Following a somewhat tumultuous period during which time they underwent a significant line-up change, Moncton black metal band Abysseral Throne are celebrating the release of Storming The Black Gate at the Esquire Tavern tonight.
As tough as it can be to find suitable replacement members, Abysseral Throne drummer Sean Hickey says the lineup change, which saw Rob Dwyer and Matt Leblanc join the group on lead guitar and bass respectively, proved to be a blessing in disguise.
“Speaking from just a musical standpoint, they have made us a better band. Both Jonny [Rains, Abysseral Throne guitarist-vocalist] and I feel as though they have pushed us towards new heights, both in terms of songwriting, as well as in the live show,” Hickey says.
Hickey emphasizes that the most noticeable difference is indeed the quality of material the quartet brought to the table for Storming The Black Gate.
“The songwriting is more focused and mature this time around. Going into the making of the EP, we had a clear vision of what we wanted our music to symbolize, while also representing the full spectrum of heavy metal music that we enjoy as fans, and as musicians.”
Vocalist Jonny Rains concedes the influences heard on their new release range from “classic” heavy metal bands such as Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, through less contemporary acts like Emperor and Dissection.
“We have always believed that it is not so much the bands that influence you as much as it is the way the music they create influences you. When we listen to those bands, we aren’t trying to emulate them note for note, but aim to replicate the feelings they instill in us when we hear them,” he says.
Making a go of being a band anywhere in the country these days is undoubtedly a tough slog no matter what kind of music you are playing. In spite of the geographic isolation that can sometimes be associated with life in the Maritimes, both Rains and Hickey agree that the heavy metal scene in the region is a prime example of the talent and camaraderie that seemingly goes hand-in-hand with playing heavier music.
“Right off the bat, we were welcomed with open arms,” Hickey says. “We have been fortunate enough to receive a great deal of support over the last few years. It has inspired us to support other bands and the scene as a whole. The population here in the Maritimes isn’t exactly growing by leaps and bounds, which makes it that much more important that acts support one another in any way they can.”
Storming The Black Gate is in stores now, including at Spin It Records and Frank’s Music in Moncton, as well as via digital retailers iTunes, Spotify and Google Music.
What: Abysseral Throne EP Release Show for Storming The Black Gate with guests Fear Agent and 500 Pounder
When: Saturday April 30, 10 p.m.
Where: Esquire Tavern, 2 Reade St., Moncton