When preparing for a recent podcasting episode I happened to come across a folder created during Armstrong Metalfest. This was sometime during day one I made my way back to camp and copied over a bunch of AMF live videos to make room on my phone for more. Which actually never happened. Anyways, below is a collection of songs
The Vth Circle live video
I don’t know much about The Vth Circle but I did enjoy their set at AMF. I contacted the band to let them know I had this footage which they were very appreciative of and told me the song is actually called The Storm and Rotter. Two songs back to back. So bam. Two for the prize of zero!
They also have a ton of material on their Bandcamp. The vocal style is very a very evil style of raspy growls while the music is full on melodic death metal. That’s quite different from what normally comes out of this part of the world for metal. It easily has this Scandinavian styled sound not too different from the likes of say early Soilwork or Dark Tranquillity.
Liberatia live video
Thrashy death metal. Fast and intense stuff which reminds me a little of Dead Asylum or West of Hell (though different but sometimes similar style of vocals). I spent some time with these releases as well and quite enjoyed what I heard.
This video was already provided in a recent blog post I did about their cross Canada tour that is currently happening. So just to repost something (hey, I can do that from time to time) here is Widow’s Peak “Pillars of Failure”. Matt has a great intro to the song explaining what it is about:
“This song is about getting trapped inside your own fucking head. And building up an empire for anyone who ever fucking told you you couldn’t do what you wanted to do. … If anyone ever told you you couldn’t do something. If anyone ever told you you weren’t fucking good enough. Now’s the time fucking shine.”
I really like these dudes. They are good understanding people who provide a very positive message with their music. Did I ever mention their tech death is crazy good? I highly recommend people to give their Graceless EP a chance and get out there to see them play on their cross Canada tour!
This guys slap so hard! They recently played in Kelowna and I got a shit ton of footage for these dudes. We got together to do a written interview recently and one of these days I’ll get together with them to record a podcast episode. That is when the stars align.
These dudes also have a fantastic style of tech death that is quite literally out of this world. Being Warhammer 4K inspired. Check out their Bandcamp and our YouTube channel for more kick ass metal.
I had the day off of work (this doesn’t happen often) and went up mid afternoon. In the car that I have it doesn’t even feel like driving so the 2 hour road trip isn’t a problem at all. It was a real pleasure meeting up with both bands at the Blue Grotto which in itself is a neat venue to visit.
After the bands (Anomalism and Widow’s Peak) rolled in from their Nelson, BC show they quickly unloaded their gear before having a little parking lot BBQ.
The day after (Friday) Widow’s Peak and Anomalism made their way to Kelowna to play at The Post along with Death Machine and Exterminatus. The latter playing their first show ever in Kelowna. I ended my day at 8:00pm after a 12 hour shift and ripped from work to the metal show. Naturally I did stop at home first to throw on my Anomalism shirt.
Burn It All (Kamloops, BC) – metal
I had never heard of Burn It All before. Saw their name on the poster for Kamloops. From there I found my way to their Facebook page where they have some jam sessions. Honestly I don’t quite remember what the music was like at the time I watched their videos. So this quickly turned into one of those sets where I don’t know what to expect.
Burn It All has this style similar to Evanescence. The songs sound structured like rock songs with Amber singing in a sort of style similar to Amy Lee but almost gives me a more doom or traditional heavy metal style. There were a lot of riffs that sounded like a Kittie crossover. Kinda like a nu-metal/heavy metal style.
This ended up being a really great set by a new band hailing from Kamloops. I got the opportunity to catch up a little with Burn It All after I had arrived in Kamloops and they were really great people. They informed they that they were involved somehow with a podcast that comes out of Kamloops. I’ll have to dig a bit deeper and find out more about that one.
They had a long set which I found out later was only about half the songs they’ve written. I also caught up with Travis later who says they are recording their first release too. It’ll be great to listen to and get a chance to record a podcast with them when the material is ready.
Check them out on Facebook for some jam session material.
When you gotta go you gotta go
Unfortunately I didn’t have much time to spend at the show in Kamloops and I had to leave shortly after Burn It All’s set. This meant I had to completely miss Nomad’s set which totally bummed me out as I really feel like they slap hard and put on a wicked good set.
I did get a chance to say hi to Dylan and Bretton. Dylan, of course, made it out the next day to the Kelowna show so it was nice to catch up with him for a short while there. I was quite tired after the trip to Kamloops and then work but I highly enjoyed myself and would easily do this back to back shows again!
Death Machine (Kelowna, BC) – Okanagan death metal
I arrived 2 songs into their set so I jumped right in and recorded some footage of these boys. They really appreciate the exposure and it will continue to come my friends!
Death Machine is one busy band. They’ve been touring, writing and (hopefully) recording a lot this year. If you have been coming out to the shows you’d easily be able to tell that they’ve gotten tighter since the spring.
Dylan had to take a break from the band due to work and Tanner Benedict as per this Facebook post:
Tanner is 14 years old and destroying it in a death metal band! This young man is extremely talented and has such a bright future. I really hope we get to see more of him in Death Machine and any other bands he happens to be creative with.
Death Machine sounded tight af with their groovy intense tech death metal. The songs are insane. How they switch tempos mid section by speeding up the riffs is just insane. Listening to the music just blows me away. Honestly, I think back to all the metal bands I have enjoyed in the past. Hypocrisy, Bloodbath, Opeth (earlier stuff), Arch Enemy. It all amazed me back when I started listening to metal. Especially shit like Penetralia and Arch Enemy’s Wages of Sin. These days some of these bands just blow that shit out of the water.
Support Death Machine
These boys don’t have much material out but give it a chance and help support these awesome guys.
Joining Widow’s Peak on this particular leg of the tour is Anomalism. Hailing from Winnipeg they hit us real hard on their debut EP Parasitic Spawn. Released in January 2019 this tech death EP hits with some devastating riffs, rhythms and the odd melody.
Mike Palmer’s vocals spew out over a mix of tech death and brutal traditional death metal riffs. Some extremely intense and interesting material especially on my personal favorite tracks Cryptosphere and the title track Parasitic Spawn.
Listening to debut material like this just leaves me to wonder how it was even possible to completely enjoy the metal of the 80’s and 90’s. When I go back and listen it just seems so much less entertaining to listen to. This could be a reason why I am always pushing forward to find new material I have never heard before. Metal just keeps getting better!
I had spent some time reading the lyrics and getting to know the kick ass music. It really is this intense tech death(core-ish) music that kicks a lot of ass. There is just enough of an old school vibe to make the songs come across as refreshing without the continuous onslaught of tech death. The lyrics and artwork of the shirts and album come off with that fictional look most deathcore bands have. I’m loving it. As a huge fan of sci-fi or high fantasy this band really appeals to me.
We may have gotten together to record a short podcast in Kamloops but ultimately I ended up missing their set in Kamloops. Fortunately I did not in Kelowna and it was such a great time! The intensity was unmatched by any other three piece I’m yet to see on the stage.
Exterminatus (Vancouver, BC) – Technical death metal
They Exterminatus cause they ain’t us. I recently watched The Interview again.
These boys slap HARD. It was their first show in Kelowna and they put out. The crowd was deeply into it. The pit was going insane with Josh Reaver in there marching around like Jotunn.
The sound of Exterminatus hits hard and is relentless. Even in the instrumental parts like the intro to The Great Attractor is heavy af. Max’s drumming is extremely interesting to listen to and watching this song live is something else. Unlike some tech bands that go hard which each song and don’t quite have that quality that makes it memorable. I can say that Exterminatus has some very unique riffs and fills that make the songs memorable and actually rather easy to pick out of the bunch.
My interest is at an all time peak with these guys so I’m quite excited to see what they put out next after this. At the very least they need to come play Kelowna again. Their Facebook page reads no upcoming gigs. Let’s bring Exterminatus back again!
We were supposed to meet up at AMF and things fell through due to unforeseen mix-ups. So instead of recording a podcast (which we will do eventually!!) we did a written interview to help give the band some promotion.
Exterminatus at AMF
I found some lost footage of Exterminatus perfroming The A.R.C. at AMF. Watch below!
What these boys offer on their debut EP Graceless and in their live show is utterly and disgustingly fantastic. The moment you hit play and Debt Collector kicks in you know you’re in for a slamming time. Matt Yeomans’ vocals are full of range and add a texture to the music that feels unmatched by bands that are at similar stages in their careers.
Chris McCrimmon and Scott Cressman supply the sweeps, technical, and sometimes melodic riffs. With the odd power cord and tremolo picking to help manifest the downright destructive atmosphere.
Graceless is a onslaught of sound from beginning to end that no tech death fan should skip. You hear that! Don’t even consider scrolling past their social media post. Click that shit and enjoy!
Sadly I didn’t get to see Widow’s Peak play at all either Thursday or Friday night. Which is a shame cause I loved their set at AMF and it would have been a pleasure to experience them again.
Widow’s Peak destroys AMF
You know what is awesome? I found some AMF footage and one of the videos just happened to be Widow’s Peak!
Widow’s Peak just happened to destroy the stage at Armstrong Metalfest this summer as well. Like there was no stage left and they had to cancel the rest of the festival after they left it a smoldering crater. Okay so maybe that didn’t happen but it SOUNDED like it did. The dudes were also supposed to meet up for a podcast episode which they DID for a bit but we were so busy in conversation with Thomas from Sentinels that we didn’t get to chat a whole lot about the band.
That’s basically why I went all the way to Kamloops to meet up with these awesome dudes.
Take the chance to come out and see these guys play on one of their dates. Widow’s Peak are currently on their cross-Canada tour and there are so many dates that there is bound to be one close to you!
Also touring with Detherous who were on the podcast earlier this year letting us know about their new album Hacked to Death which should be out on the 16th. They play an old school style of death metal in the vein of Death and Obituary.
Wrapping up another week
This was an intense week of metal in the Okanagan giving us yet another reason to be a metalhead. It’s a great time to be in the scene and it’s a real pleasure coming out and meeting everyone every week and covering this amazing scene.
There are a few more shows scheduled over the next few months:
Hit play, read the interview below and afterwards please consider supporting the band by buying the music or merch!
We were to meet at AMF to podcast but due to unforeseen circumstances that didn’t come to be. I did see your set though and it was as intense as your recorded material. Can you describe the experience on stage and what it is like to play at a festival such as AMF? Have you played it before?
First off, thanks man. No, we have never played AMF before. In fact, this is technically our first time playing outside of the lower mainland. For us, this was hand’s down the best stage we’ve ever played on, and the energetic crowd at AMF made it more exciting for us to be on stage. The whole festival was a pleasure to not only be a part of but attend as fans ourselves.
Being a fairly new band (with Laniakea under your belt) and being a extreme tech death band in Vancouver, how you do find the scene to be? Are there any struggles you’ve faced?
Actually, we have two albums out now. Our first album Veni Vidi Vici came out in 2013, with a different line up. The Vancouver metal scene has been getting stronger lately, both in terms of bands and individual musicianship. This has been exciting for us as it pushes us to continue improving on our abilities. We’ve faced many struggles over the years. For example, our first album was completely wiped out after recording and had to be re recorded. LANIAKEA… was almost all redone at some point, two or three times.
Metal as Medicine has had many guests on the podcast discuss the lack of venues to play at (medium sized) how do you see that in the lower mainland? Do you feel the scene could benefit from a variety of venues?
Some venues have closed down over the past few years, the ones that remain are still active and local promoters are doing a great job of putting on shows. Larger venues would make Vancouver more attractive for bigger festivals and tours. Typically the only way to play the larger venues now is to open for larger touring bands. Of course having a more diverse selection of venues would be beneficial.
About the music
Speaking of Laniakea, can you touch a little on how the writing and recording process went? How was the experience in the studio? Who did you record with?
To keep it short, LANIAKEA was originally written around 2011. We have since reworked, recorded, then re recorded a couple of times until the 2018 iteration was released. The majority of the songs and lyrics, excluding bass and drums, were written by Tabreez. Although structured by him, everyone had input and influence on this album. Recording LANIAKEA was a long and donair filled process. There were many ups and downs; though more downs than ups. In the end, this experience has made us closer band mates and better musicians. The final version was recorded and mixed at Beat Lab Studios (aka Max’s Grandmother’s basement). The album was entirely produced, engineered, and mixed by Max. In fact, this was Max’s first official mix and album release.
Does the band have any primary writers or is it a collaborative effort by everyone?
To date, Tabreez has written the majority of the material. Exterminatus was initially a side project for him when he played in Xenocide. Of course, we still consider the band a collaborative effort as everyone has input in the evolution of the material, new and old.
How did the band come about the name Exterminatus? What kind of message is the band trying to convey with the image and atmosphere of the music?
The name comes from Warhammer 40k lore, it refers to the destruction of an entire planet’s biosphere. Both releases are concept albums and there isn’t any underlying message to our music. The music is self representative and we just try and write good death metal.
What does the band have planned for new material? A new release coming perhaps? If so, how far along is writing? How is it going?
We are working on a new full length album, there are no plans for release as of yet. The new album, similar to LANIAKEA, has been in writing for a long time circa 2012. It’s roughly 3/4 written and the concept for the album is mostly in place.
Any memorable stories from playing shows or touring?