On Friday, August 30th Gatekeeper will enter the studio to record new music for a follow-up release. Three songs shall be recorded, they are called "Vigilance of the Guardian", "Angelus Noctium" and "The Bell of Tarantia". The upcoming tracks will be a different side of Gatekeeper, but pure Epic Heavy Metal from start to finish. Fans of "Prophecy & Judgement" will be pleasantly surprised. Folks who didn't like our debut probably will be as well. We are planning on using these tracks on a split release with another fine Epic Metal band from recent years. More details on that later.
Stay tuned for updates from the studio, as well as updates on the progress of our upcoming live album "A Shadow Over Calgarae" from Swords and Chains Records. Preorders shall start very soon.
It is as they say. Our debut Calgary performance from April 06th immortalized into pro cassette format. Rough and raw, just the way we like it. There will be no pro-tools abuse, no quantize, no punch-ins and no pitch correction: Just a mic covered in old beer next to the mixing board. Eternal blessings to Mike Mendyk for going above and beyond with this release, it's going to be fantastic. Stay tuned for pre-order info and more juicy announcements in the near future.
First and foremost, take note that we are using a shorter, more convenient web address for this blog page. It can now be accessed at http://gatekeepervinland.com
Secondly, the Priestess of Delphi shirts are now available to order, sizes S-XXL are available.
Our triple gig attack (Farmaggeddon, Calgary, Edmonton) was an absolute blast. Was great to see our sets decently-attended and lots of energy throughout. We have been playing two new songs which we will hopefully track before the end of summer. Huge thanks to the IRON KINGDOM folks for inviting us to play the shows with them and for being a class act all around. Keep your eyes peeled for BLOODREICH in the future. Their singer was a dead-ringer for Eric Adams. GATEKRASHOR fucking ruled! Easily the best I'd ever seen them play. ARSENAL was a great thrash outfit, perfect way to start the evening. Thanks for MAJOR CHAOS for playing some rad covers at the Edmonton gig.
Our further blessings go out to Cody & Harley at Rattlehead Productions (Calgary), Rod Gillis (Edmonton) and our drummer Tyson Travnik + co. for their hard work and dedication into making Farmaggeddon happen. Thanks to Snipers Paintball, DV8 Tavern and Dickens Pub for hosting the events. Credit is due to Kylee Thompson and Shannon Steele for their fantastic photos to commemorate our sets.
Announcement about a new release at the end of the week.
We are pleased to report that GATEKEEPER shall support IRON KINGDOM in Edmonton on Saturday, August 10th at DV8 Tavern's new location on Gateway Blvd, next to Hudsons on whyte ave. Gatekeeper will take the stage first, followed by local support MAJOR CHAOS and then our new friends in Iron Kingdom closing the night. We are looking forward to decimating DV8's new room with their updated sound system and larger stage. Show up early, get tipsy and bang your manes.
Please be advised that the Priestess of Delphi shirts (Pictured below) are sold on all sizes EXCEPT SMALL. We are currently waiting for a new batch to arrive from the printing company, which should be here by August. If you have ordered a shirt from us in the past week, you should have received an e-mail. If not, please get in touch: gatekeeper(at)live(dot)ca.
If you are interested in ordering A Priestess T-shirt, I would suggest waiting until August unless you want to buy in advance and reserve your shirt. Will are getting sizes S-XXL. Prices are $20 for the Shirt, $25 for shirt + CD.
We are pleased to announce that GATEKEEPER will return to Calgary to assault Dickens Pub on Friday, August 9th. Joining us in our crusade will be our brothers in GATEKRASHOR and our new west-coast allies in IRON KINGDOM. We will unveil a new song from the upcoming release "Vigilance of the Guardian" as well as a new cover song. Attend and Defend.
Nine years ago today, a legend left this world. The power, might and glory of his music has been recreated by very very few, and to call his contributions to Heavy Metal "important" would be a vast understatement. The music of BATHORY has been a massive inspiration to myself in the style of music and the atmosphere I have been trying to create with GATEKEEPER. Next year will mark the 10-year anniversary of QUORTHON's passing. I'd personally like to do something very special for this. Only time will tell. Until then...
Cheers to the few and the proud that came to the show last Thursday in Devon. We know coming to a heavy metal gig on a Thursday night isn't the preferable option, so we're really grateful to everyone. Huge thanks to Tyson and his killer crew at Excalibur Productions for setting everything up. Our brethren in Bardic Form and Scythia are also to thank for showing up and rocking with total hardness as well. The lovely Kylee Thompson has our eternal blessings for snapping some shots from the evening, which you can see below.
In other news, we have compiled a lot of live recordings lately, and we will be releasing it on cassette format, capturing the raw energy of Gatekeeper with no trickery or bullshit. More details on that later.
Now that our various members are finished with school, we will begin focusing on learning new material which will involve some studio recordings this summer, and hopefully another release at the end of the year. Stay tuned.
Gatekeeper will return to Devon for another crushing gig on Thursday, April 25th at the Royal Canadian Legion Hall. This gig will be ALL AGES, so bring your daughters, nephews, brothers and friends, 'cause everyone is welcome. For the drink-minded, there is a pub across the street. We will be supporting Scythia on their western Canadian tour, and our brother in Bardic Form will open the night at 8:00pm.
Cheers to every who came out over the weekend to watch see the gigs in Calgary and Edmonton. Both shows were some of our best performances, and it was great to see so many familiar faces, and meet new friends as well. We'd like to thank the staff of Dickens Pub, Nate Reno, Rattlehead Productions, Rod and DV8 Tavern, as well as all our new friends in Wilt, Vile Insignia, This is War, Runeblade and Dark Forest. We had an amazing response on our first out-of-town performance and rest assured, we will return again soon with new songs and new merchandise.
We have been going over some live recordings from the previous three shows and we should have enough material to put together a live release, most likely on cassette format. These will be raw, live-off-the-floor recordings with no overdubs, punch-ins, or other trickery. You'll get the full live audio experience, which may include a fuck-up or two... We are human after all I suppose.
For those curious, here is some footage from the Calgary show:
New Shirt design now available. White + Metallic Gold ink on Black thread. Also features the text "Prophecy & Judgement MMXIII" on the back. These shirts are $20 + shipping, available in sizes S-XL. We posted them on Facebook an hour ago and have sold many in the first ten minutes, so order fast.
will rock DV8 Tavern on The Sabbath Day, April 7th. We will be
supporting local Hellions RUNEBLADE and our new friends from Manitoba,
WILT. We will have new CDs and shirts, come get your skull crushed
before you earn your paycheck.
In light of the cancellation of TORMENT IN FIRE festival, Gatekeeper has hooked up with Rattlehead Productions for a performance on Saturday April 6th at Dickens Pub, Calgary. This will be the official release party for the Prophecy & Judgement EP, we will have copies of the CD available for purchase, as well as our new t-shirts.
We are extremely excited to be performing in Calgary alongside Dark Forest, Wilt, Vile Insignia and This is War. Come, or be doomed.
We recently did an interview with Musikreviews.de which is now online for your viewing displeasure. For those wishing to read in German, please check out the link. I have also pasted the English version of the review below for those so inclined.
Tell me about the formation of the band and what makes you special in this constellation.
I originally started the band on my own back in 2009, recording demo tracks with programmed drums at home. I'm relatively new to playing guitar, so writing the riffs and songs for Gatekeeper was a way to teach myself the instrument. I put up a few sample clips of songs on Youtube and myspace, and a few people in bands that I enjoy got in touch with me and recommended that I turn Gatekeeper into a real band and do some proper recordings. I called up Tyson, Leillyn, Shorre and Justin and they were all into the project. Here we are now.
As far as what makes us special... Well, I think that might mean something different to everyone that enjoys the music. For me, this is the most honest music that I can create. No doubt about it, we wear our influences on our sleeves. It's epic heavy metal created by heavy metal fans, for heavy metal fans. There's a vastness in the songs that is very inspired by where we live: The wide, open prairies of Alberta, which are often covered in snow.
What do you want to express with the name Gatekeeper?
It's a bit of an homage to classic, underground heavy metal. It's a simple and direct name. We don't have very many bands playing epic, sword-and-sorcery and doom-inspired heavy metal in Canada. I can think of three, including us (The others being Funeral Circle and Cromlech). In a way, I see us as defenders of ancient heavy metal in a continent dominated by triggered blast-beating, nauseated growling and sweep-picked wankery.
Why do you work with a label from Portugal, given that you are Canadian?
Francisco from A Forja Productions and I were in touch before signing Gatekeeper, and I had bought many of his previous releases. After exchanging a few emails, he decided to offer Gatekeeper a CD release, and we're very pleased and excited with how things are turning out. More than that, we are also working with Deathrider Records from Germany for a vinyl release, which comes out of April 19th at the Keep it True festival, so Gatekeeper is very international at this point.
One of the good things about this modern era of music that is geography is no longer our master. Epic heavy metal is a niche style, and it's fans are spread out across the world so I think it's great that we can keep in touch via E-mail or Skype or even Wastebook to organize releases, gigs, festivals or whatever. United we stand!
Which artists, not necessarily musicians, would you consider your peers?
For newer bands, we are big fans of Olórin, Ravensire, Funeral Circle, Gatekrashor, Striker, Borrowed Time, and many others. We're also really into Atlantean Kodex, Argus and Procession, etc but those bands have been at it a bit longer.
For non-music, that's a tougher question because I'm still getting through all the old stuff! Coven Illustracion designed a Gatekeeper shirt and Ralph L. Torres is the man behind our cover artwork for Prophecy & Judgment. Both those guys are fantastic artists. Lindsay Grimm and Kefkism Design are two great photographers in Edmonton, Lindsay did the promo photos for our upcoming EP, and she's incredible at live shoots. Kefkism does very cool work with female models. For current writers I was following Black Gate magazine and I think Heroic Fantasty Quarterly is also worth checking out, they often bring in newer authors with good stories.
Are the "Swan Road Saga" and "A Tale Of Twins" stories you made up by yourselves?
No, “Swan Road Saga” is based off Beowulf and Grendel, and “Tale of Twins” is based off the Lay of the Volsungs from Norse Mythology. I must credit Tolkien with that, because I was inspired by his re-telling of the saga in the style of Norse Poetry, when the original tale is based in prose.
I do some non-music writing for fun once in a while, but I like writing songs based on existing work, it's fun to come up with ways to retell a story that are familiar, but not overly derivative. Hopefully people that know those stories will figure it out, and people that aren't will get curious and do some research.
Can you imagine to ever write lyrics with a contemporary background instead of fantasy- and mythology-based stuff?
I don't know. As the lyricist of Gatekeeper, I think that the closest thing to “real life” that I can get would be songs based on history and past events. It would be hard for me to write more contemporary themes, the words would feel so mundane. Maybe if I could write like Alan from Primordial or Martin from Skyclad/Sabbat...
On the other hand, our song “Prophecy & Judgment” deals with the Oracle of Delphi from Ancient Greek history. The whole thing is wreathed in a veil of legendry and myth but the temple of Apollo in Delphi is a real structure that you can visit, and the oracles actually existed. Some of the prophecies are even written down, I lifted some lyrics in our song from English translations and re-arranged them to rhyme. What I'm getting at is that much of our mythology came from somewhere, right? Lots of the legends are based on real people and real events, though they have been blown into larger-than-life proportions. It's that sense of wonder and mystery, romanticizing about a world lost and far away that drives me to create.
What is the constant appeal in fairytale and lore, which we find in a lot of Metal from the past as well as the present? Is it mere escapism, or can we maybe learn something from these things with respect to our own reality?
I think it's a bit of both. I'm a massive aficionado of fantasy, sword and sorcery, sci-fi and horror, and it's a way to escape the dreary slog of work, buying groceries, fixing the car, dealing with boring unintelligent people on a day to day basis. At the same time, some of the best work in genre fiction are metaphors, ideas or critiques about the world we live in today and the direction we might be heading. Slaves and gladiators killing each other in the arena and gang wars in post-apocalyptic New York might be entertaining in the movies, but there are parts of the world where that is a reality, which is frightening.
The title "Prophecy and Judgment" sounds quite deep and seems to be open for interpretation: What do you want to express with it?
As I said in an earlier question, that song (as well as the cover art) is based off the Temple of Apollo and the oracle of Delphi. In the days when the temple was in use a wide range of worshipers from peasants to kings would seek the oracle's counsel. Try to imagine the feeling that one must have felt back in those days: The awe, fear and trepidation in the shadow of that ancient building where young women raved under the influence of the gods and priests lurked in the background. Imagine the Spartan and Athenian war counsels treading the temple steps, fully believing that their struggles and battles were in the hands of a power beyond their understanding. That's the best I can explain it.
Tell me a bit about your local scene, as in connection to Canada, we mostly hear about bands from either Quebec or British Columbia.
Edmonton and Alberta in general is not a well-known music or heavy metal hub, it's oil country out here. Some of the bigger underground impacts have been from “war black metal” bands playing in the style of Blasphemy. Revenge is an example of that. We also have Begrime Exemious. Otherwise, it's mostly death metal and thrash, and way to many people call their band “progressive.” Of course, there are some good bands, like Death Toll Rising, Dire Omen and The Noumenon.
My favorite local band is Striker from Edmonton. I also like Hrom, a great speed/power band in the vein of old Helloween and Chroming Rose. Also, Gatekrashor are very fun, dirty speed metal. Keep 6, Ironstorm, Tessitura and Bardic Form are the other bands of my bandmates and they are very good, all different styles.
What are your further plans; will you look out for a bigger label to promote you, or do you prefer to stay in the underground, if something like that still exists?
I think the underground still exists, though it's a different situation than before. In fact, the “true metal” scene in North America is about as underground as it gets right now. I'm not terribly concerned with what label we work with, our current labels are fantastic and we are not in a hurry to jump ship. However, we're open to working with any label that is a proper heavy metal label and can offer a deal that keeps both parties happy. Gatekeeper is a side-project for everyone, we all have other bands plus work and/or school. We are hoping to have new music released by the end of 2013, maybe in the form of a split release or another EP. I would also love to do some live stuff. We'll burn that bridge when we cross it!
Our guitarist Jeff Black conducted an
interview with Norway's METAL SQUADRON website detailing the origins of
the band, how the EP came to be, plans for the future, amongst other
things. Check it out here and give them some traffic.
With the near-imminent release of Prophecy & Judgement, we have decided to start up one of those fancy Bandcamp pages for Gatekeeper's music. We currently have two tracks available for streaming (North Wolves + Tale of Twins) from the upcoming release, now fully mastered byRosenquarz Studio in Germany. We will continue to update the Bandcamp page with our available merchandise, and you will be able to purchase goods both physical and digital before long.
As for the release, things are finally coming to a close. The masters are completed and en-route to our brothers at Aforja Productionsand Deathrider Records and will be promptly sent to press. We will update further once the physical release reaches our grubby mitts.
In other news, we are preparing for our Calgarian onslaught at Torment in Fire Festival. Our guitarist Jeff Black was able to chat a chat with the kind folks at Beatroute Magazine to discuss the upcoming appearance, and about the band in general. We will be performing on Saturday, April 6th.