Saturday, July 12, 2014

Three New Local Metal Bands, Hempfest's Relocation, And More!!

We're back with a new news post on this Saturday afternoon, including some assorted recent notes, some disappointing news regarding another local summer concert festival, and in a brief detour from our punk band features, three new metal bands to add to our links, so here's what you need to know!

We have three new metal bands to add to our links today, though all are linked through common members, so what should you know? I came across these pages through recent searching on Reverbnation, and though the biggest of the three has been active since February, it took so long to make it to the SMS because their members currently aren't active on Facebook, and with no pages there, we didn't get to Reverbnation as fast. The lead project is Shadowthrone, whose members include ex-Chronic Demonic/Project Legion frontwoman Sabrina Strange (a.k.a. Ririe Lavoie & Isla Encanto) on guitar, alongside Pillory/Crimson Crusade guitarist Robert Sartini on drums. An instrumental project so far, Shadowthrone have 4 songs posted, and they have early promise with a heavy sound, though we'll have to see how the band progresses, possibly with a fuller lineup! To add to that, both Sabrina & Robert have active solo projects as well, Robert's being a technical death metal solo project named Gorrifier, and Sabrina's being an extension of past solo work that you may have seen on Facebook, as credited under her Isla Encanto moniker.

The Gorrifier original song postings are very reminiscent of Robert's entertaining recent solo guitar videos, and noticeably heavier than his recent band work, while Sabrina's new/old solo material continues to showcase her singing and guitar ability well, and it's nice to see her keeping at it! All three projects are now listed in our active band links, and here's some videos from two of the projects, first from Shadowthrone, as Sabrina posted live demo videos of their originals "Ancient Slaves", "Alien Power", and "Dark Motive" onto her YouTube channel last month! Given the setting, these could be polished a bit, and some of the camera angles aren't perfect, but I like where Shadowthrone are going! See more above, and here's "Alien Power"!

There's no Gorrifier videos on Sabrina's channel (check Robert's above for similar recent covers), but she does also have her short solo keyboard cover of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra's "Mephistopheles" uploaded there, which she plans to add guitar and other elements to. Well performed and dark, though the camera angle might be too close (I like the "fans" on the keyboard though!) Check out her solo performance below, and stay tuned for more from all 3 projects when we hear it!

Next up, we have some bad news for Hempfest fans, as the annual marijuana culture & concert festival is no longer being held in the Sault area. Owner Robert "Willy-Jack" Neron announced on the Hempfest Facebook page last month that the festival can no longer afford to be hosted in nearby Ophir due to higher initial costs there, so to keep the festival alive, Robert has moved Hempfest to his hometown of Moonbeam, which is 20 minutes east of Kapuskasing and 8+ hours north of the Soo. Robert had previously hosted the 2010 Hempfest there on short notice after getting the rights to the event, but had returned the event to Ophir for the past 3 years. This year's Hempfest will still take place from August 24th-31st (closer to it's timeframe in the 2000s), and similarly to last year's tribute band theme, will be based around rap & DJ performers this year, with many regional artists still playing despite the relocation. Given that we already knew the hip-hop theme, this won't be a new loss for the metal/punk calendar, but this is definitely disappointing for area Hempfest fans, especially if you don't find the 8 hour drive to Moonbeam to be feasible.

Regardless of anyone's views on the event, Hempfest was a successful and long running establishment in the area, and in a year where the Rotaryfest Second Stage also isn't occurring, it definitely is a blow to the local summer festival roster. That said, if moving it to Moonbeam can keep Hempfest alive and more financially sustainable, then we wish it the best, and hopefully Hempfest can come back to the Sault area in the future if possible! Check the above links for details on Hempfest in Moonbeam next month!

Finally for today, here's three assorted shorter news items from the last while, and as usual, these are in alphabetical order by artist name:

  • Haggith drummer Mike Haggith is working on a remastered version of his 2012 solo CD "Neighbourhood Watch",  which will see a more equalized balance of the instruments and feature some re-recorded vocal tracks, while an instrumental demo will be added to "The Day The Lights Went Out", and the aptly named "Far Too Long" will be slashed in length and re-arranged completely. Look for it's re-release in September, and click here for for full details on the remastering and what to expect from it!
  • Local thrash metal band Pillory have reportedly added Devon Lucier to their lineup as their new bassist, replacing Tyler St. Amour and reuniting him with his Crimson Crusade bandmate Robert Sartini. Though not announced on Pillory pages yet, Robert's Shadowthrone bandmate Sabrina Strange confirmed his addition in personal conversations. Sounds like a quality addition, we'll have to see how Devon holds up on bass when Pillory return to the stage!
  • Though unannounced on band pages that I've seen, local/Toronto alternative/punk standouts Treble Charger played a set at The Lachie Music Festival in London, Ontario on June 28th, sharing the stage with notable bands like Gob and The Glorious Sons. Hopefully that show went awesome, it looks like it was a great event, and not just because The Trailer Park Boys hosted!

 That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and notes soon, plus our first of our defunct punk band "introduction" posts! Thanks everyone!

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