If there’s an “it” band in heavy music these days it’s Sweden’s Tribulation. They’re currently riding a wave of popularity and rabid critical acclaim from their third album The Children of the Night which dropped just over a year ago. The band plays a distinct combination of classic heavy metal and hard rock focused through their death metal roots, as such the majority of praise has been for the uniqueness of their music. Think of Judas Priest with dirtier guitars and death metal vocals. It’s a style that has the potential to appeal to a wide group of people, so it’s not surprising that the band has already been on tour with a variety of bands like Cannibal Corpse, Deafheaven, and Grave Pleasures.
Although old-school metal seems to be the sonic heart of the group, their penchant for corpse-paint, flamboyant stage attire, and vampiric imagery has got them tagged as a “gothic” band. Although that’s perhaps only aesthetically true, combined with their eclectic sound it creates an engaging mystique both live and on record that is truly captivating.
The band recently passed through Toronto supporting black metal icon Abbath, and I caught up with guitarist Adam Zaars to the speak about their classic metal influence, the whole “goth” thing, and why they feel it’s important to play for different kinds of audiences.
Tribulation has a number of festival dates scheduled throughout the Spring and Summer in Sweden, Germany, and The Netherlands. The Children of the Night is available now on Century Media Records, and you can watch the video for “Strange Gateways Beckon” below.
Photo Courtesy of Strut Entertainment
Recently I sat down with Roger Costa from the estate of Canadian rock icon Jeff Healey to talk about Heal My Soul, a newly-released album featuring a set of lost Healey tracks from the late nineties. We spoke about why these songs remained buried for so long, the challenges involved in the album’s production, and the legacy of Jeff Healey in what would have been his 50th year.
The Jeff Healey 50th Celebration will take place on May 27th at Massey Hall, and you can check out an extended trailer for Heal My Soul here.
Photo Courtesy of EarsplitPR
I recently spoke to the Calgary grind ensemble Wake, who were touring across Canada in support of their third album Sowing the Seeds of a Worthless Tomorrow. They’re known for the diverse array of sounds that they inject into the grindcore template, particularly their use of black metal riffs.
Before their set at Toronto’s Coalition I spoke with guitarist Rob and vocalist Kyle about how they arrived at their sound, the target of their venomous lyrics, and why they’re convinced that their new drummer Josh is taking over the band.
Sowing the Seeds of a Worthless Tomorrow is available now, and you can check out the video for the track “Burn Well” here.
Photo Courtesy of Venom Inc. / Alpha Omega Management
Metal legends Venom are primarily known for their early eighties material created by the original line-up, as well as scaring more than a few parents with their over-the-top Satanic imagery. This material would go on to inspire legions of bands across the spectrum of heavy metal.
These days there are two versions of the band. Bassist/vocalist Cronos tours with new members under the Venom name, while guitarist Mantas and drummer Abaddon have been joined by frontman Tony “Demolition Man” Dolan under the banner of Venom Inc. Dolan is a familiar face to Venom fans, as he took over for Cronos when he originally left the band in the late eighties.
Last month Venom Inc. rolled through Toronto’s Hard Luck Bar and delivered a set of classics to a loud and receptive audience. The show initially seemed under threat, as it had been downgraded from the spacious Danforth Music Hall. The thing is, the band sounds really good. In fact it sounds like vintage Venom, and good thing too because that’s pretty much what they’re going for. I sat down with Abaddon before their set to talk about why this lineup is concentrating on the early Venom material rather than the songs they recorded together, re-starting their careers, and how he’s happy for there to be two versions of Venom... even if Cronos is using the original band logos he created.