn’s Post

Spokane Deathcore band Enterprise Earth was playing at Muninn’s Post last night along with supporting acts Aethere, Vultures from Victoria and local hardcore band Ugly playing their first live gig.

I had never been to a deathcore gig before and I thought there would be no better time to start than today with a sold out show at Muninn’s Post. In fact I haven’t really listened to deathcore in general. So I took the opportunity to listen to the bands all afternoon before going to the gig. Aethere struck me as more technical and death influenced than core so it was a lot easier for me to get into and I quite enjoy their newest album Open My Wounds. So seeing them live was going to be interesting to see how they performed their songs.

Ugly was the opening act. A local hardcore band playing their first live gig in support of their new release VILE. I’m kicking myself for not have gotten pictures or video. They put on a good show, sounded very tight and had me second guessing if Vultures were actually playing. The topless singer wearing a balaclava was a great touch and was very fitting to the lyrics. I’d definitely watch them perform again!

Vultures

Vultures also put on a good show. It was entertaining to watch them from the back. Everyone was quite into it and the music sounded good. Hardcore is something also I haven’t really gotten into though I definitely see the appeal.

Aethere put on a great show and the crowd was really into it! Lots of moshing and crowdsurfing. It was really awesome to see how supportive the fans were with the crowdsurfing. Deciding between songs who’s going to be hoisted up and then everyone doing their part in carrying the crowdsurfer away from the stage. It looked like a lot of fun and really helps bring the people together to help one another out.

Aethere – Ash of Existence:


Aethere – Open My Wounds:


Enterprise Earth seemed to put on a really good show as well. I was very conflicted by these guys. Their albums sounded very deathcore without much death metal influence (unlike Aethere). Because of that it didn’t really sit well with me. I was waiting to see them live to see if their live performance changed my opinion. Sadly it didn’t really. I will have to give this band another chance to try and get into deathcore.

From what I have heard of the genre so far I understand the fushion of core/punk and death metal. It is an interesting blend that produces some styles that are very different from traditional metal genres.

I’m really looking forward to seeing the show Saturday night at Muninn’s Post. Local acts Eden Echo and The Unending supporting Truent and Technical Damage from Vancouver.

Horns up!