IRONSTORM CD Release party w. Samandriel, Shrapnal & Bloodreich. April 26th, 2014

IRONSTORM CD Release party w. Samandriel, Shrapnal & Bloodreich.  April 25th, 2014

Photos by Jeff Thorell

Review by JP


There are half a dozen local bars that are Metal-friendly and Lord Nelson’s is one of them.  It was a warm Friday night as I headed down to the IronStorm CD release party.   In a busy city of 1 million people and over 75 active Metal bands on almost any given night there is a local show.  It is hard to make it to all of them but I make a point of trying to get out and support the locals especially as CD release parties!  This one was kind of unique with two bands from Edmonton (IRonstorm/Samandriel) , Bloodreich from High River and local thrashers, Shrapnal.

It was a pretty late start I wandered into the cozy pub/bar to the sounds of Angelwitch over the PA and was waved over to a table by some friends and I knew it would be a relaxed, but good night.

Bloodreich started things off and they ran through a 30 minute set a mix of covers and originals.  Their greatest asset was their vocalist who while seemingly untrained could hit some incredible high notes and his performance was almost off the rails all night.  This young quintet have pure metal running through their veins as they covered Manowar (Hail And Kill),  and Helloween (Warrior).  They are always fun and I expect to see more of them , hopefully to record some more originals.

Samandriel   calgary 2014-1

Bloodreich-Lord Nelsons Pub calgary 2014

Just before 11:00pm Shrapnal hit the stage and hit the lights.  This retro-thrash quartet had the look and the sound bullet belts and all. Despite a few technical problems they entertained with classic sounding thrash originals.  The crowd was pretty lubricated at this point and the enthusiastic band got a couple of mini-mosh pits going.  The guitarist wandered out into the crowd for some solos which is always fu not watch.  They had good energy, good sound with barked vokills and they had a disappointedly short set. Highlights were ‘Toxic burn’, ‘Baptized In Fire’, with it’s Annihilator inspired riffery, and a strong closer, ‘Capture And Kill’.

Shrapnal  Lord Nelsons Pub  calgary 2014

It was now 11:45 and the show was only at the halfway point.  On next was Edmonton’s Samandriel.  It was good to see this band as they don’t play as often.  They bring a different sound to alberta as many (most!) of the local bands stay in the Death/Thrash/Black realms.  Samandriel are much more in an operatic, symphonic style .  The quintet were by far the most progressive, technical and muscly accomplished of the night.  Doneka  is an underrated vocalist delivering the goods in an operatic style.   The band had a great bass tone, good sound and the highlight for me was ‘Trial By Terror’.  I really enjoyed the progressive Power Metal they brought to the show.

Samandriel   calgary 2014

BloodReich calgary 2014

Unfortunately, it was almost 1:00am when the headliners IronStorm hit the stage and the crowd had thinned considerably.  This was the reason I had come down the band is getting some considerable buzz in the local Metal community.  The band hit the stage with good energy and the guitar was a bit low in the mix early on but that was quickly corrected.  They showcased most of the new debut EP.  They employed a bit of a beauty and the beast clean/gruff vocal style but not too much. Karli Romyn is a charismatic singer and quite talented.

IronStorm    calgary 2014-1 copy

They played a new song ‘Metalized’ which I thought went over well and they threw in cover of ‘Dracula’ by Iced Earth.  A highlight for me was ‘The Watcher’, first single from the new EP.   The quartet brought a good show and stage presence and demonstrated why they are getting some good hype.

IronStorm    calgary 2014-2

IronStorm    calgary 2014-6

Iron Storm   calgary 2014

Overall, it was a very strong gig, lots of great bands coming together and these young acts are the driving force of the future of Metal in this province.