Saturday, February 3, 2018

Where Are The New Albums? February 2018 Update

It's time once again for this month's "Where Are The New Albums?" post! This monthly feature looks at the upcoming release status and whereabouts of announced and (at least partially) recorded albums from Sault Ontario metal, hard rock, and punk bands, in order to see where they are and when we might see them on sale. This month features one album removal (Mike McCleary's newly released "Weight of the Truth"; his prior surprise EP "Hourglass" never had time to be covered here), but we have 12 entries this month, 5 with updated info, as noted with their title in italics. So, where are the new albums? Read on below to hopefully find out!
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 recording sessions are reportedly complete, with "finishing touches"  to blame for the delays in finishing the CD. The band is aiming for a more professional sound and release for their sophomore effort, and while there have been private online updates in the interim, the band only broke their silence on it in October on their Facebook page, where they implied that it was "officially moving onto the mixing and mastering phase." Keep an eye out for updates on "The Dead Testament" when and if they come in!
The Din - "Suburban Sendoff"

Rumoured Songs: "In Search Of The Perfect Moment", "Flux", "Alleyways & Apartments", "Out Of My League", "75", "Remember", "Potato (Should Have Known Better)", "A Drive Through The Peninsula", "Give Me A Reason", "High Park", "Up In The Air", "35's The Limit", "Weekend Delivery", "Missing", "In The Moonlight", "The Price That You Pay", "Suburban Dream", "We Met As Surrogates" (a.k.a. "We Met At The Circus")

Background: During their farewell concert (the "Suburban Sendoff") at LopLops Lounge on October 21st, now-defunct alternative hard rock trio The Din revealed to fans that they were recording soundboard audio from the show for a posthumous live album, as part of their plans to maintain an online presence with media releases on social media accounts. The band's setlist that night included live versions of every song from their two studio albums (except "The Rose"), as well as "We Met As Surrogates" from frontman Mike Haggith's 2015 solo album "The Warinside". Their encore cover of The Tragically Hip's "Blow At High Dough" is unlikely to make the final album due to copyright issues, but was later shared on their Facebook page as an "advance cut" (complete with apparent final artwork.)

Current Release Status: There's no way of knowing yet, especially given Mike's move out west for work, but a Bandcamp release of the 'Suburban Sendoff" live album is likely when mastering and editing is complete. The band did vaguely note that details were "coming soon" in December, but not much else is known. Keep posted to Din pages for word on this album!
Electric Church's debut album

Rumoured Songs: "Muddy Waters", "Ain't Got None", "Carey Baby", "Take Me Away", "Cross the Line"

Background: Fast rising young blues/hard rock trio Electric Church evolved from Jimi Hendrix covers in 2016 to primarily original material in 2017, and punctuated that on May 12th when they announced on their Facebook page that they were "working up some new songs... for the album!!!" It was confirmed around that time that they were recording material at Mission Control Studios with producer Dustin Jones, who shared a picture on their Facebook page confirming Electric Church's presence. However, few direct updates have followed publically, aside from scattered reminders that they are still working in studio, and tha they "are really excited about all the new projects we have planned."

Current Release Status: No clue, but Electric Church are a very talented band who play beyond their years, and no matter how long this takes, the album should be of solid quality when it finally comes out! At last word, the band noted on New Year's Day that they were "looking forward to finishing up in the studio this year", so stay tuned for updates!
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 last spring 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 Jonas Gasperas (who may be their permanent drummer now) and saxophonist Josh Norling, a frequent presence in recent months.

Current Release Status: At this stage, I have no idea, but Rob sounded like things were going well in studio. That said, these were largely personal conversations a year ago, and the band hasn't acknowledged album recording sessions publically in recent months, so we'll have to see if updates come out on it in 2017!
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 from live concerts lasting almost 9 years, Gates of Winter never broke up, and are slowly working on their follow-up to 2008's "Lux Aeterna". Updates have sporadically been made since early 2010, via numerous uploads, teaser postings, and general hype for the recording sessions, though prior release forecasts haven't been realized, it was retracted from CD to EP length, and most preview media has since been taken down as the band perfected the CD's final content. While Sault native Jon Morrison was announced as the album's drummer in late 2010, it has since been confirmed that "Perihelion" will feature programmed drums. After taking a over a year's hiatus from public activity, Gates of Winter resurfaced in July with new band artwork and hints that they have "been making incredible strides, and are very excited to pull back the curtain."

Current Release Status: Personal commitments and the like have slowed things down incredibly, but in the band's most recent preview video (featuring audio samples), Gates of Winter hinted that work was winding down on "Perihelion", including noting that "the silence ends soon". Good art takes time, and knowing Gates of Winter's talent and attention to detail, they won't want to release this until everything's perfect. I'll admit that I know a bit more on "Perihelion" than what I've posted here courtesy of e-mail conversations and private postings, but I'll wait until more public word comes out. Keep an eye out for updates!
Id Iota's full length second CD

Rumoured Songs: "Happy Sailor", "Intro To American Literature", "Seas Envy Skies", "Long D", "Cop Drama", "Deep Empty", "Blind Spots"

Background: Not long after their successful Ontario tour with Mike Mikus last fall, Id Iota began recording sessions for their second album, though public confirmation that a full length CD was currently in progress didn't occur until guitarist Dustin Goodall announced it on his studio Unsalted Audio's website earlier this year. Scattered postings and hints have followed, but nothing else has came out beyond performances of newer originals in concert through this spring. For reference, this photo got shared a few times on Id Iota's Facebook page last year, but it's unclear if it's intended to be the album's cover artwork or not. It is not clear if the band will retain ex-bassist Dan Linklater's parts on the final product, or if any collaborations with ex-RedD Monkey cellist Pete Mozarowski will make the cut.

Current Release Status: No idea, especially with the alternative/hard rock quartet keeping fairly mum on it's progress (not to mention their recent bassist change), but if there was ever a plan to release it in time for their dissolved May tour run, that's obviously came and went. Keep watch for updates as they roll in!
Kraken Mara's self-titled debut EP
Rumoured Songs: "Chimera", "Ishka", "Grand Machinations", "Straus"

Background: The current progressive metal project from Late & Loud guitarist Brendan Christie & Wawa band veteran Jake Valois, Kraken Mara immediately commenced work on studio material upon their April 2016 launch, though they have yet to assemble a full lineup, let alone play live. In sporadic updates since on their Facebook page & their website, the band has indicated ongoing recording sessions towards a self-titled EP, posting and reworking original demos to their website and Reverbnation page over recent months, with Reese Wolf working as sound engineer for the tracks. As well, the cover artwork for the EP was revealed on Facebook at the end of March, and the band has since confirmed plans to record music videos for all of the planned tracks, starting with one for "Straus" in July.

Current Release Status: Your guess is as good as mine, but last fall, Kraken Mara announced on their website that "the last of our tracks are being mastered as we speak", while a new playthrough video is also in the works. Brendan and Jake are keeping things very professional and technical so far, but while updates don't come all that frequently, the instrumental material sounds very good and complex so far! These should please fans of progressive and djent metal, so keep tabs above for updates!
Mike Vincent - Ultimate Chaos

Rumoured Songs: "Shoah" (retitled Skull After Betrayl cover), "Sacred Sins", "Six, Six, Six", "Systematical Satan", "Soulless Sanctuary", "Screaming Serenity", "Times Of The Unforgotten", "Chapters of No Light", "We're of Nothing", "Phases of Pain", "Filters of Fire", "Chapter 2: Glow of the Dark", "Ultimate Chaos"

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, with "Times of the Unforgotten" notably featuring his uncle Jason Ladouceur (ex-Winkstinger) in a guest spot. After a year's hiatus for personal reasons, Mike re-emerged with a new song "Filters of Fire" this summer, and revised plans to combine his planned EPs "Six, Six, Six" & "We're of Nothing" into one full length album named "Ultimate Chaos".

Current Release Status: No idea, but given that he's posted all of it's planned songs on Bandcamp, a digital release through there seems likely, unless he only planned them to be individual free uploads. 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 while he put in some solid work in the process, hopefully these get a formal paid release. Keep tabs for further updates!
Northwest's second EP

Rumoured Songs: "Hangover Habits", "Drinking Games"

Background: Following the release of their debut self-titled digital EP in September 2014, and a lengthy stage hiatus from late 2016 through last winter, local indie/punk quintet Northwest resumed major activity in April 2017 with teaser photos of recording sessions at Mission Control Studios with producer Dustin Jones (as they had done for their debut) being sporadically posted over the following year to their Facebook page. Confirmation that this was for a new EP, their first with current drummer Marc Santos, only came in July via their write-up in this year's Rotaryfest program, prior to their Second Stage debut.

Current Release Status: It's hard to say, especially given their quiet postings aside from the teaser photos, and the fact that their debut EP was only released online, but things sounded like they wee progressing well at a reliable local studio. In their New Year's Day post on Facebook, Northwest said that "we will have new music to share with everyone in 2018", so hopefully Northwest's second album sees it's way onto online or physical storefronts in the coming months!
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 band 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. However, whatever became of those sessions (and planned "new studio shit" in 2016) appear to have been discarded, as Redundant announced last month that they will begin recording their debut album at Mission Control Studios with producer Dustin Jones at some point this month. Details are otherwise minimal, including on if the guys will just package their older studio work for the release, or if new guitarist Yannick Casavant will be present on these sessions.

Current Release Status: Though we don't know much on the new/revived album plans, Redundant did sound serious about completing their CD back in 2014. That said, Redundant have only played a handful of times in the last couple of years, and were only sporadically seen on stage in 2016 & 2017. If we hear any updates, we'll 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 in January 2016. Sessions took place at Deluca Sound Productions, who have shared videos of band members tracking material for the EP, the title of which being unveiled later that year. In January 2017, 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. 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, especially with their return to the stage in September. Follow along to see where things go!
Telephone & Address - "Monster" & "The Early Tapes"

Rumoured Songs (M): "I Can Bleed

Rumoured Songs (E): "The Plumbers"

Background: Telephone & Address frontman 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 2016, 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 in the fall of 2015, blaming money issues for the delays in it being released, and while a November 2016 release date was teased last fall, that has came & went too. 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. Also, no word on how his newest Soundcloud tracks from August play in, if at all, especially as they feature new hire Jackson Reed on drums, who joined well after "Monster" was recorded. 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!
I hope you guys liked this month's "Where Are The New Albums?" post! This series will return on or around March 2nd, while our next monthly feature (barring a quick CD review) will be this month's Defunct Local Band Profile next week. That's all for not, but stay tuned for a new news post tomorrow! Thanks everyone!

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