BOW VALLEY – A new band has been added to the Bow Valley’s tight-knit metal music scene.
Suspended Glaciers is the brainchild of Banff musician Matt Homeniuk, a member of Banff metal band Party at the Moontower.
“It’s basically a conglomeration of years of random riffs, song ideas and melodies that have just been hanging around and I decided it was finally time to do something with it all,” said Homeniuk in his home studio.
“It wasn’t material we would ever play in Party at the Moontower – it was my own material. So this year and last year, I finally started working on it and piecing it together."
Homeniuk started working on the solo project last year in his spare bedroom – turned home recording studio. The one-man show started working on every aspect of putting together his new material from guitars, bass, cello and even programming the drums.
Although the idea for the new project was contrived as a solo affair, Homeniuk quickly realized he would need to find a strong vocalist, as opposed to himself.
That’s when Homeniuk reached out to SNUG guitarist and vocalist Connor Higgerty.
“Connor can scream,” said Homeniuk while laughing. “He wasn’t hard to convince and he jumped on to tackle all the vocals while I continued to work on producing everything else.”
A Canmore-based musician, Higgerty was excited about the collaborative opportunity and welcomed the added creative outlet in a time when being a musician is especially difficult.
“It’s been great to have this creative outlet with Matt to just belt it out as hard as I can. After a long day of work there is no better escape and way to channel the pent up energy you get in this left-brained rat race world.”
Working on his own, aside from the vocals, has been a learning experience, but also rewarding for Homeniuk.
“It’s been a process to find out what my sound is and I think working on my own has been great because I don’t have to listen to someone tell me 'that’s stupid – don’t do that.’
“It’s all starting to come together.”
He first learned to play the violin as a child and cited classical music as an important source of inspiration in his solo project. He was also quick to point out the influence of modern metal bands like Meshuggah and Periphery.
As a part of Party at the Moontower, Homeniuk taught himself how to record and produce music instead of shelling out thousands of dollars to a recording studio.
“It was really a push to not fork over $15,000 for something that I could do myself.”
He said over the past three years in the buildup to releasing the first single, he has spent hours attending online courses and tutorials honing his skills in music production and is thrilled to see his hard work pay off when people stream his new single.
“I don’t have to pay for studio time, which is really liberating. In a studio I’d be on the clock to produce something on their time. Here I can take my time and fine tune things just the way I want.”
Named after the suspended glacial silt that gives the local mountain lakes their famous blue-green colour, Suspended Glaciers first single, "Carved Out," was released on April 30.
“It’s pretty heavy. It’s one of my more straight forward just heavy tunes,” said Homeniuk. “Some of our other tunes can be more progressive or melodic, but this one is just straight up aggression. The riffs are angry, the vocals are angry and the drums are heavy.”
He described the song as the point when someone is having a bad day and they blow up after holding everything inside.
Higgerty picked up on the tone of the instrumentals and matched his lyrics to the beat.
“I’ve had a lot of things happen in my personal life where I’ve had to pony up and really put my emotion aside," Higgerty said. "The song is about changing over time and getting through all the anxiety and anxious energy and turning it into something productive.”
Homeniuk is eager to keep Suspended Glaciers in the spotlight and plans to release a single a month as opposed to releasing an album. He said the album format is dying and that today, singles are a better way to stay relevant in the long run.
The second single, "Atlas," is more melodic and progressive compared to the first single and is set to be released on May 31, on all streaming platforms.