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The Convalescence opens mini tour in Barrie en route to Montreal

Toledo-based death metal band The Convalescence is heading to Montreal to record their next album
2019-01-21 The Convalescence
The Convalescence includes, from left, Zac Lunsford (guitar), Toby Wright (guitar/vocals), Keith Wampler (vocals), Charles Webber (drums), Ron Buckley (bass/vocals) and Katie McCrimmon (keys/vocals). Photo by Counter Culture Photography

The Convalescence will be bringing their metal show from Toledo to downtown Barrie just in time for Valentine's Day. 

The local show on Feb. 14 kicks off a mini tour through Ontario on their way to Montreal to record their next album. 

The "symphonic deathcore" band has four albums under its belt, beginning with 2012's Unmasking the Betrayer, The Process (2014), Poison Words (2016) and This Is Hell (2017).

That's a lot of sonic output in a relatively short period of time. 

"We just keep pushing forward constantly," vocalist and group founder Keith Wampler told BarrieToday. "There is a lot of time to think, write and reflect while you spend several months per year touring across the country and even in other countries.

"We actually wrote This Is Hell and Poison Words almost entirely improvised in the studio with the help of producer John Burke." 

The band will be performing in Barrie at The Foxx Lounge Rock Bar and Hotdoggery on Feb. 14. 

The short run through Ontario and Quebec also includes stops in Guelph (Feb. 15), Toronto (Feb. 16), Oshawa (Feb. 17), Sudbury (Feb. 18) and Montreal (Feb. 19). 

Coming through Canada is nothing new for the Ohio band. 

"We made a lot of good friends in Canada, especially in Ontario, when we came up a few times last year, so it'll be good to see some familiar faces," Wampler said. "The crowds have always been amazing to us in Canada and it's one of our favourite places in the world to perform.

"Also, we are huge fans of poutine, which is a lot harder to find down in the States."

Speaking of which, in Montreal they will record their next album, to be released on Legend Recordings, with Chris Donaldson (Cryptopsy, The Agonist, Beyond Creation) to follow up their full-length This Is Hell, which was also mixed and mastered by Donaldson.

"So far, what we have written for the new album is darker and heavier than anything we've ever done before," Wampler said. "I don't think we're doing anything completely out of the realm of what people would expect from us, but it's absolutely the next step in the band's evolution. I'm excited to hear the final product."

Working with Donaldson in Montreal -- which is where the band also happened to play its first show in Canada -- will be a little different this time around, however. 

"This will actually be our first album tracking and being there in person with Christian," Wampler said. "He did an amazing job mixing and mastering Poison Words, This Is Hell and Coming Undone for us and has been a friend of ours since we toured with Cryptopsy in the U.S. in 2015.

"We're very excited to be working with him on this one and getting some fresh ideas with our new music," he added.

Wampler said the band has been working on new material since they got off the last tour on Halloween and have "nearly everything" written.

Formed in 2011 by Wampler, The Convalescence's lineup includes guitarists Zac Lunsford and Toby Wright, bassist Ron Buckley, drummer Charles Webber, and keyboardist Katie McCrimmon.

They have spent the last several years touring nearly nonstop, including tours with Venom Inc., Testament, Sepultura, Otep, and The Black Dahlia Murder, as well as appearances on the New England Metal & Hardcore Festival, Full Terror Assault Festival with Overkill, Dirtfest with Killswitch Engage, Rock Fest with Slipknot, and Mayhem Festival with Slayer and King Diamond.

Wampler says all of the band members bring a certain perspective to the music. 

"Inspiration for this band really comes from what everyone goes through in day-to-day life. Horror movies, bands we tour with, you name it. It's hard to pinpoint just one specific thing," he said. "As far as the songwriting goes, every member of this band contributes to the final product and makes it what it is.

"This album is the first one since The Process in 2014 that we've spent time actually doing pre-production sessions for the entire album and planning everything out," Wampler added. "I think it's made a very positive difference for what we're working with now."

Following the Canadian shows, the band also has an 18-date tour of the scheduled for April, which will take them from New York to Texas.

On Feb. 14, doors at the Foxx Lounge, located at 16 Dunlop St. E., open at 8 p.m. for the 19-plus show. Also on the bill are The Breathing Process and My Own Will. Tickets are $10. 

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