I thought I would do a write-up on the year with the band given it’s been our busiest ever. In the early part of the year, we played a run of gigs put on by One Eye Toad Records which really helped us get back on the road again after the Covid-era restrictions were finally lifted in most cases. Most of these gigs were with Neverworld and Planet Fatale, two bands we have played with on a number of occasions over the years and with who we enjoy playing alongside. It’s worth mentioning that John Morter who organised these gigs and helped us get back to a regular gigging schedule sadly passed away last month. For all of his hard work and dedication to the scene, he will be greatly missed.
During that run of gigs, we had a one-night-only reunion with Anthony Murch on lead guitar. Ant was in the band from 2012-2015 and played on our first two albums. Anthony again played songs from both his time in the band and later albums since his departure. He’s currently playing alongside our former drummer Chris MacKinnon (who likewise joined in 2012, but after our debut album before leaving in 2018) in a band called It’s Not A Phase Mum, covering the 2000’s era classics which can be found here.
We made our return to two of our favourite venues this year too, both the Melbourn Rock Club and the Rock Den in Hatfield, both of which were fun nights.
A large portion of the year has been taken up with recording, editing, mixing, mastering, and so on. We worked extremely hard to get our new album After Extinction finished this year, as well as recording a further 10 tracks for two EPs, one of which has been released digitally and the other is currently being worked on. I have said previously that I cannot remember a time the band has been busier and 2022 certainly was a challenging year, but I feel a great relief to know everything on our end is now completed and there is very little remaining to do going into 2023.
It is worth mentioning that there will be a new Falling Through Freedom t-shirt and patch coming to all our Patreon’s soon, with two EPs (which include a multi-disc set) on CD heading out to everyone paying £3 or more ASAP. We have been slightly delayed in getting these out due to the Extinction After EP still being finalised! These will be with you soon, depending on Royal Mail strikes!
In August of course we joined the Lillian Axe/Riot Act (ex-Riot) tour as a replacement for Kim Melville. This is the first tour this line-up has done, and we had an amazing time on the road, and we are very thankful for the opportunity to play with two exceptional bands here in the U.K.
We aptly finished the year with two hometown shows in Colchester both at the Brewhouse on the 25th of November and Coda, on the 14th.
We also introduced a new Patreon tier, a band backer tier which was to help the band fund an opportunity we were recently offered. Without giving too much away at this stage, an official offer/contract has come through and we used some of the new Patreon funds to have the offer independently accessed by an expert, as well as general guidance on the best route forward for the band in 2023, with more the be revealed at a later date.
We will be heading to Unit One tomorrow to prepare for our next two gigs next weekend in Cambridge and Hastings. We return to our regular line-up and will be playing a mixture of songs from Reforge The Steel and After Extinction.
On Wednesday night we played a one off gig with Anthony Murch while Toby was away. We did a mixture of songs from Reforge The Steel, The Waystone and Falling Through Freedom which can be seen on the above video.
The previous Friday we had played Club 85, Hitchin.
We had a very successful return to gigging last night at a packed Club85 alongside Neverworld, Death Valley Knights and Planet Fatale. It was one of the best nights of live music we have played and it shows the scene is in great health going into 2022!
Tomorrow we are back in rehearsals at Unit One Colchester with Anthony Murch for the show at CODA, Colchester on Wednesday again with Neverworld and Planet Fatale. We will be playing tracks from The Waystone and Falling Through Freedom for the first time in many years.
Kaine have released an early image of artist Silencer 8’s work on the artwork for the new Kaine album. Silencer 8 has provided artwork for every Kaine album since the bands beginning all of which can be seen in the gallery below.
The “Reforged” version of Kaine reached it’s third anniversary, having formed on this day in 2018. The line up of Rage Sadler (rhythm guitars and vocals), Liam Etheridge (drums), Toby Woods (lead guitars) and Isaac Healy (bass) has released a studio album (Reforge The Steel), two EP’s (The Waystone and Kaine) and two live albums (Kaine X and Reforge The Steel Live) since their formation and is preparing to record a brand new album and EP this year.
You can read a recap of the last three years here.
The new version of Kaine was officially formed on May 12th 2018. But How did we arrive at this point?
The original band had been formed in 2009 and had had various line ups over the years, the people in the band would usually gradually change over time so things didn’t seem so radical to the wider audience. However in 2016, following the departure of founding member Dan Mailer (bass/vocals) and Ant Murch (lead guitar) in 2015 the line-up of myself, Chris MacKinnon (drums), Saxon Davids (lead guitar) and Stephen Ellis (bass) formed in 2016. Dan and Ant had been known to most people as they had both performed on our first two albums, Dan had left in August 2015 and Ant left at the close of play in 2015. Stevo had been with us a few months already when Anthony departed, and Saxon first joined the band in 2014 as a substitute for Anthony on a tour he couldn’t do and just remained in the band from that point alongside Anthony so the transition between Dan and Anthony departing didn’t seem that different or radical to those who had followed us for years.
The 2016 version of Kaine would go on to be a very popular line-up, from playing our regular shows at The Soundhouse in Colchester, the Asylum in Chelmsford, the B2 in Norwich and The Smokehouse in Ipswich among others. We built up a real following of regular gig goers and supporters during that period and began to write a new album, which would eventually end up being A Crisis of Faith, an album which we played most of the stuff live before we recorded it. There was a real emotional attachment between that group of guys and audience throughout that period and real desire to see us do well. We released A Crisis of Faith in early 2018, and although our fans loved it, it was largely ignored by the wider Metal audience and it didn’t really pick up much steam. Because it took a more modern, proggier direction from our previous release The Waystone it was met with a lot of criticism from the New Wave of Traditional Metal community and it generally didn’t go down well with that audience. We had a number of gigs booked and were also on the biggest festival billing we had ever been on, at Hard Rock Hell Metal 2018 playing the same stage as Grave Digger. We played the gig and we went down a storm at the sold out o2 Academy, Birmingham and it looked like to many on the outside that things were about to happen for the band.
Sadly, life doesn’t work out that way.
Internally within the band there were a number of personal circumstances that would force change. Chris was the first to depart not long after that in April, but this was largely an expected departure due to Chris own circumstances and thus I had already sounded out Liam Etheridge as a potential replacement. Liam is someone I knew from way back as his old band Asylum had played with Kaine on a number of shows, someone who I knew was a good drummer and a decent guy and someone who I thought would work really well for the band. I did however offer Josh (or original drummer) the opportunity to come on board again if he would like to, but he was busy with A Bribe for the Ferryman and Dismanibus at that time as well as working with Elimination. Chris formally left the band and Liam came in the week later, rehearsed and we were back to gigging almost straight away with no downtime. Stevo however had said to me at this point that he didn’t enjoy playing in the band without Chris and said he would stick it out but was generally unhappy.
A few weeks go by and Saxon calls me to inform me that he was leaving the band to move to America to be with his then fiance. I accepted his resignation and then called Stevo to offer him his release from the band. Both agreed to stay as long as it would take to find replacements.
I called Liam and gave him the bad news, and we agreed that it was probably game over for Kaine but we would see what our options were and try and keep it going.
I offered Dan and Anthony their old spots back, but Dan had recently joined Osmium Guillotine as a vocalist and was suffering from carpel tunnel syndrome which was restricting what he could do on bass. Ant was playing in covers bands and couldn’t commit to Kaine at that stage. People may think its strange to invite former members back to the band but I feel its a matter of courtesy. Josh, Dan and Ant poured a lot of their own time and money into Kaine in the early years and the band simply would have never existed without them. The least I can do is offer them their position back if it comes up. I never want to be one of those musicians who never asks someone back or holds grudges about departures. Life happens. People have their own reasons for leaving bands, usually varied and you can’t take it personally and you have to respect what they did to help make that band happen to begin with. We wouldn’t exist without those guys, or anyone who has been in the band these past 12 years and they deserve the credit for what they contributed. I knew they couldn’t come back, it’s just a matter of respect, and I respect them enough to ask, even if it is a “no”.
So, the night of the departure announcement I put up an advert for both positions and go to bed thinking that it was probably game over. In fact I had written a retirement statement that night anyway as I had fully expected it was game over. At that point in my life things were a bit of a nightmare anyway, I had started shift work in a warehouse after being made redundant the year previous from a job I had been at for a long time. I was working hard and my hours were all over the place, so my brain was scrambled trying to adapt to that on top of the band imploding suddenly immediately after an album release. I also had a ton of unsold CD’s, shirts and vinyl’s from that release which probably cost me close to £10k to produce altogether that without a band, wouldn’t have been sold so I was in a bit of a desperate situation financially as a result. I am not a wealthy man, so spending that sort of cash (not all at once might I add) on making that recording and then printing the CD’s, Vinyl and shirts to not sell them would have been a huge issue as I wouldn’t have had money to survive on! I think it’s worth pointing out that there are no issues between myself and any of the members from the A Crisis of Faith line-up. That is not the reason the split occurred. As with anything, its more complicated than that and I respect their decision to leave the band.
A few people have had digs at me for my decision to continue the band. They probably don’t understand that the A Crisis of Faith line-up wasn’t the original band and we had always had changing members over the years. They also were probably unaware of the financially implications to me personally if the band did end. I swallowed all of the bands costs (and still do) and don’t get that money back without sales so for me to put out a record without selling it would have been financial suicide for me at the time. This wasn’t about my ego.
The next morning I was messaged by a guitarist named Toby Woods about trying out. I asked if he could do Saturday, which he could, which was just a few days away and we booked in a try out. Toby went away and learned the stuff. That day I had a message from Dan suggesting I try out “this guy” and sends me a video. He had tried out for Elimination when Dan was working with them and didn’t get the gig. It turns out that guitarist was Toby. Dan’s pretty good at spotting good players so that’s a good endorsement to have going into your first try-out with Kaine!
On the Saturday session at Pioneer it was myself, Stevo, Liam and Saxon with Toby. We go to start playing Heavens Abandonment from A Crisis of Faith and Toby just didn’t join in. I am thinking in my head, this isn’t good and look over to Liam who looked back at me in silent agreement. We stopped playing and asked if he wanted to join in this time. So we start and Toby then plays the song through exceptionally well. Relief. It turns out he was just watching Saxon to just get an idea of how he played the song! The rest of audition went perfectly and we offered him the gig, well Stevo did actually, which was a bit cheeky as he was leaving the band as well! But that was fine as we were in a agreement. We causally asked him as we packed down if he knew any bassists and he said he had a mate who could play bass. We asked if he could ask him to try out, and by that evening his mate was booked in for a audition the following week. Toby was announced for the band and Saxon had officially departed as of that point. He never did find America though.
The week after Isaac Healy, who Toby had played with in Cannon, tried out for the band. Myself, Liam, Stevo and Toby were present. Again it went well and he was offered the position, which he accepted. He and the new line-up were announced that night. Toby would have his first gig with us on the 19th (the following weekend), which would be Stevo’s last show, at The Smokehouse, Ipswich and the new bands very first gig would be May 26th at the B2 in Norwich and we have been together ever since.
During this period I started writing what would become Reforge The Steel. We would learn and work on the new songs between gigs and even began recording it in November 2018, just months after the line-up had changed and not even a year after A Crisis of Faith. We would continue to gig and work on the new album, Reforge The Steel until it was finally released in 2019. We’ve since played 40+ shows together (which would have been a lot more before Covid hit!) released The Waystone anniversary EP, two live albums, another EP and are just about to record a brand new album. This will also be the first time in the bands history that the same line-up has appeared on back to back albums.
I will cover more detail from the new line-up period in more posts throughout the week, I just thought this would be a good starting point to give more details on how this version of Kaine formed, and why.
What are the highlights from your three years in Kaine?
Obviously, the first two that come to mind are The 10th-anniversary show at Colchester Arts Centre and Burr Fest last year. The Arts Centre has always been one of my favourite venues and after seeing Dragonforce there on the Maximum Overload Tour I made it a goal of mine to play there at some point. The 10-year show was a really special night. I remember looking out from behind the curtain at the back of the stage just after Osmium Guillotine had finished and then being completely lost for words at how many people were in that room. I don’t think I’ve ever seen it that full before!
Then Burr Fest last year. I mean what a last gig before gigs were made illegal. Isaac and myself have been to the Dome a couple of times to see Band Maid and Man With A Mission. They were great shows and I always thought it would be great to play there. It was a little daunting being the first band on of the day as there were thoughts of no one being there when we started but luckily the place was nearly full when we started playing. It was a great feeling standing and playing on the same stage that I’d seen some of my favourite bands play on and was a great night overall.
What are the main differences from when you started in Kaine to now?
I would say my stage presence has greatly improved. When I first started with the band I would worry about getting the notes right more than actually performing. Over the last three years, I’ve become a lot more confident on stage and have found the gigs go better if I just have fun rather than trying to make everything “perfect”. I’ve also come a long way as a guitarist. I’ve found that if I write solos that I can’t play then I have to get better so I can play them.
Other than that, I’ve got longer hair and some different guitars.
What was it like writing and recording Reforge The Steel?
Well, I think Reforge is a testament to how well the four of us work together. We had been playing together less than a year when we started recording. To have all the songs written and well enough rehearsed to start recording all within a year of meeting each other was quite impressive I think. The writing process was a lot of fun. We spent a while just jamming the songs that Rage had put together and adding our parts in until they were fully formed songs.
The recording was equally as fun. I really love when you start to hear the songs coming together as you gradually add more parts until the finished product is there. Obviously, some of the songs could have done with some more harmonies but they’ll have to wait for the next album!
What was it like recording The Waystone anniversary EP?
It was a great time reworking the songs in rehearsal to fit the current line-up. We have different styles to the line-up that was the album so it was fun putting our own spins on the songs. I’m really happy with how it turned out in the end. It was also great to throw the new song Monument on there as well. Whilst it was written a while ago it had never been recorded so it was good to be able to record it and put it out. That one’s also a lot of fun to play.
What are your contributions to the new album?
I have written two songs for the album and contributed my own ideas and guitar parts to the rest of the songs. This album has been a much more collaborative effort with some of the songs being written as we just jammed in the rehearsal room which has been enjoyable. My two songs are very guitar-heavy and I tried to make them faster paced so that they’re harder to play.
Are you looking forward to recording again?
I am. I always love going into the studio as it always inspires new ideas. You think you know everything that you’re going to record but then once you’re there, you find different things that you can add to make the songs heavier or add more harmonies.
Are you looking forward to playing live again?
Of course. The lack of gigs has been frustrating to everyone so it’ll be great when we can play loud for some people again. It’s been really exciting seeing all of the gig offers coming in recently and it’ll be wonderful being on stage again with my amp up too loud and unable to see the fretboard because my hair’s in my face and the stage lights are shining in my eyes. What a good time that’ll be.
What are your ambitions moving forward with the band?
I think the ultimate goal for all of us is Rockstar, isn’t it? Why would you be in a band and not want that? Whilst that would be nice I’d love for us to play some bigger venues with some bigger bands possibly. Would be nice to do a tour or two to see how that is. Another thing I’ve always been interested in is writing a concept album. I think it would be a challenge to try and get the whole album flowing with itself almost like one long song with one theme. I might have to give it a go.
What would be your dream gig, tour or festival to play with the band?
Absolute dream situation, I’d love to play the Budokan in Japan. So many of my favourite bands have played there and it would be awesome to be there playing. A sold-out world tour in sensible sized venues would also be nice. Just anything with a packed room of people who have come to see us really. We got a little taste of it when we played the 10-year show but I can only imagine the feeling of having that every night.
A Crisis of Faith Live has finally sold out on CD. The band will not be reprinting any more of these and the digital version of the album will become a members only release on Bandcamp which can be accessed here. The album was recorded live at the Asylum Chelmsford by Short Stack studios and features the A Crisis of Faith album in full and includes two tracks from The Waystone that features founding members of the band Dan Mailer and Josh Moreton.
Kaine’s regular rehearsal rooms, Pioneer Music in Colchester have now closed after 13 years of service to local bands and musicians. It is an end of an era for the band who will be returning to rehearsal in a few weeks to resume work on the bands new album.
“Hi all, to those who don’t already know, I am closing Pioneer Music in the next week or so.
I’ve been thinking about moving on for a couple of years now, and having a pretty empty studio for almost a year has helped me make that final decision.
I’d like to thank everyone for their support over the past 13 years, I won’t start naming names because there are so many and I am bound to forget important ones!
Also I’d like to wish everyone good luck with their future plans, whether it is music or not, I wish you all the very best. It’s been a blast and I have tons of great memories of working with you all, for which I am eternally grateful.
So long and thanks for all the fish.” – Matthew Abbott
Kaine started rehearsing at Pioneer Music back in 2011 and every line-up of the band has rehearsed there, bar the original since the original band formed in 2009. We would like to thank Maz for his many years of excellent service to the local music community as well as treating us exceptionally over the past ten years, which included collecting Liam’s keys from the roof of Bartech!
Following the positive feedback on the inclusion of more extensive backing vocals on our Waystone EP, we’ve updated the album tracks to feature full backing including backing vocal harmonies. The album has received a light remix and remaster to accommodate the new vocals.
The Dragon Reborn (Rebirth) Extended Version
The new version of the album includes an extended version of the song the Dragon Reborn which includes new lead and backing vocals and a remix.
This version of the album features the “single” version from the past release which includes the additional solo from former band member Anthony Murch as well as a remix.
We’ve included The Waystone EP as bonus tracks as they are recorded by the same line-up and production team they fit nicely with the updated version of Reforge The Steel.
These were manufactured by the same company who produced our very well received vinyl sleeves/LP’s for A Crisis of Faith.
Super Jewel Case
The album is now housed in a Super Jewell Case. These are more resilient than the regular Jewel cases and are typically more resilient to scratches and damage than the traditional CD case.
Industry Standard Replication
Unlike our past CD’s which were duplicated, for this version of the album the CD we’ve used the replication method which is much higher quality. These are replicated to the highest industry standards.
Following feedback from our fans, we have ensured that the CD labels on these are of extremely high quality and not “sticky” as many have complained in the past with previous releases.
Full Colour Lyric Booklet
We’ve included for the first time since our debut album’s initial print a full lyric book, which features the photography of Rachel Woods and is displayed in full colour. Every existing Patreon and Bandcamp as of the print of that booklet is also included in the credit sections.
This will be the first release as part of our collectors series offering our releases in the highest quality physical format. We’ll be revisiting our back catalogue to update our previous releases in this fashion as we move forward. We want to offer the best possible experience for those who are buying albums and we feel this new format will deliver a much better product for our fans.
On top of a new physical release, we will be re-releasing the album onto streaming platforms as the “Definitive Edition” which can be found here. This version will include all of the updated tracks, The Waystone EP and the original album.