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Documentary DAVID BOWIE IS proves modern love for the Starman

Documentary DAVID BOWIE IS proves modern love for the Starman

By Paris Spence-Lang VANCOUVER — “Fame,” David Bowie sings in the opening scene of DAVID BOWIE IS, “makes a man…

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    8 hours ago by BeatrouteBC Stopped by Bradley Royce's studio to drop off a street box for the upcoming BeatRoute 5yr art show on Nov 6 at Skylight Gallery.. It was totally knots!
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    19 hours ago by BeatrouteBC BeatRoute 5yr Anniversary is fast approaching! Nov 6. Cover and street box art show at Skylight Gallery // Nov 7&8. Live music & more at the Korean Hall featuring Viet Cong, Johnny de Courcy, Dead Ghosts, Dada Plan, United Nations, NEEDS, Anchoress and more! All ages / 19+ #stopthepress
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    5 days ago by BeatrouteBC BeatRoute BC is turning 5 next month and we are hosting a 3-day festival NOV 6, 7 & 8! We've got an art show on Thursday! Viet Cong, Johnny de Courcy, Dada Plan and more on Friday at the Korean Hall. And then United Nations (NYC), NEEDS, Anchoress and more on Saturday! Visit us on FB for all the details. More to be announced shortly! Stay tuned and thanks for all the support! ✌️
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    3 weeks ago by BeatrouteBC Get in to it Victoria! Tmrw night at Upstairs Cabaret -- Seattle-based rapper Grieves with special guests SOL and DEF3. Vancouver on Friday at Fortune Sound Club! Email contests@beatroute.ca to win tickets!
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    3 weeks ago by BeatrouteBC Have you got yr tickets to Cat Power yet?? Chan Marshall is playing at the Vogue Theatre tomorrow night w special guests VORHEES! Doors 8pm // Show 930pm // all ages!
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    3 weeks ago by BeatrouteBC Checked out the new @blueprintevents office this afternoon in sunny Gastown! Congrats on the #vchill digs!!
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HELLRAZER

Monday 18th, February 2013 / 01:04

Hellrazer-mainRECLAIMING THE OLD SCHOOL

In a city that is largely dominated by the breakneck and frantic tempos of the thrash and death metal scene, it’s not hard to let some of the other subgenres fly under the radar. That can be applied to Calgary’s own Hellrazer, who have been bringing the masses their own blend of Painkiller-era Judas Priest metal for the better part of eight years.

Now on their third record – dubbed Operation Overlord – the band, including Gerald “Dr. Z” Zamponi (vocals, guitars), Stan Nakanishi (guitars), Simon Hirota (bass) and Shigeki “Kegger” Tsutsui (drums) is looking forward to getting back out onto the live circuit after a long and arduous recording process.

“We did it in pieces over the course of several months. We’re all professionals, we all have our own careers, so really, we took time on evenings and weekends to build it up bit by bit,” says Nakanishi, who took part in a conference call with BeatRoute that also featured Zamponi and Hirota.

The band explains they took their time with the album, which is being put out by Germany’s Dust on the Tracks record label. They have considerable distribution lined up and aspirations of “making it” in Europe, where they believe their target audience resides.

“We started writing the first songs about a year and a half before we recorded. Then, we didn’t really do a whole lot. We lost a bass player and tried to get a replacement in. Then, the three of us that are in the room right now just started working on a song at a time,” says Zamponi, who used to be the primary songwriter but has allowed for the band to take on a heavier division of labour.

That division is what Nakanishi believes to be key in their development and evolution as group, which shines through on Operation Overlord.

“I think this album is different than the previous albums, because I got to help out with the writing a little bit more,” he says, referring to their previous offerings, including the self-titled 2007 debut and follow-up, Prisoner of the Mind (2010). The band started out in 2004 as a cover act, dubbed One-Eyed Snake, but changed their name and approach in 2006. “I think we still build on all the classic ‘80s metal like Iron Maiden and Judas Priest and with the album we brought in a lot of other influences,” he confirms.

Zamponi goes on to say that the band let more influences seep in from thrash bands like Megadeth and Slayer, while simultaneously channeling avant-garde groups like The Dillinger Escape Plan. The end result is a sonic metal assault that relies on chugging hooks, soaring vocals and blazing leads that has a heavy emphasis on the traditional style.

It’s a style that has never been exactly favourable here in Calgary, a scene that is, for the most part, immersed in the harsher side of metal. It’s something the Zamponi notes is more of a North American trend, while Hellrazer has a decidedly European flavour. Fitting with the notion, similarly influenced bands, such as the Kobra and the Lotus, have found success overseas.

“Most bands that we play with are really into growly death vocals. They’re all energetic and they’re all good at what they do, but they have kind of a style. People who come to the shows like that kind of thing. I think it’s more a North American thing,” he reasons.

It’s even more apparent on the lyrical side, where the band has remained in the worshipping metal vein with generally epic themes. However, they have incorporated more real time events to change it up.

“You write about things that are not too serious. This time there were a couple of things that were inspired by world events. ‘Operation Overlord‘ is really about the D-Day landing, right? ‘Raging Seas’ is about last year’s tsunami in Japan. Though, we still try to give a metal spin and make it not too serious,” offers Zamponi.

Hellrazer sounds like a recipe success in an era where fans are on the constant outcry for a return to the old school. If that is your poison, Hellrazer will surely please.

On Friday, February 22 head over to Lord Nelson’s Bar & Grill (1020 – 8 Ave S.W.) for Hellrazer’s CD release party featuring Warbird, Blackrat, and Edmonton thrashers Armifera.

By Brandon McNeil

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    1 week ago by BeatrouteAB naomipunk shredding down the crowd at #updt fest in Edmonton
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  • CONTEST! Who wants to check out the 3rd Peak Performance Showcase Thursday night? (feat. Sidney York, 36? & Nuela Charles) email cory@beatroute.ca by tomorrow night for a chance at a pair of passes!
    2 weeks ago by BeatrouteAB CONTEST! Who wants to check out the 3rd Peak Performance Showcase Thursday night? (feat. Sidney York, 36? & Nuela Charles) email cory@beatroute.ca by tomorrow night for a chance at a pair of passes!
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    3 weeks ago by BeatrouteAB Ought are so, so excellent. @palominosmokehouse #constellationrecords
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