This June 24th– 28th,, downtown Calgary crannies of will be brimming with fleets of hip cyclists and maximum hype for the 9th annual Sled Island Music Festival. Around 250 bands are set to play a variety of bars, theatres, and even Knox Cathedral, in what is forecasting to be a stellar five days of music. Whilst doing some research on this year’s lineup, I became all-too aware of the infinite spectrum of genre bending, blending, and transcending that exists in our contemporary music culture and language. Bearing this in mind, I have attempted to compress many categories of music into a larger sort organizational scheme, based not only on specific genres a band may embody, but also my own ear’s interpretations of the general mood and feel, with which to inform you, reader, of what shows may serve to satisfy your uniquely hip needs this Sled Island season. Every few days Ride The Tempo will release a list of artists we are stoked about, and why, and where you can find them. Let us help you cater your Sled Island Festival experience! Starting with…. Does the sound of speedy drums and a violently shredding guitar set at maximum distortion make you feel like you’re on cloud nine? Do you enjoy head banging in grime filled basements of shadow and gloom? Do you find yourself soothed by demonic screaming? Do you regularly rock a spectrum of black clothing, ripped denim, metal spikes, and of course, old band tees? Have you ever burnt an effigy of a great horned god? Have you ever been called a little punk? Has your mother ever threatened to stop putting money in your bank account if you didn’t cut your hair? If you answered yes to one or more of these questions then you should probably check out these bands! Chieftain: Wednesday the 24th at Dickens Pub at 10:00 PM, or Friday the 26th at Bamboo Lounge at 5:00 PM. A local Calgary act, and self proclaimed “purveyors of adventure sludge,” Chieftain hypnotize their audience with lengthy pieces full of dark, bassy builds, and a lead vocalist whose evocative guttural growling make one question her human origins. Numenorean: Friday the 26th at Bamboo Lounge at 6:00 PM. Five Calgary dudes rocking tremolo picked songs of a prog-metal/post-metal variety, ebbing and flow between maximum harshness and beautiful atmospheric moments, accompanied by some soul quenching howls and screams. Witchstone: Wednesday the 24th at Dickens Pub at 11:00 PM. Sludgy, stoner doom metal, shaded with themes of the occult, Witchstone hold down the psychedelic-jam realms of Calgary’s metal scene, taking listeners for a dark and groovy ride. Wormwood: upstairs of Nite Owl on Thursday the 25th at 9:50 PM. Hailing from Regina, Saskatchewan, these sounds of fast-hitting pounding punk beats, brutal screams devoid of cadence or pattern, and a sense of angsty hardcore doom is what Wormwood will bring to their performance that will surely ignite in maximum moshing, thrashing, and perhaps a few nosebleeds. Low Levels:The Palomino upstairs on Saturday the 27th at 11:30 PM. The Vancouverites high-energy music full of catchy, jump-and-dance riffs, and the occasional element of math-rock thrown into the mix, are as feel-good and dance-y as is humanly possible for punk music to be. M16: The Palomino upstairs on Friday the 26th at 12:00 AM and Bamboo Lounge on Saturday the 27th at 2:00 PM. Vancouver’s M16, in a form that’s true to their name, can shred their instruments at rifle speed. The music is simultaneously aggressive and groovy, reminiscent of an earlier psychedelic metal era. Stay tuned for more Sled Island band hype in the coming days!