Reviews

DragonForce/Sonata Arctica/Taking Dawn @ Odeon, Saskatoon, SK, September 25, 2009

About once a year we here in Saskabush are treated to a little variety by a reputable band that actually likes to sing every once in a while, and it’s always remarkable to witness the turnout. There’s a definite hunger for the melodic stuff out here, and judging by the big, lively crowd that packed the Odeon on this gorgeous early autumn night, yours truly wasn’t the only one who thought the double-bill of Guitar Heroes DragonForce and Finnish stars Sonata Arctica was a welcome deviation from the norm. Decked out in t-shirts that would otherwise be greeted with scorn at underground metal shows, these folks were out to get their wank on in a big way, and by night’s end, they sure got what they wanted.

Adrien Begrand reviews the recent Saskatoon stop of the current DragonForce/Sonata Arctica/Taking Dawn show – even after his promised reviewer’s pass wasn’t left at the door. Read the rest of this article to see if he got his $37 worth.

Quick VIEWs: Sept 25, 2009

The following metal/hard rock reviews were published yesterday in both Hamilton’s VIEW Magazine and Guelph’s ECHO Weekly. While they are online, it is with a bunch of indie rock reviews so I decided to throw just the metal/hard rock-related ones up on Hellbound…

Laudanum: The Coronation

The sophomore release from Oakland-based Laudanum is a fragmented collection of ambient doom-ish noise that only adequately reveals the band’s self-proclaimed “blackened instrument damage” when it’s listened to as a whole.

Knight Area: Realm Of Shadows

Realm of Shadows has reached a different ground than their previous albums and that makes for a smooth and pleasant album to listen too. If you’re the sort who likes Dream Theater, Ayreon and Solis then this cd is going to hit the spot. If someone had told me this was an early Dream Theater release, I wouldn’t doubt them. And that’s a good thing.

Vader: Necropolis

Going strong now since the early 90s, Vader keeps getting better and better with each subsequent release. Considered the death metal version of Slayer they are the leaders of the Polish death metal scene and, with this album, soon the planet.

Down/Voivod @ Kool Haus, Toronto ON, Sept 18, 2009

With considerably less than a packed house at The Kool Haus, Down took no notice, and put on one hell of a show for the rabid Down fans that were in attendance. Despite the small mountain of contraband booze (among other substances) that piled up outside the entrance, the crowd were treeated to a set list that would make any long time fan of the band drool, including a wide range of songs from their 1995 debut scattered with selections from their two more recent albums.

Adam Wills and Sean Palmerston discuss last Friday’s Toronto performances by Down and Voivod

Whiplash: Unborn Again

Returning from the late-90s to capitalize on the continuing bear hug the metal world given to every thrash band that ever existed in the 80s is Whiplash. The difference being that for a short while back in 1985-86, Whiplash fucking ruled – well, fucking ruled my world, at the very least.

MGR y Destructo Swarmbots: Amigos de la Guitarra

A little bit of background information: the record is a collaborative project between two Mikes — Mike Mare and Mike Gallager (of Isis fame). Amigos is a 40-plus minute single-track of ambient guitar textures and carefully pieced-together layers of sound that, just as they are on the verge of overstaying their welcome, shifts gears so as to keep things from getting too boring.