Tag Archives: canadian rock

CATEGORY VI – Canadian metal band releases third album Firecry

Canada’s CATEGORY VI are releasing their 3rd album Firecry this week. For those who like heavy metal produced with big sounding guitars up front , solid production, powerful vocals, melodies, and songs that are lyrically and musically interesting – think Judas Priest, Saxon, Dio, and some NWOBHM influences. Best tracks include “Valkyrie”, “Heavy Is The Crown”, “The Cradle Will Fall”, and the title track . There’s also a lively version of Heart’s classic “Barracuda” to end this 9 track set, which rocks aggressively full-on from beginning to end, with only a few brief intros that let up on the gas. Aside from the band’s official videos (below), also check out the band’s track by track promo videos, hosted by singer Amanda Jackman. Cool cover art by Ivan Radnic

*For more info, check out the press release, bio, and links below!

“Firecry” is their third album and most accomplished release to date “Firecry”. From the initial flickering flame of “Firecry” to the final cinders of the absolutely combustible cover of HEART’s classic “Barracuda”, CATEGORY VI delivers true and classic 80’s heavy metal with utter perfection. “Firecry” boasts a crisp, clear, and scorching modern production that does not distract from the band’s true 80’s metal sound.

Lyrically crafted around themes of personal pride and triumph (Valkyrie, Heavy is the Crown), witchcraft persecution (Firecry), women’s strength (She Runs With Wolves) & their excellent live performances (Coven), these concepts are boldly and powerfully delivered by the soaring vocal excellence of Amanda Jackman. Bolstered and fueled by the powerful stainless steel riffs and catchy melodies of guitarist Geoff Waye, the pounding anvil bass of Keith Jackman, and the thunderous steadfast drumming of Brian Downton, CATEGORY VI brings classy and classic 1980s power – Traditional Heavy Metal into the 21st century with blazing glory.

To close out one of the best heavy metal albums of the decade, CATEGORY VI delivers an immaculate true metal, yet the radio-friendly cover of the chart-topping Heart classic “Barracuda”. With “Firecry”, CATEGORY VI unleashes a global scale climate-changing metal cyclone that just may melt the North American frozen tundra with its blazing power metal.

Track Listing:
1. Firecry
2. Valkyrie
3. The Vultures Never Came
4. She Runs With Wolves
5. Heavy is the Crown
6. Coven
7. The Cradle Will Fall
8. Burning Bridges
9. Barracuda (Heart)

Band Line Up (album):
Amanda Marie Jackman: vocals
Geoff Waye: guitar
Keith Jackman: bass
Brian Downton: Additional drums
Jason Williams: session drums

Band Bio:

Hailing from the misty shores of the northeast Avalon, Category VI formed in early 2010. The band brings something new to the local Newfoundland metal scene as they are the only female-fronted melodic metal band in the province! Category VI has performed live in St. John’s actively since 2010 with other local hard rock and metal bands as well as with touring bands Including NAIL and ANVIL and to date has released two full-length albums.

The band self-released their first full album “Fireborn“ in January 2014. The album received plenty of praise and great reviews on both the local and international levels. Two music videos (“Reborn“ and “Silence befalls the crowd“) were produced for the album. “Silence befalls the crowd“ has been released 4/28/2017 on the DVD “Kill For Metal Vol. I“, a compilation of videos of label-mates on the KILLER METAL RECORDS label. The band has performed regularly for over 7 years at many venues.

Not long after the release of “Fireborn“, CATEGORY VI signed to Killer Metal Records. The band spent most of 2015 writing and perfecting material for their second album “War is Hell”. Recordings for the album took place throughout 2016 and wrapped up in June 2016 at Redhouse Recording in St. John’s, NL. Album mixing was done in the summer/fall of 2016 and mastering was completed in early January 2017 by Lacquer Channel Mastering in Toronto, Ontario. “War is hell” has been released globally as of June 9, 2017. The album was nominated for hard album of the year for Music NL and was favourably reviewed by several press outlets.

The band played several shows in 2017-2018 until pausing to write the 3rd album. Then, without a permanent drummer, and with the pandemic, the band was in hibernation. The band has now emerged from the shadows with a new drummer and with the third album FIRECRY ready to be released in 2023 via Moribund Records.







DEADWOLFF – to release Heavy Rock N’ Roll, announce tour dates.

L-R: Tommy Wolffe (Bass. Vocals), Bobby Deuce (Guitar), Angus Pike (Drums)
Photo Credit: Megan Kay

Toronto’s Deadwolff have released their 3rd single from their upcoming debut full length album Heavy Rock N’ Roll, due out at the end of March. The metal trio also plays a release party for the album on April 7 in Toronto, and will undertake a tour of North America (see below). *Check out the new track below, as well as the press release and links for more info on the band and Heavy Rock N’ Roll.


A blend of hard rock, punk, and metal, Deadwolff set themselves apart from other bands with their take on the New Wave of Heavy Rock and Roll. Recommended for fans of Judas Priest, Motorhead, and W.A.S.P, Deadwolff‘s is a revival of foot-tapping, beer-drinking, headbanging tunes, and more. They are touring across the United States and Canada this May and June in support of their forthcoming debut full-length “Heavy Rock N’ Roll” due out on March 31st via Golden Robot Records.

Music Video – Heavy Rock n’ Roll – https://youtu.be/kAiNlEmDkZk

Music Video – Homeward Bound – https://youtu.be/iPC0z5J3Xnc

Album-pre-save – https://linktr.ee/deadwolff



8 – Outer Limits Lounge – Hamtramck, MI
9 – Liars Club – Chicago, IL
11 – Whittier – Tulsa, OK
12 – Double Wide – Dallas, TX
13 – Black Magic Social Club – Houston, TX
14 – Valhalla Tavern – Austin. TX
15 – Faust Tavern – San Antonio, TX
17 – The Edge – Tuscon, AZ
18 – The Blooze Bar – Pheonix, AZ
19 – Tower Bar – San Diego, CA
20 – Red Dwarf – Las Vegas, NV
23 – Destructive Warehouse – Fresno, CA
24 – The Knockout – San Francisco, CA
25 – On the y- Sacramento, CA
26 – Shea’s Tavern – Reno, NV
27 – Knucklehead – Los Angeles, CA
30 – High Water Mark – Portland, OR
31 – The Cherry Pit – Seattle, WA

1 – Sunny Chibas – Squamish, BC
2 – The Cambie – Vancouver, BC
3 – Kami Inn – Kamloops, BC
4 – Canmore Hotel – Canmore, AB
6 – The Palamind – Calgary, AB
7 – Starlite Room – Edmonton, AB
9 – Bulldog – Winnipeg, MB
10 – Atmos – Thunder Bay, ON


The debut solo album from Andy Curran (Coney Hatch, Envy Of None) in 1990 will see a super deluxe reissue bundle. Following 3 albums with Coney Hatch, a few line up changes, and a break up Curran put together his own band. Released simply as Andy Curran, it featured such radio hits as “License To Love”, “Let Go”, and “No Tattoos”. Now, retitled Whiskey & The Devil, the album will feature 2 previously unreleased tracks from the original sessions, as well as a live show from Vancouver. Andy Curran was nominated for 2 Juno Awards (Canada) in 1991 for Best Hard-rock album, and Most promising male vocalist; he won the latter. Whiskey & The Devil will also include various goodies from that era, with an 8 X 10 photo, a tour pass, tattoo kit and more, all with the 2 cherry red colored LPs in a new cover.

Curran posted to Facebook – “I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of my Juno Award-winning debut solo record than with a limited-edition reissue! Every song has been remixed and each bundle includes a physical and digital component. I’ve gone through the archives to create a unique, signed, double-vinyl record, and included rare photos from my personal collection, plus other unreleased studio tracks and memorabilia. As a bonus, every purchase gives you a chance to win an autographed Fender Precision bass guitar signed by me!”

Harem Scarem’s Mood Swings was the band’s 2nd album, released in June of 1993, and featured the hit “No Justice”, as well as further singles “If There Was A Time” and “Change Comes Around”. Harem Scarem’s line-up at the time included Harry Hess (lead vocals, keyboards), Pete Lesperance (guitar), Mike Gionet (bass), and Darren Smith (drums). Smith sang lead on the cut “Sentimental Blvd”. (Smith, in recent years, would front Jake E Lee’s Red Dragon Cartel). This release will be the first time Mood Swings is issued on vinyl! Aside from the purple vinyl LP , there’ll be bonus tracks, as well as CD, a tour poster, and drink coaster among other items included.

*For more info, check out the press release below…

Fans of vintage, Canadian melodic rock should make room in their record collections for two new reissues available today – Andy Curran’s 1990 debut solo effort Whiskey and the Devil 30th and Harem Scarem’s 1993 sophomore offering Mood Swings. Both projects are now being offered as exclusive, limited-edition releases only available on SING Market.
Each release includes a vinyl package and a matching digital package, which also contains digital-only extras – at a retail price for each package of USD $89.95, plus shipping.

“Working on my solo album decades later was a trip down memory lane,” recalls Curran (founder of Coney Hatch and Envy of None with Rush’s Alex Lifeson) about the new reissue entitled Whiskey and the Devil 30th.  “I completely forgot about two songs we recorded during those sessions but that weren’t included on the original release – so now, many years later, they will be part of this release. This was also the first time I produced a record… which was a white-knuckle ride! Winning a Juno Award that year was the icing on the cake. It was only ever released in Canada, so I’m excited to shine the spotlight back on this one.” 

Iron Maiden/British Lion bassist, Steve Harris, is a big fan of Curran’s solo record, adding: “I’ve been listening to this album for 30 years and it still sounds great!”
Harem Scarem lead singer Harry Hess recollects, “June 2023 will mark the 30-year anniversary of the release of our second album, Mood Swings. This record took us to another level internationally, being released in over 50 countries and voted Kerrang! Magazine’s rock album of the year. We are excited to revisit the songs, recording five new acoustic bonus tracks and releasing the original remastered recordings on vinyl for the first time ever.”

These new hybrid packages include serial-numbered digital collectibles, permanently capped at a preset quantity using blockchain technology – once they’re sold out, no more can ever be produced. SING guarantees fans own their music – just like a numbered print, fans have true ownership of each package and artist-authorized proof of its authenticity. No knowledge of crypto is ever needed to use SING – just a love of great music and a credit card, debit card or Apple Pay.

Both exclusive packages are available now for immediate purchase on SING Market at the following links:

Andy Curran – Whiskey and the Devil 30th – Click Here to Purchase


Check out the Andy Curran unboxing video here: https://vimeo.com/807505344

You’ll Receive:

  • Cherry red double 180-gram audiophile LPs (Original Album remixed with two previously unreleased tracks, plus Live in Vancouver performances)
  • Whiskey and the Devil Tattoo Kit
  • Andy Curran Vintage Tour Pass
  • Andy Curran Fantoons designed mini Cereal Box
  • An 8 x 10 High Gloss Photo
  • An Exclusive re-print of Andy’s infamous private Biker Gang Show ticket (VIP CARD)
  • A Whiskey and the Devil 30th Album Art Sticker
  • A golden ticket entry to win a Fender Precision Bass Guitar (Classic 60’s), autographed by Andy Curran

Available for immediate download: 

  • All the above vinyl tracks plus 2 additional “studio” out-takes, newly remixed by Juno Award-winning engineer Vic Florencia, delivered as MP3 files 
  • Original 1990 record re-mastered
  • Music videos for No Tattoos and License to Love singles
  • 5 Pre-recorded deal demos (these were the actual demos that got Andy his first record deal!)
  • Original Track Sheets from the Metalworks sessions

Harem Scarem – Mood Swings – Click Here to Purchase


Check out the Harry Hess unboxing video here: https://vimeo.com/807604157

You’ll receive:

  • Purple 180-gram audiophile LP with Companion Compact Disc (includes bonus tracks)
  • 24” x 36” Mood Swings Tour Poster (Re-issue from Mood Swings tour)
  • Re-issued VIP All Access Pass
  • Mood Swings Custom Drink Coaster
  • VIP Metallic Membership Card – Meet and Greet the Artist at Harem Scarem Live Events
  • Metallic band logo sticker
  • A Golden ticket entry with every purchase to be entered to win a Seagull guitar made by Godin Guitars and signed by the band 

Available for immediate download:

  • Vinyl tracks in MP3 format 
  • 5 Acoustic Bonus Tracks
  • Harem Scarem VIP Fan Club Membership
  • Live Photos
  • Fan Art Banners
  • Studio Track Sheets
  • A Making-of Video – (mini documentary made for the 30th Anniversary edition)
  • Mood Swings Songbook (digital version)

Curran and Hess added fire power by teaming up with SING and arranging physical manufacturing and distribution. Curran added, “Harry and I have so many friends in the business who either had record deals, or are between deals, but they control their content. We have had lots of calls asking for help, so we set up a scenario whereby the artist owns everything, and we’re simply the vehicle to help them put it all in one place for their fans to access. We can’t name names just yet, but we have had lots of interest, so look for more SING limited-edition digital releases in the coming months.”
Founded in 2019, Seattle-based SING is an online record store that puts artists and fans first by offering curated digital and physical products that you won’t find anywhere else. “We’re thrilled to be working with Andy Curran and Harem Scarem on two of their most iconic albums,” says SING CEO, Geoff Osler. “These exclusive releases will give fans a unique opportunity to truly own these records in both vinyl and digital formats – with never before possible digital bonus material that fans can download and enjoy immediately.”

The COMMONERS release new single, + UK tour dates w/ Troy Redfern

photo: JC Polien

Canadian blues-roots rockers The Commoners have released a 4th single, w/ lyric video from their album Find A Better Way. The single “More Than Mistakes” and the new album can be streamed Here. or watch the video below.

On the punchy and rollicking “More Than Mistakes,” the rock train rolls on full steam ahead.  Bright tambourine accents a rhythm section to rival Motown, illuminating a track that instantly pushes listeners to the edge of their seats, raising them to their feet.  Alive and free, “More Than Mistakes” affirms the album’s theme of self-empowerment with gusto.

“More Than Mistakes is a song written in self-defiance,” says the Commoners’ lead singer, Chris Medhurst. “It’s about taking on one’s own weakness with a sense of forgiveness for past transgressions, while enthusiastically searching for the limit.”

Possessing a sound tapped from the oaken belly of a whiskey barrel, The Commoners are a four-piece Roots/Rock outfit from Toronto, Canada.

In April The Commoners tour the UK, along with the amazing blues-rocker Troy Redfern!




RUSH : Signals 40th anniversary – box set, picture disc…

Rush’s Signals was originally released in September of 1982. Preceded by the single “New World Man”, it marked a change in the band’s sound, with more use of modern keyboards and less heavy guitar. I am sure this was an issue for many Rush fans at the time, but it was a success as the band kept evolving and staying current. The met with mixed reviews, among the most comical being Rolling Stones’ horrible review, calling the band’s latest “duller than ever“, among other things! I wasn’t so into “New World Man”, but the rest of the album (most of) I preferred – particularly “Subdivisions” and “The Analog Kid”, plus favorites like “Countdown” and “Digital Man”.

Not only did the singles get lots of air-play (particularly in Toronto – which is where our closest rock stations were), but the video for “Subdivisions” was a classic, fitting the lyrics of being the outsider trying to fit in – “be cool or be cast out“. The video was filmed in various areas of Toronto (Scarborough), so it’s interesting to see for that aspect as well.

Signals remains one of my Top 3 Rush albums, with the other 2 being Permanent Waves and Moving Pictures – that period where the band sized things down from the lengthy epics to more strong shorter songs, easily accessible for many who might have shied away before. Rush was at their peak with Signals – selling out 3 nights at Maple Leaf Gardens. The album charted at #1 in Canada (their 2nd in a row), #3 in the UK (their 3rd #3), #19 in Sweden, and #10 in the US, while “New World Man” would become the band’s biggest single in the US, and “Subdivisions” would become a mainstay in the band’s live show thereafter (As far as I know…was it ever out of the live set?) Again, another interesting and iconic cover design by Canadian Hugh Syme.

And all of this brings me to the 40th anniversary release of Signals – particularly the box set, coming out in April. ( The re-issue will be available in three versions – Super Deluxe Edition, one-LP Picture Disc Edition, and Dolby Atmos Digital Edition). Upon seeing what’s coming (and what’s been on previous Rush box’s), I am pretty torn about this one, somewhat disappointed. There is the LP, 4 singles, CD (2015 remaster), a blue-ray disc, a hard cover book, poster, new artwork, prints, etc… You can check out the full details here > https://www.rush.com/signals-40th-anniversary-release/

What this Signals box doesn’t have, however – is anything new to listen to, ie – a live recording from the era, And that is a big drawback for me. Retailing at $229 US (!) – and No live show or rare live tracks … !? Hard to believe, but I guess possible, that maybe something of top quality just doesn’t exist!? (Maybe a bigger Rush collector can clarify?) I love the artwork (and keen to see all the new art from Hugh Syme), as well as the 40 page book, and all, but ….for me – I like to get something (new to me) to listen to. Maybe I’ll just eventually end up getting the new picture-disc version of Signals.







LEE AARON: new album Elevate out now

Lee Aaron, once the ‘metal queen’ restarted her career in 2016, following 12 plus years of no recording. In the 80s and early 90s she’d released 7 hard-rock albums, and had a number of hits, before venturing into other projects and musical styles. Aaron returned to rock full-time, first guesting on Sean Kelly’s ‘Metal On Ice‘ (a companion to his book of the same title) where she re-recorded “Metal Queen”, and then in 2016 with her first full album titled Fire And Gasoline, on Big Sister Records. Backed by Sean Kelley (guitar), John Cody (drums), and Dave Reimer (bass), Fire And Gasoline featured the singles “Tom Boy”, “Bad Boyfriend”, and the title track.

Aaron’s music was still rockin’, but comes across now with a more mature sound and production, with plenty of catchy tunes on subsequent albums. Whether you followed her or not in the ’80s, she has something new with an element of fun in her music these days; most welcome in such serious times.

Diamond Baby Blues followed in 2018, and featured 2 excellent singles in “Diamond Baby” and “American High”. That album also included covers of Deep Purple’s “Mistreated” and the Linda Ronstadt hit “You’re No Good” (originally written & recorded in the ’60s, and later covered by Van Halen).

2019 saw the release of Live In Germany on CD & DVD, that had been recorded on her band’s 2017 tour. And despite the pandemic, Lee Aaron has kept up recording & releasing new music at a pace that very few do these days. Radio On! came out in 2021, and featured the standout “C’mon”, as well as favorites “Vampin'”, “Radio On”, as well as the ballad “Twenty One”.

December of last year saw the release of Lee Aaron’s latest – Elevate. And there’s no shortage of good tracks, with her fourth studio album of rock songs since 2016 (not to forget her Christmas album in 2020). Lead by the first few singles “Trouble Maker” and “Rock Bottom Revolution”, Elevate includes a fine range of rock and pop-rockers with “The Devil U Know”, “Highway Romeo”, “Spitfire Woman”, and the title track closing this disc out. “Freak Show” is one song with a chorus I’m sure will sink in with many; that or the ballad “Red Dress” would make fine singles.

Lee Aaron’s return and rejuvenated recording career continues to turn out very good albums, that may be a bit distant from any ‘metal’ tag, but should still appeal to those who will dig her knack for coming up with good songs, and her vocals which remain as clear and strong as they were decades ago; kinda hard to tell that she’s aged at all. Great album cover! Available on vinyl & CD!



APRIL WINE – Myles Goodwyn retires from live performances

Canada’s APRIL WINE got together in 1968, moved to Montreal, signed to Aquarius Records, and released their first album in 1970. That album featured the hit single “Fast Train”. And from there, April Wine went on to become one of the biggest band’s in Canada. By the time the band’s 3rd album was released Myles Goodwyn was the lone original member. He sang lead, played guitar, and wrote the majority of the band’s material. Over time, he would go on to write almost all of the band’s material, add keyboards, and produce. Guitarist Brian Greenway joined in 1977, and the band took off with the hit “Roller”, from the album First Glance. April Wine split in the mid ’80s, but reformed in the early ’90s, recording more studio albums, and touring extensively. After a number of personal changes only Goodwyn and Greenway remained from the band’s classic late 70s-early 80s classic era. Now Myles Goodwyn has announced his retirement from touring with the band that he lead for 5 decades. Replacing him will be Montreal musician Marc Parent, from the Ottawa based band Eight Seconds. Goodwyn posted on Facebook on December 19 (with the above photo): “New April Wine group to hit stages everywhere in 2023. (l to r) Brian Greenway, Marc Parent, Richard Lanthier and Roy Nichol. Although I’m still in the band writing, recording the guys and producing, I am now officially retired from touring. My last stage performance after 50+ yrs. on the road, will be in Nova Scotia, March 2, 2023. It all started here and ends here for me. I will miss the shows, the fans and the other bands that have been friends for years, but health reasons have made this decision necessary. Cheers everyone and thanks for all the support over the years.”

Brian Greenway commented (further on) – “The new fellow’s name is Marc Parent from the band 8 Seconds. He plays excellent guitar and sings great! He was hand picked and is a gift as he can play and sing a lot like Myles. The song book will carry on. It’s all about the songs.”

In recent years Myles Goodwyn has recorded and released 3 solo albums – Myles Goodwyn and Friends of the Blues (2018), Friends of the Blues 2 (2019), and his most recent (2021) Long Pants. There has also been talk of a new April Wine album over the last couple of years, hopefully that will still happen. The band’s catalogue has more recently been reissued on colored vinyl via Unidisc.

*For more details on Myles’ decision to retire from touring and his choice of replacement check out this CTV interview – https://atlantic.ctvnews.ca/april-wine-s-myles-goodwyn-announces-tour-departure-1.6201900







STEVE HILL Releases new single, new album & comic book!

Canada’s Steve Hill, the acclaimed singer-songwriter recently celebrated his 25th year as a recording artist with his 12th album Dear Illusion, by No Label Records on Friday November 11, 2022.  Three years in the making, the new album is available from https://ffm.to/dearillusion.

Following the release of the album, Hill released the official music video “Don’t let The Truth Get In The Way (Of A Good Story)” .

The single is available to stream and download from https://ffm.to/goodstory.

“It took me a long time to finish “Don’t Let The Truth Get In The Way (Of A Good Story),” recollects Steve. “I started working on it six years ago after the Trump election. It’s about alternate truth, but it’s also about social media and our addiction to it. It’s also about pretending that everything is alright when it’s not. It’s about choosing to pretend because it’s easier than facing the truth when the truth doesn’t matter anymore.”

But that’s not all. To make the new album an even bigger means for celebration, Steve will release the limited edition “Dear Illusion” comic book. Physical copies of the comic are available HERE and the digital edition HERE.

“I’ve been dreaming doing a comic book for a long time,” reflects Steve. “Before I got into music, drawing was my passion. I wanted to write comics. I’ve collected them sporadically all my life until five years ago when it became an obsession. I think that comics are a great artform. It’s like song writing, in that tell a story in a short period of time. I get feelings out of some comics the same way that I get feelings from music. If you’ve read Alan Moore, Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, or Ed Brubaker, you know what I’m talking about.”

“I got in touch with comic book artist Rob Cannon through a mutual connection. He seemed like a good candidate to draw the cover of my previous album, “Desert Trip.” He did a fantastic job. I love that album cover. When the time came for “Dear Illusion,” it was obvious he was the go-to guy. What he did was even better than the one before. From there, the next logical step was the comic. He took the themes from the album, the visual landscape from “Desert Trip” and made it a metaphoric science fiction story that I could never have thought of, while retaining the essence and the meaning of the songs. That’s art.”

Known over the last ten years as a one-man band, on Dear Illusion, the multi-instrumentalist shares the spotlight with a horn section, The Devil Horns, as well as 7-time UK Blues Awards Drummer of the Year, Wayne Proctor (A.A. Williams, Oli Brown, King King, Ben Poole). Proctor also mixed and mastered the upcoming record.

 “I had a version finished right before the pandemic started,” says Steve. “It was slated for release in April 2020. There was no point in releasing it then, so I decided to wait. The sad context of the pandemic resulted in additional time for me to offer my fans the album I’m sure will meet their expectations for my 25th anniversary as a recording artist. I am proud of the work.”

“Ultimately, the results that we collectively achieved with the album, ended up reflecting both maturity and introspection. Overall, I feel like the album is telling that no matter what happens, you should give it everything you got and move on, be the best person you can be, and no matter what, the sun will rise again. Don’t dwell on suffering, and don’t forget about it, either. Even treat misfortune as a friend, slap it on the back and say, Thanks for teaching me.”

Dear Illusion – Track Listing

01 – All About The Love
02 – Keep It Together
03 – Everything You Got
04 – Dear Illusion
05 – Steal The Light From You
06 – Don’t Let The Truth Get In The Way (Of A Good Story)
07 – Follow Your Heart
08 – So It Goes
09 – She Gives Lessons In Blues
10 – Until The Next Time







*top photo by ScottDoubt

Canadian band THE WRING release first single from upcoming album – Spectra

Canada’s The Wring is gearing up to release a third album Spectra next month, which promises to be an assertive mix of different styles including hard rock, jazz, metal, classical, 80’s rock, 70’s rock, and probably a few other things. Solo artist Don Dewulf had the idea and with the help of accomplished musicians, the project has been brought to life. The next piece they are sharing is the single “Stiletto” ft. Marco Minnemann, which Dewulf outlines:

“This song is about the debilitating need for social media attention and validation. The blade goes in and you never even feel it, then you slowly bleed out. The verses are in 5/8 and ⅞ creating a somewhat jarring effect, and also speaking to the theme. Chandler does a killer job on the chorus vocal and there is a very peculiar odd-time breakdown before the solo. Very fun song to play.”

He also comments that Spectra is a bit like a 1970’s King Crimson album, but without any ethereal soliloquies and certainly with a more significant hard rock/metal influence. Compared to last year’s full-length “Project Cipher”, this new offering carries on in the same tradition and headspace, but the songs are fuller and cohesive.

The album got its name because Dewulf feels that it really touches on a wide range of musical styles and themes. The mixes are very layered with a lot of detail; you can listen to it many times and still continue to pick out intricacies and small details each time.

Dewulf is writing constantly as he always has a lot of ideas to flesh out and bring to the ears of listeners around the world. He has no intentions of stopping soon, so fans of Spectra should keep an eye out for new music. The Wring is recommended for fans of King Crimson, Dream Theater, and Opeth.

The music video for “Stiletto” ft. Marco Minnemann can be seen and heard via its premiere on Bravewords HERE.

Digital single – https://orcd.co/stilettopresave

Spectra is due out on December 16, 2022, via WormHoleDeath Records.

The album teaser can be heard at https://youtu.be/FBbV-FngKG0

Album digital pre-save available at https://orcd.co/spectrapreorder

Track Listing:​
1. Stiletto 4:40
2. Stones & Bones 4:58
3. The Prince 3.54
4. The Wolf 5:00
5. Tin Man 5:25
6. From Mars 4:43
7. Sins 4:43
8. Fallen 5:05

Album Recording Line Up:
Don Dewulf – Guitars
Marco Minnemann – Drums
Chandler Mogel – Vocals
Reggie Hache – Bass & Keyboards
Isamu McGregor – Keyboards

For more info:

SPELL – Release Tragic Magic, new video

(Photo: David P. Ball)

Tragic Magic is the 4th release from Vancouver’s SPELL, who are described/labelled as ‘hypnotic heavy metal’. Hypnotic is one word, but there’s a number of words that spring to mind in describing the band’s latest album. First and foremost, they are Canadian, so I hear the likes of Rush in their sound, as well as Harlequin and Red Rider, maybe it’s the vocals, the melodies with the latter… And then there’s the cool hooks, riffs, and fantasy type songs that have elements of Blue Oyster Cult, Black Sabbath, Wishbone Ash…. Tragic Magic has all the elements of a classic 70s early metal album, but with clever melodies, perfectly timed uses of 80s synths, and songs that will grow on the listener, and elements of prog and space-rock, Each track offers something unique that will demand repeated plays. “Ultraviolet” may be the standout track here, but this album keeps me interested with every tune, the latest single being “Fever Dream” instantly reminding me of early 80s Rush and Red Rider, like this could’ve been a big arena favorite 40 years ago! Favorites include “A Ruined Garden”, “Cruel Optimism” (with that heavy riff, lighter verses, and hard-edged chorus) , and “Watcher Of The Seas” (love the 80s Rush, and metal feel of this). Album ends with the short instrumental “The Watching”, a bit space/prog rock., a great ending. Ten tracks here, most of which come in under 4 minutes, but yet one feels there’s much more. +Tragic Magic available on vinyl LP (multiple colors), CD and digital

*for more info, check out the press release and links below. Highly recommended!

(Photo: David P. Ball)

Hypnotic Heavy Metal Band, SPELL, Streams New Video “Fever Dream”

Vancouver Progressive Duo to Drop New LP, ‘Tragic Magic’, October 28

“Music is magic, and Spell is a spell. Fundamentally, it is a forum to make our dreams come true”- Spell bassist/guitarist/vocalist Cam Mesmer

Fantastical heavy metal band Spell will release its new LP, ‘Tragic Magic’, on October 28 via Bad Omen Records. Featuring ten tracks of prime, progressive heavy music flooded with mesmerizing atmospheres, ‘Tragic Magic’ sees Spell take a decidedly grittier lyrical approach, leaning less into escapism, while confronting real life challenges of modern times. Striking cover art (Frenzy of Exultations by Władysław Podkowiński, 1863) featuring an angelic woman riding a frenetic horse, portends the palpable potency that the record promises. In its review of the new Spell song, “Ultraviolet”, Metal Injection says the band’s sound treads “the line between dreamy progressive rock in the vein of King Crimson and more straightforward old-school heavy metal like Blue Öyster Cult.” Pre-order ‘Tragic Magic’ at THIS location. 

In advance of the release of ‘Tragic Magic’, Spell streams a video for the new track, “Fever Dream”, (Directed by Scotti Gibson, with cinematography by Kyle Samuels & make up effects by Caitlin Rose Delaplace and edited by Vince Edwards) an enticing earworm that fuses darkwave and progressive psych in hypnotizing fashion while exploring the realms of “nightmares and sleep paralysis”.

“Fever Dream” comes directly from the most evil and frightening moments I’ve experienced in the depths of illness and sleep,”  offers Spell vocalist/guitarist Cam Mesmer. “These things may not make sense in the light of day, but once they take hold you have no choice but to follow their twisted path. Deep within nightmares and sleep paralysis, I have conflicting desires: first the urge to shake myself and escape, but also a second, deeper instinct – to give in to the feeling and allow it to conquer me completely to see where it will take me. This song represents your darkest subconscious, urging you to allow that evil inside of yourself and give it the agency to take you somewhere new, somewhere unholy. Now go back to sleep…”

‘Tragic Magic’ is the highly anticipated follow up to Spell’s critically acclaimed 2020 LP, ‘Opulent Decay’, a record hailed as “fantasy rock” by Blabbermouth, “enchanting” by Heavy Blog is Heavy, and “captivating” by Revolver. The record’s songcraft is steeped in the atmosphere of the arcane, yet the hooks are more razor-sharp than ever. While influences like the esoteric charge of the aforementioned Blue Öyster Cult and the elemental expansions of Camel drift through these crepuscular melodies, Spell are as likely to be influenced by the life-affirming energy of ‘60s Motown, the ethereal dimensions of Cocteau Twins, the strident woe of Candlemass, and the classic songwriting chops of Russ Ballard. 

Another taste of what ‘Tragic Magic’ holds in store can be ingested now on the previously unveiled video for the LP’s radiating first single “Ultraviolet”. Created by Sean Edwards for Ramble Films (Freeways), the eye-catching clip showcases Spell at the height of its powers.

“The themes on this album are more concrete, guided by personal experience,” offers Mesmer. “Tragic Magic’ has to do with mental illness, ageing, the death of a loved one, the decay of time… this is what ‘tragic magic’ means to us – loss and tragedy outside of our control, which fundamentally alters our perceived reality. This album is our response to the world as it currently is music for an ascetic age. The identity of Spell came into sharp focus as it was always intended to be.” 

Ultraviolet” explores the hidden terror of forces that rule us but cannot be perceived or understood,” says Spell vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Cam Mesmer. “Our world is shaped by powers that the limitations of our physical bodies prevent us from directly encountering. Will we fall victim to the lust for that which cannot be ours, or harness them to fulfil our wildest dreams?”

“If this band was a van, they would be the raddest, most pimped out airbrushed 70’s van with plush interior and a BOOMING system. SPELL is a perfect name for them, because their songs are jamming heavy metal magic.” – Cvlt Nation

“Psychedelic space rock exploration steeped in sludge and fuzz. Tipping their caps to a range of classic hard rock influences like Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath, Blue Oyster Cult, Rush and even old-school Mercyful Fate, Spell captures a dreary, overcast and lo-fi vibe” – Exclaim!

SPELL is: Cam Mesmer: vocals, bass, rhythm guitar/ Al Lester: vocals, drums, lead guitar. (* Synthesizers by Gabriel B)