Metal Thrashing Mad

Edmonton’s Eye of Horus let loose the earsplitting Dogs of War

Eye of Horus in concert Saturday

Eye of Horus in concert Saturday

Ferdy Belland

“We feel very lucky to be a part of the Edmonton scene,” says lead vocalist Cody Cecotka of death-metal astonishers Eye of Horus.

“There are plenty of extreme metal bands here, which makes promoting our shows a lot easier!

“We definitely don’t mind playing all-ages shows; we remember when we were young ones — all we wanted to do was go to a metal show, and we were too young to get into the bars! So we’re always happy to give that opportunity to our fans.”

And the boys from Eye of Horus intend on delivering their flabbergasting mastery of death-metal technical precision for the all-ages enjoyment of the East Kootenay’s teenage (and teen at heart) metalheads this coming Saturday, March 7t, at the Studio Stage Door Theatre in Cranbrook (with guests Anarcrist, Elements, and Crooked Lines). Loud, proud, and unbowed.

“The heavy-metal communities in Alberta are all flourishing,” Cocetka explains. “Western Canada’s now the place to be in terms of festivals; you have the Calgary Metal Fest, Loud As Hell in Drumheller, Vernstock in Calgary, Metal Mountain, Metal Wizard — and of course the Armstrong Metal Fest in B.C.”

Despite the unnecessary alarmings of the genre’s name, Death Metal emerged out of the kaleidoscope of heavy-metal at the turn of the 1990s, focusing on extreme-technical instrumental precision, breakneck speed, locktight ensemble playing, abrupt changes in tempo, key, and time signatures.

Throw in lyrical content that would make Clive Barker blush (although many death-metal bands spend as much verbal energy on mysticism, philosophy, science fiction, and politics as they do on slasher-film fare), and there you have the layman’s introduction to the fascinating and breathtaking world of death metal. And Eye of Horus are only one of dozens of such talented and driven groups across Canada alone who are making their mark.

Cocetka explains the creative process behind Eye of Horus’ singular approach to their muse.

“Usually (guitarist-vocalist) Diego Fernandez writes the skeleton of the song. Once we like the arrangement, we adapt it into our style; intensifying Travis Sutherland’s drums, changing some riffs to fit with the drums. Once that’s finalized, Andrew Sutherland will figure out his basslines. Diego’s also the primary lyricist. We want to stay true to the classic Death-Metal themes —telling horror stories through songs. This consists of finding a story that fits with the song’s atmosphere, then molding each lyric to the arrangement.”

As with most death-metal bands, Eye of Horus’ work ethic is as redlined as their music itself.

“2015 will be a big year,” says Cocetka. “We’re about to finish recording our album, so expect that to be released during the summer. We’ll be playing dozens of shows across western Canada to support it. We’ll definitely try to make at least one music video. We might consider hitting the US in the fall. And we also will begin preliminary stages of writing a new album! Can’t ever stop the writing bug for us!”

On the road, the band functions with army-squad precision. “We’re very well organized. Some of us worry about the merch; some of us worry about setting up and tearing down; someone deals with promoters. We all found out strengths with this career and play our part to make it as smooth as possible. The ups are definitely playing in front of people who have been awaiting your arrival.”

Cocetka says that Eye of Horus are excited to be debuting in Cranbrook. “We’ve found small-town scenes to be almost more vibrant than city scenes. It’s due to the passion of their residents, who sometimes seldom get larger shows — so they relish the opportunity to throw down when a band like us arrives!”

Eye of Horus are keen on establishing and keeping friendships, and offer these words of encouragement to the would-be metal musicians of the Kootenays: “Don’t worry about the distance between you and others. Focus on making music that’s honest to you. Find friends to play it with, and start playing shows. There is honestly no better feeling.”

Eye of Horus (with guests Anarcrist, Elements, and Crooked Lines) blast out their technical-frenzy death-metal assault live in concert Saturday, March 7, at the Studio Stage Door (11-11th Ave.S., downtown Cranbrook); showtime 8 pm. Admission: $8 advance (tickets available at AM Music and Lotus Books), $10 door.