The Opera House

Katatonia

Katatonia / Cult of Luna / Intronaut / Tesseract @ The Opera House, Toronto ON, September 27, 2013

When you’re into foreign underground bands who are often slotted into short opening slots because they’re not widely known… well, you get used to enjoying one of your favs for about half an hour before the higher profile but sometimes less interesting headliners take to the stage. In the case of Katatonia and Cult of Luna’s co-headlining tour stop at the Opera House in Toronto this September, ‘interestingness’ wasn’t the issue. Nevertheless, openers Tesseract were the highlight of the night.

Anathema

Anathema / Alcest / Mamiffer @ The Opera House, Toronto ON, September 18th, 2013

I cannot speak for the whole audience attending Wednesday’s show, but from where I was standing that night there was a palpable sense of excitement in the minutes leading up to Anathema’s arrival on stage. For many, it was finally the long-awaited opportunity to see them deliver a full-band performance in Toronto. They did not disappoint.

Review by Jonathan Smith; Concert Photos by Adam Wills

No, I’m not going to see Ghost again…

Alas, when I saw Ghost the first time around, they only had the debut album to draw from. I was quite surprised at how many kids were both moshing and singing along to the likes of “Elizabeth” and “Satan’s Prayer,” but their performance didn’t strike such a chord with me….

COC still sounds good to me!

Alas, while they’re neither classic rockers nor 80’s hair band royalty, Corrosion of Conformity has been going strong now since 1981. And I gotta say, the three founding members, they’ve still got it–and then some!

Turisas/ Alestorm/ Ex Deo/ Arkona/ Huntress/ Protokult @ The Opera House, Toronto ON, April 2nd, 2012

“There is something about Paganfest that is magical. Someone on my Twitter feed referred to it as “the Comic-Con of metal shows” and I can’t think of a more apt description. The cosplayers were certainly out in force, from warriors carrying drinking horns and wearing utili-kilts to pirate wenches in striped tights. Before a single note was played, I saw foam swords, pirate flags, inflatable moneys, and even one memorable chain mail bikini. This show was all about the pageantry, about proclaiming your allegiance to one of the pagan metal subcultures, whether that be Russian folk or Roman Centurion. It made the audience a part of the entertainment, and made the ridiculous length of the show a lot more bearable.”

Natalie Zed reviews the April 2nd Toronto performance of the 2012 travelling Paganfest featuring Turisas, Alestorm, Ex Deo and more.

Sepultura / Belphegor / Hate / Keep of Kalessin / Neuraxis @ The Opera House, Toronto ON, April 18th 2011

Sepultura as they exist today have incredible muscle and power, at the expense of some of their subtlety. Their music now has less of an eerie quality, gets under the skin less. Instead, it wants to tear you apart. The experience of seeing them live was thrilling and exhausting, but left a ghost behind, alittle bit of longing for the sound of a jungle breathing on the back of your neck.

Natalie Zed discusses the recent visit to Toronto from legendary Brazilians Sepultura. Accompanied by photos from Adam Wills.

Nevermore / Warbringer / Blackguard @ The Opera House, October 22 2010

Above all, I was profoundly impressed by how satisfying it was to sing along to their music with a room full of rabidly passionate metalheads. It felt like I was participating in a kind of full-contact crowd karaoke, especially during “The Heart Collector” and “Inside Four Walls.””

Natalie Zed documents Nevermore’s recent visit to Toronto accompanied by Warbringer and Blackguard.

Leaves’ Eyes / Blackguard / Borealis @ The Opera House, Toronto ON, September 19 2010

“Arriving at the Opera House a little late (missing Unleash the Archers for the TIFF presentation of Takashi Miike’s 13 Assassins) we walked into a friendly greeting from Leaves’ Eyes growler Alex Krull. That second or two was characteristic of the relaxed and intimate vibe that held for the rest of the night. With Kamelot off the line-up, the Leaves’ Eyes / Blackguard billing drew a smaller crowd, making it easy to get close to the stage and giving the in-between-song banter a more conversational tone. The casual atmosphere made me a little more forgiving of the often muddy mix for all three bands that blurred some of what, on record, comes across fairly clean and precise.”