Only In Canada, Eh! – July 2012: KATAKLYSM, FRAZE GANG, KOBRA AND THE LOTUS, And A WOODS OF YPRES Tribute Album

Metal news from the first nation of Hosers. Read on…

Quebec’s northern hyperblast legends Kataklysm released their new documentary DVD, Iron Will: 20 Years Determined last month, and it’s a monster. For anyone who has a band, started a band, tried starting a band and failed, tried starting a band and became Nightwish or Metallica, it’s worth spending the five hours needed to watch the whole thing. One of the best working class band documentaries ever. Seriously. It goes right back to the beginning of Kataklysm’s career, leaves no stone unturned, and shows the band at their best, worst, most embarrassing and most righteously awesome. Even if you don’t get the music, you’ll get the story: dream big, dream loud, screw the naysayers.

The package also comes with the band’s complete 20th Anniversary show from Summer Breeze 2011. Complete details can be found here along with order information. Check out a clip from the live portion of the DVD here.

Also on the new release front, St. Catharines-based rockers Fraze Gang – featuring Greg Fraser and Stevie Skreebs of Brighton Rock fame – have finally issued their second album, simply titled Fraze Gang 2. The record is considerably heavier than the debut without losing the band’s rock edge, with some awesome tips of the hat to Judas Priest and High N’ Dry-era Def Leppard. Part of this has to do with the addition of guitarist Derek McGowan to the line-up, and the fact that producer Beau Hill (Ratt, Warrant) mixed the album. Fraser recently spoke with me about the release for BW&BK:

“What I find with having Derek in the band is that even though he’s playing what I’m playing a lot of the time, because he holds his guitar and his pick differently, he has a different approach. That difference results in a much bigger sound because it has this stereo effect, whereas if I record myself and double the parts it’s much more precise and ends up sounding like one guitar. On ‘Saint Or Sinner’ you can hear the two guitars. It’s the Judas Priest thing; all their songs sound fatter because of the subtle differences between the two guitars.”

Click here for the complete interview. Click this location to order the new album.

Calgary-based Kobra And The Lotus recently completed a major run of festival shows through Europe, and while they were on early in the day in most cases, the band created a buzz loud enough to snag last-minute spots on the Wacken Open Air 2012 roster in Germany (August 2nd – 4th) and the UK’s Bloodstock Open Air (August 10th – 12th). No small feat given that these festival line-ups are traditionally 90% booked solid by the beginning of the year.

Call it a fine example of perfect timing, as the band is due to release their second album on August 6th through Spinefarm / Universal. Anyone who remembers the Kobra And The Lotus debut from 2010, Out Of The Pit, is in for a perception-changing ass-kicking. But, hell, don’t take my word for it… check out new songs ’50 Shades Of Evil’ and ‘Heaven’s Veins’.

And, I’ve been informed first-hand that the rumoured / hyped Woods Of Ypres tribute album in memory of frontman / founder David Gold, who was killed in a traffic accident in December 2011, has gone ahead as planned. Release details have yet to be finalized, but there will be a CD release party in Toronto when the album is ready to go, with all proceeds going to the Gold family. According to one of the brains behind the project, Stephanie Ledrew, “the album is going to be such a diverse collection of different genres of music and it’s so amazing to hear Wood’s song’s done in such different styles.”

The album will be mastered by the one and only Dan Swanö. Two confirmed tracks are Novembers Doom’s version of ‘Wet Leather’, and a very special version of ‘Silver’ done by Woods Of Ypres guitarist Joel Violette and drummer Rae Amitay on vocals. I can tell you that both tracks are brilliant and I’m personally blown away by the intensity of ‘Silver’ considering it’s only voice and piano.

More info coming soon…

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