Unearthing the Metal Underground: The Halifax, Nova Scotia 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. For my second article (read the first one here) I am going to look at three bands of three distinct genres in Heavy Metal, but in the emerging Halifax Underground you can find these three bands playing together on any given night.
Nova Scotia, with its small population and many rural areas, might not be considered the hotbed of metal, but when you look into the underground you see a very different story. With all styles of metal being accepted and embraced, the underground is growing each and every late night.
Black Moor consists of: Eric Hanlin – Guitar & vocals, Nick Jones – Lead Guitar, Rob Nickerson – Bass, Sylvain Coderre – Drums, and yes they are young. In fact I’m sure they are sick of people talking about how young they are, but why we as media are so amazed at their baby faces is because of the music that comes out of them.
The band rips tunes that are inspired by such heroes as Iron Maiden, Megadeth, and Metallica. When you are writing and playing music that has the sound of those amazing legends then you are going to have great show, especially when you pull it off as well as Black Moor. I can use all the adjectives here: hard hitting guitar riffs, raunchy vocals, blast beats! That’s all crap that as reviewers we use every day so if you need that at least I said it. In my opinion though Black Moor far outweighs those clichés. Their music is Raw Thrash that speaks to you on a level that I haven’t experienced since I was 14 and heard “Seek and Destroy” for the first time. As Heavy Metal Momma would say Black Moor is more of a feeling then a band. You can get that feeling at their MySpace page.
I will be the first to admit that having someone who could be my kid play music that takes me back to the days when thrash was king is weird, but hell I’m going to roll with it. What amazes me about them is they could certainly make some dollars standing up and doing cover songs, but they write and play what they like instead. That’s ballsy and what old-school thrash is all about.
Too metal for the indie scene and too indie for the metal scene, Broken Ohms has been busy over the past four years creating a sound that is truly their own. A unique blend of stoner/prog/metal/pop/heavy rock can be heard rumbling out of venues across the East Coast that welcomes the Ohms onto their stage. Their reputation as a great live act has landed them spots in the Halifax Pop Explosion, Maritime Tattoo Festival and Nova Scotia Music Week. With the 2008 release of their album “Nocturnal Emissions”, Halifax’s heavy rock ambassadors have spent some weeks in the Canadian college radio charts and have had rave reviews from all over the world. The album was also nominated for Music Nova Scotia’s “Loud Artist Recording of the Year”. 2010 has already been huge for the band. Ohms recently won the Q104 Molson Rock Showdown, opened up the Canada Day Concert at Alderney Landing in Dartmouth and rocked out with classics Trooper, Helix & Saga at the Cunard Centre in Halifax. Armed with a tight set of new songs, the band is currently in the studio recording the follow-up to “Nocturnal Emissions.”
That sounds like it’s from a can because it is. That’s the official bio of the band, but there is no way I could write it any better. Each time I cover these guys I use the same bio, but now I can add to it. The band has recently played with High On Fire and Kylesa. From our perspective the guys held their own. With comparisons thrown around to Chris Cornell and Led Zeppelin you can’t go wrong with these stage magicians. Peter, Stephen, Paul, and Troy put on a show that will be World Wide in the near future.
Last Call Chernobyl
You may not remember these guys by simply looking at the picture of Jason Szeto (Bass), Matthew Moulten (Guitar), Kyle Mahar (Vocals), and Joshua Pellerine (Drums), but once you hear the seven explosive tracks of the new album, “Drowning Beneath the Sounds of Change,” you will never forget the name Last Call Chernobyl. For full bio info make sure to check out these metalcore upstarts here.
It’s funny that I called them upstarts because they have appeared on the Van Warps tour, shared the stage with numerous other large acts, and apparently don’t sleep. Their music is very complex and hard to define for a hardcore rookie such as myself, but let me tell you the intensity they put into their work ethic for promotions comes through loud and clear on the live stage. When you walk in the building, heaven forbid you walked in half way through their set because you will kick your own ass for missing the first half.
They are another Diminished Fifth band and for good reasons. The Halifax metal underground is pushing hard right now, due in large part to the work of Diminished Fifth, but when you see talent like Last Call Chernobyl you will know that talent and innovation are the main reason.
There are many other bands in Nova Scotia that deserve mention and hopefully in the future - if you enjoy this look at an often forgotten province - I will show you some others.
Check back every Monday as we delve into a different scene or genre to unearth some new underground metal bands.
Jerry Martell is an owner and founder of www.welovemetal.com. Blogs and interviews with and about all your Heavy Metal Heros. At welovemetal.com "We Give You The Metal We Love."
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