Vesperia Bring Viking Metal to the Maritimes

Category: music 162

Toronto group set to perform at Wacken Open Air Music Festival later this summer.

By Kate Butler @butler2

vesperia-press-photoToronto’s premier Viking metal band, Vesperia are set to embark on their first Maritime tour bringing their freshly recorded EP, The Iron Tempest along with them.

Vesperia has evolved from a black metal band in to what many have described as a ‘viking metal band’ with an emphasis on careful orchestration. This often includes using unconventional metal instruments such as the koto or uilleann pipes to extend their sound past traditional metal standards.

“Our guitar player Frankie writes all of the modern material and we also work a lot with synth and midi materials and we use those to create the orchestrations for the tracks. Although at first they are pretty raw, we go from there to build on those tracks and slowly add in other elements”, said bassist Morgan Rider.

The Iron Tempest is a three song EP which covers the gamet of viking metal to black metal with prestine orchestration of songs that boast a sound unlike any other.

“We work with the frontman from Hallows Die who is our former keyboard player,” said Rider.  “He has his own in house studio in Mississauga. Everything is very laid back and we have a great relationship with him. We do everything separately, drums one day, guitar the next, etc.”

With a full length album recorded in 2013 and several demos, this isn’t the bands first foray into recording. Recording is always a learning curve and Vesperia have come to terms with the lessons learned during this process. “Since recording this EP we have had a chance to learn what we really wanted to sound like and further craft that sound,” said Rider.  “We were able to implement that during this particular process for The Iron Tempest. We have become more in tune to what our individual tones are and the recording process itself has made us more aware of that.”

Vesperia recently made a slight lineup change adding drummer Dylan Gowan (son of current Styx vocalist Lawrence Gowan) and notes it might be the best lineup yet. “Everything has been really great so far and solid. It’s probably the most natural in terms of lineup for us,” said Rider.

The band has a strong euro influence in their songs and songwriting. “We love European metal, German power metal, Sweedish melo death, we love anything from that part of the world”, said Rider.

Which makes it a no brainer that they would be eyeing for the top prize in the Wacken Battle of the Bands currently being held across the country. The winner of the battle gets a spot at the Wacken Open Air Music Festival located in Wacken, northern Germany. The metal centered festival boasts over 75,000 visitors and this year Vesperia will have a chance to play alongside Sepultura, In Flames, Opeth, Judas Priest and many more.

“This is the second time we have been a part of the Wacken Music Battle,” said Rider. “In 2013, the band I was previously playing in, Crimson Shadows, won the top spot and Vesperia won second place. It’s kind of funny how that worked out. We feel really good about it.  We have been practicing our asses off and think we have a solid chance of making the top spot.”

“It would be an extreme honor to win and just having the opportunity to go over again, and this time with Vesperia. It’s a huge festival, it’s pretty insane, nothing I have ever seen before or anything that’s rivaled it. I never thought when we started this band that we would even be looking at something like this.  It’s definitely a dream come true,” said Rider.

Since this interview was conducted, Vesperia won first place at the Wacken Battle of the Bands and will be heading to Germany in July. Congrats guys!

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Vesperia are: Morgan Rider, Casey Elliott, Frankie Caracci and Dylan Gowan.

Maritime Dates:

June 9th Hot Shots in Charlottetown, PEI

June 11th Gus Pub in Halifax, NS

June 12th Esquire Tavern in Moncton, NB

June 13th Charlotte St Arts Centre in Fredericton, NB

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