Widow’s Peak Tour Across Canada

Widow’s Peak has embarked on a cross-Canada tour with a number of opening acts. Some of which are touring with them for certain legs of the trek and some local opening bands.

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The particular show I went to in order to podcast with the band was in Kamloops with local bands Burn It All and Nomad opening. Nomad’s vocalist Dylan having been on a recent podcast during AMF. I had been here before back in March when Wolfheart was passing through and met up with Taylor Pottle who is also promoted and organized this show.

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.

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A little soccer outside The Blue Grotto

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.

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BBQing with Widow’s Peak

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.

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Anomalism has entered the tour

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.

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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!

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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.

Support Anomalism

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Exterminatus (Vancouver, BC) – Technical death metal

They Exterminatus cause they ain’t us. I recently watched The Interview again.

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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.

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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!

Support Exterminatus

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Widow’s Peak coming to melt your face

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.

Support Widow’s Peak

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Widow’s Peak tour

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!

Widow's Peak tour

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:

August 8th: Orator with Hallux and Dominus Nox @ Muninn’s Post
August 14th: The Hallowed Catharsis with Death Machine and No Faith In Fortune @ Blue Grotto in Kamloops
August 17th: Truent with Apollyon and Liberatia @ Muninn’s Post
August 18th: The Hallowed Catharsis with Technical Damage and No Faith In Fortune @ Muninn’s Post

Please take some time to come out to the shows, hang out with the awesome community and experience some rather kick ass bands!

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.

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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!