Thursday, April 2, 2020

Where Are The New Albums? (April 2020 Update)

It's now time for this month's "Where Are The New Albums? post, as we continue our monthly look at the current release statuses and whereabouts of upcoming albums from Sault Ontario metal, hard rock, and punk artists! This month's installment has one removed CD (A Dire Setback's successfully released debut album), and the only entry with substantial updates has it's title in italics. Of course, with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and stay-at-home order, that can very easily affect album recording sessions, so things may have been collectively slowed down in that regard, hence why there isn't a lot to add this month. Here's what you should know for this month!
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 has 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. The music video for "I Fear No God" was posted on YouTube in December 2018, marking the first public release of a song from the CD, while the final cover artwork and full track listing order were posted on their Facebook page in February 2019.

Current Release Status: The Bear Hunters haven't given any firm timetables for when to expect "The Dead Testament" in stores, and they have not publically referenced the album on social media in over a year, but recording sessions are reportedly complete, and they have played live since then. The band is aiming for a more professional sound and release for their sophomore effort, and to go along with that, artwork and physical distribution plans are ongoing, as are "a ton of cool ideas for stepping our media game up." Keep an eye out for updates on "The Dead Testament" when and if they come in!
Dustin Jones & The Rising Tide's fourth album

Rumoured Songs: "Lost & Found", "All Broke Down"

Background: After a lengthy hiatus dating back to the summer of 2016, local Celtic punk veterans Dustin Jones & The Rising Tide resumed public activity in early 2018, later beginning recording sessions by that October at Dustin's own Mission Control Studios, as per their Facebook page. The band confirmed that they were indeed recording a fourth studio album (and first in 7 years) in January 2019, which will presumably be released through Tidal Records, and will also be their first album with second guitarist Liam Seymour and drummer Chris Johns. A 22 second teaser of the first single "Lost & Found" was posted on Facebook, and it's official music video was released in March, while "All Broke Down" was initially cited as the first single in December 2018 (source here.)

Current Release Status: When The Tide shared the above teaser clip, they mentioned that the album was "coming soon", which doesn't tell us much. With recording sessions a few months in, and it's intended song now out via the music video, it's likely that Dustin and company aren't early in the process, but we'll let you know when more comes out on their highly anticipated fourth album as we proceed in the new year!
The Elements' debut EP 

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

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 2015, and have since publically confirmed earlier teases that they are working on a debut EP. Frontman Rob Speers has confirmed in personal conversations in early 2016 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. A studio recording of "I Need A Friend" was quietly posted onto their Facebook page in February, following personal Facebook postings that revealed that EP sessions were further along than public statements indicated, though they have not elaborated since.

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 over a year ago, and it's anyone's guess when The Elements will provide a public statement corroborating the private teasers. I won't go into detail on that front unless the band does or gives permission, so we'll have to see if updates come out on it soon!
Mike Haggith - If Ever Comes The Day & Bridges

Rumoured Songs (A): "The Best You Never Had", "Communique", "If Only You Could Hear Me", "MorningStar, "2145"

Rumoured Songs (B): "From The 55th Parallel", "Over Indecision", "The Nature of The Times","An Act of Strength","The Catalyst", "Dangerous Town", "Come on Home", "Blue Highway", "Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost", "Bridges"

Background: After moving to Thompson, Manitoba in November 2017 for work reasons, prolific local/Windsor hard/alternative rock musician Mike Haggith relaunched his dormant solo project, and soon commenced songwriting for a new CD named "Bridges", with updates taking place across 2018 and into early 2019. His Facebook page documented songwriting sessions and acoustic "home demo" videos of new original songs, plus solo concerts in Thompson largely featuring new tracks. Despite the unveiling of the cover artwork, three singles, and even a music video for "The Nature of The Times", Mike indefinitely postponed the release of "Bridges" late last year due to mixing delays, personal life concerns, and the quick development of a new album named "If Ever Comes The Day", which he now plans to release first. With that, he unveiled it's first single "Communique" on September 24th, with "The Best You Never Had" following afterward, and other hints towards songs also showing up on social media. Mike confirmed on Facebook last month that this album is finished recording.

Current Release Status: "If Ever Comes The Day" is slated to be released on May 15th on digital platforms, and pending the COVID-19 shutdowns, a CD release party at LopLops Lounge is planned for that night. Whether the show goes on or not, Mike has made it clear that the album will be released that day, so circle May 15th on your calendars! He previously confirmed that "Bridges" will still be released, and for an album with completed recording sessions, artwork, and single releases, you'd hope so, but it's clear that he is prioritizing the new CD at this time. With Mike's candor & honesty, you know he won't hide anything regarding these albums, so keep tabs for updates!
Pillory's second CD

Rumoured Songs: "Angst of Existence", "Sculptor of Cadavers", "Wasting", "Abhorred Apprehension", "The Passing", "Exhaustive Incarnation"

Background: After previously breaking up in mid-2014, local metal band Pillory returned as a trio in the fall of 2015, trading their thrash metal roots for a heavier death metal sound, complete with a completely overhauled setlist with no carried-over originals from their 2013 debut EP. In March 2017, Id Iota guitarist Dustin Goodall's recording studio Unsalted Audio revealed that they were in pre-production for Pillory's second album, with the band confirming that sessions were underway that summer. As of July 2017, drum tracks were complete, though it took until November 2018 for the band to confirm that guitar tracking was underway, with vocals & mixing to follow. It's not clear who will provide bass tracks on the final product, between ex-bassist Jordan Leach, his replacement Blair St. John, frontman Robert Sartini (who played bass on their first EP), or a combination therein.

Current Release Status: I have no idea, and it doesn't help that Pillory have only posted once on Facebook in the past 2½ years, though their new lineup returned from year-long hiatuses twice in that span for opening sets at Live705 death metal shows at The Rockstar Bar. That said, with their increasingly brutal and technical sound, hopefully they can get this album complete down the line!
The Sorrow Fields' debut album

Rumoured Songs: Unknown

Background: After a two year hiatus for his solo project (previously known as Animas, April Eyes, and By The Gods), local guitarist Mitch Sirie's solo project The Sorrow Fields resumed public activity in February 2018 via recording sessions at Mission Control Studios with producer Dustin Jones, where his band The Bear Hunters also recorded their new CD. An actively maintained social media page for The Sorrow Fields has not followed suit, but Dustin did say that he was "stoked" by the guide tracks, and tracking was reportedly underway last January. Posts on Mitch's personal Facebook page have implied that the project's current form will be much softer than his death metal band work.

Current Release Status: With tracking reportedly underway, last year had to have been targeted once, but given that Mitch has kept all of his own promotion for this album on personal accounts, it's anyone's guess how fast this will come out (also, remember how Mitch's prior attempts at solo albums never saw their intended completion.) It'd be great to see both The Sorrow Fields' debut and "The Dead Testament" on sale this year, and hopefully things progress the right way for both in the coming months!
Treble Charger's sixth album

Rumoured Songs: Unknown

Background: While recording a brand new album was a common teaser in Treble Charger's post-reunion concerts in the mid-late 2010s, the local/Toronto indie punk icons only gave a firm public confirmation that they were indeed working on their sixth CD in this Sault Star article in September. The recording sessions reportedly began last spring, and as of the interview, four or five demos were recorded, though things were on hold at the time while they waited for studio at the Algoma Conservatory of Music (that frontman Greig Nori is managing) to finish construction before final recordings take place there. Guitarist Bill Priddle's Pointless bandmate Dustin Goodall will record bass tracks for the album, though it's not clear who will handle drums.

Current Release Status: I am not sure, but when the announcement is made regarding completion of the Algoma Conservatory studio, that may give a hint as to a timeline. Also, remember that Treble Charger do not have a regularly maintained social media account, so things may progress faster than public statements come out. In any event, Treble Charger will want to ensure that everything goes perfect for the album, so stay tuned!
I hope you guys liked this month's "Where Are The New Albums?" post, and hopefully the next installment on May 2nd will have more new information to share! Our next monthly feature post will likely be this month's Defunct Local Band Profile one week from tomorrow, but stay tuned for more news and notes on the site in the near future! Thanks everyone!

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