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SKELATOR Inks Deal With GATES OF HELL RECORDS; New Album ‘Cyber Metal’ Due In June

(Cover art illustration and design by Dordji Bowles and Ryan Rich)

Veteran west coast metallers SKELATOR has signed with Gates Of Hell Records for the release of their fifth studio album, “Cyber Metal”. The album is due June 14 in European territories and June 21 in North America.

Formed in 1998, SKELATOR has capably flown the flag of never-say-die true metal, harnessing Jason Conde-Houston’s stratospheric vocal range, dueling guitar harmonies and battle-tested rhythms. SKELATOR originally met Cruz Del Sur Music/Gates Of Hell owner Enrico Leccese in 2013, who relayed word that SLOUGH FEG leader Mike Scalzi suggested the label sign the band. Fast-forward six years and the two parties have joined forces for “Cyber Metal”.

“Creating ‘Cyber Metal’ was a long process for us, not just recording and writing, but finding the right lineup as well,” says Conde-Houston. “We started writing for the album in 2016 but had two incidents of needing to find a bass player to round out the lineup which effectively put a stop to the writing process. Luckily in 2017, we found Darin Wall and he brought the driving bass that we needed to solidify the lineup. His playing immediately locked in with Pat’s [Seick] ‘rock bomb’ drumming style and enabled Robbie [Houston] and Rob [Steinway] to focus in on delivering the guitar harmonies and heavy riffs and allowed us to shape the band’s sound into what we have always wanted. I can say without hesitation that this current lineup of the band is the most talented and cohesive that it has ever been.”

With the goal of making “Cyber Metal” their “most polished effort to date,” SKELATOR has assembled a batch of songs that deftly combine modern German power metal (GRAVE DIGGER, PRIMAL FEAR) as well as classic influences such as JUDAS PRIEST and RIOT. The result is an album with no shortage of screaming vocals, high-flying guitar solos, thunderous bass, gated drums and even extra doses of keyboards.

The album was recorded throughout 2018 between a variety of studios, including drums at Hangar 12 in Mountlake Terrace, Washington and vocals with Matt Roach at Rain City Recorders in Vancouver, British Columbia. The rest of the tracking was handled by the guitar duo of Houston and Steinway, who eventually put the finishing touches on the album this past December. “It was a long grueling process but it was well worth it because now we have the best sounding SKELATOR record to date,” says Conde-Houston.

Thematically, Conde-Houston says SKELATOR had one rule: No songs about swords, unless they are laser swords. “We touch on movies and comics that have inspired us since we were kids in the ‘80s. Songs like ‘Akira’, ‘Highlander’ and ‘Seven Scars’ are all obvious nerd-out lyrics based on decades of watching the same movies over and over. But the songs are still anthems and we still have at least one track about playing true metal.”

Now past the 20-year mark as a band, “Cyber Metal” finds SKELATOR at the top of their game with the same drive and passion as when they started. “The hard part about keeping a band together for 20 years is the fact that we are all getting older and have more and more responsibilities,” concludes Conde-Houston. “But the beauty of having this band for so long is that we have a great legacy of albums to share with the world, and we all enjoy what we do and have the drive to keep doing it. As hard as it was to create this new album, it is a joy to listen to. This is our most ambitious record and the catchiest as well. I think it will please SKELATOR fans new and old. Even if you are a ‘Give Me Metal Or Give Me Death’, purest you’ll be still be singing along to tracks like ‘Cast Iron’ or ‘Cyber Samurai’.”

 

“Cyber Metal” track listing:

  1. Cyber Samurai
  2. Cast Iron
  3. The Hammer
  4. Highlander
  5. Akira
  6. Erlkönig
  7. Seven Scars
  8. Psychic Silver Wheels

 

TRAVELER To Release Self-Titled First Full-Length In February

Fresh off their split with Finland’s CORONARY, Canada’s TRAVELER will release their self-titled first full-length on February 22 via Gates Of Hell Records. Recorded at three different studios throughout 2018, “Traveler” will feature eight songs of up-tempo, classic metal, right up the alley for fans of vintage JUDAS PRIEST, MANILLA ROAD and RIOT.

According to guitarist and founding member Matt Ries, “Traveler” will certainly appeal to fans of their debut demo and split with CORONARY. The three songs from their demo have been re-recorded and given new life thanks to TRAVELER’s now-complete lineup, a first for the band. “To have this become a reality is amazing,” he says. “I’ve learned a lot about who you jam with and not settling for anything less than the best. I’ve also learned how much work comes behind taking the reins on everything, but it’s all worth it.”

TRAVELER, who are now rounded out by vocalist Jean-Pierre Abboud (also of GATEKEEPER), second guitarist Toryin “Junior” Schadlich, bassist Dave Arnold and drummer Chad Vallier, tracked drums at AB Records, guitars at Ries’s home studio and vocals at Richhobo Studios. In all, their self-titled album shows just how far TRAVELER has come in the span of a year, with the re-recorded songs from the demo blending seamlessly with the band’s new compositions.

“The newest songs all vary differently from each other,” says Ries. “We feel this will make for a really interesting album. But, of course, the album has no shortage of dueling guitars and powerful vocals. And, after hearing the vocals laid out for the first time over these songs, I can safely say they all pound just as hard! The lyrical themes are mixed with real life experiences and total exaggerated scenarios. Ripping leads and harmonized guitars. Driving bass lines. Everything I love to hear when I throw on a record. So, if we share the same taste, you’ll be raising your fist.”

TRAVELER, who originally started as an outlet for ideas that weren’t suitable for Ries’s other bands GATEKRASHÖR and HROM, has enjoyed a year that has gone far beyond the guitarist’s expectations. Starting with the positive feedback from their split with CORONARY to the writing and creation of “Traveler”, TRAVELER has capably handled the whirlwind that was 2018 and now has their eye toward 2019.

“This year has been a really exciting experience,” says Ries. “It’s also been extremely challenging getting everything together. Our love for the music has kept us on the right track. However, the feedback from everyone has lit a fire under our asses to make the best possible record. I didn’t expect to be working under such a great label so soon. Again, all of this has been nothing but motivation to keep moving. Now that we are wrapping up the year, we are focused on making a great live show for everyone! We can’t wait to rock the stages for all of you. We have a lot of great plans in the works for shows and future projects. So, the way I see it, we’re just getting started”.

 

FEEL THE REIGN OF STARBREAKER!

CORONARY And TRAVELER Team Up For Split Demo Release Via Gates Of Hell Records

A true metal battle rages across the frozen fields of Canada and Finland on the debut split release from CORONARY (Finland) and TRAVELER (Canada). Slated for a JUNE 2018 release via Gates Of Hell Records. The split will be available on Vinyl .

– CORONARY –

Formed in Tampere in 2017, CORONARY was created when a pair of Finnish metal veterans, guitarist Aku “Herr Lederwurst” Kytölä and drummer Pate “Batvik” Vuorio, reconnected after bumping into each other at a local flea market. Upon realizing they both shared a similar vision of wanting to create a metal band that took its influences from the ’70s and ’80s, the two men set about to complete the CORONARY lineup, eventually securing lead singer Olli “The True Herman” Kärki, second guitarist Jukka “Doktor” Holm and bassist Jarkko “C-90” Aaltonen.

CORONARY emerged from a January 2018 studio session with three songs of classic metal glory, highlighting the gritty vocals of Kärki and guitar tandem of Kytölä and Holm, the latter capable of dropping in ACCEPT-like riff tactics to match their firebrand lead guitar work. The demo is already catching fire in the metal underground, with Metal Crypt stating CORONARY “refuse to reinvent the smoothly rollin’ heavy metal wheel. No, on the contrary, they want it to be untouched, letting it roll freely, the way it’s been rolling in the best way since the golden era of ’80s heavy fuckin’ metal.”

– TRAVELER –

Calgary, Alberta’s TRAVELER was created in 2017 by guitarist, bassist and primary songwriter Matt Ries, who in addition to his regular duties with GATEKRASHÖR and HROM, developed an itch to branch out with his own song ideas in order to have a fresh outlook on music. Joined by vocalist Jean-Pierre Abboud (also of GATEKEEPER) and drummer Jan Loncik, TRAVELER shacked up at Richobo Studios in Calgary with Loncik manning the production boards. TRAVELER’s up-tempo, pounding style puts the sound of RIOT and MANILLA ROAD on overdrive with a preponderance of soaring twin guitar harmonies and Abboud’s effortless, but always convincing vocal delivery.

“The songs were inspired by an unhealthy mix of real life and fantasy,” says Ries. “Whether it be from the trials and tribulations we face day-to-day, or just pure exaggerated scenarios. I think these songs express that well.

“The sky is the limit at this point,” he continues. “I’ve had an overwhelming amount of positive feedback through fans and festival promoters wanting more from us. So, at the moment I am putting together a lineup of members and teaching our new drummer all of the songs for the upcoming full length. And, we will begin recording after he is up to speed. With Gates Of Hell’s help and various other release options, I think we can do really great things.”

CORONARY/TRAVELER split track listing :

CORONARY

  1. Firewings
  2. Bullet Train
  3. Mestengo

 TRAVELER

  1. Starbreaker
  2. Behind The Iron
  3. Mindless Maze