2015-Canadian Metal-A Year In Review
2015 was a superb year for Canadian Metal in terms of music, tours and the industry. Not surprisingly, Quebec lead the charge with that single province producing a large percentage of all the Metal albums released in Canada.
In exciting industry news, the veteran Metal record label, AFM Records, signs their first Canadian act ever with the addition of Borealis to their roster who join such artists as Evergrey, Iron Savior and U.D.O. Germany’s AFM follows perhaps in the footsteps of Austria’s Napalm Records, who have been on a Canadian signing spree as of late, and AFM’s entry into the Canadian market bodes well for the industry as a whole. Our nations Metal scene continues to gain global recognition with Vesperia winning the 2015 Wacken Metal Battle, the second Canadian band in three years to win the prestigious international contest.
Other highlights include the Newfoundland based Metal-Rules.com, one of the worlds largest and longest running Metal webzines, celebrated their 20th anniversary and the publication of over 12,000 reviews.
In Calgary, long standing Metal radio show Megawatt Mayhem entered their 30th consecutive year on air on CJSW 90.9FM. In Edmonton, the announcement of a new Metal Festival and International industry conference, dubbed Shredmonton, slated for March 2016, generated much interest.
Heading West to Vancouver, BC, Test Your Metal Records opened for business (joining a precious select few active Canadian Metal Record labels) with a coupe, by signing Brazilian Power Metal powerhouse, Hibria. In sadder news, JJ Caithcart owner of Vancouver’s SCRAPE Records, Canada’s only all-Metal record store, announced his retirement and struggles to find a buyer to keep it alive.
Back in Toronto Sam Dunn and Banger Films announce the creation of three new excellent series, ROCK ICONS, LOCK HORNS and METAL EVOLUTION-ALBUMS. In addition they announced the creation of an all-Metal, 24-hour, TV channel anchored by the hundreds of hours of footage of archived material from Banger Films previous projects and documentaries. Also in Toronto, author Martin Popoff hits another milestone with the publication of his 50th book about Hard Rock and Heavy Metal.
Perhaps most importantly the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) finally after a 35 year drought introduce a ‘Heavy Metal Album Of The Year’ category into their national music award program the JUNO’s.
As for my personal list, bolstered by a couple of old favourite veteran bands, these young guns are the brightest hope for the future of Canadian Metal and represented the best of 2015. Listed alphabetically .
(UDR) Ottawa, 15th album
ASCENDIA-The Lion and the Jester
(Indie) Toronto, 1st album
(AFM) Orangeville, 3rd album
DISTORIAM-Chapter 1: Vinlanders
(Indie) Montreal, 1st album
DRAGON NATION-Dragon Nation
(Indie) Montreal, 1st album
(Indie) Montreal, 2nd album
HROM-Legends of Powerheart Part 1
(Indie) Calgary, 2nd album
IRON KINGDOM-Ride For Glory
(Indie) Surrey, 3rd album
(Deadline)Victoria, 20th (?) album
TIMELESS OCEANS-Enigma of a Lost World
(Indie) Quebec City, 2nd album