For all the impeccable skill, speed and flourish there was nothing hook-y or spellbinding about the performance. This was an incredibly safe show that felt more like a press conference combined with a a technical exercise — less about showmanship and more about showing off.
Five Serpent’s Teeth proves that Evile are also growing, in terms of skill and aesthetics. The album is faster and more precise; the band members are surer of their choices and influences; and their sound is more original and independent.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that when I look back on 2011, this show will stand out as one of my top concerts of the year. It was incredibly well curated and all the artists on the bill enhanced and challenged one another. I was initially disappointed that Ghost couldn’t make this show due to visa issues, and wondered how the substitution would affect the line-up. As it turns out, it was a non-issue. The flow of the performance, the tension and build, was lovely and perfectly balanced — definitely one of the best tours to come through Toronto in a while.”
Natalie Zed reviews the Sept 30th performance by Enslaved, Alcest and Junius. Concert photography by Adam Wills
Natalie Zed reviews the September 22nd performance by Evergrey, Sabaton and Powerglove at Toronto’s Opera House.
“When headliners Weedeater began to play, I was immediately struck by how much effort they put into differentiating their sound from every other group on the bill. Their tone was harsh, ugly, abrasive and super-filthy, the guitars and bass drenched in feedback. Vocalist Dixie Dave Collins matched this perfectly, sounding like he’d been gargling with hot rocks and thumbtacks. Their songs are generally on the short side, and this translated into blasts of super-distorted guitar that washed over you like waves of shrapnel.”
Natalie Zed reviews the September 13th Toronto performance by Weedeater, Saviours, Bison B.C. and Fight Amp at Lee’s Palace. Live photography by Laina Dawes.
All Pens Blazing writer Neil Daniels in conversation with Hellbound’s Natalie Zed
“Also hailing from Norway, black metal unit Vreid filled the headlining position and performed what was unquestionably the strongest set of the night. In contrast to the theatricality of the other bands’ appearances, Vreid adopted a simple, almost military look for their style and dress. They performed with much more energy than the other acts and were very much in control of the stage and the audience from the moment they stepped out.”
Natalie Zed reviews the August 25th Toronto performances by VREID, KAMPFAR and NECRONOMICON at the Annex Wreckroom
“Predictably, Toxic Holocaust delivered on the challenge laid down by Inepsy. Their set was a riot — pure, dirty thrash glee. The band are touring to support new album Conjure and Command, an excellent full-length with no pretensions and profoundly catchy songs.”
Natalie Zed reviews the August 21st Toronto performance by TOXIC HOLOCAUST, INEPSY, HOLY GRAIL and KOMMANDO at the Annex Wreckroom. Live photos by Albert Mansour.
“The attention Mares of Thrace have received has not only been deserved, but they’ve carried it with an incredible amount of grace. The doom-lady duo have taken their exposure and used it as motivation to become even better performers. Their sound, even at its most droning, is now more elegant, the explosions of energy more accurate and precise. They have retained an organic roar to the music, especially the immense “General Sherman,” which evokes blood pounding through a body.”
Live concert review by Natalie Zed, Photos by Adam Wills
All Pens Blazing is less a guidebook and much more a map to heavy metal writing. Anyone interested in a back-stage view of the rock music industry will get a kick out of these two volumes.