Nuclear Blast

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.

Enslaved – Axioma Ethica Odini

Despite some jagged rhythms and an unexpected groove Axioma Ethica Odini flows consistently to an abrupt not-quite conclusion, so that finally I’m perplexed but also persuaded that I want to work my way through it all again until I fully understand.

Death Angel – Relentless Retribution

The production and mix are crystal clear but there is a condensed and compressed feel to the overall sound. Killing Season had one of the best productions I’d heard in many years, organic and vibrant, and I think Relentless Retribution would have benefited from that same production. As would any record for that matter.

Revamp – Revamp

All in all, I’m not overly impressed by this release. Only by purposefully listening for something positive did I find anything worth more than one listen. The musicians on this record do a great job but they don’t mesh with Floor Jansen’s voice at all. The song writing on this just didn’t seem to be as much of a focus as the keyboard and vocal flourishes were.

Slayer/ Megadeth/ Testament @ Molson Canadian Amphitheatre, Toronto ON, July 29, 2010

“Testament and Megadeth have both been around as long as I have been alive; Slayer is two years older than I am. These bands have been around for a very long time and have gotten exceptionally good at what they do. More that that, they have defined their genre. Watching Slayer perform, it suddenly hit me: this is what everyone else is going for. This is the aesthetic so many other bands attempt to emulate. Not just the sound, either, but the presence, the charisma of the band members.”

Natalie Zed reviews the July 29th performance by SLAYER, MEGADETH and TESTAMENT at Toronto’s Molson Canadian Amphitheatre