Woods of Ypres, Elevator 22, Will of the Ancients, Musk Ox, Seras @ Club Absinthe, Hamilton, ON

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May 15, 2009

Words and Photos by Adam Wills

It was a night of firsts and lasts – the first Hamilton appearance of Ontario’s independent Woods of Ypres, and the last show for local legends Elevator 22. After missing openers Seras, Ottawa’s one-man, neo-folk artist Musk Ox took the stage. A short set consisting of three songs from his self-titled debut album (released recently on Absurdist Records) was followed by a cover of Opeth’s “Benighted,” reminding the crowd that classical guitar really does have its place in the metal world. Toronto’s Will Of The Ancients (the self-proclaimed “nerdiest band in Ontario”) got the crowd moving around with their brand of epic metal. Vocalist Stephen Walton screeched out a slew of new tracks with blistering lead work by Ryan Sequeria and Tristan Biggar – making their upcoming album one to look forward to. Hamilton’s own Elevator 22 ended the final chapter with their farewell show – and a great one at that. E22 have been part of the Hamilton scene for an impressive nine years and leave a large set of shoes to fill in the Steel City. Woods of Ypres, fronted by mastermind David Gold, has seen their most consistent membership in years. Bryan Belleau (guitar) and Steve Furgivele (bass) from the now defunct Gates of Winter join Green Evening Requiem’s Evan Madden to create the most talented group the Woods camp has ever seen. A varying selection of tracks from all three Woods album (including four tracks from The Pursuit of the Sun…!!!) were enough to please all of their loyal supporters, and sample their vast range for those who were more unfamiliar with their “Ontario Black & Doom”.

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Sean Palmerston

Sean is the founder/publisher of Hellbound.ca; he has also written about metal for Exclaim!, Metal Maniacs, Roadburn, Unrestrained! and Vice.