West of Hell Tour
As you can see in the image below they started out in Red Deer, Alberta, went across Canada to Quebec and back to the island. Making a pit stop in their home town of Vancouver for a show before crossing to the island for a final stop in Victoria.
Setting up the podcast rig
We had a different set up this time on the other side of Muninn’s where we had a round table to sit at and record the podcast. We had Asher Media Relations set us up with an interview with West of Hell (even if Terence was friends with most of the band anyways). Which is totally fine. I wouldn’t say it is a headache contacting bands and keeping track of interviews but it definitely is no easy task!
There won’t be many details here regarding the recording of the podcast. That will be saved for a future blog entry when we post the interview (next week? Possibly!). What I will say is that it was a real blast and we had quite a few people drop in to chat with us. Whispers of guests from Odinfist and Dracula Black and Armstrong Metal Fest…
Now is a good time to say that, yes, Metal as Medicine will be at Armstrong Metal Fest this year! I’m a little ashamed to say it but it will be my FIRST time there. Being as I had been so into the Euro extreme scene most my life I never took any notice to any of the bands playing at AMF aside from maybe Neck of the Woods, 3 Inches of Blood, and the odd big name like Suffocation and Kataklysm. It is safe to say I’m regularly listening to and highly enjoying many of the bands on the bill this year. We will also be setting up our podcasting rig to get as many bands as possible sitting down with us to talk the festival, the band and whatever else comes to mind.
Nomad (North Okanagan, BC) – groove metal
Nomad was up first at 8:00pm. I had never listened to them before and quite frankly I am unsure if they are on Bandcamp or anywhere else. For the life of me I just couldn’t find them anywhere but on Facebook. Actually there isn’t much at all that I know about this band.
Nomad sounded fairly tight as far as I could tell without hearing studio recordings. The vocals were very good and I was impressed for being in a live setting. A mixture of rough clean vocals with growls and screeches. It kind of felt like while the vocalist was top notch the guitarists and bassist seemed to be looking at their instruments quite a bit. That’s alright for being sure they are hitting the notes but there didn’t seem to be a whole lot of interaction with the crowd.
Now this is just from my recollection of the night. I very well could be dead wrong. This is definitely a band I would love to see play again live a couple times. It looks like they are playing Armstrong Metal Fest. So we’ll get a chance to see them there again if not some time sooner!
The track Choke (as seen below) stood out for me. With the clean tone guitar intro with clean vocals then breaking into more heavier sections. It was a long one too clocking in at over 8 mins. So what or who do they sound like? It could be said they sound similar to Neck of the Woods’ self-titled album. Where it is like, okay maybe a form of death metal or deathcore but not quite there. So it ends up with this type of unique metal sound.
Expain (Vancouver, BC) – melodic death metal
Second up was Expain which seems as though this wasn’t their first, second or maybe even third romp in Kelowna. Seasoned vets for The Post it seems. Either way they put on a fantastic show. Throwing down some serious melodic death metal in, again, a unique style that I am finding hard to match in another band.
I was speaking with Terence earlier in the night about how a lot of these Vancouver bands have this groove style that is very reminisce of such bands as SYL, Zimmer’s Hole and other seasoned Vancouver acts that had that groove machine sound to it. Not that this is in the same vein as Truentor Technical Damage. Both those bands have that style more prominent in their sound.
What nice guys! They even went and wished Taylor McDonald (drummer of Death Machine) a happy birthday! The metal scene is this tight nit family that once you connect with fellow metalheads you’re in for life. Even if they hang out daily or once and awhile once you’re part of the metal family that’s it. It truly is one of the most exciting part of the scene.
Maybe one day someone could explain “tiny horns” to me? The phrase was tossed around by vocalist Sean Ip a few times during their set. It is some kind of meme that seemed to be popular for a bit at The Post. No matter it looked hilarious!
Seriously, these guys are so so good to watch live. All the members are very into it. Interacting with the crowd, great facial expressions and a shit ton of energy. Yeah, I say this every time, if you get the chance to see them live do yourself a favor and see them!
West of Hell (Vancouver, BC) – thrash metal
The West of Hell tour stops here. Naturally. With West of Hell. Lead by Chris “The Heathen” Valagao of Zimmer’s Hole and SYL fame and with a new album hot off the press these guys RIPPED. There is no doubting it they put on a fantastic must-see show.
As the West of Hell tour stops in Kelowna they brought the flames and fire with them. Whether grinding away at thrashy power metal songs or literally grinding the mic stand these guys put on a great show.
Thrashing their way through old and new songs alike it really was impossible to tell that these guys were on the last legs of a long tour. Unfortunately I didn’t stay till the end of the show as my nursing duties called in the AM. But still what I did see was nothing short of sheer awesomeness.
This is a band that is well loved across the global metal scene even if they’ve been around only a short time and have only two albums under their belts. It helps that these are just awesome dudes that have great personalities that translate so well in the music and stage presence.
This was a fantastic experience sitting down hearing stories of being on the road as well as sharing some great laughs. This episode should be up next week some time so please have a listen when it is available!