Podcast Episode 4 – Wolfheart Road Trip


After a wild Wacken Battle of the Bands Erik road trips to Kamloops, BC where Wolfheart is playing a one-off show with Dead Asylum and Shatterless. During his time there he meets up with the Gladius Sky vocalist Taylor Pottle to chat about the band and his business T&A Production. He also meets up with Justin Bentley from Shatterless to chat up the Kamloops metal scene and what it’s like to be a hard rock band in a smaller city.

Locations:
Bands mentioned:

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

ArkenFire and Tzimani entertain Kelowna Friday night.

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.

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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.

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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.

Apollyon Debuts New Track “Wretched Grandiose”

Saturday night, at Wacken Battle of the Bands, Apollyon debuted the new track Wretched Grandiose. The set also included songs from their album False Light and solidified themselves as winners of Wacken Battle of the Bands round 3 Kelowna.

They will battle against other winners BC Finals set to take place April 28 in Vancouver at The Red Room. See the Facebook event here.

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!