Monday, November 7, 2011

Skull Fist Concert Review!!

Things may be slowing down a tad for news in the local scene, but concerts do keep rolling along, and there was a heavy one last night at The Canadian Nightclub, so here's my review of it! Before I get to the bands, let me just say that the latest renovations at The Canadian following the July flood were honestly not too drastic. Unlike the 2009 renovations, things look mostly the same as they've looked since then. Maybe a bit darker in colour, and I didn't see as many TVs mounted on the walls, but if you enjoyed The Canadian's look from 2009 through this summer, you'll have nothing to fear, and besides, it's nice to be back there for a concert! Now, how about the bands? (UPDATED: Tuesday, 9:00 PM)

Opening last night's show was new local deathcore quartet View To A Kill, replacing the still-active Sativa Rose on the lineup. This new band featured State of Misery singer Steve Rhodes, Sativa Rose bandmates Andrew Angelic & Adam Veale on guitar and bass, and Andrew's old Chillum bandmate (I think) Kyle Umgeher on drums. After taking this booking on a few days notice, how'd they do? Pretty good, and for a comparison point, they definitely outdid the first show from Steve's short-lived band Bring The Misery in June! A couple of songs definitely sounded like they needed an extra guitar, but overall, they definitely had more chemistry and togetherness than you may have expected! With covers of songs from bands like Sepultura, Pantera, Lamb of God, and Parkway Drive in their setlist, they had some really heavy moments, and the members shown their talents well! Though Steve didn't move around much, his death metal vocals were as good as I remembered them, Andrew's guitar playing was excellent, as was Adam's clear and audible bass work, and the electric drum kit that Kyle was using was a unique touch you don't see enough locally! Solid first show from View To A Kill, and hopefully the guys can balance all their bands to ensure that we see this new quartet often in the coming months!

Second on the bill last night was local classic metal quartet Late & Loud, in just the second time I've ever seen them live. How'd they compare to their set at The Sewer Swampstravaganja in April? They were much better, I'll say that much! Maybe it's just the better audio in The Canadian, but I found they were heavier, more varied, and had more energy than they did this spring, so those are definitely good signs! Vocally, Late & Loud are still limited, with most band members sharing vocal duties, but I did find that guitarist Brendan Christie has the best vocal range of the band's members, even unleashing some falsetto vocals on their original "Live For Excess"! They had a lot of newer originals to share last night, all of which have levels of promise going for them, and their covers (like of "Paranoid" & "The Trooper") were well played too, but the vocals didn't gel as well on those. Brendan and Jonathan Tiberi shredded some awesome riffs and solos, Josh Hatherly impressed on drums (and guitar, when he and Jon switched for a few songs), and Benn Garside's bass work was solid and proficient throughout! Keep an eye on Late & Loud, they're going places for sure, and hopefully we see more shows from them in the near future!

And finally, your headliners last night were Toronto speed metal quartet Skull Fist, 15 months after last rocking The Canadian! Their lineup is a lot different since we last saw them, with only frontman Jackie Slaughter remaining in the band on the same instrument as last year, but luckily their fast paced old school metal assault was intact! The band unleashed a very entertaining set of original songs that harkened back to fast paced speed metal of the early 1980s, and the small but devoted crowd ate it up! Jackie's high pitched singing seemed to mix power and thrash metal at it's finest, and both he and guitarist Johnny "Exciter" Nesta had some awesome trade-off guitar moments and shredtastic solos throughout their set! New bassist Casey Slade was also a standout, and though their smoke machine didn't come with them this year, their stage setup and energy kept us moving and even starting some moshpits here and there! I had to leave a bit early from their set because, being Sunday night, it was a school night for me, but the metal was felt by everyone, and I thoroughly enjoyed the Skull Fist onslaught just like last year! Can't beat a slice of fast-paced classic metal like this, and hopefully Skull Fist return to Sault Ste. Marie very soon!

Awesome night of metal, and hopefully you guys didn't miss it! I got a bunch of photos last night, so click here to check them out, or visit our official Facebook page! I got a "Tag Yourself!" crowd shot as well, so click here to give it a look! Just as an aside, we had an issue earlier today relating to a fan of our Facebook page needlessly labelling the people in that photo & in what many percieved as an insulting manner. I blocked the user, and remember, though I completely accept freedom of expression on SMS pages, insults, hate speech, and "trolling" (if you want to call it that) shouldn't be tolerated. We're here to promote & support the scene, not nitpick it or criticize those who support it. And yes, I have videos, so here's View To A Kill's first original "Let It All Bleed Out", Late & Loud's song "Live For Excess", and Skull Fist's new song "Tear Down The Wall"!

That's all for today, but stay tuned for more news in the next few days, including big news from Gates of Winter, a LOCAL CONCERT ALERT, and more, including our next Defunct Local Band Profile on Thursday! Thanks everyone!

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