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Posts Tagged ‘Canadian metal

Blood of Christ

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Canada is well known for it’s death metal bands. One of the most underrated bands in my opinion is Blood of Christ. The band released 3 albums before calling it quits in 2006. A decade later, Blood of Christ marked their return with the release of a single Echoes From The 7th Dimension. Their fourth album, Unrelenting Declivity of Anguish (Anthology IV) is now out via CDN Records. The album is quite an intense listen, exploring new territory while retaining the sound of their previous releases.

I spoke to the band about starting again, their first album in 15 years and also their plans for the year.

Read my interview on The Metal Wanderlust

 

Written by trendcrusher

June 1, 2018 at 5:04 pm

Mesrine

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Mesrine are a legendary Candian grindcore band. They have released 4 full length albums and innumerable splits in their career that spans  over two decades. A couple months ago, the band released their 5th full length album, Source of Hatred; after multiple listens, I can say it is one of the best grindcore releases I have heard recently. 23 tracks in just over 30 minutes, the album is another fine slab of grindcore.

Read my interview with Fred and Seb on Transcending Obscurity

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September 12, 2017 at 11:39 pm

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Intervals Interview

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Intervals are a progressive metal band from Toronto, Canada. They have release 2 EPs(The Space Between and In Time) and an album (A Voice Within). Their latest album ‘The Shape of Colour‘ releases today and I feel it is their best album yet; my favourite track is ‘Meridian‘. The album features a new line up alongside guests like Plini and Leland Whitty (BadBadNotGood). I spoke to founder Aaron Marshall about the album, the new line up and more.

Intervals

Hi Aaron, how does it feel now that you are on the brink of the release of ‘The Shape of Colour’?

Aaron: It feels great! This year has definitely been building towards getting this one out and its awesome to see people enjoying what they’ve heard thus far. I can’t wait to officially have it out there and flying around!

Writing an album like this is not an easy task. What kept you going during the tough times?
Aaron: Playing music has always been my absolute passion. Regardless of everything that went on this year, I knew that I would be making this record, and more, no matter what. That’s just the way it is and the way it always will be.

How did it feel to write music alone again?
Aaron: The truth is, the Intervals “sound” and the entire back catalogue (barring a few tunes that we were able to collaborate on) were all written by myself, as it is. Nothing really changed in that regard. For those who aren’t aware, Intervals is sort of an accident that stemmed from an early “play through” video that a friend shot for me. I had no plan and no idea what I was doing. I always wanted to collaborate much more with the collective, but distance and other factors always seemed to play into the matter, so I found myself composing everything anyway. That was a long response to say “the same”, haha.

The Shape of Colour

The album features Cameron McLellan on bass and Travis Orbin on drums. How did they become part of ‘The Shape of Colour’ album?
Aaron: It does indeed! I met Cam through working on Protest The Hero’s last record (Volition). Cam was producing and engineering their record and Luke Hoskin (guitar) asked me to help shape guitar tones for the record. From there I ended up working on the previous Intervals record with Cam to track bass (which I played) and he contributed about 20% of the bass parts for the record. We work really well together and discussed working on the next album together. Cam co-produced, engineered and played bass on The Shape of Colour. The dude is a machine. Travis came into play in order to facilitate a live drum recording on the record (which I am fairly adamant about). He is such a professional and was really easy to work with in order to get the parts where they needed to be. I always compose drums as I write and a lot of what I had written for the record is in there. He created a version of each song with his own parts and we sort split the difference on everything and it came out sounding great. Travis is such a consistent player and such a versatile drummer.

‘A Voice Within’ charted in the Billboard Top 100, a impressive feat for an independent band. I am sure that attracted some attention from labels towards the band. Is there a reason why you have chosen to stay independent and not sign up with any label?
Aaron: This can become a lengthy discussion quite quickly, but I will just say that as a musician, you need to know who you’re catering to and what the best way to do that is. With, or without vocals, this music is definitely considered “niche” which is not a bad word. In fact, with how much music there is these days, I think fitting into a niche is a good place to be. That implies that there is a network or culture that revolves around the movement you’re affiliated with. What I’m getting at is, if you know how to market your art to that crowd, and you’re doing it with intent and resource, you need to ask yourself “is trading my art, the only thing I actually own, for a nominal amount of money, something I NEED to do at this point?” I want to be clear and say I don’t think there is anything wrong with being affiliated to a label and there is a lot of good that can come from it, but these days, there are so many mediums in which to create growth for your act or yourself as an artist, that I don’t think it’s a necessity. If signing to a label is something you aspire to do, you’re going to be in a much better situation if you’ve built your worth to a sustainable level yourself before signing that deal. Clout is everything. If not signing the deal is something that’s on your mind, that’s cool too. You just need to come to terms with how hard you’re willing to devote yourself to the 50+ other hats you need to wear to make it work yourself. Its incredibly gratifying to create a piece of art, and see it through every step of the way. I’m always learning new things about the “industry” and I feel like I’m much better off for that.

You’ve toured across North America and Europe multiple times in the past few years. What is your best touring memory so far?
Aaron: Touring Europe with Protest The Hero, Tesseract, and The Safety Fire was by far, the best touring experience I’ve had to date. There were so many ridiculously epic memories from that tour. I’m not sure I can even really chose one in particular, haha. January 2014 was easily one of the best times of my life.

What are your plans for the coming year? Do you plan on touring in support of the album?
Aaron: Absolutely. I have a really awesome tour that I can’t wait to announce, and hopefully there will be some more of that to follow. I also plan on collaborating with a few individuals and I’d love to find time to write a new EP as well!

Listen to ‘The Shape of Colour’ below

Written by trendcrusher

December 4, 2015 at 4:26 am

Introducing:Vantablack Warship

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Vantablack Warship

Who: Vantablack Warship The band consists of  Yannick “Pil” Pilon (Vocals), Pat Gordon (Guitars) Thierry Hivon (Guitars), Kurt Clifford (Bass) and Pierre Pitre (Drums)

Where: Montreal, Canada

What: Vantablack Warship released their self titled EP last month. “The EP is simply put a homage to the music we have always listened to and enjoyed as individuals and as a collective but morphed into a collection of riffs‎ and tunes which with a touch of 2015.” said bassist Kurtis Clifford “This is not so much a thematic EP, but more so a collection of ideas and thoughts on current day events or subjects of interest.”

How: “The song writing process was pretty straight forward. A member would come to the jam space with a riff or general skeleton for a song, the band jammed it out. If the song seemed solid, we would Pil (vocals) and Kurt ‎(Bass) hash some lyrics and have Pil throw something on the tunes once they were pretty much final mode.  We worked on this off and on for a year. But it all came together in about 12 to 15 jam sessions. Very spontaneous and easy process.” said Kurtis about how the wrote the album.

“The recording was also relatively painless. Once everything was set up in the studio, it took us basically 8 hours to pull it all together, i.e. lay down the tracks. ( Very S.O.D.ish…).” said Kurtis about the recording process.  “We spent more time though fine tuning lyrics in the studio and getting those just write. The band is made up of experienced players and the songs aren’t that complex to play, it was therefore relatively simple to record.”

Listen to “Vantablack Warship“below

(Band Pic by Wayne William Archibald)

Written by trendcrusher

November 6, 2015 at 7:33 pm

Fuck the Facts Interview

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Fuck the Facts are in my opinion one of the best grindcore bands at the moment. The band have been busy in the past couple of years, they released two EPs  Abandoned (2014), Amer (2013) and earlier this year released a split album with Fistfuck. Later this month, they release their 6th full length album, Desire will Rot’. 

I spoke to drummer Mathieu Vilandre & guitarist Topon Das over email about the album, starting their own label and also their upcoming tour of US and Canada.

Topon Das (Guitar) Marc Bourgon (Bass/Vocals) Mélanie Mongeon (Vocals) Mathieu Vilandré (Drums) and Johnny Ibay (Guitar) (Left to Right) Photo Credit: Dave Levitt

Topon Das (Guitar) Marc Bourgon (Bass/Vocals) Mélanie Mongeon (Vocals) Mathieu Vilandré (Drums) and Johnny Ibay (Guitar) (Left to Right) Photo Credit: Dave Levitt

How does it feel now that you are a month away from the release of your album ‘Desire will rot’?

Mathieu Vilandré: Pretty stoked to say the least. Feels like we’ve been working on it for a long time, probably because we have. You never know how these things are going to go but we’re all happy with the end result. We’re not used to having some much time go by between albums. Even though we released a bunch of other stuff, it’s the last piece of the puzzle that we’ve been working on for the last few years.

Tell us a bit about the album.

Mathieu Vilandré: It has 11 beautiful tracks for a total of 40 minutes of pure delight. You’ll find grindcore, death metal, arena crust, noise and even Nan Bourgon. 

How does the album compare to your previous album ‘Die Miserable’?

Mathieu Vilandré: I think it is a much less “death metal” album then Die Miserable was. It’s very catchy; Jibay and Topon did a great job on all the melodies and stuff. There’s also a big difference in the production, Desire Will Rot is much cleaner and much more open then Die Miserable. Still, I think that people who enjoy Die Miserable will enjoy Desire Will Rot as well. It sounds cliché but this record sounds more mature, like the transition between peach fuzz and actual facial hair. 

desire will rot

‘Desire Will Rot’ was recorded and mixed by Topon Das at his Apartment 2 recording studio in Ottawa, ON. What was the recording process?

Mathieu Vilandré: It’s a pretty classic approach, I would say. We do at least one preproduction session to get everything in order and to make our lives easier. Topon handles pretty much every single aspect of the production. We record scratch guitars so that he doesn’t have to play and handle the board at the same time. We always start with the drums, and then we do all the guitars and bass parts plus any other extra stuff, and finally all the vocals. We took it a bit easier this time compared to Die Miserable. It has to be a fun experience or else what’s the point?

What do you feel are the main advantages of having your own studio?

Topon Das:  The studio has grown a lot over the last five years, so it’s fun to have all this at our disposal and be able to produce our own albums at a quality that we’re happy with. The studio is a very comfortable place, so even just to have it as a creative space outside of recording, helps a lot. Just to be able to build this thing up has been a very motivating experience. All that being said, it can be tough to rein it in sometimes and know when to stop. We have all the time in the world if we really want it, and that’s not always a good thing.

After releasing 3 albums with Relapse Records, what prompted you to start your own label Noise Salvation? Will there be other releases from the label this year?

Topon Das: Even though we started Noise Salvation back in October, we still shopped this new album around a bit, but got basically zero interest. We didn’t want to sit on it for another year in the hopes that something would come up, so we decided to just do it ourselves. Noise Salvation was created to be our own little label and was only ever meant for FTF releases and perhaps a few related projects. Back in January, we released a Merdarahta album, which is a side-project that Mel & I have together, then we put out the split 10” with Fistfuck. I have some other little ideas in mind for the label, but the new FTF album is keeping me busy enough now, so I doubt I’ll get around to anything else until 2016.

You will be touring USA and Canada in September and October this year. Do you have any other plans for the rest of the year?

Topon Das: We’re working on a booking a US tour that will take us more south in November and December. That’ll be it for 2015, and then we plan to go to Europe around March 2016.


Any final words?

Topon Das: Cheers and thanks for your support!

Pre-order ‘Desire will rothere. Listen to the album below

Written by trendcrusher

August 14, 2015 at 10:00 am

Interview with Woods of Ypres (2005)

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The second release by Woods of Ypres “Pursuit Of The Sun & Allure Of The Earth” is now available for pre-order on Earache Records. The album is a special on for me as it is the first Woods of Ypres album I heard. In March 2005, just over six months after the release of the album I did an interview with front man David Gold. It appeared in The Frequency, a publication of Fusion Radio which is the internet radio station for the Scarborough campus of University of Toronto.

David Gold

How did you come up with the name Woods of Ypres??

The original Woods of Ypres was formed in May of 2002 as a 3 piece in Windsor. The name came from a song title from another Windsor band called “Fact of Death”. We heard about it at the same time we were searching for a name and they gave us permission to use it. It meant a lot of things at the time, having reference to the park on Ypres Rd. in Windsor (when we all lived in Windsor), the battle of Ypres in WWI which had significant Canadian involvement (making reference to us as Canadians and our history), and the “Woods” part of it having reference to traditional ‘black metal’ themes (of being inspired by nature, etc…).To my knowledge, Woods of Ypres is the first black metal band to ever originate in Windsor.

Woods2Cover

Describe the band and its music

I like to describe Woods of Ypres ongoing style as Black & Doom metal, because we are both, and not completely one or the other. “Pursuit of the Sun…”, the latest CD is in more of a doom vein than the “Against the Seasons” demo which was more “cold” and black. It comes across as comparable to the band Opeth to a lot of people with the frequent use of the acoustic guitar and the light to heavy dynamics, but the Opeth style is only a reference point.”Pursuit…” was more of an experiment on how the same themes of black metal would be expressed in a summer setting as opposed to winter, which is more traditional for black metal. For example, whereas it’s easy to find comfort and collect your thoughts in the darkness of the winter, it can be an agonizing experience if you find yourself miserable in the summer when the sun is shining and there’s nowhere to hide from it, and everyone can see you suffer. It is the soundtrack for those emotionally heavy, hot and humid, sad summer days.

The next CD (due out by the end of 2005) will be a full return to our “cold” black metal sound, similar to the “Against the Seasons” demo, but more developed by experience. We have 12 new songs that we’re working on right now and I can already say that it will be the best Woods yet!

Woods1 - Remaster

Tell me about your first album “Against the seasons”. Is it going to be re-released??

Our 1st album “Against the Seasons: Cold Winter Songs from the Dead Summer Heat” will be officially released for the 1st time ever this summer! It has only been available in CD-r/Demo format up until now. The whole album has been re-mixed and re-mastered and it now sounds HUGE! Way bigger than it ever did! It will be available direct from us at http://www.woodsofypres.ca, at any CD retail store in Canada and at The End Records Mailorder (www.theendrecords.com). We are very excited to finally have it released properly, almost 3 years later after it was recorded.

Are you signed with any label??

Woods of Ypres is being released by the new upcomming music label “Krankenhaus Records” here in Mississauga. This label will do big things this year!

How would you come up with the lyrics in your songs?

The lyrics are always inspired from coping with terrible stuff. They are a mix of sadness, frustration, disappointment and hope. They are definitely not your typical ‘heavy metal lyrics’ but they are true to us, and have become a big part of the reason why we bother to make music.

How has the Response been to you music in Toronto?

I interpret the overall the response as good from the way that so many people feel inclined to spread the word about Woods of Ypres after they hear us. They recognize what we do as something special, because the can see that the music is also very special and meaningful to us. I also like the fact that people who bother really analyze our music realize that there is much more to this band than what can be said with comparisons to Opeth or Ulver. I appreciate that because thought there may be a few similarities on the surface, we are inspired from very different places and the end results are in fact very different. We never went out to be anyone else but ourselves, Canadian kids raised on metal who are now Canadians who make metal.

An old friend of mine used to have a theory that because there are so many bands in the world that you’ll probably never hear the band you and your brain would like the most (based on your own unique characteristics).From the reaction we have been getting, I think it’s okay for me to say that we have found some of “our people” because we hear from a lot of listeners who just “get it” and can immediately identify with it. The music, the themes, they effortlessly get it. It’s as if their brains were craving something specific, that didn’t yet exists and we fulfilled the demand. To them, “Pursuit of the Sun…” is more than just “Weekend Heavy Metal Purchase #666” and we really like that. Though surely, we realise that WOY is not for everyone, but it seems that the people who like it, really like it!

Are you going to be playing live soon??

We were set to play at the Northern Lights Festival but it was recently canceled, apparently due to slow ticket sales and the fact that a corporate metal tour booked their Toronto date on the same weekend as our festival. Woods of Ypres doesn’t have any shows currently scheduled.

What are the future plans for the band?

Dan Hulse (bass/recording engineer), Jessica Rose (keys) and I will be concentrating on developing songs for the new album right up until recording begins this summer. We are planning to do some serious gigging once Woods: III is released. 2005 will be another ‘writing year’ but we plan to make 2006 a ‘working year’ and play a whole lot more live shows. We don’t plan on doing an album next year, but who knows. We are always writing so something may come up anyway. But for right now, our focus is making the next album as good as we possibly can. “Against the Seasons: III – “The Deepest Roots & Darkest Blues” will be out at the end of this year.

Any final words??

Check out http://www.woodsofypres.ca for news and updates. + Visit the forum!

Skull Fist Interview

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Skull Fist is a heavy metal band from Toronto. Along with Cauldron they have been leading the revival of heavy metal in Canada. Last week Skull Fist released a killer new album ‘Chasing the Dream‘. I spoke to their guitarist Jonny Nesta about the new album and their upcoming tour of Europe.

Jonny Nesta, Jackie Slaughter and  Casey Slade (Left to Right)

Jonny Nesta, Jackie Slaughter and Casey Slade (Left to Right)

You’ve just released your second album ‘Chasing the dream’. Tell us a bit about the album.

Jonny: Well, it’s got songs on it, the main instruments are drums, guitars, basses and singing.There are various keys used, the songs also have different tempos, so that’s cool. I like it, if it wasn’t a bonerish thing to do I would listen to it a bunch.”

Its been 3 years since the release of your debut album “Head of the Pack”. How long did it take to write ‘Chasing the Dream’?

Jonny: I don’t know, we kind of worked on the songs on and off while touring Head of the Pack, they came together pretty quick when we actually started demoing them, we had a bunch of months to get them together though.

Chasing the Dream

What was the recording process for the album? How long did it take?

Jonny: The process was: first thing you do is get ice, because if you run out of ice the day is pretty much done, it’s not fun recording without ice. Then you mix yourself a drink and you try to keep the ice from clinking when someone is recording, but it’s okay because technology is so amazing, they can go in and remove all the clinking anyways. 21st century rules. We did the instruments in a week the singing took a bit longer, about another week, the dude’s we worked with were fuckin awesome.

‘Chasing the Dream’ has being released by Noise Art records. How did the deal with them come about?

Jonny: They released our last record too, They’re good, they’ve given us a ton of support to tour around the world.

You have had quite a few lineup changes. How did the current line up come together?

Jonny: I actually don’t think we have had a ton of lineup changes, nobody counts the lineups getting a band together, it’s just the age of the internet you know, now everyone can see, “oh they played a few shows with this guy, or that guy 5 years ago” who gives a fuck, we’ve done our first two records with the same lineup. We all just get along awesome and have fun playing together, I don’t know we all just were friends who hung out all played music,it just came together.

You toured Mexico and Brazil last year. What has been your best experience so far?

Jonny: Man I can’t pick a best, everywhere is different and amazing, Brazil was one of the best times of my life, it was really special, were were there a lot longer than Mexico so we got to actually spend time with some really fuckin cool people, we stayed with the dudes from Breakout and Fire Strike for a while, and it felt like we had been friends for our whole lives you know, just the most fun time. But in Mexico we got to spend a bunch of days with some of my favorite guys, Voltax, just the coolest band, so fuckin great to watch and also just the same type of thing, we get along so great it’s like we’ve been friends forever. The fans in both places are really amazing I can’t wait to go back. But like everything we’ve done has been fun, Europe is sick also, doing clubs or festivals both are wicked, and we always have an awesome time going across Canada in our amazing shit van.

Later this month you will be touring Europe with Enforcer. What are your other plans for 2014?

Jonny: That’s the first step there, I don’t know yet, we definitely want to get a U.S. tour going, we haven’t been able to do that yet and it would be sick, also going back around to Brazil and hopefully more of South America, but fuck I don’t know, we’ll see what happens!

Any final words?

Jonny: Miss you Peter! come hang out in Toronto again for a while. Also, Be Excellent to Each Other!

Check out the video for ‘You’re Gonna Pay’below

Written by trendcrusher

January 23, 2014 at 12:21 am