Ten Reasons Not To Miss HEAVY T.O. This Weekend

By Sean Palmerston

After having two successful editions of HEAVY MTL in 2008 and 2010, the powers that be have also added another festival, HEAVY T.O., to the schedule. It happens this weekend at Downsview Park in Toronto, featuring two days worth of metal and hard rock bands such as Anthrax, Children Of Bodom, Megadeth, Motorhead, Slayer and more. Here are ten reasons why you shouldn’t miss this inaugural version of this metal fest:

DIAMOND HEAD Will Play Some Of Your Favourite METALLICA Songs

Yes, you read that right, Diamond Head! The band that spawned “Am I Evil” and “Helpless”, two of the five (!!!) DH songs that Metallica has covered over the years, is making a few rare appearances in North America this summer and one of them is here in Toronto. They might only be playing thirty minutes, but you know they’ll be playing those songs and more from their excellent album Lightning For The Nations. Plus, if we’re lucky, maybe they’ll be brought back out later to jam with Anthrax, Motorhead and Megadeth. How epic would that be?

MOTORHEAD’s Lemmy Never Disappoints

He may be old enough to be your grandfather, but Lemmy is the coolest sixty-five year old rocker out there playing as loud as fucking possible each and every show. Age does now slow him or Motorhead down at all. The band is always a joy to see and will definitely make the most out of their sixty minute set on Saturday night.

OPETH May Debut Some New Material

Now don’t get me wrong here, I am not claiming that Opeth is going to play anything off of their upcoming new album for certain, but it definitely could happen. After all, the band does have the upcoming ten-track Heritage album finished, promos are already out at long lead press in the USA and the UK and the band must be at least a little twitchy about getting their new songs out there and into the public eye. Wouldn’t you be if you were about to release a new album that you were really excited about?

Joey Belladonna Is Singing For ANTHRAX

Although they have had some tumultuous times over the past half-dozen years, the singer debacle that seemed to be a merry-go-round in the Anthrax camp seems to have come to a halt. Joey Belladonna was welcomed back into the band last summer, just in time for the Big Four Sonisphere shows that happened in Europe and, if you saw it in a movie theater or on the DVD/blu-ray that followed you know that the Belladonna fronted ‘thrax STOLE THE SHOW. Add to that the fact they have a brand new album upcoming in September, their first with Joey in over twenty years, and that makes this a must see set.

MEGADETH Two Hour Headlining Set On Saturday Night

I don’t think that needs much more explanation, does it? Two hours of Megadeth? If you saw them last summer you know that having Dave Ellefson back in the band has brought it full circle, and you don’t need to do to much searching around on Hellbound to find out just what I think of guitarist Chris Broderick. (He rules.) They make a perfect headliner on Saturday night and I can’t wait to see them again. Here’s hoping they pull out a pile of Peace Sells… songs to coincide with the recent re-release (review coming soon on this site).

An Unholy Trio of Bay Area Thrash Invades Sunday

Three good reasons to make sure you come out on Sunday too all originate from the San Francisco/Oakland Bay Area of California. Death Angel, Exodus and Testament will all be playing sets during the second day of HEAVY T.O. and all three bands are excellent live acts. I had the pleasure to see them all twice earlier this year on the 70000 Tons of Metal cruise and cannot wait to see them all again. Death Angel in particular should be a real, treat even if they are the second band of the day. Mark Osegueda is one of the best front men out there and will make sure that people do not forget their set.

VOLBEAT, The Secret Weapon of Sunday

Another band that needs to be seen on Sunday is Volbeat. The Danish hard rockers have come a long way in the past few years thanks to extensive SiriusXM radio support and an opening slot on Metallica’s North American tour a few years back, turning that into a pretty decent following and a surprising number of albums sold. Their last two releases have both outsold the newest offerings of many of the other bands playing on Sunday, with sales of almost 8000 copies each in Canada No stranger to the European festival circuit, expect the Danes to win over even more fans on Sunday too.

ANVIL Will Play A Massive Festival In Their Hometown

While many people have seen the Anvil movie, a lot of those people still have never seen the band live. Well here is Toronto’s chance and it’s in a location that’s not even very far from Moe Pancer’s Deli. Downsview Park is just off Dufferin and Sheppard, a little bit north of where the band first started as a high school group all those years ago and now they’ll be playing the heavy Canadian national anthem, “Metal On Metal” of course, for all to enjoy.

Gary Holt Is Playing Guitar For SLAYER

In an ideal world the twin guitar tandem of Slayer is and always should be Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman. But with Jeff still sidelined due to the necrotizing fasciitis caused by a crazy spider bite earlier this year, he won’t be playing guitar for them in Toronto. Gary Holt will. Now, if you can’t have Jeff Hanneman playing guitar in SLAYER then who else could do the job as well as Gary Holt? Honestly, the dude is a great guitar player, has boundless amounts of energy and, it now means I can claim to have played basketball with a member of SLAYER (he shot hoops with us on the first day of the 70000 Tons Of Metal cruise – he’s good).

It’s a Major Metal Festival in Toronto

That pretty much says it all, doesn’t it? For the first time ever we are getting a major two-day metal festival full of headline bands within the Metropolitan Toronto area. The best way to make sure it continues past this year is to support it this year by making it out on either one or both days this weekend. See you there!


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