Inspired by legendary pillars of heavy metal such as Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Helloween, The Scorpions, and Rush, this four-piece is well known for their energetic and electrifying stage presence, as well as intricate musical melodies that bring listeners back to a time when heavy metal was in its prime.
Formed in Vancouver, Canada, in June of 2011, the bands core members were Chris Osterman on guitar and vocals, bassist Leighton Holmes, and drummer Amanda Osterman, joined by Jordan Wright on guitar. This quickly changed, after recording their debut album ‘Curse Of The Voodoo Queen’ Jordan was replaced by guitarist Kenny Kroecher. ‘Curse Of The Voodoo Queen’ was released on Dec 14, 2011, and the band took the opportunity to tour western Canada, along with an appearance on the TV Show, Canada’s Got Talent.
With the debut album receiving little attention, the group decided it was time to record a new album, and by April 26, 2013, ‘Gates Of Eternity’ was released. Garnering some strong reviews coming in around the world, attention was growing, and the band was invited to perform at Germany’s Keep It True XVII festival. This opened up many new avenues for the act to pursue, including some serious time on the road through Canada in 2013, Europe in 2014, followed by a tour in the USA with California’s Night Demon. The band had created some major momentum and Iron Kingdom were spreading their moniker far and wide in support of the first two releases.
On July 30, 2015 Iron Kingdom released not one, but two more albums, ‘Ride For Glory’ their 3rd full length album, as well as ‘Unleashed at the Kraken (Live in Seattle)’ an exclusive live E.P. recorded on a previous tour. The band set out on the road again in support of the two new releases. The tour was unfortunately riddled with many trials, including a vehicle accident that almost killed the band members. Following the tour, Amanda decided to step back from the band to pursue other commitments. Joey Paul then took her place behind the kit.
Life on the road continued, including a massive North American tour in 2016, as well as a tour in Brazil in a supporting slot for former front man of Iron Maiden, Blaze Bayley. After many performances, guitarist Kenny and drummer Joey departed, thus leaving the door open for Chris Sonea, and Megan Merrick, on drums and guitar respectively.
It took four years for the follow up album after ‘Ride For Glory’, but finally on Oct 4, 2019, ‘On The Hunt’ was released. This was the fourth full length release from this traditional metal act. Iron Kingdom toured ‘On The Hunt’ immediately with an extensive North American tour in the fall of 2019, and shortly after, toured Europe in March of 2020. Thankfully the band was able to perform the majority of their European dates, but unfortunately, COVID-19 took its toll and their final performance was cancelled. At the return of the tour, drummer Chris Sonea decided to depart from the group, and the band (now consisting of band members, Leighton Holmes, Chris Osterman and Megan Merrick) began auditions to fill the void on the drums.
In the Spring of 2020, Max Friesen joined the band, taking his seat behind the kit, and once again, Iron Kingdom stands ready to take the world by storm and aid in the revival of the mighty and classic sounds of Traditional Heavy Metal.
After the completion of the Road Warriors tour through Western Canada in support of the 2019 release 'On The Hunt', Iron Kingdom announced their 5th studio album 'The Blood Of Creation' released on Nov 4/2022.
Lead Guitar / Lead Vocals
Growing up I always had melodies running through my head, music seemed to come naturally to me. If I didn’t hear it playing, I would create it.
When I was young I’d listen to my sister, Amanda, playing classical piano for hours on end, but I desired more than to listen, or hum music, I found the actual performance to be the most fascinating part. To think how I could learn to create any form of rhythm or melody that I wanted just by learning an instrument? I needed to acquire that ability.
Although my musical journey started with Amanda’s classical music, I wanted something different, something to call my own. Then it happened, my uncles started to show me the ways of rock and roll through bands like Deep Purple, Van Halen and AC/DC. I knew instantly that guitar was the instrument of choice, and this style of music… Well, I needed to hear more.
The first time I picked up the guitar was when I was seven years old. I continued to learn and hone my skills over the years, but always wanted to take it to the next level. Forming my first band at the age of twelve, I learned how to write songs, work in a group setting, and entertain an audience. After a few years I even began to take on the role as the group’s vocalist.
On June 6th, 2011 IRON KINGDOM was formed, I realized at this time it needed to be all or nothing. This was our time to take on the world.
Going into the studio to record our first album at age eighteen, it seemed like a huge accomplishment but it was really just another step to a further goal.
Since then we’ve released three full-length albums, one live album, and toured North America, Europe and Brazil. I’m very proud of what we’ve accomplished so far, and with a new album on the horizon I feel no end in sight.
I was raised on Rock. From the whisky soaked licks of George Throughgood to the over the top arrangements of Queen, I lived for music. At the age of 9 my older brother introduced me to Heavy Metal. From the first moment I heard bands like Hammerfall, Blind Guardian and Iron Maiden I’ve been in love. Music is a religion for me, a way of life, the only way to live. At the age of 15, inspired by the likes of Steve Harris I convinced my mom to buy me a bass. I joined up with Chris not too long after and began chasing a dream.
I have a deep love for stories and have always gravitated towards music that tells a story. Growing up I was always surrounded by books, from the moment I learned to read I never really stopped. To me Metal was amazing because a lot of the bands I was listening to were mixing elements of Fantasy into their music. The same kind of tales I enjoyed reading about, these guys were singing about! It became clear to me that this was something I wanted to do. I wanted to join the ranks of these modern troubadours and tell some stories of my own.
Another love of mine is travel and Iron Kingdom is always willing and eager to reach new places and journey to areas we have never been. Our tours have taken us to different cities, different countries and even different continents. It’s been an honour to hit the road and play in a wide range of places and in front of so many people.
Now IRON KINGDOM will come to conquer!
Music was everywhere in my family. From R & B to classical, it was always around in one-way shape or form. Starting with piano at the age of 4, it was evident I enjoyed music, but that was not the instrument for me. After going through a handful of instruments, I heard my brother play Metallica’s ‘Ride the Lightning’ single on his guitar. That immediately sparked it for me, that was what I saw myself with. I was infatuated. I asked for a guitar on my 12thbirthday and I couldn’t put it down. My sister, (Ex. Skull Fist, currently Axxion) soon after learned the drums and we would jam often throughout our teens to our favourite bands and riffs. We found many bands together, constantly searching for “new” old albums, the more we explored, the hungrier and hungrier we became. Our love for metal music was strong. The intricacies of the guitar were everything that made me feel complete. At the end of the day, as long as I had music, I had everything, and I wanted to learn as much as I could.
Later in my teens and early 20’s, I began to collaborate and develop several musical projects such as Sista Fista (Punk/Rock), Ammo (Traditional Heavy Metal) and Loaded (Traditional Heavy Metal) in the Toronto metal scene. The journey had only begun, as I learned to collaborate with different musicians I was exposed to new bands and new styles, which in turn helped me dive deeper into more musical curiosities. Over time I discovered some of my favourites including George Lynch (Dokken), K.K Downing (Judas Priest), Marty Friedman (Megadeth) and Jani Liimatainen (Sonata Arctica).
Later in my years I heard the call from the Kingdom and I decided to heed that call! For music, and the legacy of Heavy Metal!
I was first informed of my having rhythm by my mother when she found me dancing along to the Grease soundtrack in my living room at 10. After two years of hip-hop dancing, I discovered drumming, which both looked cooler and involved sitting down. The next few formative years involved performing note perfect renditions of Sum 41 and Blink 182 albums on pillows with wooden cooking spoons.
It was a fateful Christmas morning at 12 years old when my father made the commitment to lifelong audible trauma in the house and bought me my first drum kit. Music classes and rock school at Terry Fox Secondary Highschool gave me an incredible real-world experience. I was exposed to all sorts of music and people, and got the opportunity to play in cover bands ranging from Van Halen and The Who, to Iron Maiden and Pearl Jam.
A switch got flipped near the age of 16 when I discovered bands like Angra, Tool, and Symphony X, and I quickly found myself practicing more and more athletic approaches to the drum set. To this day I am continually inspired by drummers like Matt Garstka, Kai Hahto, Steve Smith, Aquiles Priester, Benny Greb, Jojo Mayer, Jason Rullo, and Neil Peart.. My favourite players are those who can find the balance between technical precision, and idiosyncratic human emotion.
I collaborated with local artists in Empyreal, Skye Wallace, 13th Prophet, and Ophelia Falling before spending 2 years doing some soul searching in Japan. Fate (and a pandemic) brought me back home earlier than expected, and the stars aligned for me to become the new drummer for Iron Kingdom. The rest is history yet to be written.