Our readers may know the up-and-coming Canadian based quintet Osyron through their critically acclaimed albums Foundations (July 2020) and Kingsbane (2017, re-released as a Deluxe Edition in May 2021). Together, the albums spent 24 weeks with 37 appearances on the Canadian charts.
Reed Alton – Vocals
Cody Anstey – Drums / Engineering
Tyler Corbett – Bass / Mix / Engineering
Bobby Harley – Guitar
Krzysztof Stalmach – Guitar
Inspired by their prior successes, Osyron started to work on a new album in 2021, taking the modern and progressive sound and feel that they created with Foundations and pushing it even further. The outcome is what the band feels is their strongest album to date: The first single, “Dominion Day,” did so well that it made it onto the “All New Metal” playlist on Spotify. This makes Osyron even more proud to present “Momentous.” The brand new album will be released on November 4, 2022, on all major streaming platforms. This announcement comes with the release of the second single, “Beyond the Sun,” making it 100% clear how Osyron have once again put their hearts and souls into the creative process. It’s impossible not to hear and feel the devotion they have invested in their new music, and it is shown in a classy, intelligent album of power metal.
We were very pleased to be joined by lead singer Reed Alton to talk over the new album, which got a solid play here in the office, and a few tracks just jumped out and needed some extra attention and comment! The band is classified as progressive metal, and that is where the foundations lie, but in the middle of this are two tracks with the Polish band Percival Schuttenbach (The Witcher), and the result are two hauntingly medieval-style tracks, “The Deafening” (also with Stu Block-Annihilator, Into Eternity) and “Momentous.” “Momentous” in particular made us think of medieval balladeers who played interesting instrumental pieces while traveling the roads. We kicked off the interview with Reed with these two.
Reed- I’m guessing you refer to the intros to the song? It’s the same group who helped with the track “Anunnaki,” the album opener. They are a folk style band, Percival, and they do traditional-style music, which is maybe what gives it that older, mainland European feel. They have just done the soundtrack for The Witcher 3 video game, so they are successful in their own right. But for us, we have been lured toward darkness and eeriness in music when it comes to certain choices of scales and melody. The idea of approaching Percival to appear on those three songs specifically… We reached out to them to embody the feeling and style of those songs. It lent itself to the beauty of those tracks and the theme of darkness and the unknown. These are tribal songs with the roots in.
The songwriting is done in-house; the band creates its own material, and we wanted to ask about the process.
Reed- We all share the songwriting credits. I wrote the lyrics, but as a band, we contribute in multiple ways, and we all bring ideas in to collaborate. It is a full collective for songwriting.
The lyrics are certainly interesting. There is a comment we read somewhere about “Anunnaki” being the history of the winning side, which reminded us of a Churchill comment that history would be kind to him as he intended to write it. There are also some great lines abounding in “Dominion Day,” where it describes the “broken mirror on the wall.” It takes us lyrically into the fragments of perception, a world of Nietsche where there is no truth, only perception. We wondered whether it was a concept album, the album certainly gains from a listen through as it is laid out.
Reed- The overall concept of “Momentous” has larger-than-life themes and concepts. It is not a concept album, but there are a lot of things that coexist. There is Canadian history there, influences of Canadian culture. There are also personal emotions, introspection, and mental health. And there are beliefs there, ideas from the ancient Sumarians. I think it is more thematic, with larger than life topics, but not a concept album. You mention the broken mirror lyric, it is more about looking yourself in the mirror, or your country and culture in the eye, and seeing that it is broken and not as cut and dry as the government or media may have us believe. “Dominion Day” is inspired by Canada Day, Independence Day. What we were as a country then is not what we are as a country now, and maybe things need to be dealt with in different ways. Look at who we are as a people, as an individual or a collective.
We wondered how Reed felt the band had developed since the Kingsbane album, the first one that Reed was with the band for. It was a successful album, but the songs have changed a bit from the sound they had then. A lot has happened in the world since 2017, with the pandemic, wars, and global concerns, and we have all been impacted.
Reed- Yes, that was my first time with the band, Kingsbane. We have all, as individuals matured as people and songwriters. We have a strong idea where we are going and that really matters for the band, and we have more knowledge about why we choose this direction or that for a track. On this record, we have taken the elements that define us as a band and then placed them in a tightly written version of who we are.
It has the power to impress and surprise as an album. It moves from the progressive metal base to a song like “Prairie Sailor,” where the band presents this stripped down piece, almost a folk tune, with the most powerful of vocal performances.
Reed- It’s just my voice, with some synth-like sounds underneath. It translates as a song because it is a story I have grown-up with from my grandfather, and my family is from the centre of the country, on the prairies. I was inspired by the story from my grandfather, and it is me paying homage to where I was born and the prairies of Canada. The performance element is why this song translates as it does.
That song would work so well in an intimate setting, or an unplugged type performance. But we wondered if the band looked at some songs for different live settings, no matter how proud they were of them on the album.
Reed- 100%. We try to work tracks into the live stage, but you have to decide on the album which song goes where and so forth. It is the same with live shows, maybe there is a moment when a song can be pulled out, but maybe there isn’t. You have to go with what works best at a given time.
And to close, with the new album out on the 4th, we wondered what was happening with the band and what plans they had for the months ahead.
Reed- We have a bunch of Western Canadian dates all lined up right now, so we are busy on that through November. Then we may look to head into the rest of Canada and possibly the US in the new year. But we would love to get into Europe, as there is a huge growth of interest over there.
At Rock the Joint Magazine, we hope a visit to the UK will be on the cards. But for now, we suggest you have a listen to these tracks below and then get your hands on the new album, you will find it an interesting and modern piece of progressive metal.
1. Anunnaki (ft. Percival)
2. Dominion Day
3. The Deafening (ft. Stu Block and Percival)
5. Sorrow and Extinction
6. Beyond the Sun
8. Momentous (ft. Percival)
9. Prairie Sailor
By Benny (The Ball) Benson
Mark C. Chambers