Thursday, February 2, 2017

Where Are The New Albums? (February 2017 Update)

With February now in full swing, here is this month's "Where Are The New Albums?" post! Our monthly feature series looks at the current release statuses of albums from local metal, hard rock, and punk bands, in order for readers to get the current scoop on where they are and when we might see them! This month, we have removed two albums (AlgomA's newly released split with Hooded Menace, and an album elaborated on at post's end), but two of this month's nine entries do have updates, as noted with their titles in italics. So, where are the new albums? Read on below to hopefully find out!
The Apocalypse Afterparty - Bufflesnort

Rumoured Songs: "4th Liner", ".500 Hockey", "Lace 'Em Up", "Better Than The Hives Did It" (retitled cover of Saul Williams' "List of Demands (Reparations)"

Background: Before ever playing a public concert, local rap/metal band The Apocalypse Afterparty announced on their Facebook page in 2014 that they had begun working on a 3 song debut EP with producer Jamie Vincent, recording at least one song with him ("The Crowd"), which you can hear in full at this link. Plans were overhauled after holding full recording sessions for "Bufflesnort" at Tidal Records' own Mission Control Studios with producer Dustin Jones, later mixing the songs with Simon Head at Insight Recorders, and notably not recording prior originals from concerts like songs passed on from The Fury. The full EP can now be streamed via "songwriter" Paul Stanghetta's YouTube channel, while all five album covers can be seen on the band's online pages. Also, a posting in March hinted that a member of defunct Saskatchewan hardcore band The Holly Springs Disaster would make a cameo appearance on a track.

Current Release Status: The Apocalypse Afterparty began sending out press packs & advance copies of the album on cell phones in September (I received one in a concert used drum), and the band also plans to have full availability for general audiences via digital download and USB thumb drives, but the band delayed the EP's scheduled release until this month, with an album release concert planned for then. However, note that the band is undergoing yet another drummer search, so if that's delayed, a release party may be delayed too. Stay tuned for updates on "Bufflesnort"!
The Bear Hunters - The Dead Testament
Rumoured Songs: "The Void", "The Omen", "Neckbreaker", "I Fear No God", "Servitude", "Transcend Judgement", "For Glory", "The Wrath Of Angmar", "The Dying Den", "The Dead Testament", "Deception" (bonus re-recording), "The Forest of Forests" (bonus track)

Background: In tentative planning since 2014 under this title, local death metal quintet The Bear Hunters have been playing songs intended for their second full length CD for a few years now, but only fully began recording sessions for "The Dead Testament" on October 2nd, 2015. Following a brief fundraising campaign and the gradual unveiling of song titles, the band have been working with producer Dustin Jones at Mission Control Studios, and have shared sporadic updates on their Instagram page. Like on 2014's "Eternal Hibernation", rhythm guitarist Josh Stephney has recorded parts for the album despite living in Southern Ontario, but it's not yet clear on how bonus tracks will be handled.

Current Release Status: The Bear Hunters haven't given any firm timetables for when to expect "The Dead Testament" in stores, but as of November 5th, the band had finished all recording sessions except vocals & lead guitar for 4 tracks, and "finishing touches" were to blame for the delays in finishing the CD. The band is aiming for a more professional sound and release for their sophomore effort, but an optimistic late-summer release has came and gone. Keep an eye out for updates!
Caroline Divine's debut album

Rumoured Songs: "Caroline Divine", "Looking For A Fight"

Background: After prior teases of recording sessions and the search for a spot to record, personal Facebook pages from members of newer local glam/power pop trio Caroline Divine confirmed that they were indeed working on their debut album. Greater details on the track listing, release formats, and so forth have yet to be made, with the band taking time off from concerts since late last year. While studio work was thought to be a partial cause for the stage hiatus, Caroline Divine didn't post on their Facebook page at all in 2016, last surfacing publically when the guys backed up Jesse Merineau at March's Speak Easy Battle of the Bands.

Current Release Status: No idea yet, especially as the band hasn't shown their cards yet concerning album progress, but it should be noted that singer/guitarist Anthony Marcello moved out of town for college last summer, with Mitchell Nielsen replacing him when the other guys backed up Jesse Merineau in concert in September. If Caroline Divine are still active for reasons other than playing with Jesse, I don't know what Anthony's move would mean for the album, or if Mitchell is his full-time replacement, but we'll let you know if they announce anything!
The Elements' debut EP 

Rumoured Songs: "Liar", "G20", "Triple H", "The Rut", "I Need A Friend"

Background: Arguably better known for their funk, ska, and hard rock covers, local quartet The Elements have been adding original material to their sets since last year, and have since publically confirmed earlier teases that they are working on a debut EP. Frontman Rob Speers has confirmed in personal conversations that they have been working in studio on the release, which will have at least 5 tracks, and I believe it's being self-recorded, but further public updates are minimal at best. It's also not known if they'll employ any guest performers, such as drummer Jonas Gasperas and saxophonist Josh Norling, who have been frequent presences in recent months, and may be official band members at this point.

Current Release Status: At this stage, I have no idea, but Rob sounded like things were going well in studio, so we'll have to see what comes out next on The Elements' first EP!
Mike Haggith - Neighbourhood Watch Revisited

Rumoured Songs: "To Whom This May Concern", "Room 822", "The Ballad of K2/K3", "The Day The Lights Went Out", "Limb Coast", "Leon the Janitor", "Far Too Long"

Background: After previously hinting at a re-recorded version of his 45th solo album "Neighbourhood Watch" in late 2015, local solo musician Mike Haggith officially began releasing new versions of songs from the original 2012 CD onto his YouTube channel in February, those being of "Limb Coast" & "Room 822". His planned first full solo release of new recordings since mid-2015's "The Warinside", "Neighbourhood Watch Revisited" was being recorded at PaperClip Productions, with Mike being joined on at least some songs by Din bandmate Brandan Glew on drums and ex-Din/Haggith bandmate Curtis McKenzie on guitar.

Current Release Status: With The Din becoming more and more popular locally, that band has understandably taken up Mike's focus in the past year, and he even confirmed on his Facebook page in the spring that this album "isn't even a priority" right now. That leaves things in limbo at best, but at last word, Curtis revealed in this video that it's "steadily nearing the completion stage", so might things be mostly ready for when/if production is resumed? Follow above for updates!
Mike Vincent's debut EP & "We're of Nothing"

Rumoured Songs (1): "Shoah" (retitled Skull After Betrayl cover), "Sacred Sins", "Six, Six, Six", "Systematical Satan", "Soulless Sanctuary", "Screaming Serenity"

Rumoured Songs (W): "Times Of The Unforgotten", "Chapters of No Light", "We're of Nothing", "Phases of Pain"

Background: After briefly manning his own solo project in 2011 (which featured original songs named after food), ex-Skull After Betrayl frontman Mike Vincent resurrected his dormant solo project this past summer via his new Bandcamp page. Mike soon posted a series of six instrumentals there, all with titles starting with the letter S, which are planned to constitute his debut EP when finished with vocals. Mike followed up later with four unrelated songs that are planned for his second solo release, which would be a double CD album in length, with "Times of the Unforgotten" notably featuring his uncle Jason Ladouceur (ex-Winkstinger) in a guest spot. Some of the above information comes from personal Facebook page postings, as Mike hasn't made a new music page for his solo project yet.

Current Release Status: No idea, but given that he's posting songs on Bandcamp, a digital release through there seems likely when the songs are 100% completed and packaged as an album, at least in that form. Mike's past local bands haven't quite gotten off the ground in terms of putting out albums, but for fans of Skull After Betrayl, D.O.T.H., and so on, Mike's solo project should be very intriguing, and he's putting in some solid work in the process! Keep tabs on his Bandcamp page for further material!
Redundant's debut CD

Rumoured Songs: "Miles Apart", "That December", "What You'll Do"

Background: Over two and a half years after their last documented studio sessions in the spring of 2012, local punk trio Redundant revealed on their Facebook page in November 2014 that they were finally working on finishing their debut CD, and will look to hold a CD release party for it upon it's completion. Details are otherwise minimal, including on if the guys will just package their older studio work for the release, or include new recordings, perhaps at bassist James White's studio White Wreckords. We'll keep you posted if we hear more!

Current Release Status: Though we don't know much on the new/revived album plans, Redundant did sound serious about completing their CD. That said, Redundant have only played a handful of times in the last couple of years, and haven't made any public statements regarding the album since 2014. The band did resume public activity in March 2016, announcing that they were writing new songs and working on "new studio shit", but it's not clear how earlier album sessions would play in. If we hear any updates, we'll be sure to let you know!
Skeyes of Seven - Stare at the Sky

Rumoured Songs: "Enough", "See The Truth", "Fallen Faith", "Pretend", "Cognitive Dissonance", "Crawling Back From Reality"

Background: Already no strangers to the studio after recording two songs as singles in the mid-2010s, local modern hard rock quartet Skeyes of Seven hit the studio to record their debut EP in 2015, though they only publically confirmed that an EP was in the works last January. Sessions took place at Deluca Sound Productions, who have shared videos of band members tracking material for the EP, and ex-drummer John Mignacca did record tracks for the release before moving to Sudbury. The EP title was unveiled last fall, and then last month, all six songs were posted to their YouTube channel, including the new instrumental "Crawling Back From Reality", while also excluding their older originals "Destination Unknown" & "No One Cares". New guitarist Kyle Sweet is not visibly on the EP, having joined Skeyes of Seven after sessions concluded.

Current Release Status: Given that the whole EP is online for free streaming, then conventional wisdom would say that "Stare at the Sky" would be released imminently, but the band has yet to confirm a paid release date, or even a live concert return. Hopefully it doesn't stall at being a free posting, as Skeyes of Seven are a talented and experienced band, and having been active in studio more than on stage since launching in 2012, it'd be great to see them culminate this process with a release concert. Follow along to see where things go for their debut EP!
Telephone & Address - "Monster" & "The Early Tapes"

Rumoured Songs (M): "I Can Bleed"

Rumoured Songs (E): "The Plumbers"

Background: Telephone & Address mainman Chris Shoust announced on their Facebook page in 2015 that he was working on releasing "The Early Tapes", a compilation of songs from the first 4 Telephone & Address albums (2011's self titled album, and 2012's "Live", "No. 3", and "Broken Head"). Since then however, he revealed that a separate new album named "Monster" is done, with an advanced copy leaked to him by AlgomA drummer Jamie Vincent, which likely hints that Jamie helped produce it. However, a later-recorded album, "Are You Now or Have You Ever", was officially released in October, despite "Monster" being announced a year previously. Songs from both of these unreleased albums can be streamed on their Soundcloud page, and they're likely to turn up on Telephone & Address' Bandcamp page and on Interpunk down the road.

Current Release Status: Chris has indicated online that "Monster" was planned to be pressed last fall, and he blamed money issues for the delays in it being released, especially given that he originally indicated that it'd be pressed in 2015. Regarding the "The Early Tapes", Chris revealed in March 2015 that it "will be delayed for some time", though he didn't elaborate on why specifically. Assuming things go according to plan, Telephone & Address should have some big albums in the works, so we'll keep you posted when more on any of these comes out!
Finally, we're (at least for now) moving one album out of this series due to it being unlikely for imminent release, barring a surprise announcement or new public announcement, so here's what you should know:
Gates of Winter - Perihelion

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

Background: Despite a hiatus live concerts since 2008, Gates of Winter began work on their follow-up to that year's "Lux Aeterna" after taking 2009 off from public activity. 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 and the band followed that up with more demo & rehearsal clips sporadically across the early 2010s, though most were later taken down. The band launched a new Facebook page in August 2010 to keep fans updated on the sessions, and while Sault native Jon Morrison was announced as a session drummer that fall, the album will feature programmed drums. In November 2011, bassist Steve Furgiuele confirmed in a YouTube video that the album, now titled "Perihelion", was planned for release in December 2012, with some older re-recordings likely for the summer, but Lee has since confirmed that the album would be delayed further, be retracted to EP length, and possibly be renamed, with updates last coming in January 2016.

Reason For Removal: Though slow updates are nothing new for Gates of Winter (especially with members' personal commitments and current homebases), the band hasn't posted a public update in over a year, which is beyond our threshold for listing a local band as inactive in our band links. By no means is this a firm declaration that Gates of Winter have ended, and we'll definitely re-add "Perihelion" to this series if they resume public activity towards it, but for now, we have to keep things updated and current on the site. Hopefully we finally see "Perihelion" on sale at some point in the future, especially given their optimistic mid-2010s posts indicating that work on it was almost done!
I hope you guys liked this month's "Where Are The New Albums?"post! This series will return on March 2nd, while our next monthly feature post (barring a flash album review) will be this month's Defunct Local Band Profile one week from tomorrow. Stay tuned for those then, and weekend concert previews later tonight! Thanks everyone!

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