Hey guys, it's time for my review of Monday night's Skeletonwitch/Caym concert at The Canadian Nightclub, but before we really get into it, I apologize if I screw anything up or flub a detail, as I'm in the middle of a bad cold, and I admit being half out of it on Monday. It was like the Ypres Metal Fest all over again, but I was not gonna miss a show of this magnitude! The crowd was a solid size too, and though it was smaller than the Anvil show, the crowd was devoted and ready to mosh!
Crimson Crusade! On the night of their "Upon the Eve of War" EP release, they played all of the tracks from it, along with non-album songs like "For Him", "Lost Memories", and "Reality", and their fan favourite cover of Death's "Pull The Plug", and they seemed to go over very well with fans in attendance! Having just seen them at The Crusade last month, I will admit that they didn't sound much different beyond an altered setlist, but luckily, they sounded really solid at both shows, and the guys talents were on full display! Devon Lucier's unique death metal vocals soared throughout, and his and Robert Sartini's guitar work was brutal and flowed well on each track! Last night's show was huge for their local momentum, which has often stalled during long breaks between concerts, but hopefully the EP release and more local dates keep the crusade going deeper into 2013 (and stay tuned to the SMS likely later today for more on the EP!)
Next up was fellow local death metal standouts The Bear Hunters, also taking the stage for the first time since The Crusade, and they put in an entertaining and very heavy effort of their own on Monday night! After the show, members were glowingly praising their set, and while I don't know if it's the best they've sounded, they definitely were on their game for this big opportunity! Songs like "Dominiate", "Servitude", and "Collapse The Sun" were joined by surprise covers of "Guardians of Asgaard" and "Squirrel Buddy", which the growing crowd definitely ate up, and the guys put in strong performances overall, including brutal growling from Nik Deubel and always dependable bass lines from Justin Lam! If anything, my complaints are minor, like shrinking the drawn out end of "Render This Void", or maybe throwing "Succumb To Eternity" into the set, but I thoroughly enjoyed The Bear Hunters on Monday, and I hope we'll see them again before August!
With the withdrawal of Anciients, the co-headliners were Toronto hardcore metal quartet Caym, and they definitely made lots of fans on Monday with their extreme blend of styles! With originals like "The Watcher", "Firewater", and "Day of Darkness" in store, they tore things up with a sound that's a bit hard to pin down, even throwing in what seemed to be some punk influences at times. Very aggressive though, with a lot of catchy elements and breakdowns, and they definitely seemed to enjoy playing to the local crowd! My big issue with their set wasn't their fault, as I could barely hear frontman Jeremy Sarrazin's vocals over the music, but everything else was on point, with his and Gord Laferla's guitar work really shining (and yes, Tyler Reiner's a chip off the old block on drums!) Caym put in an awesome set on Monday, and hopefully we'll see them back in the area down the road!
Skeletonwitch, and they definitely set fire to the stage with their long and brutal set! They really remind me of a thrashier Arch Enemy, and they have the talent and stage presence to back that up, with singer Chance Garnette exuding charisma and a dark essence on each song! The fans were moshing and causing mayhem from bell to bell, with tracks like "Reduced To The Failure Of Power", "Baptized In Flames", and "Beyond The Permafrost" ensuring horns flung all set long! Musically, I can't complain (aside from maybe boosting Chance's mic a bit), but with Dustin Boltjes' blast beats and both Nate Garnette & Scott Hedrick's impressive riffing and solos on the attack, who would? I just wish I wasn't feeling so under the weather on Monday, as I'd sure like to have heard them live with a clear head, but I saw and heard brutal and very heavy things from Skeletonwitch, and I'm eager to hear a lot more from them, live and on CD!
Overall, this was a great concert for local metalheads, full of wall to wall metal brutality and moshing, and if you missed it, you missed out! I got a bunch of photos that you can check out at this location (or at our Facebook page), and yes, I got videos of each band, so give each a look below, including Crimson Crudade playing their non-EP original "Here We Lay", The Bear Hunters playing "Karma", Caym opening their set with "Willow Farm", and Skeletonwitch playing "This Horrifying Force (The Desire to Kill)"!
That's all for now, but stay tuned for a new news post hopefully later tonight! Thanks everyone!