Ice Vinland (1997-present): a NWOBHM band from Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.
n June 1997 near Quebec, Ice Vinland was born, consisting of Damian Leif (Real Name: Michel LaFrance; vocals/keyboards), Richie Blacksmith (Real Name: Richard Tanguay; guitar), Mark Erickson (guitar), Chris Lang (drums) and Jon Ian Adams (bass). Although they claim to be influenced by the progressive metal movement (what they call "The New Power Age") and often classified as "power metal", their sound is more like the traditional NWOBHM movement with the influences of Saxon and Iron Maiden faring prominently. Their originality come mainly from vanguardian lyrics of the guitar synthesizer, atmospheric keyboard, rhythms of the electric guitars and versatile voices.
Contemporary stories about history dominated their music; this was made very clear with their premier 1998 release, Masters of the Sea. The saga, and the band's name and concept, was based on the arrival of the Vikings to North America. This band's arrival on the music scene was a timely one (most likely planned) for, if historians got their sums right, it was 1000 years previous when Leif Erickson, the Viking explorer, arrived on the shores of what is now the island province of Newfoundland, the eastern most territory of Canada (and North America), to create a settlement known today as l'Anse aux Meadows, and explored what is now the eastern coast of Canada and the St. Lawrence Valley. (Europeans landed on the shores of North America some 500 years before the famed Columbus). They dubbed the region "Vinland". The settlement didn't survive, the local Native population saw to that, but their place in history was written. This band pays tribute to this event as well as selected other events of their local history, such as the orphaned children of Quebec's Duplessis era, the fears of the arrival of the new millennium, etc. They also feature a tribute to Queensryche by a re-make of their Take Hold Of The Flame. It was a great concept, but the album's production fell short of expectations of the new millennium, lack of press coverage and the general '80s feel to the album made it as extinct as it's Viking roots.
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After the release, Sven Raudi (drums) deposed Lang on drums, while Hodr departed making room for Loiss Darkstorm on guitars.
When the act returned in 2008 to release Vinland Saga the membership featured Dan the Red (Real Name: Daniel Clavet; drums) and Loïss Darkstorm (Real Name: Louis Charles Lefebvre; guitars).
Yvin Baldrick (bass), the returning Sven Raudi (drums) and Wolf Fenrir (Real Name: Loup-Gabriel Roberge; keyboards) would be the featured membership changes on Asgard Steel (2018).
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