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!
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?
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.
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
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 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
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.
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.
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!
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.
The Prison of Belief
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.
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
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!
Vancouver’s progressive power/melodeath Apprentice in Kelowna at Muninn’s Post Saturday night. Along with them for the ride out was heavy metallers Greyhawk coming up from Seattle for their first show ever in Kelowna.
We recorded podcast episode 25 the week leading up to the show so Richard and myself recorded some videos where we discussed both Apprentice’s debut album and Greyhawk’s EP. Naturally it would be a great opportunity to sit down with one of the bands and discuss their album, live show, the band blah blah. Discuss the usual stuff that goes into making a good podcast episode!
So we did. Apprentice joined us in our first video recorded podcast! So go ahead and enjoy the podcast episode as you journey through this experience we have created before you!
Apprentice in Kelowna
As always this was a great time. I’m really looking forward to the new album(s) being worked on and it may be a little time before we hear from these guys again especially around these parts. But I do feel the next time we see Apprentice in Kelowna they will have some awesome new material to put forth for us. Having said that the set was really amazing and they ended up playing their entire debut album along with a new song. It doesn’t make for a lot of ground to cover but hot damn they did a wicked good job of pulling it off.
Greyhawk already sounded killer on their debut EP which blended everything awesome about 80’s metal into one solid record. It was something else to see them play these songs live and just shred the hell out of The Post.
Yo-Yo tricks by Joey Hockin
Apprentice in Kelowna was selling branded yo-yos because Joey is quite the talented yo-yoer himself! He gladly showed off his skills for us and now for the rest of the Internet too!
Man these guys are serious shredders. In our album video for Ride Out Richard and I discussed in depth why these guys are good and exactly what they bring with their EP. Seeing them live hands down is so much better than what you hear on the album. Dueling guitars, shredding solos, fantastic live vocals (and show) by Rev Taylor.
I am looking forward to seeing what they can do with more time in the studio and a full-length album. Richard and I had a little chat with them before the show and they have some fantastic themes and wicked influences that should mash together into a really fine album of 80’s styled metal.
Take a moment to support these awesome “homage to the 80’s” metallers! Seriously, the show they put on is incredible. Facebook Bandcamp
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:
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!
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!