Vancouver heavy metal group Iron Kingdom – bassist Leighton Holmes, vocalist and guitarist Chris Osterman, guitarist Megan Merrick and drummer Chris Sonea (from left) – performs at the Cambie on Oct. 12. (Photo courtesy Benjamin Somobere)

Vancouver heavy metal band Iron Kingdom to play the Cambie

Group recently released fourth album, 'On the Hunt'

Vancouver heavy metal band Iron Kingdom’s newest members have never toured before and singer-guitarist Chris Osterman said the perfect place to get their feet wet is Vancouver Island.

“The drives are much shorter than going to Edmonton or Calgary … you get used to the equipment, you get used to sleeping in the vehicle. It’s kind of like a little mini test over a weekend so that they have an idea of what they’re getting into for six weeks,” Osterman said.

Iron Kingdom – Osterman, bassist Leighton Holmes and newcomers Megan Merrick and Chris Sonea on guitar and drums respectively – released their fourth album, On the Hunt, last week and following a hometown release concert the band is on the Island from Thursday until Sunday, including a show at the Cambie in Nanaimo on Saturday, Oct. 12. After leaving the island, Iron Kingdom spend the rest of October and November touring North America.

Osterman said the band, which leans towards the sounds of early-’80s British metal, had largely been on hiatus for the last three years before adding Merrick and Sonea. He said the new album reflects that feeling of being lost and then finding one’s self. There are also references to fantasy literature.

“Each song kind of has it’s own story and everything but I found a lot of it had to do with that kind of personal experience between the albums and between having the band and rebuilding it again,” Osterman said.

He said Iron Kingdom has gone through a few different members during its lifespan and Sonea hits the perfect balance of everything they’ve liked from their previous drummers. He added that Merrick brought a “fresh vibe” to the album.

He said the band always writes its albums collaboratively, and after jamming with Sonea for a couple months, part of Merrick’s audition involved her contributing to On the Hunt. Osterman said inviting new members into the writing process helps him determine if they have compatible tastes and instincts.

“If somebody’s writing Slipknot riffs or something, it’s not really going to work out so well for us,” Osterman said. “But if they like Priest or Maiden or Saxon or something like that and they bring in those kind of vibes, it usually tends to work quite well.”

WHAT’S ON … Iron Kingdom plays the Cambie, 63 Victoria Cres., on Saturday, Oct. 12. Doors at 8 p.m., show at 9. $10 at the door.

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