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!

Striker, Lost Nebula and ArkenFire in Kelowna

striker kelowna

Last night Edmonton’s Striker came through Kelowna looking for a stage to shred up and they definitely found it! For a Tuesday night in July Muninn’s was packed full of metalheads headbanging along to the likes of ArkenFire, Lost Nebula and Striker.

Lasse at Muninn's Post

My good friend Lasse (from Finland) came out to his first show and visit to Muninn’s Post. He has been following the podcast since the beginning and during his trip he had been waiting to see what The Post is all about. Let’s just say he was really surprised by the metal scene here and what we had to offer. Something he figures they should have in Finland as well since most metal bars there have apparently closed down leaving just regular bars for metalheads and bands to gather at.

When people from outside of the area come and complement us on what we have here then we really have something super amazing and special going on in the Okanagan!

ArkenFire (Kelowna, BC) – Power/heavy metal

ArkenFire once again had a fantastic performance with some old songs off their EP Celestial Beasts and some new tunes they have been perfecting for an upcoming album. Time to put the heads down and get to it. These news songs are sounding stellar and there are probably a lot of fans waiting for a new album. I am for one!

Arkenfire kelowna
Jacob performing vocals

Jacob and the boys really put so much effort and passion into each song during each performance. Come out to Muninn’s during their next show to and show some support. Let them know how great they are. These and all artists appreciate it when they know their art is loved by people.

Enough talk about Luke and Leia’s forbidden love! Let’s get that new album out!

Arkenfire kelowna

Support ArkenFire

Lost Nebula (Hermosillo, Mexico) – Progressive metal/rock

It is always fun to have bands from other countries to stop by The Post and play for us. I was unsure what to expect from Lost Nebula. Again a band that I didn’t listen to before hand and the idea of progressive metal/rock can always be really fucking good or not.

This is another huge surprise to me! I wasn’t sure how into it I was during the first song or two but as I moved forward to the front of the stage and actually watched them… wow! They really impressed me! Harry Gonzalez’s bass playing absolutely stood out. The intensity, riffs, through in solos and licks. This group gave it their all and I loved it!

Support Lost Nebula

Striker (Edmonton, AB) – Heavy metal

striker kelowna

The Striker Kelowna show seemed to be one that a lot of people were looking forward to. It had been mentioned to me a few times and so I knew it was not one to miss. Traditional heavy metal isn’t really my forte but damn if I didn’t have a great time! All the metalheads in town that love their metal in the vein of 80’s heavy (or glam maybe) should have been in their element. Rightfully so I could see many in the front row headbanging away.

Striker has been around for a number of years and have put out a number of albums even on Napalm Records. Hailing from Edmonton it really feels to me like a lot of really awesome bands are coming from that area. And from different genres too. It feels to me like there isn’t a limitation to what kind of metal is developing in different areas. Lots of awesome stuff coming from everywhere.

Support Striker

They don’t seem to have their latest album on their Bandcamp but their website and Spotify has links to their new album! They were even giving away their new album for free with a ticket purchase.

Thanks and bye!

In conclusion this was another great night with my fellow metalheads out at The Post. Thanks for reading my thoughts and please take some time to consider supporting these bands and any other you find on the website and podcast!

Numenorean In Kelowna

Black metal ruled the night hosted by Numenorean in Kelowna. In support of their new album Adore the band made a stop on their way down to Vancouver to play the Modified Ghost Festival. It was nice Jesse and Siobhan to get them booked for a show as there was a lot of love and support for the post-black metal act from Edmonton. Arctos (Edmonton), Svneatr (Vancouver) and Indecipherable Noise (Peachland) all provided amazing support.

I had spoken with Brendan from Svneatr before hand about recording a podcast and he eagerly agreed. So before the show I sat down at the round table with all four members of the black metal band and we had a great time discussing the band and joking around. That episode should be coming in the next week or so. Stay tuned for that one!

Numenorean in Kelowna

Indecipherable Noise (Kelowna, BC) – instrumental progressive metal

These guys are sounding real tight. There has been a show or two since I last saw them perform but I can say that they have gotten much tighter sounding and put on a great last night.

Support Indecipherable Noise

Bandcamp
Facebook

Svneatr (Vancouver, BC) – black metal

Their debut album The Howl, The Whisper, The Hunt has been on my playlist since I found them. A blend of atmospheric type black metal with some Darkthrone worship (there is nothing wrong at all about this!!) makes for an entertaining album in my books.

Svneatr in Kelowna with Numenorean

A fellow metalhead who makes the trek down from Vernon for shows introduced me to Svneatr. From there Brendan and I began following each other on Twitter and finally after finding out about their show in Kelowna got together for the podcast.

The band was nice enough to allow me to share a new song of theirs called Lavender:

Support Svneatr

Bandcamp
Facebook
Spotify

Arctos (Edmonton, BC) – melodic black metal

Super fucking intense black metal! Holy shit. Really that’s the first thought that comes to mind while thinking about their set last night. I felt some real Dissection or Naglfar influence in their sound both during the show and on the 2017 EP A Spire Silent.

Arctos in Kelowna with Numenorean

They played some new material which they said was from an upcoming album. I’m pretty stoked on that. They’ve got some good shit going on so far.

Support Arctos

Bandcamp
Facebook

Numenorean (Edmonton, BC) – post-black metal

Their sophomore album Adore came out in mid-April and has been a staple in my weekly listens since. It’s got some amazing atmosphere and, if it can be said, catchy songs that pull me in when I listen with my headphones. So having a chance to see Numenorean in Kelowna live is really something else.

This whole post-black metal movement that’s been going on the last few years has really pulled me in thanks to this new album. I hope these guys come back again soon. In fact all the bands. This was a great night for metal and thus the world.

Support Numenorean

Bandcamp
Spotify
Facebook

Thanks for making it this far through the blog! If you enjoyed any of these bands through the recordings or video please consider supporting them! Get out to the shows and show some love for all our amazing metal bands.

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!!

We Are All West of Hell

West of Hell Tour

West of Hell rolled through town Wednesday night while on the tail end of their The Infidels Tour Canada 2019 with support acts Expain From Vancouvber and Nomad hailing from North Okanagan.

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 north okanagan metal band at muninn's post in kelowna

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 north okanagan metal band at muninn's post in kelowna

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.

Nomad YouTube Playlist
Nomad Facebook

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.

expain vancouver metal band playing in kelowna

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.

expain in kelowna

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!

Expain YouTube Playlist
Expain Bandcamp

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.

west of hell tour in kelowna

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.

west of hell tour in kelowna

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.

west of hell tour podcast in kelowna

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!

West of Hell YouTube Playlist
West of Hell Bandcamp