Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile: Hellhitch & Kilacel

Can you believe we're up to our 8th Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile? Feels like just yesterday that this series was launched! Well, we have two more bands to profile today that, though not from Sault Ste. Marie, contain at least one Saultite in their past or present lineup! Though today's bands vary in country and in notability levels in the local scene, both are worth talking about! So, here are this weekend's profiles, and, as is usual, if there's something incorrect, missing, or lacking info/details, please tell me! (UPDATED: November 26th, 2014)
Hellhitch (Toronto, Ontario)

Lineup: (Saultites in RED; members not in their last lineup in italics. This lineup is incomplete. If you can help complete it or fill in any gaps, e-mail me at robertfigures@hotmail.com!)

Mike Lawrence (vocals)
Tyler Sitter (guitar)
Mike L. (bass)
Marcel Krusher (drums)

Official MySpace page: http://www.myspace.com/hellhitch

Local Info: The only Saultite to my knowledge in Hellhitch was frontman Mike Lawrence, and though I can't confirm a lot of details about his local background, he did live here, as cited on his personal page on Intelius. Plus, Hellhitch were listed for years on the old MySpace regional charts for Sault Ste. Marie despite never being based here, so I'm thinking he launched the page while on a visit home. Mike moved out of town at some point prior to 2005 (no reasonable guess when), and is still active in the Toronto music scene, most recently in an old school punk band named Brooklyn Fletcher, so if you see him playing down south in the near future, take note!

Band Bio: Hellhitch were active in the Toronto metal scene in the mid-2000s, playing shows from (at least) 2004-2006. 2005 appears to have been their peak year, and it was only in October of that year when the band's MySpace page was launched. One of Lion Ride's favourite Toronto venues, The Bovine Sex Club, appeared to be a frequent site for their concerts, and they played their last gig there in early 2006. Employing a southern rock-influenced style of metal including a good amount of originals, Hellhitch made some waves in the scene, and a few online sites openly praised them and their sound! Sadly, information on Hellhitch is hard to come by, so I apologize for the lack of specific details on the band. Mike was most recently visibly active in Brooklyn Fletcher as previously mentioned, while Tyler and Marcel later found themselves in another Toronto area band named Angelsmoke, with Tyler later moving to Alberta. I don't think they ever played a Sault area show, but feel free to correct me if I'm wrong!

Hellhitch have two audio recordings online that I know of, their originals "Cocaine Caviar" and "Broken Bones". My favourite of the two is "Cocaine Caviar", which reminds me of a more Southern-type metal band with a certain swagger and rawness that's refreshing! Reminds me a bit of if a late '70s hard rock type band and a Southern rock band were blended together. Mike is a pretty good singer, and compared to most metal singers I hear for SMS purposes, he's pretty unique in style, employing a melodic and deep, but gritty voice! The backing instrumentation is good all around, nothing "mindblowing", but the band were definitely capable musicians and got their message across in their music, especially Marcel on drums! I lump Hellhitch in as a good band to have a drink to and have a good time, they have that vibe down pat, without sounding like AC/DC to pull that off! "Broken Bones" isn't as good, taking a mellow laid back feel through most of it that seems out of character, but still well played. I don't know what kind of full repetoire Hellhitch had for originals and live shows, but from what I've heard, they are promising, and deserve to be heard again!

Check out both of Hellhitch's posted originals at this location! I can't find a video of Hellhitch online at all, so to make up for that, and to try to expand Hellhitch's sound and reach, I have uploaded "Cocaine Caviar" to The Sault Metal Scene's YouTube channel! Good stuff, check it out below, and more from Hellhitch at the above links!

Kilacel (Muskegon, Michigan)

Lineup: (Saultites in RED; ex-members in italics)

Luke Ponce (vocals)
Chris Webster (guitar)
Chris Leask (bass)
Matt Millering (drums)
Kyle Klinefelter (bass)

Official blog: http://kilacel.blogspot.com
Official Twitter page: http://twitter.com/kilacel
Official MySpace page: http://www.myspace.com/kilacel
Official Reverbnation page: http://reverbnation.com/kilacel
Official Facebook group: http://facebook.com/group.php?gid=123438708135

Local Info: Two members of Kilacel had local ties, including final bassist Chris Leask, who has been recently prominent in the Sault Michigan hard rock bands Power Slug, River Witch, Great Bodily Harm, and Blind Baby! Chris' bands have been very visible in recent years, particularly Power Slug, so be sure to keep an eye out for them! As well, guitarist Chris Webster was a member of the partly-local hard rock band Elipzis in the early 2010s, with his very clear guitar skills helping them play numerous major concerts both locally and in the Lower Peninsula, before Elipzis parted ways in the summer of 2011. Though I can't confirm if he ever shared a local residence, keep an eye out for him in the Muskegon cover rock band Live Radio! It should also be noted that their MySpace page credited ex-I.S.O.M. drummer Bart "Black Trab" Rennels as a guest musician.

Band Bio: Kilacel were formed by frontman Luke Ponce and Chris Webster in late 2007 after Luke's return to Muskegon following a stint living in California. They soon added drummer Matt Millering to the lineup, and after a few attempts to get a bassist, they settled on Kyle Klinefelter in early 2009, though he'd be replaced by Chris Leask earlier this year. The band rose quickly in the Muskegon rock scene, winning a notable battle of the bands last year to earn a slot on the Muskegon Summer Celebration festival, opening for bands like Pop Evil and Saving Abel! They also gained some press on Musekgon-area television and newspapers at their peak, along with playing many concerts in the area, not to mention in Sault Michigan also, notably at The Corner Pub. Work was announced on an LP, but Kilacel went on hiatus in April 2010 for family reasons, as there were "3 babies on the way" according to their Twitter page, and are now presumably defunct. However, Luke and Matt have resurfaced in the Nunica, Michigan hard rock band Coldville, who share a similar sound to Kilacel.

I have to say, Kilacel's sound is familiar once you hear it, reminding me on first listen of something you'd hear on rock radio, but I think it deserves more credit than that. Luke Ponce has aggressive vocals when need be, but can also keep a nice melody, even when offering pseudo rap vocals on songs like "All You Get"! The band injects a lot of influences in their sound, including a bit of progressive rock that helps to differ themselves from other bands of their style. Chris Webster supplies some pretty good riffing and solos, while Kyle Klinefelter handled the low end well, and Matt Millering was definitely skilled on the drums! Can't comment on how Chris Leask sounded in Kilacel, but his local should be an indication. Kilacel added a nice spin to a familiar radio hard rock sound, and even though Coldville share a similar sound, a Kilacel reunion wouldn't come amiss!

The only page of Kilacel's with original material is their MySpace page, which has two originals, "All You Get" and "Ignite The Cell". My favourite (and the heavier of the two) is "All You Get", but check them both out! Their MySpace page also has some studio clips and a drum solo from Matt Millering, but if you want to see the band playing a full song, YouTube has you covered! YouTube user laner7 uploaded three clips of Kilacel's set at 2009's Muskegon Summer Celebration to their channel, including live renditions of "Ignite The Cell", "All You Get", and my personal favourite, "Shotgun Bullet Baby", which you can check out below!

There we go, our 8th Saultites In Out Of Town Bands Profile is complete! I am admittedly lacking details on both bands above, but they did deserve to be profiled regardless! Still, if you can help fill in any gaps, add additional information, or correct a mistake, don't hesitate to e-mail me at robertfigures@hotmail.com! As for which out of town bands will be profiled next month? Well, I have chosen Fifth Way, the Detroit hard rock band featuring former Saultite/LSSU graduate Zak Stelmaszek, and the new solo project from Lion Ride guitarist Marky Lion (a.k.a. Mark Rand!) Watch out for those between September 17th and 23rd!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for much more local metal news and updates very soon, including my next album review at some point in the next week, previews of this weekend's concerts, and much more! I'll be back before you know it!

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