Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Locals Attack Concert Review!!

It's time for my review of last night's Locals Attack concert! With 6 local bands (including 4 relatively new bands to most in attendance), there was a lot of new young talent and experienced artists gathered on this snowy Monday at The Canadian (in it's second straight multi-band concert event in two days), so how was each band? Read on below to find out!

The first band last night was local/North Shore metal band Crimson Crusade in their Canadian Nightclub debut, and being that this was the first time I've seen them live, there were some unknowns. Yes, their new second guitarist is Pillory frontman Robert Sartini (as I had surmised), but their earlier sound indications hinted at mostly covers, so is that what we saw? Nope, as they blasted through a set of original songs that definitely seem inspired by the band Death, particularly from frontman Devon Lucier's vocals, whose high toned growling was definitely Chuck Schuldiner-esque! Good timing too, and compared to their original version of  "Left For Dead", the improvements vocally are clear. The band shown solid talents on their songs (including "Vanquish the Tyrant" and "Lost Memories"), and though a couple of their songs are simpler in structure, there's promise here, and the Death-connections set them apart from many other local death metal bands! If they can loosen up their stage presences and work on some more technical material, they can go far!

Second was the first of two debuting bands, that being new local quintet Lazer Queen, so what can we say about them? Well, their set was all covers, and though they don't quite cross the hard rock line, they did play a wide variety of stuff, ranging from Franz Ferdinand, Jet, and White Stripes to Deep Purple, Queens of the Stone Age, and Hole material! The members were talented enough, and Kate Drew's singing suited the songs well for the most part, so hopefully we'll see her on stage again sooner or later! Some of the covers did sound a bit messy in parts, and I found that Benn Garside's keyboard work, though very good, didn't fit on songs that didn't originally have a keyboard component. He also didn't seem real happy on stage yesterday, I wonder what was up? Jonathan Tiberi & Josh Hatherley seemed to be in good spirits though on guitar and bass, and they had some fun chemistry at times! I'm curious to see Lazer Queen move forward locally, and even if they aren't the heaviest band, they hopefully can work out some of the kinks!

Tomorrow's other debuting band (also featuring Lazer Queen's Jon Tiberi & Bret Shuttleworth) was new local thrash quartet Pillory, so what'd we get out of their first ever show? Wall to wall thrash, including some long and technical stretches, some blistering riffs, and lots of headbanging! For a first set, they seemed to get a great crowd response on originals like "Cringe at the Cross" and "Shattered War", and their bookending covers of Slayer and Megadeth were also really good! Their biggest issue during their set was with guitar audibility, as I could barely hear Andres Duchesne for much of their set, and some of the solos blended and sounded a bit muddy, which is something that's hopefully amended for their next show. As well, we finally heard Robert Sartini on vocals for Pillory's originals last night, and he wasn't bad for the thrash genre, but the volume could have been louder overall. Very good first set, and it's nice to see a thrash band without death growling locally, but I hope their next set corrects some of the audio issues!

The second half of the night (after a bit of a delay) began with the original crash band themselves, Sykotyk Rampage, in their first Canadian appearance since the Kiss Battle of the Bands three years ago! Their set last night, which seemed somewhat longer than most of their recent shows, was different from it's inclusion of more songs we don't hear much live, while condensing most of their set-ending drinking songs into a medley to start their set. I wonder why they did that, especially as those songs are generally among their most popular? As a result, recently infrequent songs like "Sweet Young Thing" and "Never Ever Life" made it into their set, and by the end, more fans were into their more aggressive material, including Dirk Becker dropping the guitar to go into a fury during "Lowest of the Low"! The members were on form from their more recent concerts, and it was good seeing Dirk sing more, so for what it was, their alternative blues/hard rock stylings went over nicely! It would be nice to see the traditional drinking songs back next time out though.

Second last on the bill was new local punk trio The Northern Tragedy, and while I missed their debut last month, how did they do last night? Their set largely reminded me of drummer Terrence Gomes' earlier work in Good Morning Gorilla, with an energetic and catchy punk sensibility that seemed to go over well, even if fans didn't crowd the floor for much of their set. I'm impressed with the amount of originals they already have in their arsenal (such as "Dragondrums" and "Excuse My Choices"), and while I wasn't overly familiar with their skills going in, guitarist Mike Ivany and bassist Corry Rideout have talent on these songs! They could work on their stage presences though, they were fairly stiff for much of the set. Terrence and Mike both are capable punk singers too (though I think Mike's voice is slightly more aggressive), and while The Northern Tragedy are a far cry from Changing Waves musically (where've they been lately?), this new band should continue to leave an impact locally if they keep at it!

Headlining last night's show was Central Algoma death metal standouts For All That Is Lost, who were back after a three month break from the stage! Not only were they back, but their white masks also returned after not having been used since the spring, which is cool to see and helps set them apart! Luckily, they didn't have much stage rust after the break, and they even had a couple newer originals to go along with established favourites like "Viscosity of Blood" and "The Return of Dionysus", and even a surprise cover or two! You know a set is brutal for moshing and fan activity when you get roughed up by even a small crowd (someone basically clotheslined by shoulder blades at one point), and with F.A.T.I.L.'s skills, I can see why fans would react so well! Tyler Sperry's growling was as good as ever, and all of the guys showed good chemistry, with the double-faced Ben Deslauriers showing particularly good talents! It's great to see F.A.T.I.L. back, and hopefully they'll pop up on stage again before 2012 ends!

Overall, this was a fun concert that could potentially give us a glimpse into the local metal scene's active original bands in 2013 and beyond! I remember that late 2010 was also really big for new band formations and debuts, so could this be the start of a new cycle? It'd have been nice to have seen a larger crowd though, but I know the weather wasn't particularly calm. I did get a bunch of photos, so click here to check them out (or visit our Facebook page), and here's my videos of metal performances last night! Those include Crimson Crusade's original "Left For Dead", Lazer Queen's cover of Deep Purple's "Black Night", Pillory's song "Fatal Woods", Sykotyk Rampage's "Never Ever Life", and F.A.T.I.L.'s newer song "Segregate" (at least, I think that's it's name!)

That's all for today, but stay tuned for a new news post tomorrow! Thanks everyone!

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