Consider this: a show that is not only entertaining, but painful. Sound like your cup of tea? Well, screw your tea. This show was a bit too intense, considering I walked out of the venue with a ringing in my ears (while wearing earplugs!), it was easily a good 35 degrees in the venue, and my phone got smashed. Fabulous.
The night starts off with Montreal locals, Beyond Creation, who got the show energized with their technical-progressive blend of death metal. It may not have been the best choice, considering that, for their entire performance, everyone was fixed on the bassist’s massive bass and incredible playing abilities. The show itself was good, the talent was something else.
Immolation then brought in the real heaviness with what was a boring, if not somewhat, fun set. With a blend of samey-sounding songs and a boring fix of death metal, it sure got everyone pumped for what was to come. The band seemed bored, except for the lead guitarist, who looked like he was having a grand time. Swinging his guitar, singing to the crowd, fiddling with his solos, tapping some notes, and strumming upwards, he got the crowd moving simply by being fun – who’d have thought?
Finally, the big guns come in when Napalm Death shredded the stage apart. The grindcore classics blast onstage with a flurry of clashing notes and blistering loud tunes, including everything from the classics of the Scum era, to Harmony Corruption, to their latest release, Utilitarian. I will say, the most striking thing about ND’s set was the crowd. I’m experienced in moshing (if that means anything), but I can even say that I was afraid to mosh to ND. I went in the pit for a good five seconds, and got punched – twice. Totally worth it? Maybe, even if it were simply to hear the classic ‘Scum’ and the shortest song ever written ‘You Suffer’.
Last, but certainly not least was the classic death metal band that are celebrating their 25 years of playing; none other than Buffalo, N.Y.,’s Cannibal Corpse. They began their set with some classics to go throughout the years, and ended with some latest work to show they’ve still got it.
They played a wide variety of songs from all their albums, everything from Eaten Back to Life, to Vile, to The Wretched Spawn, to their latest album, Torture. CC did disappoint me, to be fair. The sound was awful, and the bass was virtually inaudible under the blasting of drums and scratchy guitar tones. All I could really focus on was George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher’s loud growling and incredibly violent headbanging – and even his growling was a bit disappointing. It sounds better on record; the notes are clearer, and he holds them longer.
It seems as though he is getting a bit old for this; his voice was splitting sometimes, and he cheated some songs, but still knew how to make the crowd get energized and make us laugh. Things got ugly when the closers for the show ‘Make Them Suffer’, and the death metal anthem, ‘Hammer Smashed Face’ came on. The entire Phoenix Concert Venue in Toronto exploded into a giant mosh pit – no one stood still, everything was crazy. People were flying, dozens were crowd surfing and, I swear, people got into “friendly fistfights” (if that makes any sense).
The show itself was a grand time for a metalhead. Not a single dull moment the entire set, however, the sound and AC could have been greatly improved.