Reviews – Live

Aborted/ Augury/ System Divide/ Horde of Worms @ Sneaky Dee’s, Toronto ON, August 28th 2010

“Only in death metal can you seriously announce that the next song is about the secret shadow-dwellers who live underground, have the room nod along seriously and then play a blisteringly brilliant song without a hint of irony. It’s damn fun to play mind-bogglingly intricate, complex music and still assert that the subject matter is inspired by psychic vampires. It is excellent, serious music delivered with charm, humour and monsters — there is nothing not to love.”

Natalie Zed reviews the August 28th Toronto performance by ABORTED, AUGURY and SYSTEM DIVIDE at Sneaky Dee’s. Live photos by Adam Wills.

Mares of Thrace/ Spitfist/ Drunk Hussy @ Rancho Relaxo, Toronto ON, August 14, 2010

Mares of Thrace played last on the bill, and brought the night to a thunderous close. I am profoundly interested in the aesthetics of constraint and the way art can be produced by limitation. Mares of Thrace plug directly into this particular obsession. Consisting only of vocals, baritone guitar and drums, this two-woman force of nature produce a wall of sound: intense and varied, deep and resonant, pulsating and urgent, and shockingly complex.

Exodus/ Holy Grail/ Bonded By Blood/ Fatality/ Black Elysium @ The Mod Club, Toronto ON, August 24, 2010

“Just as my energy level was reaching a crisis point, the audience’s had risen to a fever pitch, becoming positively explosive by the time Exodus took the stage. I made it about halfway through their 90-odd-minute set before throwing in the towel, but what I saw was absolutely spectacular. They are without a doubt a band not to miss, and I was glad for every moment I hung in to soak up some of the torrent they unleashed upon the crowd.”

Natalie Zed recaps the Toronto performance by EXODUS, HOLY GRAIL, BONDED BY BLOOD and more at Toronto’s Mod Club on August 24, 2010

Unsane/ Today Is The Day/ Keelhaul/ Vilipend @ Sneaky Dees, Toronto ON, August 22, 2010

“What stood out for me was Steve Austin. Not only did the conservative persona I observed earlier in the evening quickly disappear and was replaced by an incredibly intense musician who howled -either in pain or in passion, I don’t know – but it was clear where one could be in awe and be incredibly afraid of him all at once. With veins popping out of his neck, he was rigid and tense, but then on the turn of a dime, overcome with emotion and completely vulnerable.”

Laina Dawes reviews the August 22nd Toronto performances by UNSANE, TODAY IS THE DAY, KEELHAUL and VILIPEND at Sneaky Dee’s

Deathmarch/ Esoteric Doctrine/ Hallows Die/ Twilight Child @ The Corktown Pub, Hamilton, ON, Aug. 18, 2010

“Next on the docket was Hamilton’s own Deathmarch. For reasons I’m not fully aware of they were without a drummer tonight, getting by with a drum track and Northern Storm Records label head Rob Cranny. By this I mean that Rob sat in the middle of the stage, shirtless with drum sticks in hand, phantom drumming throughout the entire set. Remember what I said about metal being fun?”

Renee Trotier reviews the August 18th performance by DEATHMARCH, ESOTERIC DOCTRINE, HALLOWS DIE and TWILIGHT CHILD at the Corktown Pub in Hamilton ON.

Volbeat/ The Sleeping/ Dommin @ the Mod Club, Toronto ON, August 17, 2010

“I have no bone to pick with VOLBEAT at all. Their heavy metal/rockabilly/early rock’n’roll gangster aesthetic is fantastic. They’re greasy, twangy and a hell of a lot of fun to see live. Michael Poulsen embodies their sound: lean, punchy muscles, the lines of his brow and cheekbone just a little haggard from hard living, slicked back, dark hair and covered in old-school tattoos. His voice is surprisingly clean. Volbeat’s set was idiosyncratic and playful.”

Natalie Zed reviews the August 17th Toronto performance by VOLBEAT, THE SLEEPING and DOMMIN at the Mod Club. VOLBEAT live photos by Adam Wills.

Jucifer/ Mendozza/ Ahna @ Funky Winkerbean’s, Vancouver BC, August 6, 2010

Jucifer live is Total Ritual: Thick smoke and hot underlight, howling fury and gnashing of teeth, sonic overkill pouring forth from Amber Valentine’s monolithic wall of cabinets. From the second she steps onto the pitch-dark stage to begin her rite of setup to the moment the cloak is removed and the Flying V is strapped on and she begins beating hell out of it like it’s some faltering beast of burden, ritual is the only way to properly sum up the band’s live oeuvre.

Kyle Harcott reviews an appearance in Vancouver, BC of touring machine, JUCIFER.