Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Notes From Two Progressive Metal Bands, Plus New Videos!!

On this Wednesday morning, we have some recent news to touch on, including a newer local metal band's latest updates, and two new video postings from a pair of metal trios, and to lead off, an acknowledgement of the status of a major band that we haven't heard much from in months. Here's what you should know!

First up, I wanted to note a band that we have to move to our inactive band links due to a year's inactivity, that being local progressive death metal band Gates of Winter. This is a reluctant move, given how the band has been working on their third CD "Perihelion" since 2010, and they have acknowledged the slow recording process before (not helped by surviving band members now living in separate provinces), but they have not posted anything publically since their latest Facebook page update on January 4th of last year, and just twice there since 2014. After becoming one of the biggest local metal bands in the Soo in the mid-late 2000s (last playing live in November 2008), Gates of Winter went on hiatus the following year, re-emerging as a studio project in 2010 to work on "Perihelion", whose teasers have continually showcased a more technical, brutal, and progressive sound than we had previously seen, but updates have increasingly came further and further apart over time.

Gates of Winter were the first headlining local band that I ever saw live in concert, and continually a personal favourite since then, and while their slow updates in the mid-2010s have been disappointing, I know that personal lives and relocation haven't helped things go any faster towards "Perihelion" or a future return to the stage. That said, given the nature of the band as it currently stands, they could re-emerge with a big update at any moment, but as they've been publically silent for a year, I have to move them from our active links for now. Hopefully we hear from Lee, Bryan, and Steve again soon, they have been missed!

Next up, here's a pair of new videos, starting with a teaser from local/St. Catharine's grindcore trio Shit Liver, as posted to their Facebook page on Monday! Following a busy run of tour dates and Southern Ontario gigs in mid-late 2016, this teaser strongly implies that they either have begun or are soon commencing work on their second CD, as the 20 second video silently focuses on a camera panning to singer/drummer Matt Baic just before he hits the drums, then ending with the Roman numeral II. If we're reading the hint correctly, than fans of Shit Liver will surely be anticipating a sophomore effort in 2017, but see for yourself below!

Also newly posted is a new jam session clip from local death/thrash metal trio Pillory! Posted to drummer Bret Shuttleworth's new YouTube channel on Saturday, this is of Pillory (visibly sans bassist Jordan Leach) playing a newer original named "Specimen of Egotism", and no, it has not been posted to the band's Facebook page as of this writing. Filmed by an uncredited attendee, the song sounds good considering the lack of bass, but unfortunately, the video is tinted in pink & purple, which just looks bizarre given the music being played. If you can look past the colour choice, then look for a promising early look at this new Pillory song, which you can check out below!

Finally, here's the latest from newer local progressive metal project Kraken Mara, who have launched their own Wix website in recent months! Though the band hasn't posted on their Facebook page in recent months, this website gives us our latest updates on this band, so what should you know now? Firstly, the band appears to have parted ways with bassist Benn Garside, as he's not listed as a band member (anymore?) on the Wix page. A reason for his departure hasn't been announced, but hopefully nothing bad happened, as he and lead guitarist Brendan Christie have had a lot of successes together dating back to the Late & Loud days, and hopefully we see Benn in a new band soon! Brendan is now currently listed as playing bass for Kraken Mara, but if they announce a new bassist or search for one, we'll let you know. The page itself is still a work in progress, with many links being empty so far, and the only recent "new" posts relate to Brendan's use and endorsement of Halo Guitars.

However, the page looks professional and well designed, and should serve Kraken Mara well if maintained! As for media, there is one new demo instrumental posted there entitled "Ishka" (you may have heard it's intro on Reverbnation already), and it continues Kraken Mara's promising djent-heavy trajectory, with strong and proficient riffs and structures on display! Hopefully we hear much more from Brendan and Jake in 2017, so check out more from them at the above links, and stay tuned for more news and concert previews shortly! Thanks everyone!

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