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!

Truent’s Tour Ending Kelowna Date

Truent’s tour ended in Kelowna with support from Liberatia and Apollyon

Truent in Kelowna! They made it! The last stop on their tour and believe me when I say Kelowna is definitely the place to do that. Why? Cause that’s what everyone says. You’ll understand better after attending a banger of a show like we saw this weekend (two to be exact). The community is thriving, people are coming out, the metal is loud and intense, the musicians talented af.

Last time they were here was way back when Metal as Medicine was just starting out and here we are some half year later covering them again! Back at that point in time I had no idea who anyone was and felt a little awkward coming in and covering the community has it was. Like some kinda outsider. Now I am an insider?

Truent in Kelowna

The boys rolled into town with Liberatia from their Prince George stop the night before. Psyched and ready to go Spencer and I sat down to record a podcast episode (which I promise is coming very soon!). It was a blast learning about the ins and outs of the band and I’m looking forward to sharing the experience. But in this case it’s all about the music and live show right now. So let’s carry on shall we?!

Liberatia (Courtney, BC) – thrash/death metal

After seeing them at Armstrong Metalfest last month I was very excited to experience the set up close and personal. Boy did these lads deliver.

Liberatia in Kelowna

We sure hope you like crabcore because it’s finally making a comeback. It has only been 9 years or so but Liberatia knows what’s up!! If anyone understands it is definitely them.

Liberatia crabcore
Crabcore 2019.

If you like thrashy death metal from the Island. Well, shit, it can be from anywhere really that doesn’t matter. Then check these guys out and show them some support. Throw them a few bucks on their Bandcamp to show some love.

Support Liberatia

Bandcamp
Spotify

Apollyon (Kelowna, BC) – blackened death metal

What is there not to say about these guys? They have some really killer tracks. Extreme intensity and a mixture of old school death metal with a blackened touch. Matt’s vocals are devastating and his presence on stage is far different from anyone else. We can sum it all up in a meme:

meme here

Apollyon Kelowna

Eventually Matt will turn around. This guy moves so much up there that I have a hard time getting good shots with my phone.

Apollyon Kelowna

They have been working hard on new material and as I am randomly recording songs of the bands I’ve managed to get Wretched Grandiose and Nightmaker twice each now. There is nothing wrong with that. This gives visitors a chance to see the band from different angles and settings as well as gives the band the ability to watch themselves and learn/grow!

Support Apollyon

Bandcamp
Spotify

Truent (Vancouver, BC) – groove/thrash metal

Truent in Kelowna! What an original sound these guys have. The riffs and licks have some real personality and the melodies are distinct in sound. These guys groove hard and it damn well shows on stage.

Above is even a brand new song that isn’t released yet. It’s damn good and these boys put on a tight show.

Truent in Kelowna

Once the band is grooving on stage I seem to find this groovy rhythm to bounce my head along to. It is contagious as you can see so many others doing the same thing.

truent in kelowna

So please give these guys a moment of your time and if you like what you see and hear please consider coming out to their show and/or showing support through their Bandcamp!

Support Truent

Bandcamp
Spotify

This was a blast of a show with lots of familiar faces to the scene out enjoying the metal. It’s so much fun being part of this because it truly feels like a giant family. Each member gets along with the other and they bring their unique skills to the community. If you have some way you can contribute please drop us a line and we’ll see where you can fit in! We are always looking for more volunteers!

See all you fellow metalheads at the next show!!

Podcast Episode 16: Armstrong Metalfest 2019

The members of Armstrong Metalfest (Bretton, Andrew, Jesse and Heather) gives a run down on the history of the annual festival and how it came to begin. The tenth Armstrong Metalfest will take place July 12-13 in Armstrong, BC.

The Armstrong Metalfest is inspired by the European metal festival scene. Born to mimic the idea behind a festival held in Kamloops called Metalokaloops (spelling?). I tried digging up information about the festival from the Internet but couldn’t find anything relevant.

Armstrong Metalfest Guests

Bretton Melanson (Founding member, President of West Metal Society, drummer of Nomad)
Andrew Kutzner (Volunteer Coordinator, Vice President of West Metal Society)
Jesse Valstar (Founding member, Treasurer of West Metal Society, bassist of Odinfist) (Odinfist release party for their new album)
Heather Lemon (Health and Safety coordinator of AMF, Secretary of West Metal Society)

Official website
Facebook

Armstrong Metalfest Lineup

armstrong metal fest

This is the first year that AMF is having European bands on the bill. Betraying the Martyrs and Within Destuction (Slovenia) are both playing on the Saturday.

Kelowna bands include Apollyon, Death Machine (our very first episode!), Indecipherable Noise, and Arkenfire.

armstrong metalfest stage times

The festival takes up two days and has bands playing from 11:00am through till midnight both days. Metalheads are welcome to camp over night in the designated area or at one of the local hotel/motels.

The billboard

The team got together to build a billboard along the highway to help advertise the festival.

Andrew, Bretton and Jesse constructing the billboard
armstrong metalfest
The final product!
Jesse’s sign selfie

Band submissions

During the episode Jesse and Bretton go over some of the factors they take into consideration when taking band submissions. If you are interested in submitting your band to play at Armstrong Metalfest please see this website.

Songs played during this episode

Odinfist – Search Party (Bandcamp)
Apollyon – Past the Reaches of the Sun (Bandcamp)
Truent – Another Day in the Dirt (Bandcamp)
Roadrash – Burnout (Bandcamp)
Exterminatus – The Final Days (Bandcamp)
Centuries of Decay – The Architect (Bandcamp)
Arkenfire – Raid Winds (Bandcamp)

Bands playing the festival

If you enjoy any of these bands please show support by purchasing their music and merch! Come out to the shows and give support to the awesome metal scene we have!

Origin
Betraying the Martyrs
Wake
Entheos
Within Destruction
Nekrogoblikon
Centuries of Decay
Odinfist
Apollyon
Nomad
Sentinels
Pound
Arkenfire
Obsidian
Gross Misconduct
Apprentice
Widow’s Peak
League of Corruption
Roadrash
Truent
Arctos
Exterminatus
Tessitura
Hazzerd
Death Machine
The Vth Circle
Myopia Condition
Disturb the Dead
Indecipherable Noise
Liberatia
Conniver

Neck of the Woods Spring Tour 2019

Neck of the Woods tour blazed through Kelowna Saturday night with them playing a headlining show along with Helevorn (Spain), Majestic Downfall (Mexico) and local act Apollyon opening up.

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

apollyon kelowna

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.

Support Apollyon:
Bandcamp
Spotify

Helevorn (Spain) – doom/gothic

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 gothic metal kelowna

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.

helevorn gothic metal band in kelowna

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.

Support Helevorn:
Bandcamp
Spotify

Majestic Downfall (Mexico) – doom/death

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.

majestic downfall kelowna

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

neck of the woods spring tour 2019

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.

Support Neck of the Woods:
Bandcamp
Spotify

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!

Next up is Invicta on Wednesday night at Muninn’s Post and then the Odinfist album release party on May 18th! This one we’ll be at to record footage and other fun stuff. Come out and support local metal!!

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: