Local metal band signs deal, will play East Coast tour

Odium releases debut CD

Odium, a local heavy metal band, has signed with Year of the Sun Records, and will tour the East Coast come July.

Kincardine’s Dale Burrows plays bass and sings back-up vocals for the up-and-coming group, which released its debut CD, At The Bottom, two weeks ago. Tom Emmans, who works at Presto-Crest in Kincardine, sings lead vocals. Bo Louther and Andrew Fullerton play guitar and Joe Mullen is on the drums.

“These guys have had to really work for everything, and I really think Odium has the potential to become pretty huge in coming years,” said Year of the Sun president Chris Benn. “Odium is quite possibly the best band you’ve never heard of.”

After recording the album with Canadian producer Greg Dawson, Year of the Sun will now basically help Odium with the distribution of At The Bottom, and put them on the road for a major east coast tour this summer. The CD will be available at HMV and Sunrise Records. Locally, the album can be picked up at The Coast FM radio station and The Sugar Shack Tattoo Parlour.

“I had E-mailed a guy I went to college with, telling him to check out my new band,” said Burrows Thursday morning. “Turns out he was the new publicist (for the label). He played our EP (demo album from 2007) and here we are.”

The label also arranged to shoot the band’s first video, directed by Chad Archibald, who has produced videos for Hed PE and the Kottonmouth Kings.

“It took about eight hours, but it was a fun experience,” said Burrows. “We shot it in the forest near Rockford. It was -10 and I was just in jeans and light coat. “

While the video is likely to end up on MuchMusic, that wasn’t the initial goal. Burrows said while mainstream television exposure would be nice, the video will be used on promotional sites, such as the group’s MySpace page (www.myspace.com/odiummusic).

The internet has changed the way music is promoted, as literally anybody with a computer can listen to Odium’s tracks.

The band is currently involved in a battleofthebands.com competition, where you can listen to tracks from various Canadian bands and vote for your favourite online. Facebook and MySpace are also great marketing tools.

“Before we would have had to go the town we’re booked in and put up posters. Now we can advertise it online and people can even listen to us before deciding if they want to come see us. We played a show in Windsor, and people were singing the lyrics along with us,” said Burrows.

However, live shows are still where Odium gains the most fans.

“We put on a tight metal show,” said Burrows, who is responsible for booking gigs for the band. “A lot of energy, a lot of fun. It’s crazy.”

The band has been playing the bulk of its shows in London, Toronto and Windsor, with The Forum in Hanover a consistent venue. More than 300 CDs were sold at Odium’s release party, held at the Hanover bar.

The band plays a rare Kincardine show, May 29 at the Bruce. Burrows said that the band has seven gigs lined up just in the month of April. When the east coast tour starts, the band will travel and play every day from July 3 to July 19.

“I’m looking forward to it,” he said. “We have a van and trailer ready to go, our campsites are reserved. I’ve never been out that way before, so I’ll get to see a lot of the country I haven’t previously seen.”

The tour has stops in Montreal, Quebec City and St. John’s, among other smaller cities in the Maritimes.

The eventual goal for Odium is to be able to make a living off music. Right now, the band members all hold down full time jobs. Burrows is an operator at Bruce Power, while other members work at Hurontel, Presto-Crest and at Bruce Power.

Odium formed in 2006, with Burrows joining the band a little more than a year ago. For those not familiar with its sound, he described its music as melodic, epic heavy metal.

“It’s our own unique sound,” he said. “We may be a heavy metal band, but we play melodic tunes that will stick in your head like a pop song. It’s the kind of music we love to play and grew up listening to.”

The group composes and practices a couple times each week at a farmhouse just outside of Walkerton, where two of the band members live. One of the reasons Odium was signed, said Benn, was the work ethic of the group.

“I played with some other bands, but Odium is a good mix. We take it seriously, but we still have a lot of fun. It’s the best of both worlds,” said Burrows.