Unearthing The Metal Underground: The Red Deer, Alberta Metal Scene
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 metal scene in Red Deer, Canada, situated about halfway between Alberta's provincial capital to the north, Edmonton, and the city of Calgary to the south. Surrounded by farming communities and cattle ranches, a small but tight-knit collection of metal bands have been heavying things up in the prairie city of 90,000, setting the stage for Red Deer to finally find it's way onto the metal map.
J. Michalski initially started Red Deer's Awkward Silence as a studio project back in 2007. After writing, recording and releasing “Little Ineffectual Nothing,” Michalski found an increasing demand to hear the music live and began a search for the right musicians to help him bring the melodic death metal album to life on stage. Drummer Greg Glenn, along with guitarists Randall Stone and Rory Nicholson, joined the bass playing Michalski to create a new incarnation of Awkward Silence. A fast chemistry between the band members and positive reviews from a rapidly growing fan base have seen this studio project greatly evolved. The band is currently working on new material as a group, while relentlessly performing across the province of Alberta and planning a cross-Canada tour for 2011.
Check out a live video of "Choke Out Your Pride" below.
First Church of Mud
First Church of Mud is currently on hiatus, but are not to be overlooked when discussing Red Deer metal. The band first formed in 2006 and incorporated a variety of styles in their music, but could be described as a blend of thrash-inspired melodic death with an extra dose of aggression. The band's debut full-length album, “Dark Humanity,” released in May 2009, contains 10 solid examples of why we're willing to bet Red Deer metalheads hope the quintet doesn't stay on break for too long.
Here's a live video of "Blind Leading Blind":
Cain & Abel
The final band on this list – yet still just one of many talented metal acts in central Alberta – is actually a duo. Cain & Abel, known locally as Jesse O'Reilly and Judd Johnson, is one of the main opening acts in the area. But, do not let their predictable placement in the gig line up fool you, as there's a very good reason; simple, in fact. Cain & Abel is acoustic metal. Armed with a pair of guitars, the cousins are pros at warming up a crowd's ears before the auditory enslaught to follow. They're currently in the studio working on their debut album, “Ballads From The Other Side.”
Certainly there are more metal bands in the Red Deer area. So if you'd like to recommend some other good underground metal bands, please feel free to discuss them in the comments below.
Check back every Monday as we delve into a different scene or genre to unearth some new underground metal bands.
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