By Sarah Kitteringham
CALGARY – May is shaping up to be ridiculously crammed with album releases, shows, and festivals.
Head to Dickens in Calgary on Thursday, May 4 for the return of power metal legends Hammerfall. They’ll be performing with Delain and new Calgary act Ravenous: Eternal Hunger. The quintet is hot off the release of their debut EP, which came out on January 18. The recording is ripe with sing-along inducing power metal anthems.
“We blend European and American heavy/power metal and draw our influences from Dio to Slough Feg, Sabaton to Ghost, Grand Magus to Candlemass,” explains band leader Rav, who previously masterminded thrash metal outfit Villainizer. This outfit is a strong departure from the Carnivore-esque approach of his previous band.
“Both my life and my musical creativity have changed over the years. For me, it’s like the villain becoming the hero; that’s what Ravenous represents.”
From May 12 until May 14, ShrEdmonton Metal Festival & Conference will be going down in (you guessed it) Edmonton. With shows happening at the Mercury Room on each night, the second rendition of the festival will include performances by Psychotic Gardening, Blëed, Unleash the Archers, Disturb the Dead, Leave the Living, Sleeping in Traffic, Gatekeeper, WMD, and many more. In addition to performances, the festival features an all-ages conference from 12 p.m. until 4 p.m. on Sunday, May 13th that includes panels on publicity, recording, and other relevant topics, as well as sound clinics. Tickets for the entire weekend are $50 in advance. They can be purchased online at http://shredmonton.com/ or obtained from the Mercury Room, the Rendezvous Pub, the Soundhouse (Red Deer), or other locations.
Speaking of Gatekeeper, the now Vancouver based epic metal band will be performing in Calgary on Friday, May 12th for the first time since 2014. Joining them are Vancouver death thrashers Assimilation, who are on their Laws of Power album release tour. Hazzerd and speed metal trio Martial Law (who’ve been laying low for quite some time) will be kicking off the madness. Tickets are $10 in advance, or $15 at the door. This will likely be one of the best gigs in Calgary this month, don’t miss it.
Speaking of fantastic shows: Saskatoon based instru-metal act Shooting Guns will be performing with The Weir and Monolith on Friday, May 19 at the Palomino Smokehouse and Bar (Calgary). Meanwhile, Trollband will be performing at Distortion alongside Without Mercy, Scythia, and Meggido. The following evening, they’ll perform at the Mercury Room (Edmonton) with Scythia, Arctos, and Mustakettu. Advance tickets are $12, and it goes to $15 at the door.
Also on Saturday, May 20, Tubby Dog will host a show featuring Kamloops based hardcore punk act Watchdog. They’ll be performing with Regional Justice Centre, Gawker, and Enemies. The gig is $8 at the door.
Tech death madness will invade Winnipeg at the Park Theatre on Monday, May 22nd when when Tasmanian-based brutal tech act Psycroptic perform with Vancouver’s own Archspire, alongside Visceral Disgorge and Seeker. The same lineup hits Vangelis Tavern on May 23 (Saskatoon), Dickens on May 24 (Calgary), and the Rickshaw Theatre on May 25 (Vancouver).
Head to Broken City in Calgary on May 28 for local grindcore legends Exit Strategy. They’ll be performing with Burning Effigy, Repugnant Scum, and Flashback. Tickets are $8 at the door.
Archspire, Arctos, Assimilation, BLEED, Burning Effigy, Delain, Disturb the Dead, Enemies, Exit Strategy, Flashback, Gatekeeper, Gawker, Hammerfall, Hazzerd, Leave the Living, Martial Law, Meggido, Monolith, Mustakettu, nleash the Archers, Psychotic Gardening, Ravenous: Eternal Hunger, Regional Justice Centre, Repugnant Scum, Scythia, Seeker, Shooting Guns, Sleeping in Traffic, The Weird, Visceral Disgorge, Watchdog, Without Mercy, WMD