Thursday, January 26, 2017

YouTube Channel Profile Series: Bryan Belleau

Before we dive into this weekend's concert previews, here is this month's YouTube Channel Profile! Yes, another year has begun for our monthly feature series on YouTube channels whose posted content is at least half made up of local metal, hard rock, or punk-relevant content, and as usual, the channels picked in this series are done at random! This month's choice was a very prominent sight in the local metal scene in the 2000s, and is still making music today, so here's what you need to know for this month's YouTube Channel Profile!
Bryan Belleau (

Owner: Gates of Winter/ex-Woods of Ypres guitarist Bryan Belleau, currently seen playing guitar with his wife Melinda, based out of Fort Nelson, British Columbia

Channel Timeline: Launched on February 23rd, 2011; Videos posted from that day through April 2014

Channel Summary: This personal use channel covers Bryan's musical career from 2008-2014 through his three primary projects during that time, including a solo performance video, four in-studio jams from Gates & Woods, five shorter non-musical clips (some from Gates of Winter's 2008 tour), live concert videos with Woods of Ypres & Melinda, and two early-2010s audio recordings with Melinda.

Why You Should Watch: Definitely check out Bryan's channel for some extended and intricate looks at Woods of Ypres during their latter locally-based era, and if you're a fan of his and Melinda's collaborative music out west, give those videos a look too! However, if you're a Gates of Winter fan, this channel is disappointingly lacking, though with the band known for focusing on newer material and rarely acknowledging old material, that may be expected. Note that Bryan deleted an older channel with more plentiful Gates material when he launched this one, so if you swore he had more Gates videos, that's where they went.

Our Recommended Videos To Check Out

Woods of Ypres Live at the Grand Theater Sault Ste Marie, 2008 11 11: Posted in July 2012, Bryan's most popular video is the one and only local concert set by the 2008 six-piece lineup of Woods of Ypres, when they headlined at The Lock City Grand Theater on November 11th to kick off that lineup's one & only tour that month. A complete absorption of Gates of Winter's then (and final?) live lineup, Woods at the time featured Bryan alongside late singer/guitarist David Gold, guitarist Lee Maines, bassist Steve Furgiuele, keyboardist Brian Holmes (now of Machines Dream), and Philadelphia-based drummer Evan Madden. The 45 minute set featured renditions of "Your Ontario Town Is A Burial Ground", followed by the entirety of "Against The Seasons: Cold Winter Songs From The Dead Summer Heat" ("Shams of Optimism", "Crossing The 45th Parallel", "The Sea of Immeasurable Loss", "A Meeting Place And Time", and "Awaiting The Inevitable"), before closing with a rare live rendition of "The Northern Cold".

Though the video can be dark, and the stationary camera's distance from the stage isn't ideal, this is still a great window into a brief but locally relevant period for "Gates of Ypres", which was notable too as Woods' last local gig before transitioning to doom metal, and the most recent public concert appearance by the four core members of Gates of Winter on stage in the same band. Three guitarists isn't overkill, Brian Holmes' keyboard work is an asset, and with only a dozen shows to this lineup's name, and just two more in the Soo in any form, don't bypass this concert set!

A Lesson of Woods 2 Songs by David Part 1: Following the posting of this video of Bryan and David Gold during the writing process for the "Woods IV" lead single "I Was Buried In Mount Pleasant Cemetery", Bryan shared 47 minutes of footage of David teaching him songs from "Pursuit of the Sun & Allure of the Earth" (a.k.a. "Woods II") circa 2009. The second part is here, but the vast majority of the video is in part 1, and it features David leading Bryan through songs on "Woods II", an album that was largely ignored in their last tours, so if you ever wanted to hear "Summer's Envy" or "Shedding the Deadwood" in the doom era, this is your best bet! These give a nice and rare glimpse into Woods of Ypres behind the scenes, and you could use these to learn some early tracks on guitar if desired!

Gates Of Winter - Rehearsal 002: Bryan's only video featuring Gates of Winter at any substantive musical level is this rehearsal clip from May 2011, where he, frontman Lee Maines, and then-keyboardist Brian Holmes (no Fuge) played an untitled instrumental alongside pre-recorded drums, as then intended for their yet-released third CD "Perihelion". The top-down view of the guys is too squished and isn't ideal, but the song sounds really promising! However, with Brian's departure, the continued release delays over the past 6 years, and the band's very quiet public status in the past year, it's anyone's guess if this particular song will even make "Perihelion" when released. Note that the description says this is for the "Gates 2 album", presumably discounting their 2005 debut demo.

I hope you guys liked this month's YouTube Channel Profile! Next month in this series, our random selection will give us multiple channels for the first time in 2017, as the first channel only had one video, and the second only had one that wasn't repeated, so we came to three, namely former local concert promoter Aisha Day's channel (featuring 1 video of Devastation of the Heavens), former Crimson Crusade frontman Devon Lucier's channel (featuring that band's only EP in two formats), and YouTube user 98Watts' channel (featuring a Treble Charger music video.) Watch for these on or around February 26th, and stay tuned for weekend concert previews next and more news soon! Thanks everyone!

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