Crucify the Whore quietly dropped out of the show last week due to"technical & equipment difficulties", as per promoters Heavy North Entertainment on the Facebook event page. Disappointing, especially given the wait for a new C.T.W. set at a public venue, but hopefully we see Tyler Gibson back at it soon! A search for a replacement band was unsuccessful, so last night only had 4 bands. Regarding the attendance, the show only bounced around 2 dozen attendees for most of the night, but that number easily doubled for The Bear Hunters' return set, which was encouraging for them, but I wish more people had stuck around for the out of town headliners.
Tyler is an accomplished and reliable promoter, but this needed a lot more advance word, especially with no local poster or announced cover charge until the day of the concert. Hopefully things get ironed out for H.N.E.'s next shows! Also, the new sign outside of The Oddfellows Hall will take some getting used to, but it at least looks newer and more vibrant.
Pillory guitarist Josh Amendola (and featuring that band's frontman Robert Sartini on drums), the guys have obvious chemistry and a solidly heavy sound that fit their backgrounds, with Josh even sharing some vocal resemblances to Robert at times! That said, their set was short, didn't have a lot of clear breaks between songs, and often felt more like an extended jam session, and the lack of a bassist was at times noticeable. Josh did admit that they've only jammed a few times to prepare for this concert, but they had a brutal and raw sound that was a perfect fit for the occasion, and I am curious to hear much more from them in the coming months!
The Bear Hunters after a 7 month stage hiatus, and they picked up where they left off with a crushing set of old and new death metal originals alike! Alongside newer songs like "The Dying Den" and classics like "Bloodthirst", the guys also broke out their fan favourite "Guardians of Asgaard" cover, and even got an encore to cap off their set with, which was awesome to see! Having missed last fall's Norilsk concert, this was my first time seeing The Bear Hunters live in over a year, and it's great to see that the guys haven't lost a step, and sounded on par with their past four-piece shows! Nik Deubel's vocals were inaudible on their opener, but the sound was quickly fixed so we could hear him, and he was on form from their early 2015 and early 2016 gigs, while Mitch Sirie shone on guitar, and Justin Lam held his own on bass as usual! Very solid return for The Bear Hunters, and here's hoping we're not waiting 7 months for their next show!
Thekillingfield in their first local concert set in 5½ years, and closer to their first tour in 2 years! It's a shame that this show didn't have more promotion, as Thekillingfield were definitely a favourite touring attraction here in the late 2000s, and they picked up where they left off in 2011 with a blistering set of progressive death and extreme metal! If you're familiar with Thekillingfield, you'll know that they have a lot of instrumental material in their sets, and last night was no exception, with vocal-less songs like "Mass For Shut-Ins" joining familiar tracks with lyrics like "To Be Joedy" for about a 50/50 split, but screaming or not, TKF had remaining fans right where they wanted them! A now-bald Justin Robinson still screams and shreds with the best of them, and Dean K.'s drumming was reliably complex, adding up to a welcome return for Thekillingfield, and here's hoping we see them back soon!
Ruptured Birth in their first local concert appearance since opening for Vesperia two years ago, and they delivered another heavy and devastating set of originals to send remaining fans home happy! This was my first time seeing Ruptured Birth live, and I definitely enjoyed their set, which was chock full of brutal and well written originals with some technical flourish, and I liked their usage of pre-recorded backing tracks on many songs to help set the mood. Last year's full length CD "Transmutant" was a frequent source for their setlist, including such songs as the title track and "Projectile Copremisis", and former Before the Black Gates singer James Bok gave brutal voice to them all, though his stage presence of mostly walking back and forth can be worked on. Musically, everyone sounded good, including guitarist Shane Scovron and former Archelon bassist Aaron Cividino, and I'd definitely be interested in seeing these guys on a local stage again soon!
Overall, this was a very solid night of death metal action, and while I wish there was a higher turnout, everyone delivered musically, and given that none of these bands have played on a local stage in 7 months or longer, it was extra unique and notable on that basis! You can check out our photos from last night at this link or at our Facebook page, and as for videos, here's Twistory playing "The Retribution", The Bear Hunters playing their newer solng "The Wrath of Angmar", Thekillingfield playing their instrumental "Apple of Eden", and Ruptured Birth playing "Blood Siren"!
That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news and notes on the site as the week rolls along! Thanks everyone!