Spellcaster with Hazzerd & Riot City (Calgary, Alberta May 1st. )

Spread the metal:

Spellcaster with Hazzerd & Riot City  

Dickens Pub   Calgary, Alberta  May 1st. 

by JP

Photos courtesy of Jeff Bartelli 

The month of May started with a huge bang. I have six or seven gigs with a total of 40+ bands to see in May and it all started on May 1st with Spellcaster!

I had heard the buzz about Spellcaster from local fans but didn’t hear any music until I got an advance copy of their new album NIGHT HIDES THE WORLD,   (release date July, 2016). I was very impressed and decided I had to see these guys.

A familiar local haunt, Dicken’s Pub was the host for the Monday night gig.   Local openers Hazzerd started the show and perhaps the beautiful weather combined that it was a Monday just after the month-end pile of bills/rent meant the gig was pretty thin in terms of attendance.   Hazzered didn’t care and gave it their all. Lead by the always interesting drummer as singer line-up the young thrash combo ripped it up. They played a very competent style of old-school speed and thrash with a highlight being a new song ‘Day Of Retribution’ which had some really nice melodic guitar lines. Hopefully we can expect a new album to follow up their VICTIM THE INNOCENT debut EP from last year.

Hazzerd opening for Spellcaster dickens pub may 2_2016-2


Hazzerd opening for Spellcaster dickens pub may 2_2016

Up next was Riot City, another local buzz band based on the strength of a very promising 3-song cassette demo from a few years back.   The quartet played a bit more of a traditional Metal, laced with speed, style which nicely complimented the openers. They seemed to be a more cohesive, more professional unit than Hazzerd, with intro music, a big entrance to the stage complete with smoke and fog.   They ripped through a out a 45-minute start and the signer, hit some pretty amazing high notes.   They certainly know their old metal as they busted out a cool cover of ‘Night Of The Blade’ by Tokyo Blade which amused me (in a very good way) because none of the band were even born when the Tokyo Blade album first came out. These guys entertained with lots of tempo and energy and have lots of potential.

Riot City Dickens Pub-1

Riot City Dickens Pub

By now it was 11:30 and that is always tough to start so late on a work night/school night.   The crowd had thinned out a bit but Spellcaster from Oregon still treated the few remaining faithful to a great gig.

At times it seems like lip service when a bands says ‘We are better live’, but in this case the old adage is true, Spellcaster (or ‘Smellcaster’ as they are loving referred to by the opening bands) do sound punchier live. They hit the stage with three faster, heavier songs before easing off the throttle, just a bit. By far the most ‘traditional’ of all the bands of the night they fit in perfectly with the classic/true Metal style that is so popular these days. See Metal Massacre XIV for evidence!)   Vocalist Tyler has a deeper tone and a really good voice for this style.

Spellcaster dickens pub may 2_2016-3

Spellcaster dickens pub may 2_2016-2

Spellcaster dickens pub may 2_2016


Spellcaster have just signed to Prosthetic Records and after viewing their energetic live performance and hearing their awesome new album, I’m not surprised.   It is time to check out these guys next time they are in your town. By the time you read this they would have performed at Ragnarokkr Metal Apocalypse Festival in Chicago!