Hey guys, sorry for my review being so late, I've had a lot of things to work on today concerning the SMS, but now it's review time! As you know, yesterday was the Icy Metal For Aborted Therapy concert, a slightly impromptu all ages concert at The Oddfellows Hall. How was it? I will tell you!
The opening band was Sativa Rose, in their (to my knowledge) first ever all ages concert appearance, and the first time I've ever seen them live! It's about time, I've been seeing videos of theirs for six months! Their set consisted entirely of classic metal covers, ranging from hair metal fare like Skid Row, Motley Crue, and Ratt covers to heavier fare like Iron Maiden, Megadeth and Exodus! Sure, they were the only band last night that didn't employ "extreme" vocals, but they did a very good job as always! Andrew Angelic's a very impressive guitarist and has great onstage energy, Adam Veale's a solid bassist (props for the Death shirt too!), and Alex Palmer was really good on drums throughout their set! A lot of their songs were covers of bands with two guitarists, but Andrew's playing didn't scream for the need of a second guitarist, things were fine on their own! My biggest fault of their set is something I've raised before, and it's the vocals. When not using guest singers, Adam and/or Andrew handle the singing for Sativa Rose, and honestly, neither has a wide enough range to handle a lot of their material. Mainly the classic stuff, they can do thrash covers well. For those, a permanent vocalist or guest singers would be best, but aside from that, I really enjoyed Sativa Rose's set!
They're a talented band with a lot of promise, and the future is bright for them! Also, look out for Adam's dad John's videos from the show soon as well, as he was filming their set himself!
Second was State of Misery, themselves making their first all ages concert appearance! Firstly, I should note that the crowd probably doubled in size for their set, which seems unfair to Sativa Rose, but at least we got a good animated crowd despite the lateness! I just saw them last week at the Rosie metal night, so I honestly won't be treading much new ground with my comments this time around, but I'll share some observations! Ray Cowan definitely needs more guitar solo time, he's a very promising young guitarist, and Steve Rhodes' continues to show a nice enthusiasm and ease on stage! I loved his bottle of Smirnoff that he had on stage, who says you can't have that kind of drink on stage here and there? The homemade State of Misery stickers that many fans had were a nice touch, but they looked bland without a logo or something. Their originals continue to impress with their heaviness and proficiency, but again, Pantera isn't the right type of band for them to cover. State of Misery brought another entertaining set of death metal to their fans last night, and I can't wait to see them again! They're rising fast locally, and they're a safe bet to get mosh pits going at any of their shows!
Following them was The Bear Hunters, and before I go too much further, I want to say that I have no photos from their set. Guitarist Mitch Sirie requested that I film their whole set for use in future band projects (their DVD?), so I did! It sapped my battery, but I got every last second of their songs! So I have no photos, but attendee Tia Ollinaho got some pretty good shots from the concert, so click here to see what she took! With that said, this was the first time that I've ever seen The Bear Hunters live, though I saw 3/5ths of the band in the D.O.T.H. days a few years back, so I was at least familiar with them to a point. I was mostly impressed with The Bear Hunters' melodic death metal sound, featuring a mix of very heavy originals and covers from a few bands you wouldn't expect, like Amon Amarth, Slipknot, and Arch Enemy! Mitch & Mike Vincent handled guitar really well, Johnny Belanger's move to a harder and heavier style of music is seamless, and Justin Lam is definitely a bassist to watch, I've thought that for a while! However, the audio made some of their songs jumbled, and Nik Deubel's vocals were VERY low in the mix. I honestly can't comment on his singing style, I could barely hear him on any song. Hopefully this won't be an issue on Thursday!
Overall though, I enjoyed their set, but I know that I can't accurately judge the whole band without better audio, and that day could come as early as Thursday! Plus, I hopefully won't have to kick and tap the floor lights to ensure visible band members like I was last night!
Second last on the bill was WinkStinger, and again, I have to state something. Thanks to filming The Bear Hunters' entire set, my battery was drained beyond belief. Luckily, I was prepared, as I brought my camera's AC adapter with me, so I plugged it into the nearest wall outlet to charge my camera and get pictures/video at the same time! Now the nearest plug was basically beside the speakers, so I got a tinnitus inducing load of metal and an odd vantage point of the set, but aside from that, I can't complain! WinkStinger were on top form at the show, even if Jesse Cook was dressed normally (I enjoy the costumes!) Alan Wells took control of the floor for their set, utlizing good crowd interaction and passionate screaming in their often very funny (yet still brutal) songs! Like with State of Misery, I just saw WinkStinger last Thursday, so I can't add too much here that wouldn't be restating earlier points, but they delivered another very entertaining set, and between you and me, it just felt right seeing a band with Jesse Cook and Jonas Gasperas playing at The Oddfellows Hall again. Soldiers of Misfortune were one of my favourite local bands from when I was a teenager, I remember their all ages shows there well, and nostalgic feelings like this are always welcome! Great set of metal from WinkStinger, they continue to deliver!
Finally was Bring The Fallen, in a bit of a different appearance than we're used to. Bassist Nolan Rainville was out of town, so he wasn't with the band last night. I half expected Mike Kyle from Shit Liver to fill in temporarily again, but for this show, guitarist Dan Souliere covered the bass for most of their set. On their originals, the rhythm guitar position was filled by (I think the name's right) Chris Morphet, who I don't recognize from any other local bands, but he did a good job! Their set consisted of many of their very solid originals like "Exposed Embankment" and "Defiling Despondence" with Children of Bodom and Slayer covers bookending everything. The former featured Dan on guitar with no bassist, while the latter featured local concert promoter and guitarist Rich Moreland in Chris' place. I have to say, this wasn't one of Bring The Fallen's best performances, but considering the slightly impromptu nature of the show, Nolan's absence, and my hunch of alcohol consumption, I won't be harsh. When they were on, they were devastating, and Josh Stephney's growling was solid! Travis St. Amour deserves more credit on drums too, I saw him extra well thanks to my placing almost behind the stage to charge my camera (apologies for the odd pictures.) They were still entertaining, and very brutal, but this probably won't go down as one of their live highlights.
Overall, this was a fun concert, but I have a hunch that with more advance warning, it would have been even better. The show had a slapped together feel at parts, the crowd was very inconsistent (the attendance was almost dead for Bring The Fallen), and the audio could have been better, but you can't beat 5 talented local metal bands! I had fun, and that's what matters! I have 5 videos, 1 for each band, and if you're wondering about my footage of The Bear Hunters' entire set, check out their official YouTube channel for the whole set! I'll let the band have an exclusive grasp on the set for a while, and they gave me credit for the footage, so I'm not worried! I'll likely upload the full concert onto the SMS YouTube channel down the road, but for now, check out the full set at the link above, and here's 5 videos: Sativa Rose covering Ratt's "Lay It Down", Sativa Rose's original "Don't Break The Silence", The Bear Hunters' song "Dominate", WinkStinger's amusingly named "Poop", and Bring The Fallen's cover of Slayer's "Black Magic"!
That's all for today, but stay tuned for more local metal news and notes very soon! Thanks everyone!