By Sarah Kitteringham
CALGARY – In June, Calgary lost two venues, throwing the live metal situation in the city into chaos. Sadly, both Distortion on Macleod Trail and the downtown club Nite Owl have closed down. The former was a predominately metal, punk and hardcore venue whose listings were prominently featured in this column; we’d like to take a moment to acknowledge all the hard work they did in being an unwavering support base for heavy music in Calgary.
Now for shows… There’s a lot going on in July and early August.
On Friday, July 6, head to Dickens (Calgary) for an evening of punk and metal. Metalheads United and Femme Fatale: A Celebration of Women in Music have booked a bill that includes Dawn’s Edge, Pervcore, Greybeard, Fjell Thyngor and A-BOMB. The promoters have partnered up with the Women’s Centre of Calgary to collect items for the charities clients; be sure to check the Facebook page to see what you can do to help out! Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door.
Although we ran an article on the band in the June issue, we’d like to remind you not to miss the Rivers of Nihil gig on July 10 at the Starlite Room (Edmonton) and on July 11 at Dickens (Calgary).
Head to County Line Saloon (Calgary) on Saturday, July 13 and Sunday, July 14 for volume one of the Brutal Alberta festival. The two-day festival is very affordably priced; a festival pass is less than $40 in advance and you can buy them directly on the Facebook event page.
The festival’s biggest draw is Seattle death metal institution Drawn and Quartered; the terminally underrated band is finally be releasing the follow-up to 2012’s Feeding Hell’s Furnace on July 27 with The One Who Lurks. Released via Krucyator Productions, the full-length will inevitably perpetuate the band’s penchant for “dynamic yet relentless blast beat filled death metal savagery” (as our profile on the band by James Barager stated).
The event also features performances by Calgary grindcore act WAKE, Vancouver death metallers Assimilation, Edmonton death grinders Feeding, Calgary doom act Murk, High river black thrashers Cadavor Dog, Vancouver speed metallers Witches Hammer, Edmonton death thrashers Phylactery, and many more. Also make sure you don’t miss the performance by Edmonton black/death institutions Dire Omen, who are releasing a brand new EP via Dark Descent Records on July 13. Hopefully, they’ll have 7-inch copies of Formless Fire Embodied on hand to sell.
On Friday, July 27, traditional metallers Iron Kingdom will perform at the Rendezvous Pub (Edmonton) alongside Tides of Kharon, SYRYN, and Sins of Sorrow. 2018 marks the five-year anniversary of Iron Kingdom’s release Gates of Eternity; they’ll be playing the album in its entirety on this tour. Iron Kingdom will also play on Sunday, July 29 at Blind Beggar Pub (Calgary) alongside HROM and Valyria, who latter of whom are releasing an EP.
Head to the Palomino Smokehouse and Social Club on Saturday, July 28 (Calgary) for the final performance by black thrashers Blackrat. Guitarist Ian Lemke is moving, so the band is unlikely to perform any other gigs for some time. Despite the relocation, Blackrat will be releasing their third studio album Dread Reverence on November 23 via Shadow Kingdom Records on CD, cassette, and vinyl. You can pre-order the album now on Bandcamp; be sure to attend the gig so you can witness their final mass.
On Wednesday, August 1, head down to Vern’s (Calgary) for Ontario’s own Holy Grinder, a death/grind band hailing from Oshawa. They’re touring in support of their new album Cult of Extermination and will be performing alongside Path to Extinction, Moosifix, and Sicks. Tickets are only $7 at the door; the show is presented by Brutal Alberta.A-Bomb, Assimilation, BlackRat, Cadavor Dog, Dawn’s Edge, Dire Omen, Drawn and Quartered, Feeding, Fjell Thyngor, Greybeard, Holy Grinder, HROM, Iron Kingdom, Metal, Moosifix, Murk, Path To Extinction, Pervcore, Phylactery, Rivers of Nihil, Sicks, Sins of Sorrow, SYRYN, This Month in Metal, Tides of Kharon, Valyria, WAKE, Witches Hammer