Friday, March 2, 2012

Where Are The New Albums? March 2012 Update

It's time for our first of two special feature posts of the day at the SMS, and we're helping kick off March in style with our latest "Where Are The New Albums?" post! As always, we're looking at upcoming albums from Sault Ontario hard rock and metal acts, and the current progress, statuses, news, and release information on them, and when you could possibly see them in stores, and this month, we have one less album to cover following the European release of "Woods V: Grey Skies & Electric Light" earlier this month! We're also deleting an album from this monthly series, and you can read up on it at the end of this post, but the bulk of this entry has info on 11 upcoming albums from 10 local acts, 5 of which have updated info (as indicated by the album's title in italics.) So, where are the new albums? Read on to find out!
April Eyes - Hollow Hope

Rumoured Songs: "Goodbye", "Left Behind", "The Only Road I've Ever Known", "Fall", "Reflections", "Obsession", Escape", "I Can't Let Go", "Absolution", "Hollow Hope"

Background: The oft-renamed April Eyes (previously known as By The Gods & April Eyes) is the solo project masterminded by Bear Hunters & Borderline Divine guitarist Mitch Sirie. He's been working on solo material for some time now, featuring him on all instruments, including vocals and bass along with the guitar tracks. Over time, Mitch has deleted older audio tracks and blog entries from this project's MySpace page, but continually replaces them with newer material, although some aren't planned for an imminent album release. Blog entries in 2011 have alluded to Mitch recording and releasing a solo concept album named "Hollow Hope", which he claims will be a "shocking" full length album, though it's been set back due to "circumstances". Featuring a mix of progressive & death metal with acoustic folk and indie rock, check out the newest samples of April Eyes/Mitch's solo material at his official MySpace page!

Current Release Status: I have no real idea. Honestly, this might not even get a release where it'd be on sale anywhere, but who knows! Mitch told me in e-mail conversations that he hoped to have a physical release of "Hollow Hope" last year, for what that's worth, but we're obviously past that point. The musical quality and songwriting on his material is very underrated, so I imagine that a release of "Hollow Hope" would get a good reception if it did come out! Though concrete data on it has been lacking for the later half of 2011, I'll keep you all posted if anything new is announced!
As It Stands' third EP

Rumoured Songs: "Conception", "Big Problem, Little Lock City", "Rise Above", "One Last Chance", "One Less Than Wayne Gretzky", "Big Bucks, No Whammy", "Eeny, Meeny, Miney, Ho", "Everything Terrible", "Oh Herm, Herm Delish", "Stay Together For The Kids" (Blink-182 cover)

Background: Continuing their high success levels since their local re-emergence in 2010, hardcore quintet As It Stands started recording sessions for their third EP with Metalworks Studios in Mississauga in July with producer Kevin Dietz. The sessions lasted just a few days, but from what I hear, a lot got accomplished! You can see some of the happenings from the sessions on their official studio vlog, which features some audio samples and video of some members recording their parts. The vlog also confirmed that their cover of Blink-182's "Stay Together For The Kids" was recorded in Mississauga, and that the songs will be part of an EP, not a full length album as was previously believed. It's currently unclear whether the songs they recorded at Stereo Soul Studios in 2010 and/or in Stoney Creek last year will be featured on the EP in some form. A new track, oddly titled "Oh Herm, Herm Delish" was posted onto SoundCloud in early 2012, with studio copies of "Conception" & "Big Problem, Little Lock City" also being uploaded to their Facebook page this year, both of which you can stream at this location. Mixing is underway locally with Brendan Clace at Dimension Studios, so stay tuned for more news on this EP this year!

Current Release Status: As It Stands seem to have everything under control and well planned for the sessions and their studio work, and though nothing concrete has been explicitly said about it's release, things seem on track. Recent postings on Facebook alluded to a release being postponed for "only a short while", so when might we see this EP? I don't know, but keep an eye out for updates, album information, and so forth, as I'm hearing good things!
The Bear Hunters' full length demo

Rumoured Songs: "Bloodthirst", "Succumb To Eternity", "Dominate", "Overthrown", "Casualties Of War", "Collapse The Sun", "Render This Void", "Karma"

Background: Local death metal quintet The Bear Hunters formally announced that they'd begun recording for their debut EP "Bloodthirst" on May 10th, just days after adding guitarist Josh Stephney to the band. The news was broken on their Facebook page, but details were extremely scant following that news, and the recording plans fell dormant until January, when the band announced plans to record material towards a full length demo release. Plans are for this demo (which won't be "slapped together") to feature at least 10 songs, with drum & bass recording for those 10 songs finished as of February 16th. This appears to be an independent production towards future better quality recordings, and plans are in place to release official band t-shirts along with the demos when completed. Stay tuned to the band's Facebook page for continued updates!

Current Release Status: If things stay on track, it looks like the late spring is a possibility, but who knows how long this could take, being a demo and independently produced. Time will tell, but keep an eye out for news on The Bear Hunters' first release!
Gates of Winter - Perihelion

Rumoured Songs: "The Stars Call My True Name", "Edin Na Zu", "Dimensions", "Time Warp", "Wormhole Mechanics"

Background: Despite a hiatus from live concerts lasting over three years, Gates of Winter never broke up, and are slowly working on their follow-up to 2008's "Lux Aeterna". The first glimpse of the new album was unveiled in February 2010, when frontman/producer Lee Maines uploaded a snippet of their new song "The Stars Call My True Name" onto his YouTube channel, and he followed that up with more demo & rehearsal clips sporadically over the last couple of years, though all were later taken down. The band launched a new Facebook page in August 2010 to keep fans updated on the sessions, including the unveiling of a new song title, "Time Warp", while Sault native Jon Morrison was announced as the album's drummer in November 2010. On November 6th, bassist Steve Furgiuele confirmed in a YouTube video that the album, now titled "Perihelion", is planned for release in December 2012, with some older re-recordings likely for the summer. Another new song, tentatively called "Wormhole Mechanics", was previewed in this video that Lee uploaded as well last year. Most recently, Lee announced on January 10th that vocal recordings had begun, so keep an eye out for more updates as 2012 rolls along! Whether recordings made by former keyboardist Brian Holmes before he left Gates of Winter last year will be included on the CD or not is not known.

Current Release Status: Well, if the band says that "Perihelion" is coming out in December 2012, then I'm inclined to believe them. It's been a long road for them to get this album completed due to the members' own personal commitments, but until we hear otherwise, I'd say circle your calendars for a December 2012 release for Gates of Winter's long awaited second full length album! For now though, stay tuned to band pages for continued updates!
Late & Loud's debut album

Rumoured Songs: "Midnight Man", "Down Like This", "Whipeout", "Never Again". "Love Letter Lockdown", "Whisper Of The Damned", "Live For Excess", "Fast As A Bitch"

Background: Late & Loud surprisingly announced plans to being recording a demo in January 2011, despite their relative newness to the scene at the time, not having launched internet pages until November 2010. Though described as a demo, Late & Loud's debut does appear to be packaged more like a standard album, with a photo shoot for it having taken place in February 2011 (click here to see the photos.) I believe this is being self-recorded, and updates towards recording sessions have been sporadically posted on Late & Loud's official Facebook page in recent months. Most recently, the band released a video indicating a now-passed release date in January, along with instrumental samples of three songs, and a confirmed tracklist of at least nine songs. Stay tuned to the above links for more details as they come in!

Current Release Status: Well, we're obviously past their goal for a January release, but good art takes time. They've been working on this demo for months, and whether it will really count as an "album" or not, fans should be jacked up for it's release when it finally is finished! Check the above links for samples and news on Late & Loud's first demo!
Mike Haggith - Neighbourhood Watch

Rumoured Songs: "To Whom This May Concern", "Room 822", "Door To My Mind", "The Man In Green" (Black Hole Suns cover), "The Ballad of K2/K3", "Wicked Midnight Ride", "Limb Coast", "It Takes Time" (Black Hole Suns cover), "Fading", "Leon The Janitor"

Background: Scheduled to be local solo musician Mike Haggith's 45th full length studio album, "Neighbourhood Watch" (previously titled "Space 82" and "410 To Scotland) is scheduled to be a concept album based on differing human experiences. Originally planned for release on January 25th through Galactic Records (formerly Rotten Records), "Neighbourhood Watch" should be available on both mp3 and CD formats, and ten tracks have been announced for it, including the already unveiled "Limb Coast", two covers of Kincheloe project The Black Hole Suns' songs (an instrumental mix of one of them can be heard here), and a mixture of previously heard & new material, though previously announced songs "Orion", "On A Cloud", "Who Owns Space 82?", "Standing On The Edge", "Stalking Booze & The Raptor", "Nightmare On Reed Street", "The Day The Lights Went Out", "My Angel", and the album's title track were removed from the track listing in previous months. Stay tuned for more details on "Neighbourhood Watch" at this location, as Mike's generally good for keeping fans up to date on his upcoming solo projects!

Current Release Status: Originally planned to come out at varying points over the last two months, Mike confirmed last month that illnesses have caused it to be delayed to an unknown future date, and vocal sessions have yet to begin for the album. That said, Mike has always been forthcoming & honest about album release details and hangups, so we should see Neighbourhood Watch soon, but stay tuned in case anything changes!
Riverin's self-titled debut EP

Rumoured Songs: "Attitude", "They Lost You", "A Cold Wind", "Deflower", "Valentine", "Raining In December", "Trenches", "Something Else"

Background: An industrial hard rock project from former Dirty Virgin & Silver Dream bandmates Matt Hicks and Matt Clement, Riverin slowly worked on their debut EP for much of 2010 at Matt Hicks' Quartertone Studios. The original recording sessions for this self-produced EP have finished, and it was said to be released "soon" as of July 2010. All six songs to initially be included on the EP are now featured on their MySpace page to stream for free! E-mail correspondence with Matt Clement last fall detailed how the band were looking into the CD development process to release the album in time for a planned CD release show in the future featuring guest musicians. Two new songs, "Trenches" & "Something Else", have been announced, with "Trenches" later posted online in May, but it's unclear if they'll be on the EP or not.

Current Release Status: Not sure, but things did seem to be on the right track, given that the EP's tracks are all recorded. The way it's sounding to me, the release of the EP will likely tie in to their debut concert as a CD release show, but we haven't heard anything official from the band in over six months, which is slightly worrying. Hopefully when it does come out, it will deliver a good package of unique music, so stay tuned for updates!
Sykotyk Rampage - "Genius Mushrooms With Thoughts Of Stupidity" & "Jonathan , Your Music Sucks"

Rumoured Songs (GM): "Running", "Legend, "Garden", "Metal", "Rain", "Parley", "Wait", "Shrooms", "Dynamite", "Acreage", "McDonalds", "Alright"

Rumoured Songs (J): Unknown

Background: Originally announced in August 2010, "Genius Mushrooms With Thoughts Of Stupidity" is the second half of Sykotyk Rampage's conceptual "Genius Mushroom" series which delves "into the realm of hallucinogenic musical brainscans". Considered Sykotyk Rampage's 25th album, it was originally the first half of a double album before it was split from it's predecessor "Genius Mushrooms With Thoughts Of Intellect", which has since been posted online. One track named "Silence" was removed from the second "Genius Mushrooms" album's track listing at that time as well. Sykotyk Rampage recorded this album at River Front Recreation Studios, with sessions taking place at varying points over the latter half of 2010. The first "Genius Mushrooms" album (and 4 other companion 2011 releases) were all posted online in August, with just "...Thoughts of Stupidity" left, though the band began work on another new album named "Jonathan, Your Music Sucks" in January 2012. Stay tuned to band pages for coming updates!

Current Release Status: For "Jonathan, Your Music Sucks", we haven't heard a whole lot on it since it was originally announced, but as for the second "Genius Mushrooms" album? The original announced release date for it was December 2010, but no new Sykotyk Rampage albums even made it online for free streaming until August. Oddly, it's still unreleased despite the fact that 4 newer albums not even announced until August have came out earlier, but I'll note that the first "Genius Mushrooms" album isn't up for sale yet, despite it's posting online last month. With another new album now announced, I have no clue what the status is for the older unreleased material, but until fuller word comes out, click here to tide yourself over with the band's other five albums from 2011!
Tym Morrison's second solo album

Rumoured Songs: "Moon Patrol", "Dungeons & Dragons", "Nag Hamedi", "The Reason Why", "The Dark Shred", "Song For Jen", "No Name", "Amy", "Lay It On The Line", "Someday", "How I'm Wanting You More"

Background: I honestly don't know a lot about the background for Tym Morrison's second album, but he has posted samples of nine songs for his "next album" onto the music player on his official website! The songs are all of good quality, and feature Tym in familiarly good form! Original information about recording sessions for his solo album are either very sparse or were made quite a while ago, so I don't know a lot about it, but the songs were likely self-recorded at Morrison Studio Productions with Tym on all instruments save for the programmed drums. Status updates on Tym's personal Facebook page last year have alluded to recent recording sessions and plans for a double album, but it's unknown if the above songs would all be included. It should be noted that many of Tym's more recent solo songs on YouTube have been either acoustic or comedic in nature, but I can't see many of the comedic ones making the cut for an album release.

Current Release Status: I don't have any real idea, but recent news about recording sessions and a double album are certainly promising! Hopefully Tym does release these songs in the near future, as his older samples and newer material deserve an audience! For now though, check out the above links to hear what he has to share that could make the cut!
Woods of Ypres - "Woods 4.5: You Were The Light"

Rumoured Songs: "You Were The Light", "Falling Apart"

Background: Recording for what was intended to be Woods of Ypres' fifth album took place in August 2010 at Stereo Soul Studios. Intended to be a 5 track EP, producer Miguel Gauthier's Facebook page kept fans updated on the sessions, along with Woods of Ypres' pages. Originally titled "Woods V: You Were The Light", release plans noticeably changed when the band signed with Earache Records in the fall of 2010. With the label desiring a full length follow-up to "Woods IV", frontman David Gold & guitarist Joel Violette hit the studio in August to record a new full length album, now known as "Woods V: Grey Skies & Electric Light", which left the August 2010 material (now called "Woods 4.5") temporarily shelved. Though definitive release details for that EP aren't known, two of the songs were issued in a limited edition vinyl single release named "Home" through Practical Art Records in April (get ordering details here), and you can stream them at the band's CBC Radio 3 page as well. However, no updates on the remaining material have come since then, and it's future status is in limbo following David Gold's passing in December 2011.

Current Release Status: I have no clue. I originally thought it would either come out after "Woods V" or with it as a bonus disc, but knowing it's length and status due to the "Woods V" sessions, it may have depended on a release through David Gold's own Practical Art Records label, which is likely considered defunct following his death. I know David preferred this material to stand on it's own as one complete unit and not with other material tacked on, but it may only realistically see a release now as either a free posting or as part of a rarities collection, given that future band activity is likely restricted to putting out old material. Whether we ever see the remaining "W4.5" songs is up in the air at best, but if I hear anything on a release or posting of this EP, I'll be sure to let you guys know!
With all that out of the way, we have one more album to address due to it's deletion from this series, following the news that it likely won't come out officially as was once hoped. Read on below for details on it and it's removal:
Lion Ride's first full length album

Rumoured Songs: "Stick It In", "Snail Trail", "Bang Bang, Bye Bye"

Background: Lion Ride entered the studio for the only sessions towards their unreleased debut album in April 2010 at Toronto's BWC Studios with producer Greg Dawson, same as when ex-members recorded Detroit's last album in 2009. The band recorded four songs at those sessions, including "Stick It In" and "Snail Trail" (both of which are streamable on their MySpace page), "Bang Bang, Bye Bye" (which was featured as backing music in a longboarding culture video in June), and a song yet to be revealed. Delays & external commitments (musical & personal) delayed the album's progress and prevented further recording sessions, which the band apologized for on a few occasions. Though they were writing new material presumably for this album in February 2011, and a Facebook posting last March hinted towards a return to BWC, band news stalled again in late 2011, and Lion Ride disbanded last month without ever officially completing their second CD.

Reason For Removal: Simply put, because Lion Ride disbanded before being able to complete this album, and an official release for the four recorded tracks is unlikely at best. It's disappointing to see their hard work unreleased like this, but sometimes, the reasons for a band's demise are unrepairable, and this might be the best move for right now. That said, the band hasn't completely shut the door on at least releasing the material from their 2010 sessions at BWC Studios, as their Facebook page revealed last month that they may release the songs from the sessions for download in the future. It'd be cool to at least get "Bang Bang, Bye Bye" and the other unreleased song available, but fingers crossed that this material doesn't stay hidden forever! Though Lion Ride are missed locally, I hope this isn't the last we hear from them as a band, so stay tuned to the SMS for updates!
I hope you guys liked this month's "Where Are The New Albums?" post! Our next monthly feature post is coming up later today when we explore the Skid Row Battle of the Bands from the spring of 2008 in the kickoff to our Battle of the Bands Rewind Mini-Series! I'm still tinkering with the format and info, so stay tuned tonight for it and how it looks! Thanks everyone!

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