Unearthing the Metal Underground: Calgary, Alberta
Band Photo: Kilyakai (?)
Each week in "Unearthing the Metal Underground," we'll be putting a few quality underground bands in the spotlight in an attempt to get the word out about them. This week, I am exploring the death metal scene in Calgary, Alta. Canada.
It's tricky to pigeonhole Calgary metal acts as primarily death, as focusing on just one sub-genre in this city is exceedingly rare, so instead we focus on bands whose sound has death as the most prominent, driving forces.
One of Calgary's main death metal exports in recent history includes Divinity, whose full-length album “Allegory” was picked up by Nuclear Blast Records in 2008. The band has gone back to forging an independent path and are getting ready to unveil their self-recorded, produced and distributed album “The Singularity.”
While Divinity is probably the most recognizable name from Calgary's current metal scene – in a worldwide perspective – there are a number of other high-caliber acts with death at their roots sharing the local stage.
Reverend Kill first formed in 2004 when guitarist Don Stenhouse, formerly of Calgary death/grind powerhouse Thorazine, started writing riffs and recording them armed only with an 8-track and drum machine. After Thorazine disbanded after nearly a decade of death, Stenhouse started jamming with other local musicians. Gradually the line-up of today came to be, and with their third-full length album “War and Conflict” about to be released and a newly signed deal with Painkiller Records, Reverend Kill is set to slay eardrums across the globe with a bit of thrash thrown into the mix.
Another Calgary death metal act that's fast proving a force to be reckoned with is Kilyakai, a high-energy five-piece whose live performances show no mercy to the faint of heart with plenty of shedtacular guitar riffs, heavy hitting percussion and a bipolar blend of screaming death vocals and clean harmonies. Their full-length debut “Devastate Insisted Existence” hits the streets Oct. 23, and while the core of the music is deep in death, the group doesn't limit their songwriting, showcasing a variety of influences ranging from grind to thrash, which helps explain why they've been chosen to open for a number of high-profile touring acts, including Zimmers Hole and Iced Earth, since forming in 2006.
One of the newer death metal bands in Calgary, but by no means young in their wickedly intense musical stylings, is We Found the Body. WFTB began stirring things up on the Calgary circuit in 2007 and haven't slowed down for a second. Even when they recorded their debut album, a six-song, self-titled EP released in March 2009, the guys left the mixing and mastering in the very capable hands of Tue Madsen, the producer behind Divinity's “Allegory,” and albums by Dark Tranquillity, The Haunted, Heaven Shall Burn and a number of other big name acts. WFTB continue to be extremely active throughout the province, gaining new fans in every town they perform.
Certainly there are more quality metal bands in Calgary. So if you'd like to recommend some other good underground metal bands from Calgary, please feel free to discuss them in the comments below.
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