Contributed From left to right: guitarist Ian McCall, bassist Milan Bertucci, lead-vocalist Jacob LeBlanc, guitarist Randy Peterson and drummer Netto Figueiredo of ArkenFire are performing at the Armstrong Metal Fest, July 14 and 15.

Blending metal genres

Kelowna’s ArkenFire is performing at Armstrong Metal Fest, July 14 and 15

With the blending of two metal genres, traditional and power, one Kelowna band will be bringing its flare to the Metal Fest stage.

This will be the second time ArkenFire performs at the Armstrong Metal Fest, being held July 14 and 15 this year.

The metal band is composed of lead-vocalist Jacob LeBlanc, guitarists Randy Peterson and Ian McCall, bassist Milan Bertucci and drummer Netto Figueiredo. They recently released their first EP, Celestial Beasts, on May 12.

“I’m feeling pretty good about it, it was a long-time coming for sure,” said Figueiredo, 32. “We started the project around 2011, 2012, so it has been a long journey to find the right people to work with the band. When we did, we took our time to make sure the composition was well done and we were happy with the songs.”

LeBlanc, 29, typically writes lyrics last when the band creates a song, creating a short story to accompany the music, which is how Celestial Beasts got its name.

“We may in the future look at writing in a different format, but so far it’s all been in the same flow,” he said.

Last year, LeBlanc was sick for the festival so he’s hoping this year he’ll make up for it.

For Figueiredo, attending the festival as part of a band and a concert-goer was nice, so he could get both perspectives.

For the summer, the band members plan on performing one show per month and writing new music.

If all goes well, they’re hoping to release a new full-length album in the winter, said LeBlanc.

ArkenFire was created in 2015, after what began as a power-metal project for Peterson and Figueiredo.

More along the lines of Iron Maiden, “our style with the elements that we play it’s not the most common things to hear in the Okanagan,” said Figueiredo.

They play the music they enjoy, rolling with the music that’s fun and interesting for the band members, said LeBlanc.

“We’re not trying to sound like any influences we have,” said Figueiredo.

For ArkenFire, they branch away from the guttural growls found in the metal genre, instead focusing on melodic elements, range and composition.

LeBlanc described power metal as “whimsical.”

“Sure, some people will say it’s cheesy, but it has that very fast, fun feel that we like to play,” he said.

Figueiredo takes influences from German bands, like from 1980s power-metal band Halloween he said changed the genre by putting classical music into metal.

Living in Kelowna, the members have full-time jobs and jam on the weekends.

“That’s the reality for the Okanagan metal scene,” said LeBlanc.

Figueiredo, originally from Brazil, has other projects on the side and teaches drum lessons.

For more information on the festival lineup visit armstrongmetalfest.ca.

Check out the band’s performance at the Hassen Memorial Arena in Armstrong.

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