Reviews

Dying Fetus/Beneath The Massacre/Suffokate @ Mod Club, Toronto, ON, November 24, 2009

I have to admit that one of the reasons why I pitched Hellbound.ca a concert review of the Planetary Depravity Tour was because I wanted to see Dying Fetus guitarist John Gallagher and guitarist Michael Keene from The Faceless play live. Would they be able to pull their dexterous guitar feats off or were they simply studio tricks? Does Gallagher look as evil and demented as he sounds? Inquiring minds wanted to know.

Laina Dawes reviews the recent Toronto stop of the Planetary Depravity tour.

Merrimack: Gray Rigorism

Grey Rigorism is the third full-length album from French black metallers Merrimack. The record starts out strong, but over the course of the hour-long running time things become somewhat inconsistent at points.

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

Swallow The Sun: New Moon

At its core, New Moon is about what Swallow The Sun have been doing at their best — infectious, melancholy, and swaying lead guitar melodies eventually overwhelmed by crushing fuzz surging against the backdrops of subtle keyboard ambiance. It’s quite possible that there will be time when Swallow The Sun’s sound is in need of a new direction, but New Moon ensures that for now it’s still well worth another trip down the beaten path.

Grave Miasma: Exalted Emanation

Grave Miasma is the latest proponent of death metal done right. This is nasty, ugly stuff. While not as sharp in attack as Dead Congregation nor as profoundly murky as Mitochondrion nor as surreal as Portal, Grave Miasma entrenches itself in something of a middle ground.

Tate Bengston investigates the new EP by British death metallers Grave Miasma (formerly known as Goat Molestör).

Various Artists:Swedish Death Metal

This massive three-disc compilation gives the listener a sonic taster of all the flowery praise thrown around Daniel Ekeroth’s book and if that listener is a seasoned Sverige-phile, then Swedish Death Metal Compilation acts as a 3+ hour trip down the left hand path of memory lane. It’s all here, the good, bad, ugly, awesome, marginal and downright terrible