By Jodi Brak
CALGARY – Prepare to enter the sonic equivalent of Valhalla, where glory is won with axes in hand; axes bearing six strings that pour forth thundering metal into the moody skies of some long forgotten time.
Kingsbane is the latest full-length release from Calgary based shredders Osyron, a concept album two years in the making. It is an attempt to tell a historically themed Viking story, to capture the imagery and emotion of battle and glory in the form of progressive, anthem-laden metal.
Krzysztof Stalmach, one Osyron’s two guitarists alongside Bobby Harley, says, “Bobby and I wrote all the music, and from the get-go wanted to make this a concept album. I had an old story laying around my head about this unnamed, reluctant hero getting wrapped up in a journey to save another realm through his background – sort of a reverse William the Bastard, of ‘the Conquest of Normandy’ fame, in that he never had the ambition to go into conquering anything – it just sort of happened to him.”
They debuted a selection of the album online and in a recent performance at Distortion in Calgary. The songs they have showcased strive to be epic in both scope and scale, and are lengthy tracks that change tone and tempo like the plot points in a story. They chart the rise and fall of a hero not only through the prose of each verse, but with the emotional force of metal music.
“I love music that goes on journeys and tells a tale,” Stalmach says. “That was a huge goal for us; have a more cohesive concept album that builds and falls like a good novel or adventure movie. I think the main way we went about achieving that sound is writing closely together. Our previous album was a little more jittered, although a concept album as well, it felt like three different mini albums; the three chapters felt inclusive of each other musically but exclusive of the whole.”
Kingsbane is the first album Osyron has produced with their newest line-up, following their 2013 album Harbinger. Stalmach and Bobby Harley are the only founding members of Osyron still currently in the group. After moving to Alberta to start work on Kingsbane, they filled out their roster with some standout members of Calgary’s thriving metal scene: Reed Alton as lead vocalist, Tyler Corbett on bass, and Trevor Cobb on drums. This album also marks the first time they have delved into self-production, with Corbett working on production of Kingsbane.
Stalmach says, “The whole process was a complete 180 from working with a third party. It was a lot more intimate in the mixing stages, because we didn’t have to prepare revision or markup documents to send to the engineer and have him stick-handle through it blind; we could just yell at Tyler (who is also our bass player) directly!”
As the group gears up for the full release of Kingsbane, they are beyond excited to do a full live debut of the music they have spent the past two years creating and refining.
“It feels like a gigantic leap forward for us, I think, on the musical and performance front,” Stalmach says.
“There’s some tricky sections, and some layered and massive sections. All of the songs translate really well to a live setting.”
Osyron is kicking off the full release of Kingsbane with an album release party on November 3 at Dicken’s Pub (Calgary) before the official release of the album on November 7.Dickens Pub, Kingsbane, Osyron