Sunday, November 27, 2011


Not a lot of people really know what goes on at an event like Nerd Fest... So we’re here to tell you! It’s a night of sword play, LARPing, Costumes (think Knights, Centurions, Wizards, Wenches, etc), chain mail clothing, epic videos (like the release of Scythia’s first music video done by… US!), and of course great music! On the bill for the night were Celestial Ruin, Eye of Odin, and Scythia.

Celestial Ruin got the night started with their very Kamelot meets Nightwish with hints of Evanescence sound. The female fronted band definitely had a lot of confidence in what they do, and it showed in their music. The tunes were catchy, and sound great on an album, but they are hard to pull off perfectly live without the use of backing tracks. Would have liked to see more movement and interaction on stage, and we couldn’t see the keyboard player at all, but with some more practice I think the next show will be fantastic! Keep your eyes and ears out for these guys and gal!

Eye of Odin took the stage next. These fellows had great tunes, and a very interesting sound. Each song was nice and full, though the vocals seemed to be buried a little underneath everything. On that note – there was great use of backing harmonies and vocals. Each member had great stage presence, and awesome costumes, though it was the front man who really captured everyone’s attention. He doubled as the host for the evening, and has a very cool theatrical speaking voice. Over all, great show, great costumes; can’t wait for the next one!!

The final musical act of the night was none other than Hammer favourites – Scythia! Having just completed, and released, their first ever music video, these guys and gals were ready to take the stage by storm. They sounded absolutely amazing. The best we’ve seen them play yet. All 5 members had HUGE stage presence, and always looked like they were having the time of their lives. They were directly communicative with the audience, who seemed to know the folk-metal band’s music well and were even shouting out requests! Scythia played both new and old – including a medley of video game theme songs including the brand new Skyrim. The drums were grand AND epic, the bass low and bite-y, the guitar crisp and huge, the oboe sat nicely on top of the mix, and the keys filled everything out perfectly. Then, of course, was lead singer, Dave Khan’s roar that powered over all! If you’re into metal, or folk, or folk metal you should definitely check these guys out however you can!

All in all, the night was spectacular. Hammer and I had a lot of fun, rocked out to great music, learned a few things about sword play and stage combat, and got our Nerd on.

For more pictures and videos – EMAIL US at

Keep Rockin!

Free Downloadable Music!

Check out some of Hammer Records work with local artists!

Free downloads, share, spread and enjoy!

Erica Marrello:
How to Fight by HammerRecords

Rose Anson:
Wake Up by HammerRecords

Matt Brinkler:
Unbreakable by HammerRecords

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A Starlight Spectacle

October 30th, 2011 shall always be a night to remember for us at Hammer Records! Hammer, a friend of ours, and I traveled down to Joseph Richard Nightclub on Granville for the Judas Priest/ Lady Starlight after party, courtesy of our friends, and my favourite local band, Cruel Young Heart, who played a fantastic set that night. It was an evening of many acts and interesting spectacles. There was a solo singer, a drag performance, a fashion show, painters, two bands, and Lady Starlight herself spinning later in the night.

The first two acts were kept short with one song each. I didn’t catch the names of either performer, but they both had a lot of stage presence and confidence, let alone vocal talent.

Next up was, none other than, CRUEL YOUNG HEART! They started off their set with their single, Nighttime Glow – which got the crowd of bystanders moving their hips to the catchy tune. They played another song, and then invited Kaylee Johnston, a very talented vocalist, up on stage for a cover of a Scissor Sisters’ song. It was a very cool twist to their set list! After another song, they announced they’d be right back, and sure enough, came back a few minutes later sporting new flashy costumes, and epic sunglasses! The rest of their set sounded tight, they worked the stage like true professionals, and pleased everyone in the venue. Keep your eyes and ears out for these guys – they’re going far! Check out their FACEBOOK for music, tour dates, etc!

As the next band was setting up, a fashion show took place! The line was by Tush Designs, made for Lady Starlight & GaGa by Roberta Cheema. The show was put together by Nancy Perreault, with help from Harriet Vianello and her make-up team Moaning Lisa Larinnie and Dani Barnes. Very cool and creative designs! I would certainly sport those given the chance.

I, Braineater then took the stage! This band had a very well put together sound, and tons of energy! The front man really knew how to work the stage, surrounding area, and the crowd! At one point he came over to where Lady Starlight, our friend Alex, and I were rocking out together, and pulled Lady Starlight close, and they rocked out like old friends. It was a very cool sight! Over all they had a really great sound and very out-of-this-world stage presence.

The last spectacle of the night was Lady Gaga’s best friend, Lady Starlight, spinning! Having chatted with her earlier in the night for a while, and a few times throughout the evening, we got to know she’s a really cool chick, and really easy to talk to! Seeing her up on the turntables was quite an honour. She has an amazing personality, and a lot of talent! If you can, check her out on tour with Judas Priest, or on stage with Lady Gaga!

As I said above, this was definitely a night to remember for us! Great people, great performances, great music. A lot of new connections were made, and old ones made stronger.

For more pictures and videos from the night, email

Keep Rockin’!

Masquerade Ball

Halloween is always a busy time downtown. Everyone dressed up trying to get into the cheapest club or wandering the streets seeing everyone in costume. But some people decide to break the rules and do something... extraordinary.

There is always theme events on Granville but having a masquerade ball just sounds elegant. To start off the night was Whiskey Jack. True to their name, there sound was true rock and roll. A dynamic three piece of Batman, Dracula, and.. something! It was nice to see some movement and interaction between the members But it would have been nice to see the band try and interact with the crowd a little more. I know its hard with a small crowd but maybe move away from the mic stand and rock around the stage. Some nice tunes, great bass lines. And the drummer was singing with a headset microphone. Very cool to see. Would like to hear the album or a music video to see this band shine!

The Shrugs have been featured on Hammer Records a few times and they always deliver. A very dynamic band with a strong stage presence. After seeing them over and over I feel like they just are waiting for a spark or something to take them to the next level. Always writing new songs and evolving their sound but I want to see them take their stage show to something more. Halloween allowed them all to zombize themselves but it would be great to see them do something over the top for shows. Take it a step up and do something crazy! Great band, be sure to watch out for their new music video coming out soon!

Lift Off is a good example of taking things up a notch. Renting a bus to bring their crowd to the show, bring their own strobe lights and fog machines, As well as huge banners. Now allowing the visual aspect match the ferocity of the music aspect it brought the whole show to a climax. The crowd was packed as they rocked through there set. Everyone was grooving and dancing to their fantastic tunes. This band is on the fast track to the top of the scene and we are proud to support them! If you haven't already checked them out then carve time into your schedule too. They have a new music video coming out soon!

Turned out to be an amazing Halloween! Continue supporting the scene!

James, signing off

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Firewind Is The Brutalist Of Wind

When I heard Firewind was coming to town I grabbed the phone and dialled their management as soon as I could. I was determined to see these Greek Gods tear it up on one of my favourite Vancouver venues.

The Joint Chiefs started off the night with their brand of metal. These are local campbell river band that gave it their all. Their sound was very raw and ragged. Reminds me of a super young Slayer. Lots of headbanging, jumping around stage and crazy antics, but not the strongest songs. After a few songs each riff seemed to blend into each other. Would have liked to see a little more dynamics with songs or maybe a little different instrumentation. I would imagine their album sounds tight, but live just needs a little more work.

Nightrage roared onto the stage and took things up a notch or two. More melodic metal than the previous band with very tight riffs. Structured metal where I could recognize the chorus nicely. Screaming vocals pierced nicely through the duel guitar onslaught. The bass filled up the bottom end nicely, his lines just complimenting the guitar lines. Super tight drums, but thats to be expected from Firewind's drummer, Johan Nunez. This reminded me of some of the best metal bands in Vancouver, great band but not mind blowing.

Taking things up about 10 notches the next band just ripped onto the stage. First thing i noticed was such a strong bass presence. Amazing lines that really drove and set the mood for the songs. Mix that in with the driving drums, riffing guitars, and soaring vocals you get White Wizzard. If Iron Maiden and Judas Priest had a baby then this band would be its offspring. Amazing stage presence, a true touring band. This band got the crowd roaring and cheering. Catch choruses and a very over the top feel overall to the band. Can't wait to see them back in town!

Holy shredding guitar batman! Killer riffs, this band just whipped the crowd into a moshing frenzy. Their bass player was a madman as he leaped around the stage headbanging like no tomorrow. Arsis definitely had their craft down. Not as melodic as White Wizzard but their ferocity made up for it in spades. This band just give it their all. Their fingers were like lightening up and down the fretboards. The vocalist roared until I thought his voice would give out. The drums just blew my mind. His kicks were like a machine gun blasting out of the speakers. So dynamic yet so precise. Amazing.

Firewind just blew everyone away though, as expected. A professional band that has been around for years and it shows. They showed professionalism and a level of stage presence that kept the crowd cheering the whole set. Gus G, who now is also touring as Ozzy's guitarist, just was amazing. I love firewind's albums and to see them live was a treat and will never be forgot. Sadly we weren't allowed to take pictures or videos, but they will live within our minds forever.

Here are previews of the videos filmed at the show: