Alestorm in Kelowna

Alestorm in Kelowna Friday night blew off the roof with an onslaught of pirate metal in front of a sold out show at Rutland Centennial Hall.

Early morning I showed up to set up on location for our podcast episode. The hall doesn’t have any kind of backstage area so room was limited but sometimes you have to be creative and figure it out.

The band had already showed up by the time I got there which was at 11am. They had to have driven through the night to have arrived from Calgary before that time. When I was inside letting Jesse know I was able to help out there were a few Alestorm crew members walking about and a couple of them seemed very tired. The crew was a much perkier.

We unloaded the drum riser brought down by Nomad from Armstrong. The very one used at Armstrong Metalfest. Then helped out unloading the Alestorm gear which we got into the venue within minutes with all the help.

After some quick running around I picked up Richard for the interview which went rather interestingly. Chris most likely does not remember it taking place.

Traceless Dimensions

Mixing traditional death metal with some tech bits and maybe some kinda grind these guys warmed up the trickling in crowd.

traceless dimensions kelowna

Honestly prevails… I didn’t know these band was even a thing! I vaguely remember seeing the band name on the poster and forgot that they were replaying when I was at the show. I feel super bad. Sorry fellas!

traceless dimensions kelowna

I haven’t been able to find a trace of these guys online. No websites, pages or recordings. Maybe we’ll hear more from them. Anyone out there with information drop me a line!

Nomad

nomad kelowna

Dylan with those deep vocals. The damn man is a beast on stage. Does he inhale at all? He’ll most likely never tell… though he probably does not. Vocalist Dylan joined us for one of our more fun episodes Armstrong Metalfest Day 1.

nomad in kelowna

The boys of Nomad slapped hard and really brought their A game. It’s too bad people usually don’t start coming in till the bigger bands play because a band like Nomad cannot be over looked. They are damn dedicated too. Showed up early to help set up their stage and manned the merch booth all night selling their sweet swag.

Ravenous

Rav and the gang drove in all the way from Calgary to play support to Alestorm in Kelowna. Snow nor wind stopped these power metallers from gracing us with their various drinking songs.

ravenous in kelowna

No time to waste as they literally powered through their set non-stop with infectious choruses and blazing solos. Rav not only sang but took up duty as rhythm guitarist too.

ravenous in kelowna

Aephanemer

We were offered an interview with Aephanemer but unfortunately they arrived late to the venue and we had to reschedule it to another time (and probably place). When they did arrive we got a chance to talk with them for a few minutes before they had to soundcheck. This was about the right amount of time to welcome them to Kelowna and discuss where they were from, how the tour was and other usual small talk topics.

aephanemer in kelowna

Their music and set is definitely the talking point. The style of melodeath is very similar to that of Norther, Emperanon and other similar Children of Bodom clones that came about in the late 90’s early 20’s. Now saying that this band is definitely not a clone. They have their own great twist to the genre to make it its own.

aephanemer in kelowna

On stage they were having so much fun. Bassist Lucie Woaye Hune was smiling the entire set. Watching the crowd and interacting with her facial expressions. Switching places with Martin through the set. Vocalist/guitarist Marion sounded fantastic. Great vocals and riffs all around from this budding band.

Alestorm in Kelowna

alestorm in kelowna

OH WOW! The moment we have all been waiting for! Alestorm in Kelowna for the first time ever! It really has been awhile since we had a bigger metal band roll through here. Sure we had Judas Priest back in the summer and Penticton gets a lot of bigger bands like Slayer, Megadeth and most recently Ghost (if you consider them metal that is. Some don’t. I do). Kelowna has been post host to a number of big bands like In Flames, Soilwork, Kalmah, Devin Townsend Project, Devildriver… to name a few. That’s dwindled down to nothing much beyond our exceptional independent bands.

So Alestorm sailed into town and tore the roof down.

alestorm in kelowna

Exceptional showmanship by the entire band. Christopher Bowes effortlessly crushed every song vocally and keytarlly. Mate nailed every guitar solo. Elliot and those base drops. We need to talk about those.

alestorm in kelowna

Seeing Alestorm like makes me feel like they are much more of a party band these days than they are pirate metal. They have definitely progressed into the folk realm over power metal as of the latest couple albums. These dudes are loose, hilarious, having fun and really just don’t give a fuck!

Whats to come?

We have plenty of behind the stage gears in motion to continue to bring local independent metal from the stages of British Columbia straight to the internet. Show wise, there are a few things lined up in Kelowna before the year (and decade) end.

Lakeman album release show on November 29th at Muninn’s Post

Rising Sun w/ The Unending and Planetkiller (EP release) November 30th at Muninn’s Post

Exploring the Band: Alestorm

Explore the band Alestorm with us as we go through their entire history and discography!

Welcome to our first ever Exploring the Band: Alestorm! During this time we invite the viewers to come on a journey with us while we explore a particular band’s history and discography. Each YouTube video will have a companion blog post here on our website where viewers can follow along, read the notes and checking out the sources and links provided.

Exploring the Band: Alestorm

alestorm logo

Origin: Perth, Scotland
Genre: folk/power metal (“pirate” metal)
Lyrical themes: pirates, drinking, adventure, historical events

Current Lineup:
Christopher Bowes – vocals, keytar
Mate Bodor – guitars
Gareth Murdok – bass, backing vocals
Peter Alcorn – drums
Elliot Vernon – keyboards, backing (unclean) vocals

Bandcamp
Spotify

2004

battleheart logo

Began in 2004 as Battleheart as an internet band on the Ultimate Metal forums by Gavin Harper and Christopher Bowes.

First Battleheart recordings happened in around this time with Heavy Metal Pirates as one of their first songs.

Old demo video of Heavy Metal Pirates

2006

Battleheart – Self-titled (demo)

battleheart demo

Released: April 15, 2006
Metal-Archives: 84%
Metalstorm: 7.1

These songs were re-recorded and released on future albums.

The Korpiklaani song “Journey Man” was covered.

Released on the Ultimate Metal Forum on May 10th, 2006.


June 30th, 2006 – Battleheart played their first gig at Balcony Bar in Dundee.

Terror on the High Seas (Demo)

battleheart terror on the high seas

Released: October 14, 2006
Metal-Archives: 89%
Metalstorm: 7.7

Much higher quality than their previous demo.

All songs were re-recorded for their debut album.

2007

August 8th – Changed their name to Alestorm to not be confused with Battlelore.

August 23rd – The band signs with Napalm Records

2008

Captain Morgan’s Revenge

exploring the band alestorm

Released: Jan 25, 2008
Metal Archives: 81%
Metalstorm: 7.8

Recorded September and

Recorded September and October 2007 in Scottland (keyboards) and Germany (everything else)

Only 3 tracks DON’T come from the two previous demos:

  • Captain Morgan’s Revenge
  • Huntmaster
  • Of Treasure

Flower of Scotland is a cover of the unofficial Scottish national anthem by Roy Williamson.

Lasse Lammet does all mixing, producing and engineering. He does all their albums up to the newest.

Heavy metal Pirates was released as a single on April 24th on Napster and iTunes. This was rerecorded during the Captain Morgan’s Revenge studio sessions.


Spent 2008 touring Europe and playing all the festivals including Wacken and Bloodstock.

June 14th – drummer Ian Wilson parted ways with the band due to a busy schedule. He is replaced by Alex Tabisz

Nancy the Tavern Wench live in July 2008

September 11th – Ian Wilson rejoins as drummer

September 13th – Founding member Gavin Harper quits the band citing sleepless nights budgeting, personal differences within the band and moving to a new country (Finland).

He is replaced by Tim Shaw who was fired from the band after a brief period with them. Dani Evans switched instruments from bass to guitar, and Gareth Murdock of Waylander joined as the replacement bassist.

Leviathan EP

exploring the band alestorm

October 30th
Metal-Archives: 95%
Metalstorm: 7.9

Wolves of the Sea is a cover of the song that represented Latvia in Eurovision 2008.

2009

Black Sails at Midnight

exploring the band alestorm

Released: May 27, 2009
Metal-Archives: 68%
Metalstorm: 7.9

Recorded in November of 2008 at LSD Studio

Keelhauled official video

Sold 600 copies in North America in first week

No Quarter is an instrumental track with the band’s rendition of the Pirates of the Caribbean theme in it.


First ever North American tour took place in 2009.

2010

Began recording their third album on Jan 10th.

Ian Wilson quit the band again one day before their biggest show ever. Christopher Bowes explains that the new drummer can play the drums where the previous one (Ian) couldn’t.

Video linked to the time where Chris talks about Ian Wilson quitting the band

March – Peter Alcorn joins the band on drums

Trenches and Mead tour with Sabaton through Europe.

2011

Back Through Time

alestorm back through time

Released: June 3rd, 2011
Metal-Archives: 80%
Metalstorm: 7.9

1,200 copies sold in USA first week.

Shipwrecked official video
Death Throes of the Terrorsquid official video

The lyrics to Swashbuckle reference the pirate-themed death/thrash metal band Swashbuckled.

The Sunk’n Norweigen is about a bar in River Falls, Wisconson that Chris was invited to drink after a show and liked the atmosphere so much that he wrote the song.

Rumpelkombo is written so Chris Boltendahl from Grave Digger would receive royalties from Alestorm as a reminder of their tour together. Rumpelkombo was a term to insult Alestorm during an interview. Grave Digger is very professional and Alestorm got drunk before all their shows leaving the former band to not like the latter.

Black metal screams and sections on Death Throes of the Terrorsquid.
More intense drumming with blast beats because their previous drummer couldn’t play them.


In October Elliot Vernon joins the band a keyboardist and backing (unclean) vocalist. Chris Bowes is now the lead vocalist and keytarist.

2012

The band partakes in the 70,000 tons of metal cruise.

March 16th – Christopher Bowes announces the creation of Gloryhammer.

alestorm explored
Free Alestorm

Supported Epica on a USA tour with this ridiculous poster.

2013

Filmed Live at the End of the World DVD on January 18th in Melbourne, Australia.

The DVD was released on November 15th

First headlining tour of Europe. And first ever!

November – First ever headline North America tour.

2014

February – began to record their 4th album

Sunset on the Golden Age

exploring the band alestorm

Released: August 1st, 2014
Metal-Archives: 92%
Metalstorm: 8

Drink official video
Magnetic North official video

#1 on the UK rock chart

The title references the end of the Golden Age of Piracy 1680-1720.

2015

April – Dani Evans leaves the band without an announced reason. He is replaced by Mate Bondor of Wisdom.

Headlined Piratefest America with Swashbuckle, The Dread Crow of Oddwood and Rainbowdragoneyes.

2017

January – began recording their 5th album at Audiohammer Studios in Orlando, Florida again with Lasse Lammert.

Are you enjoying exploring the band alestorm?

No Grave but the Sea

exploring the band alestorm

Released: May 26, 2017
Metal-Archives: 81%
Metalstorm: 7.6

Alestorm official video
Mexico official video

A version of the album was made called “No Grave but the Sea for Dogs” which replaced all the vocal tracks with dogs barking the lyrics.

2018

September – Alestorm headlines a North American tour with support from Gloryhammer.

Alestorm explored

Thank you for exploring the band Alestorm with us! It was a lot of fun putting this together and we have a lot more of these on the way. So stay tuned and we hope metal continues to be your medicine!

Podcast Episode 28 – The Nothing

After a two week break we are back with more album reviews in this The Nothing podcast! As usual we take on some bigger releases and smaller more local bands too. Korn released their new album The Nothing along with As I Lay Dying having a new release. So we go through them! Locally we have the deathcore act Angelmaker hitting us real hard with their self-titled sophomore release and progressive rock/metallers Orchestry with their (also) self-titled debut album.

Full episode

Here the full episode (video and audio) is available to stream. We’ve got cut up sections below.

For those who want to listen along the audio of our podcast is still available on all platforms.

Korn – The Nothing Podcast

Korn has a history of being one of those bands to release some great material in the past but always up for debate whether they’ve stayed true to themselves or not. Love them or hate them everyone has developed an opinion over time and we are not unlike.

This new album comes hot off the passing of Jonathan Davis’ mother and wife who passed away within months of each other. That leaves this album with Jonathan pouring his soul into the lyrics and vocal performance. In a way he hasn’t done in a very long time. The nothing podcast goes in depth here so have no fear. We got you covered!

Orchestry – Self-titled

Vancouver’s own prog metal Orchestry is here with their self-titled album. This act impressed me when they were in Kelowna earlier this year for the Odinfist release party and so it was a real pleasure to listen to the album and discuss it with Richard. Check them out on Bandcamp and show some support!

As I Lay Dying

Having never listened to this album I found it a real pleasure to go through. Surprising in just how much I enjoyed this release. I’m not a huge fan of metalcore though I do feel myself warming up to it especially having to go through a few really decent releases recently.

Angelmaker

Angelmaker slaps hard. This deathcore band from North Vancouver know how to bring it. They are loud and heavy. So just deal with it! We are proud to have such talent from a local area like British Columbia. Follow this band cause not only does this release kick ass but most likely their future albums will too. Head over to their Bandcamp and show some love!

Okanagan Disintegration 2019 Day 2

Here is our roundup for day two of Okanagan Disintegration!

This is the follow up from our first article covering the Friday Night of Okanagan Disintegration 2019. Day two started earlier than the majority of shows at The Post. Which didn’t stop people from showing up early.

okanagan disintegration 2019

It was a real pleasure to see new faces out at The Post.

Two reasons to show up early: it’s Okanagan Disintegration 2019 … and DEATH MACHINE was opening up the show. For the first and only time they performed as a five piece.

Okanagan disintegration 2019

Dylan took a step back from the band for reasons and was replaced by the young and incredibly talented Tanner Benedict. With Dylan returning to the band and Tanner now stepping out they took the opportunity to send him off performing all together.

death machine

This was one loud beasty performance by this tech groove death thrash [insert more sub-genres here] band. We’ve covered these talented guys many times including being the first guests on our show! They are only getting better over time. Be sure to come out and see them!

Hallux returned to Kelowna after playing here a couple months back. One of two bands from Vancouver on day two and they brought their thrashy death metal.

hallux okanagan disintegration 2019

It was great to see these guys again and that they made the trek from Vancouver to party with us over the weekend.

Okanagan metal

Total Isolation was a total surprise to me! With only the “WINFIELD demo” up on their bandcamp and minimal information beyond that there was a shroud of mystery for me while researching what I could. I enjoyed the demo and was slightly skeptical while awaiting their set.

total isolation okanagan disintegration

After some discussion with Richard we came to the conclusion that Total Isolation comes close to sounding like Bolt Thrower in their earlier days. This was by far the one band that was straight forward death metal. No gimmicks, no melody, just straight up death. I was told they had played in Kelowna previously and it would be great to see them again sometime in the near future!

Sludge/doom metallers Gardner came down from Vernon to set the atmosphere for the continued night of devastation in the Okanagan. Their music was another one that I didn’t listen to before hand so decided to go in blind. Their set was highly enjoyable and helped break up the night through the heavy metal death metal bands throughout the lineup.

gardener okanagan disintegration 2019

The guitar tones reminded me more of heavy/doom styled metal while the vocals progressed into more of a post-metal style. All around highly enjoyable with some really great sounding material.

Local blackened death metallers Apollyon hit us extremely hard with their last Kelowna show for the year. This also marked the last show for drummer Nic Depper who will be dearly missed! Fellow metalheads threw down in the pit to old and new material.

Much like a lot of the bands we cover here they’ve been hard at work on new material even though their latest release came out a mere year ago. But it is the creative drive that keeps amazing projects going!

Apollyon has previously done a podcast with Metal as Medicine and we have plenty of footage as well.

Truen’t: the missed opportunity

Spencer and the boys of Truent love memes and I feel like not naming the band Truen’t is a hugely missed opportunity!

truent okanagan disintegration

Anyways Truent blew us away again with some of the grooviest metal around. Even bringing some new tracks with more technical riffs and licks left me wanting a new studio recording by these guys! They arrived early too showing up at The Post some time in the afternoon. That’s some dedication to bring the metal to the Okanagan.

truent

It’s always a fantastic time when they come to put on a show for us. I do believe this is now the third time (or more maybe) that they’ve played in Kelowna this year. Which we’ve covered two of their visits and we’ll cover them again and again!

WAKE

I had never listened to WAKE before but knew of their grindcore/death style. Man, these fellows brought it hard. Thanks to them for stopping by Kelowna to finish up the festival in a mind blowing manner.

wake okanagan disintegration

Final words

What a fantastic weekend! Much love and respect to Braden for organizing such a fantastic festival and Muninn’s Post for hosting it. We look forward to coming back again next year and doing it all over!

Please take some time to consider purchasing some of the music of the bands that took part in Okanagan Disintegration.

Okanagan Disintegration 2019 Day 1

Kelowna was given time to prepare themselves for Okanagan Disintegration 2019 but were they truly ready? It was a gathering of Okanagan metalheads at Muninn’s Post for the first iteration of the festival. Huge success? YES. IN DEED IT WAS. Will there be more? Damn straight there will be! There better be!

okanagan disintegration 2019
Okanagan metalheads outside Muninn’s Post (Photo by Logan Pay)

The showcasing of the best metal bands from the Okanagan including a few out of town gems. But who are the real stars? The bands or the community coming out to band together and show support for local metal?

Okanagan disintegration 2019
It’s about the scene and community we build (Photo by Logan Pay)

In my word they are both equally as important. We would not have one without the other. The scene couldn’t be as vibrant as it is without the bands and the bands wouldn’t be so eager to continue on without the huge support.

okanagan disintegration 2019
Photo by Logan Pay

For me this is the pinnacle moment of an amazing year. The last hooray before hunkering down for the winter and working on what the future will bring.

Friday night metal

The night kicked off with our lads in Eden Echo bringing their progressive metal to the stage for all the early comers. As a warm up band they have always done a great job engaging the fans and it has been a pleasure watching them improve over the last year.

Unfortunately one of Eli’s strings broke during the set which caused some improv to complete their set. These kind of things are going to happen from time to time and in fact it wasn’t the only string to break during the first night. This meant they had to switch up their last song and ended up not performing Mortal Wordsmith (my personal favorite). You can see back from the fist

Check them out on Spotify! We have an Eden Echo playlist our YouTube channel too.

Tyler Lawrence and his crew have spent much time under the flag The Unending perfecting some really awesome songs. With the different bands and style of metal floating around Kelowna it’s easy to say that The Unending has a level of energy unique from all the others. Tyler is a hell of a front man for the band and an overall down to Earth great guy. We’ve previously covered The Unending when they’ve opened for headcrusher and earlier this year with Truent and Technical Damage.

The Unending okanagan disintegration 2019
The Unending (photo by Logan Pay)

The Unending unfortunately does not have any recorded material to share online but we do have a YouTube playlist to enjoy!

Enter power metal with Thousand Arrows

thousand arrows okanagan disintegration
Thousand Arrows (Photo by Logan Pay)

The first out of town band to play at Okanagan Disintegration 2019. This is, as I would find out later, the first show of the band outside of the lower mainland. Having never listened to Thousand Arrows before I was pleasantly surprised to such a great thrashy power metal style with some real epic solos. It reminded me quite a bit of the likes of power metal acts such as Seven Kingdoms, Delain, 3 Inches of Blood, and naturally Unleash the Archers all rolled into one. Maybe even a little Amberian Dawn but minus all the keyboards.

thousand arrows okanagan disintegration
Photo by Logan Pay

The music was very interesting to listen to and the instrumental and solo sections by Eijaz and Colton were a lot of fun. Both in watching and they appeared to be having a great time on stage.

ArkenFire

Kelowna’s own heavy/power metal act ArkenFire played their last Kelowna show of the year. These boys always bring it with their nerd-fueled metal which totally kicks ass!

ArkenFire okanagan disintegration 2019
ArkenFire (photo by Logan Pay)

Jacob’s vocals sounded very good, Netto always with the bright grin on his face and Millan, Randy and Ian moving around and having fun throughout the set. Long sentence! Fewf. I’m really excited to hear what ArkenFire creates next.

arkenfire
Jacob (photo by Logan Pay)

The Prison of Belief

blackwater burial okanagan disintegration 2019
Blackwater Burial (photo by Logan Pay)

Blackwater Burial slaps HARD. This album is still my AOTY main contender with their album being our first album discussion video on our YouTube channel. Their live show is just as brutal and technical as their debut album.

blackwater burial

This was my most anticipated set of the weekend and naturally Eli and the boys did not disappoint. The live show complements the studio recordings so well that it is something you don’t want to miss.

Each member of the band plays a unique and important roll in completing their sound. Everyone brought their best and it really showed.

Day 1 summary

Photo by Logan Pay

The first day was a huge success. I mean, the entire festival was a huge success before it even began with it being sold out and all. It is really amazing to see such a small place as Muninn’s Post jammed full of so many metalheads.

It showcased many of the bands we have here in the Okanagan and beyond. The lineup may not have been as heavy and intense as day 2 was lining up to be but the talent was in abundance. For myself the stand out performance was Blackwater Burial. They brought it hard as they always seem to do. We will be rounding up day 2 shortly so stay tuned!