Reviews – Live

Kreator, Voivod, Nachtmystium, Evile @ Opera House, Toronto, ON, March 9, 2010

KREATOR, of course, positively destroyed The Opera House. “Hordes of Chaos” raised the energy level in the room to near-riot level early on, and “Enemy of God” and “Extreme Aggression” kept it there. Whatever chilliness I’d initially felt evaporated almost immediately, and there was rarely a moment when my fist wasn’t in the air and my neck muscles weren’t burning.

Natalie Zed reviews the recent Toronto stop of the Kreator, Voivod, Nachtmystium tour, which happened Tuesday night at the Opera House.

Megadeth: Rust in Peace 20th Anniversary Tour w/ Testament and Exodus, Prairieland Park, Saskatoon, SK, March 8, 2010

If there was a concert to bring out the old school headbangers in full force, some with their kids in tow, it was this one. Not only was Megadeth bringing along fellow Bay Area thrash legends Testament and Exodus along for their spring tour of North America, but Dave Mustaine and crew were set to perform the classic Rust in Peace album in celebration of its 20th anniversary, while Testament had promised to play their great 1987 debut The Legacy in its entirety.

Adrien Begrand reviews the recent Saskatoon stop of the current Megadeth, Testament and Exodus tour.

D.R.I. / Attitude Adjustment / Voetsek @ Slim’s, San Francisco CA, January 9, 2010

It’s a given D.R.I. will draw a crowd in their adopted city. Add that this was D.R.I’s first show here in six years since guitarist Spike Cassidy was diagnosed and then beat colon cancer and you have a sold out crowd where getting to the bathroom was a 15-minute undertaking. The band’s performance was far from a history lesson; it was a bunch of grizzled veterans showing the kids how to take care of business.

Justin M. Norton recaps D.R.I.’s recent return to Slim’s in San Francisco, CA.

Hatebreed/Cannibal Corpse/Unearth/Born of Osiris/Hate Eternal @ Odeon, Saskatoon, SK, December 7, 2009

There’s never much to a Cannibal Corpse show, just five guys who never leave their marks, long, sweaty hair obscuring their faces, churning out that distinct death metal sound they’ve been doing for more than two decades. No frills whatsoever, just pure brutality, and it never fails to floor audiences.

Adrien Begrand recaps the recent Saskatoon stop of the current Hatebreed/Cannibal Corpse co-headline tour that is underway now in North America.

Trivium/Chimaira/Whitechapel @ Odeon, Saskatoon, SK, November 20, 2009

Trivium has talent up the wazoo. That’s never been in doubt. The problem with the Florida band is that Matt Heafy and his mates often try far too hard to impress, the perfect example being the bloated 2008 album Shogun, which threw everything at the wall, from thrash riffs, to hooky choruses, to tempo changes, to epic song structures, with very little sticking in the end. With this fall tour being one last go-round before the band takes a break to write and record their fifth album next year, it was interesting to see Trivium downplay the Shogun record as well as 2006’s The Crusade, instead focusing primarily on the breakthrough Ascendancy, as if they were openly conceding that it’s the best album.

Marduk/Nachtmystium @ Annex Wreckroom, Toronto, ON, November 22, 2009

Late November seems as good a time as any to take in a performance by Swedish metal veterans Marduk. A concert centered around a black metal band known for its own distinct take on imagery and songs centering on everything from war machines to religious blasphemy to paganism seems strangely appropriate for a grey month squashed between the twin commercial juggernauts that are Halloween and Christmas.

Concert review by Jonathan Smith