This week the new Rammstein album drops this weekend so we go back and discuss some of the controversy that the band has been the centre of. We also cover new albums by Danko Jones and Amon Amarth as well as ninja/samurai metal.
We also discuss Avengers: Endgame spoilers in the second half so if you do not want to be spoiled on some of the plot points don’t listen beyond our spoiler warning at about 40:30.
Rammstein Stripped controversy
Below is the making of video that Terence had watched and discusses.
Now this wasn’t a full tour with Apollyon opening up. This was a meeting of two tours. Neck of the Woods was on a Western Canada spring tour while Majestic Downfall and Helevorn were touring North America together.
Apollyon just wanted to bang out some songs and kill it. Which they did as usual.
This was another sold out show for Muninn’s Post and man was this place packed. It was tough to get off good shots during the show as the stage was rushed (and moshes going) the majority of the time. So please bare with the photos I took this time around.
This was also the first show I had been to in about 2-3 weeks. With West of Hell being the last. After a large cluster of shows lately it was strange to go some weeks without a show. There were a couple that I couldn’t make with another on Wednesday which is a huge shame as I love Invicta’s new album Halls of Extinction. Not only that but our boys The Unending and Indecipherable Noise are playing as well.
Apollyon (Kelowna, BC) – Blackened death
Hot off their appearance at the Wacken Metal Battle BC Finals (okay maybe 2 weeks off but still) Apollyon warmed up the crowd playing their same set as mentioned battle. This included the performance of the new track Wretched Grandiose. Which, to my understanding of never asked and only assuming, is the third time this track has been played live. This is a great track that I advise you to take the three and a half minutes to watch and listen to the clip here:
This was not recorded on the 11th of May but instead at the Wacken Battle of the Bands Round 3 which took place in Kelowna on March 23rd. This video clip is however the live debut of the track.
One of the things I find most intersting about Apollyon is their crowd interaction. Matt does such a great job getting the fans into it. He will leave the stage with his wireless mic to join the crowd for headbanging as well as seeking out those who know the lyrics to sing along with.
What occurred next may have happened at past shows and I just missed it but guitarist Jesse stood in the middle of the moshpit and played some FAT RIFFS while a circle pit formed around him. Damn was it a lot of fun and I couldn’t help but clench my teeth just waiting for someone to crash into him. Naturally I am processing and calculating all possible outcomes. That takes a lot of nerves to stand there and play. So hats off to Jesse.
Gothic metal is a genre I really struggle with. On one side of the coin atmospheric music is incredible and gothic metal oozes of it. On the other side I really have to be in the mood for it or else it is possible for me to deem it boring.
Helevorn surprised me. Josep Brunet‘s vocal performance was a huge surprise for me. I found myself engaged in his vocal styling which in turn tuned my ears to the music. I spent most of the time standing to the side or in the back of the venue with my eyes closed and letting the music flow through me.
Later after the set I sat down with my friend Veronica to pick her brain of what she thought of the band. She said that someone else mentioned it was good music to take a nap too. This was pretty spot on! The mood and atmosphere was definitely of that through the music and venue during the set. This comment also felt like a solid description too considering the fact that I stood with my eyes closed letting the music consume me through and through.
Take a peek at their Bandcamp page and show them some love if you are into gothic metal.
Here I have to be truly honest (like I strive for). I do not know much about Majestic Downfall at all. There is a good chance I looked them up knowing they were coming to town though never actually dove in to listen to them. I will say I really enjoyed their style of old school doom death metal.
Their set the other night had big feels of My Dying Bride or Katatonia. Quite possibly some early Opeth but I could be stretching there and really grasping. Doom metal isn’t a genre I am particularly well versed in but I do try to keep up to speed with the going-ons.
The vocals were fantastic and really added to the doom atmosphere. They are growled and belted out in a way that sounds like there is some true agony coming from deep within. The guitar melodies and dooming chord progression really added well to the overall performance and sound. Not much for a stage presence or energy level nevertheless it was a death doom show so sometimes, in these cases, the atmosphere and minor chords/melodies are what make the show.
If you were at the show and enjoyed their performance or are checking out this band for the first time now please consider supporting them: Bandcamp Spotify
Neck of the Woods (Vancouver, BC) – progressive/death/metalcore/something
This is at least the second time I’ve seen Neck of the Woods play in Kelowna. Live music is about exposing your music to an audience both new to your sound and veterans of old material. The crowd will get into the music as long as the band puts on a great performance. Now this doesn’t work with every genre. There are types of metal where this doesn’t quite work. See the previous two bands on this list where their genre of metal (gothic and doom/death) don’t always necessarily give off tons of energy. Then the performance isn’t as easy to get into. This doesn’t take away from actually enjoying the music though.
Neck of the Woods does not only have some high energy (and catchy) tracks but also put out SO MUCH in their performance. It was late and I only had a chance to see the first four songs (and record one) but dammit was it not an amazing show.
Since this is a blog about metal and my experience in the culture first hand and because of that I can take the time where and when I want mention what I please.
Neck of the Woods tour after thoughts of an aging metalhead
So with that I must say I am doing a bad job of sticking around to get the proper amount of footage and pics for the headlining bands. Could it be due to my age and inability to stay up late at night? No it couldn’t be that. Okay maybe a little. I am no senior citizen but there is a good chance I am one of the older metalheads there (and making friends with the others). This in no way means anyone should NOT come up and talk to me. I love meeting new people and there is a great chance that I’ll gladly say hello and spark up conversation about metal or whatever else is interesting.
So bear with me on some of these blog entries and fear not that I am always striving to get gud!
Kelowna black metal band Nihilistic Death Cult join Terence and Erik to discuss their shitty old demo and new one that will be recorded in their basement “studio”. The new 4 song demo should sound like Blasphemy or early Black Witchery.
Nihilistic Death Cult podcast was definitely one of my favorite recordings so far. We had a wide range and varied discussion that went much deeper than previous podcasts.
Their first show will be June 6th (Facebook event) at Muninn’s Post. Be sure to come out and see these elitists show us their poser crushing caveman riffs!
The results can vary but is common to have a black metal vibe or atmosphere to it due to the stripped down production, riffing style and speed. Vocals commonly can be screamed or screeched rather than growled or sung. Lyrical content can be bleak and nihilistic yet politically engaged involving such topics as nuclear war, oppressive states, anti-fascism, anti-religion and rebellion.
Poser Crushing Caveman Riffs
Have you ever heard poser crushing caveman riffs? Metal bands that incorporate the worst production and mixing possible to create what inevitably sounds like black noise. On the Nihilistic Death Cult podcast we discuss some of the bands that send us head first into the world of black noise.
Sarcofago was considered one of the war metal or black metal bands. The cover of their 1987 album that we discussed on the show can be seen in the image below.
Burning Churches in Norway
Christianity and churches have a long and brutal history in Norway. Black metal in Norway lead to the rise of church burnings and helped push the ideology of refusing Christianity and other established global religions.
Even though the infamous church burnings in Norway took place in the early 90’s we are seeing it happen in recent times too. This article covers recent events in Louisiana possibly influenced by black metal. Now whether it actually is or not is another story. It is only a small group of the subgenre that either support or advocate for those types of actions.
From Wikipedia, dungeon synth is a subgenre of dark ambient but early pioneers were mainly associated with the black metal scene. Classic dungeon synth focuses largely on recreating medieval musical styles and textures with synthesizers.
Below is the project Fief and a perfect example of dungeon synth music. Bellkeeper is the project we talk about on the podcast.
Napster vs Spotify
Cole Gluszkowski bassist of, Terence’s band, Dracula Black drops in to discuss illegal streaming, Napster and MP3s.
This is an article based on how much each streaming service payout to artists.
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.
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!
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!