Boneyard – Oathbreaker

Oathbreaker Album Cover Art

Boneyard – Oathbreaker
Self-Released
Release Date: 17/10/2020
Running Time: 50:00
Review by Simon Black
7/10

“Oathbreaker” is the debut release from this Canadian four piece, and has actually been out since October last year (blame the Ed, he only sent it me two days ago having found it behind the Ever Metal virtual fridge) – (How very dare you – Ed 😊). The style is very much traditional Hard Rock with a nod towards early Metal, with a nice crisp and fat sounding Production style. Frontwoman Pamtera (great gag by the way) has a warm and powerfully rich voice, with just enough of a bluesy edge to keep it real, although you can tell that her attention is equally focussed on her instrument from the way her melody lines follow the rhythm guitar parts. That’s easy to be critical of, but if you’ve ever tried playing rhythm and singing a different melody line you will know that it’s a lot harder to do than it looks. That said, it’s an approach that leads the head to more naturally nod along to what’s being played, especially live where it works like a virtual conductor guiding the audience’s response.

The key main criticisms I have are over length and the sequencing of the tracks. This is a tough one when you are a self-produced band starting out with a bunch of songs you’ve had on the go for a while, as the chances are you don’t have a manager, label or producer sitting on your back pushing you in a commercial direction and forcing you to tighten the arrangements or prune out the weaker elements. So, you have the strange situation where the weaker songs on the record actually open the album, but ride through these to the mid-way point and it’s absolutely worth the wait (or go straight to side B as I would have said in the old days).

‘Rat Race’ is the case in point. It’s got a really lively beat, catchy riff and chorus and the melody lines diverge, as well as giving the opportunity for the two guitarists to bounce off of each other with some old-fashioned sparring as opposed to the more clearly defined rhythm / lead split that predominates on the first half. The sound of this second half is also quite different from the first, with a more rich and varied mix of instrumental sounds and a much stronger phrasing and song-writing structure, this feels like the album is documenting a song-writing journey of several years and capturing the evolution of their sound. The second half is just punchier and more rounded, and perhaps they should have held back some of the more stripped back tracks for another time as at fifty minutes of run time, a shorter release with the stronger tracks at the front would have had a much stronger impact.

That said, when it’s on form, it’s on fire.

‘Fates Warning’ (Lyric Video)

TRACKLISTING:
01. Fates Warning
02. Gone
03. Evil Ways
04. Smoke The Sky
05. Oathbreaker
06. Rat Race
07. Monster
08. Born Again
09. Hope
10. Tune Attack
11. Catch Me If You Can

LINE-UP:
Pamtera – Lead Vocals, Rhythm and Lead Guitar
Dennis Cooke – Bass and Rhythm Guitar
Jeff Cunningham – Drums and Percussion
Grant Tarapacki – Lead Guitar

LINKS:

Boneyard Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Simon Black and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

EMQ’s with BONEYARD

EMQ’s with BONEYARD

Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Edmonton, Alberta, Canada based Hard Rock/Metal band Boneyard. Huge thanks to vocalist/guitarist Pamtera for taking part.

What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?

Pamtera – lead vocalist/ guitarist.

Boneyard is a female-fronted hard rock/metal band from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The members bring a wealth of experience from previous bands that include: Tyrant, Septimus and Powerslave. We started out as a cover project in 2015, but have been writing original music for the past three years. In May of 2019, we entered producer/engineer Cam Macleod, of White Wolf fame, Wolfs Den studio in Edmonton and began recording our debut album. After an extended COVID-19 pause, we returned to complete the project in August of 2020. Eleven tracks were then sent to be mastered by Maor Appelbaum (Halford, Armored Saint, Anvil) in Los Angeles, USA. What emerged is the “Oathbreaker” album, released on October 24, 2020. The first single, ‘Fates Warning’, was released October 17, 2020.

How did you come up with your band name?

In the beginning, while we were learning cover songs, one of our members listened to Sirius satellite radio a lot and noticed the Boneyard channel played most of the songs we did. We decided to use Boneyard as our name mainly for familiarity to the style of material we were covering. Once we started writing our own material, and headed in an all original direction, we kept the same name due to the following we had built up. I still enjoy listening to Ozzy’s Boneyard and crack a smile whenever they say our name.

What country are you from and what is the metal scene like there?

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Edmonton has a decent live music scene, with lots of cover and tribute bands. The most notable original band is the power metal band Striker.

What is your latest release (Album, EP, Single, Video)?

Our debut album is called “Oathbreaker” and the first single/video is ‘Fates Warning’.

‘Fates Warning’ (Official Lyric Video)

Who have been your greatest influences?

Classic metal bands, mostly from the 80’s.

What first got you into music?

When I was 15 my high school boyfriend played guitar. I wanted to learn so badly, so he taught me some chords and eventually gave me his guitar, which I still have.

If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?

Jeff Waters from Annihilator.

If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?

Sweden Rock Festival would be very cool because they have killer line-ups. Or the Monsters of Rock cruise!

What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?

A lady knitted me a sweater with our band logo on it.

If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?

Thank you for your continued support, and stay strong in these crazy Covid times!

If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?

Jim Morrison.

What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?

I love playing live, it’s a creative outlet for stress and gives me an awesome feeling especially when I connect with fans.

That live music, on a local level, isn’t as popular as back in the day.

If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

Streaming pay-outs!

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Deep Purple – “Nobody’s Perfect”

What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?

CD’s.

What’s the best gig that you have played to date?

Our best show was outside at our City Hall here in Edmonton, it was beautiful weather, we played on a flatbed truck and got some great photographs. It was awesome to have all ages watching us, dancing, and jumping into the water fountain during our set.

If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?

I have a button business and I am involved in roller derby. I love meeting new and interesting people.

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Kiko Loureiro, Jeff Waters, Zakk Wylde, Rob Halford, and Miljenko Matijevic.

What’s next for the band?

We’re working hard promoting the album, single and video. We’ll soon start on a video for the second single.

What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?

www.boneyardrocks.ca

Jaffa Cakes? Are they a cake or a biscuit?

I have No clue what Jaffa Cakes are?

Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?

Cheers and thanks for your support!

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.