Archive for Canada

King Diamond Announces North American Tour

Posted in News with tags , , , , on 23rd June 2014 by hammersmashedlauren

And the rumors are TRUE! The legendary King Diamond has announced a full North American tour for the fall! After hearing rumors for weeks about a possible tour and the leak of a date in New York City, the band has confirmed a 19 date tour across the U.S and Canada. The band will have it’s original lineup, and King Diamond will be doing their full European festival stage show for each date! A special guest act will be supporting which will be announced later on.

A limited edition King Diamond jacket will be available through the fan club pre-sale ( that begins tomorrow, June 24th. Tickets will be on sale online for the rest of the public nationwide on Friday, June 27th.  Here is a list of dates taken from the official King Diamond Facebook page:



PAGES OF THE PAST: Annihilator – Alice In Hell

Posted in Pages of the Past with tags , , , , , , , on 29th October 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Who would’ve thought Canada could produce one of the best thrash bands on the planet. Annihilator is the brain-child of Jeff Waters, and the band are recognised the world over for two albums in particular, Alice in Hell and Never, Neverland.

Alice in Hell is one of the most technical thrash albums of its generation, with dynamic guitar work, intense drumming, groovy bass-lines and banshee like vocals. While the original release of the album featured the nine tracks listed, the 1998 re-release featured three bonus tracks, two of which were demos of songs from this album, and the other being a demo of a song to be heard on Never, Neverland. But that is a tale for another time, let us now visit Alice in Hell.

The opening instrumental, Crystal Ann, is a classical guitarist’s nightmare of intricate passages. Its twin guitar harmony performed by Waters has given many players chills at its technical prowess. It has also opened every Annihilator show since the album’s release. As soon as that intro hits, the hairs on the back of your neck will stand to attention, and salute the metal you are about to graciously receive within the confines of this 38 minutes of thrash metal mastery from Mr Waters and company.

From an amazing classical intro, to the second track, opening with the chilling bass intro, Alison Hell takes you on a musical journey through the torn mind the character of Alison. The guitars weave a tapestry of torment with their harmonies and relentless rhythmic chug. Vocalist Randy Rampage adds a menace to the song with his dark lyrical content, and Water’s piercing shriek and proto-death-grunt of Alison Hell make the title track an aural assault.

Welcome to Your Death takes the technical approach, and reins it in slightly. This is by no means a detriment to the song, it is in fact quite refreshing. The addition of the clean passage allows the listener a short break from pounding rhythms. The harmony part that Waters leads over sounds much more technical than it actually is, and leads into a good old fashioned thrash attack. For these reasons, fans have considered it an anthem, and it has been featured heavily in the set-list for many years.

The same can be said of Wicked Mystic which takes a more straightforward approach to thrash. Rampage’s vocals are the perfect ally for the guitar work. The un-ending battering of this song shows great stamina from all the players, and shows what thrash metal should be made of.

Burns like a Buzzsaw Blade is the real dark horse track on the album, lyrically it sounds like it shouldn’t work, but fits perfectly within the albums track-list. Water’s goes for an all out divebomb attack for his lead, like the whammy bar is going out of fashion, but still sounds good to this day. To cap it all off, the end of the song is heralded by Rampage emulating a Buzzsaw with his scream. I bet his voice burned like a Buzzsaw blade after that one, ey?

The misleading intro to Word Salad is quite dark for a clean passage. It works at distracting you while the main chug theme sneaks up on you to deliver an injection of distortion. The riffs are intricate, and have been a big influence on a lot of guitar player’s song writing styles. Yet another example of a straightforward thrash tune that would fit in with any set-list that comes out of Jeff Water’s brain.

They say that Schizos (Are Never Alone), and to an extent this is true. Is it? Yes it is, now can I please get on with the song review? Oh sorry, yes, please continue. Thank you, now where was I? This song is brutally fast and relentless in its barrage of speed metal riffs. Most thrash bands have fast songs, or fast sections to songs, but these riffs break boundaries between speed and all out thrash. As the song weaves in two parts, it is in its own way schizophrenic, with its slow parts being almost doom-like compared to its faster, more aggressive side.

Ligeia is one of the other darker horse songs on the album, with constant tempo and feeling changes, featuring nods to AC/DC in the riff ideas. The insane fast solo is a brilliant example of Jeff Waters as a young guitarist with a mis-spent childhood, which just proves that practice makes perfect, or very fast guitar solos. You thought I was being rude didn’t you?

In total contrast Human Insecticide shows more thrash potential. Though the riffs are meaty, the speed is the defining factor of how to make a thrash metal album sound completely awesome. The middle section takes a tempo dive and adds a total groove section, with yet another divebomb fest, that returns us to the true thrash speed. As an album closer, it leaves you satisfied, yet wanting tonnes more material.

There are few bands that can write material that stands the test of time as well as this album. The material is ageless, and still manages to scare even the most hardcore guitarists into wanting to improve their abilities, or just give it up altogether, and they would be right in doing so. This is an outstanding piece of thrash history.


Dan Eastwood

Protest The Hero announce headline Euro tour dates with Tesseract and The Safety Fire

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on 12th September 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Following their highly successful crowd funding campaign with Indiegogo, Protest The Hero have announced quite happily the company will be the sponsors of their first UK and European tour of the Violation album cycle. the tour will be begin 6th January next year in Germany and will end in Holland a month later on 8th February. Supporting Protest The Hero are UK bands Tesseract and The Safety Fire, plus Toronto-based band Intervals.

Violation is scheduled for release in the UK via Spinefarm Records on 28th October with other European countries matching this release date as closely as possible. The band will also be touring the US and Canada in November and December. UK dates are as follow:

01.02.14 UK Brighton @ Concorde 2
02.02.14 UK Birmingham @ O2 Academy2
04.02.14 UK Sheffield @ Corporation
05.02.14 UK Glasgow @ Classic Grand
06.02.14 UK Manchester @ Academy2
07.02.14 UK London @ The Electric Ballroom

Protest The Hero online:


Rival Sons announce Canadian headline tour

Posted in News with tags , , , , on 11th September 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Rival Sons have just announced a headline tour of the land of maple syrup; Canada, following their recently completed US tour with included dates with legendary rocker Sammy Hagar. The tour will kick off on 24th October.

Rival Sons recently checked in from the road:

We’ve had an absolute blast so far on our jaunt through America.  Sammy Hagar has been a saint of hospitality to us.  And got to rock to some significant audiences – on our own as well.  We swam in the highest pond in the Appalachian mountain range.  Nashville rocked our worlds (and vice-versa, haha!).  After we wrap up this American tour, it’s a couple weeks and back to Canada for a headlining tour.  Canada has been one of our strongest supporters, so we’re looking forward to gettin’ back.  Thanks y’alls!!!

Rival Sons Canadian tour dates are as follow:

Oct. 24 – Toronto, ON – Phoenix Concert Theatre
Oct. 25 – Peterborough, ON – The Venue
Oct. 26 – Ottawa, ON – Tailgators
Oct. 28 – Kingston, ON – Merchant Tap House
Oct. 29 – Montreal, QC – Le Petite Campus
Oct. 30 – Quebec City, QC – Le Cercle
Nov. 01 – London, ON – Norma Jean’s
Nov. 02 – Hamilton, ON – Bay City Music Hall
Nov. 03 – Owen Sound, ON – The Harb

Rival Sons online:


Counterparts release third studio album

Posted in News with tags , , , , on 23rd July 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Counterparts have recently release their third studio album titled The Difference Between Hell And Home. After rounding out their US tour with Hundrenth, Counterparts will be heading to Canada for an album release tour, with a European tour alongside August Burns Red and BLESSTHEFALL following shortly after. A full list of tour dates can be found at this location.

Counterparts online:


Victory Records welcome Erimha

Posted in Featured, News with tags , , , , , , , on 4th April 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Victory Records have proudly announced the signing of symphonic black metal unit, Erimha from Montreal, Quebec, Canada to its roster. Erimha, which means “Army” or “Legion”, coming from Sumerian culture, base their haunting, melodic, merciless and operatic sound on ancient mythology and spirituality. Their mantra and mission is one of inner strength and how the individual can be as powerful as an entire army.

Formed in 2010, Erimha’s punishingly fresh and savage take on symphonic black metal is spawning a loyal legion of followers in the Canadian metal scene. They released their first full length album, Irkalla in September 2010 which featured guest vocals from The Agonist’s frontwoman, Alissa White. The band, Gore (vocals), Kthien (rhythm guitar), Ksaos (drums) and Diusternas (bass) are going to be an extreme force to be reckoned with on the international metal battlefield.

Erimha will embark on their first U.S. tour in June with their debut album for Victory Records to be released this summer.

For more information on Erimha:

Misguided Aggression – Flood The Common Ground

Posted in Review with tags , , , , on 14th June 2012 by tobiasgray

Band: Misguided Aggression
Release date: 28 June 2011
Genre: Death Metal
Label: Year Of The Sun Records

You have about half a minute to prepare yourself before Misguided Aggression drop a slab of heavy, heavy death metal on your cranium!  These Canadians don’t mess around.  Seriously, from opener Winter Soldier onwards, it’s just one crushing, staccato riff assault after another.  Vocalist Rob DeMedeiros provides consistent gravelly roars throughout, his politically charged rage similar to God Forbid in delivery.

Fans of Decapitated and Meshuggah (without the ‘Math’ insanity) will enjoy sinking their teeth into this, and though there are hardcore elements in the songs, Flood The Common Ground is thankfully light on breakdowns.  In fact, the scarcity of dedicated breakdowns means that when they do drop, they bludgeon the listener with even more power.

Each song is brief , and they have clearly spent alot of time in rehearsal, cutting all filler from the tracks and tightening everything to laser guided accuracy.  The production is crisp, and the the end result is an album of punchy, brutal, uncompromising metal.  Longest track ‘The First Stone’ provides the standout moments, deviating from the midpaced grooves to include a barrage of blasts and dissonent harmonies, demonstrating the depths this band has at their disposal.

Ontario has 5 talented musicians to be proud of here…although I wouldn’t want to meet them in a dark alley – scary dudes!


Tobias Gray


Massacre On Broadway w/Support @ Shades Night Club [Live Review]

Posted in Gig, Live with tags , , , , , , , on 24th September 2011 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Bands: Massacre On Broadway, Unlimited, The Colour Line
Location: Shades Night Club, Bridlington
Date: 22nd September

Massacre On Broadway’s UK tour brought them to Shades Night Club, the venue which has become the heart of Bridlington’s alternative music scene. Starting off the night were Hull-based hardcore outfit The Colour Line. This was their second show in Bridlington, the first being at Home From Home Fest. They played an energetic set for the packed out crowd, which was to be expected. The highlight of their set was a song called ‘Lads’, which had a slight Abigail Williams sound to it. The Colour Line received a massively positive reaction from the crowd.

The main support for the night were Canadian hardcore band Unlimited. Unfortunately, their guitarist couldn’t get to the UK for the show due to visa troubles, so the guitar sections were played back – the only downside to Unlimited’s set. Their set was still a brutalising and immense set, despite the generic sounding clean vocals. The highlights of Unlimited’s performance were ‘Shut Up And Smile’ and ‘Breeding New Machines’.

The headlining act Massacre On Broadway weren’t overly impressive. Their set was composed of aggressive and mellow parts and the band interacted well with the crowd, that had thinned out quite a bit since the interval. They played well enough but they didn’t seem to be very entertaining. The night was enjoyable for the most part though it is surprising that the supporting acts were better than the headliner.

Nico Davidson

Photos by Cardinal Photography.

Vinlanders [Band Review]

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 27th July 2011 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Band: Vinlanders
Country: Canada
Genre: Folk Metal
Vinlanders @ Facebook

Folk Metal, originally a genre that originated in the United Kingdom, has slowly become an international genre with folk metal bands appearing in places like Finland, Argentina and Germany. In the snowy lands of Canada, folk metal is slowly on the rise and part of that rise are “Vinlanders”.

Like any decent folk metal band, Vinlanders have a brilliant use of melodic guitar riffs and folk instrumentation, as can be heard in their song “Duel Of Hundred Lights”. The folks are raspy and aggressive whilst the cleaner vocals have that hint of folk singing to them. The drum work is cleverly done, staying very consistent with the progression of the song. “Vinlanders (Defend The Land)” is a most interesting track to listen to as its introduction has a medieval-meets-Ensiferum sound and there is a use of what sounds to be lyrics in a foreign language which makes the song feel like a native folk song from the olden days. The only issue with these two tracks is that they don’t seem to be heavy enough to be folk metal, though they are brilliantly composed.

”Northern Sea Journey” is very solemn to begin with, due to the slow-paced and gentle introduction. Even the guitars are very solemn in their playing. The folk instrumentation is just brilliant and the clean vocals give the song a very majestic folk feel, though the harsher vocals don’t seem to blend well with the track. The song finishes with an immense use of acoustic guitars, flute medleys and clean vocals. “Exiled” is an odd track to begin with, as the introduction doesn’t quite seem folky though the accordion riff that follows does give the song a more folk-meets-pirate feel which is an improvement. The guitars and drums certainly play their parts well, contrasting with the accordion and harsh vocals. The biggest downfall of the track is that the clean vocals seem to overpower the music in sections, though this is no fault of the band’s.

”Vinlanders” certainly have the potential to be a great folk metal band and could easily be touring alongside the likes of Moonsorrow, Ensiferum and Tyr in the near future. Fans of folk metal should keep an eye – and ear – out for this very talented band in their quest of bringing epic Canadian folk metal to the world.

Nico Davidson