Canadian group Every Hour Kills aims to challenge the notion of what we consider to define a “band.” Instead of your standard band format, the musical collective features various members and guest appearances that constantly reshapes the group’s intense progressive sound and futuristic approach.
Interestingly, the Calgary-based band is formed of a rotating collective of musicians with plenty of experience in previous bands. They include the core of vocalists Jei Doublerice, who’s also been in Abiogenesis and Despite Exile, and Jerrod Maxwell-Lyster, who’s formerly of Out Of Your Mouth. They appear alongside Sacha Laskow, the former guitarist and producer of Divinity and Enditol, and bassist Brent Stutsky, formerly of Breach Of Trust.
As Sacha explains: “Every Hour Kills was built to challenge the idea of what defines a “band”. Rather, the group sees itself as a constantly evolving musical collective; guest vocalists and soloists across the songs bring their own unique artistry and elevate the collective impact of Every Hour Kills’ brand.”
The intrigue is far from restricted to the band’s approach. They offer up a savage, intense metal sound led by crushing riffs and powerful melodies with some synth elements to boot.
Or as Sacha puts it: “Dark, cinematic, progressive juxtaposing angular heaviness with soaring melody.”
Our first taste of this is recent single Intransigent, which comes from their upcoming new EP Vacua, out on 8 October. Intransigent is the final track from that EP but also the most intense, which highlights the band’s growth into a heavier entity with lyrics that explore concepts of chaos and infinity and djenty modern metal elements.
It opens up with crushing guitar chords over an intense stabbing riff, which continue under booming guttural screamed vocals. It drops into a darker passage of atmospheric synths, crushing cymbals and heavy guitars, before a brief pause for breath gives way to a vicious chorus.
That ends with more crushing chords and playful guitars that develop into even heavier guitars and drums under intense vocals, which end on a big guttural scream as the track plunges into pure chaos. It somehow gets even darker, as a final chorus gives way to booming low-tuned guitars and eerie synths. Huge double bass drum kicks in underneath vicious vocals and heavy guitars to bring this massive track to a close.
On the track, Sacha told us: “The reception has generally been good. I think it’s a big departure and not everyone might like it; but I wrote what I felt rather than trying to stick to a template of what the band ‘should’ sound like. I like to think that fans of progressive music like myself are open to a range of sounds, influences and emotions.
“This song was co-written with Calle Thommer (Vildjharta, Humanity’s Last Breath), and is probably the heaviest thing I’ve ever written. He helped shape things in a more down-tempo direction, while I added in the synth layers and more melodic aspects, as well as the breakdown based on where his ideas were taking me. Jei came in and absolutely crushed it with one of the most intense vocal performances on the record.” Check it out in the video here:
Also on the new EP is its title track and most recent single Vacua, which offers similar levels of intensity. A booming guitar riff is supported by twinkling synths and rolling drums in a big intro. Vicious vocals take over with edgy synth support before crushing guitars jump in alongside the heavy guitars. Intense synths come in as clean, high-pitched vocals take over in a huge atmospheric chorus. Check it out in the cool video here:
Every Hour Kills’ music is inspired by current events, technology and the future. And, in particular, Sacha tells us the new EP is heavily focused on parallel and alternate universes, just to further deepen the intrigue and mystique this band offers. But there’s so much more to enjoy in their back catalogue, which tends to be more synth-heavy with more clean vocals than their new music.
Their music is influenced by a wide range of bands and sounds, from the likes of Dream Theater and Meshugah to Thall, Veil of Maya and Periphery. While their older music had a more melodic edge influenced by Bring Me The Horizon and I See Stars. So in short, this is a band that really offers a little bit of something for all lovers of prog and rock through to metal and death metal.
We’ve not featured too many Canadian bands lately, with this being only the third this year, which is shocking. But on their music scene, Sacha said: “Canada has produced some of the best Metal on Earth, in my opinion. From Devin Townsend / SYL to Spiritbox, to Martyr, Gorguts and Voivod in the East, Canada is like the Sweden of the North, or something.”
Every Hour Kills is not a live performance or touring act, so don’t expect to be able to see them gigging near you any time soon. Instead, they’re working hard to promote their upcoming EP Vacua, which is out on 8 October, and, in Sacha’s words, going “back to the goblin cave to write some new material.”
Image rights / Artwork: Nicco Van Hamja