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News: ConcertWorks and Crown of Viserys to Present Pallbearer and Gost

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Pallbearer with Gost In Edmonton

It is with extreme pleasure that I get to announce this show. Pallbearer and Gost will be coming to Edmonton, and Crown of Viserys will be working with ConcertWorks to put the show on. For those that don’t know my music tastes, Pallbearer is pretty much right up my alley for so many reasons. Gost, however, are new listens for me, and I’m really enjoying what I’m hearing.

The show will be taking place at Brixx, which is under Starlite Room, on Sunday, August 13.

Get your tickets online through TicketFly or in real life at Blackbyrd Myoozik.

News: Helleborus Unleash New Single “Prayer of the Undying”

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Colorado’s Helleborus have unleashed a new single, and it’s fucking awesome. “Prayer of the Undying” is pretty much a perfect example of what Helleborus does: fast, deep drumming; slow, hypnotic guitars; and the voice of a dead god reaching across time and space to drown you in a blackened abyss. Fans of the band’s debut album The Carnal Sabbath should love this new offering.

News: Gloomed Debut Initial Offering Demo

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Gloomed - Initial Offering

From San Diego, California comes Gloomed, the new three-piece that features Wayne Sarantopoulos (ex-Ghoulgotha, Father Befouled, Encoffination, Decrepitaph, a million more…). Gloomed is not the death metal mastery you may somewhat expect, but rather a traditional doom band in the vein of Pentagram, Saint Vitus, and Black Sabbath. And they are amazing, as evidenced on their first demo, cleverly titled Initial Offering.

From Wayne, via Facebook:

I’d like to formally announce the release of the first demo by my new main band, Gloomed. […] It’s three songs in about 33 minutes. Recorded on March 5th, 2017 at Trench Studios and mixed by Patrick Bruss.

This is some Traditional Doom that I’ve wanted to play for a long time and I finally found the chance to do it. It’s traditional in some ways and a bit strange in some other ways. This is also the first time I’ve gotten to do something with all clean vocals (I’m not singing) and somewhat of a more standard guitar tuning.

[…]

Also, we’re looking for a drummer in the San Diego area. I played drums AND guitar on this demo, but I’m looking to go back to just playing guitar and having the ability to play shows. If you know someone interested, pass along this link to them.

One more thing: Since I know it will be asked, Ghoulgotha is no more. Our drummer Charlie Koryn moved away last summer, and he was just as much a part of the sound of the band as my oddball riffing style, so I decided to end it on a high note rather than try to find another drummer that wouldn’t sound the same and change the whole dynamic of the band. Ghoulgotha wasn’t a band you could do long distance or without 100% commitment, so I decided to move on.

[…]

Needless to say, I’m pretty hooked on this band. Demo of the year contender? I’d say so. Have a listen and tell me your thoughts on it.

Video: Music Review 002 – Casket Huffer – Gospels of Scum

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Here is a new video review for the upcoming vinyl re-release of Gospels of Scum by Casket Huffer. Let me know what you think in the comments below, or on YouTube.

Music Review: Norselaw – Serpent in the Circling Sea

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Norselaw - Serpent in the Circling Sea

Genre: Heavy Metal, Speed Metal, Fucking Metal
Label: Independent

Man, who would have thought that buying an album based entirely on pity would yield such positive results? Allow me to explain:

Norselaw himself apparently had a dispute with his then employer that ended with his (in my opinion, wrongful) termination. Having only recently lost my job due to similar but completely different circumstances, I decide to toss my fellow warrior a bone and bought one of his albums. He suggested Serpent in the Circling Sea as it would play to my tastes… how this metal marauder knew such a thing is still a mystery to me, but goddamn, was he ever right!

Serpent in the Circling Sea features a plethora of headbanging highlights from beginning to end. Norselaw’s mastery of the art of the shred, for one. Where on Earth did this guy learn to wield a guitar in such a manner? My guess is he transferred whatever skills he learned as an axe swinging viking from hundreds of years ago to his new modern day “axe”. Or at the very least, he’s The Doof Warrior from Mad Max… hmmm…

Up next on the docket, we have the vocals. Let’s get the clean vocals out of the way; they’re rough. Not bad by a long shot, but they could definitely use some refining. As for his bellowing, fuck man, if he shouted at me to, “Get out of the way,” in that tone, I’d be in the next state over before he could finish his command. Motherfucker is scary.

Have I mention lyrical content yet? Norselaw pulls his imagery from everyday political strife (“fat blue line guarded by swiiiiine!”), to Conan The Barbarian to H.P. fucking Lovecraft. And speaking of Lovecraft, “Fungi From Yuggoth” is one of the best tracks on the album, not only due to the ever-presence of the Old Ones, but because of Jamie Lannister’s energetic drumming. Guy lets his fucking hair down and says, “fuck your ability to ever hear anything ever again!” and proceeds to rupture the eardrums of anyone within range in a berserk barrage of percussive power!

If you walk away from this review and can only manage to remember one thing, make it this: Norselaw is law. These guys fucking rule!

Video: News Bit 002 – Ordoxe, Royal Thunder, Casket Huffer, and More

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Here is the second episode of the Crown of Viserys News Bit. In it I talk about some of the upcoming albums in April as well as the upcoming shows from Crown of Viserys that happen in April.

If you’re liking what you see with the news bit, let me know, and if you are in a band that would like to be featured in the news bit, also let me know.

Live Review: Necronomicon with Vesperia, Abiotic, and Tales of the Tomb

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Necronomicon - Okkultis in Canada Tour 2016

When: August 17, 2016
Where: Brixx

Oh man. It’s taken me awhile to get to type this up, but I really had to get these thoughts onto screen. This was a big night for me, a show that was more of a collection of bands that I really like in one room.

First up on the stage was a band that needs no introduction in Edmonton. One of the fastest rising bands this city has is Tales of the Tomb, a death metal band obsessed with serial killers. The Snowtown murders, Pickton and his farm, and 9/11 are just some of the topics that they tackle. This set was one of the best I’ve seen from them, and I’ve seen them a lot! Just this year alone I think I’ve seen them seven times or so. Not a band to miss in a live setting, and that’s agreed upon even by Rob from Necronomicon, who thanked Tales and said they were one of the best opening bands he’s had for the tour.

Second up was Miami, Florida’s Abiotic, who broke up shortly after this tour. This was my second time seeing them live, the first being with a different singer as they toured with Dying Fetus. This set was better than the last time, but there was some problems at the beginning of the set that caught my ear and almost made me dismiss them. The sound was just… quiet. There was nothing there. During the second song, however, the sound tech found where he wanted the band and everything went from somewhat flat to a wonderfully dynamic and fucking loud volume. Seriously excellent shredders on all instruments, but Travis Bartosek on vocals stole the show for me. If you’re one of those people who film with your cell phones though, I warn you: he’ll take it out of your hand and do some filming for you, giving you a phone video you won’t soon delete. It’s unfortunate that they split because I honestly could tell there was an amazing future ahead for this band if they did one more album. It’s the curse of being underrated and not quite getting the big push they should have gotten.

Third up was Vesperia, from Ontario. They all have a small-town attitude but hail from the big city of Toronto, so it’s always a treat to see these guys on a stage. Imagine Amon Amarth but from Canada, and you’re kind of in the right territory. Not so much a Viking metal sound, but a death metal with symphonic elements and a huge feel. They are truly an epic band to behold. The vocalist, Morgan Rider, has such an expressive voice with a large range. Sometimes they even get clean in the vocals, and this is where Vesperia shine for me. As I said, Morgan has a large range, and his cleans are the stuff legends are made of. It would never surprise me if they got picked up by Napalm or Nuclear Blast. In fact, it would surprise me if they didn’t. For those that might be thinking the name is familiar, it is probably because they won the Wacken Metal Battles in Canada, and played at Wacken as a result, winning the world-wide Battles.

Finally, the band that everyone came to see, the legendary Necronomicon took the stage. This is a band that has perplexed the death metal world since their Morbid Ritual demo in 1992. They sounded like Behemoth do now, back when Behemoth were still worshiping Norwegian black metal. Symphonic death metal, with black metal influences and overtones, this power trio is a true force to reckon with on a stage and on record. And since 1988, when Rob the Witch founded the band, they have been completely underrated because no one knew what the fuck they were watching and listening to. Yes, this is death metal. Yes, there’s pretty sounding and ominous keyboards in it. Yes, there’s songs with 100% black metal lyrics in them. No, this doesn’t really make sense, but fuck making sense, man! Sit back and enjoy just how huge these three dudes sound and look on a stage. Rob stole the stage from Brixx, he took it, he made it his and he owned it. Simply put, this band is one of Canada’s best, and we seem to take them for granted on our soil. The fans in the USA and Europe seem to understand them a little bit more, perhaps, because that is where their biggest successes are. But ultimately, they are just three dudes from Quebec making the noise they want to make. And goddamn they are good at it. If you missed out on this tour, you missed out big.

NOTE: This live review was originally published on September 15, 2016. Republished on March 23, 2017 after being reformatted for this version of the Crown of Viserys website.