Dying Fetus / Thy Art Is Murder / Rivers of Nihil / Enterprise Earth / Sanction @ the Opera House – March 18, 2018
On March 18, 2018, I drove up from my hometown, about two hours away to go to the Dying Fetus show at The Opera House with a few of my friends. I’ve been to a few concerts in Toronto in the past year, such as Between the Buried and Me last September and the Enslaved show last month. I was looking forward to this show for a while and I was very excited to not only attend this show, but to shoot it as well.
There were five groups that played in total: Sanction, Enterprise Earth, Rivers of Nihil, Thy Art is Murder and Dying Fetus. For the most part, I was most excited and really only came for Rivers of Nihil and Dying Fetus, having have only started listening to either band about a year ago. I had heard of Thy Art is Murder before and understood they were somewhat well known within the scene, but I didn’t really give them a chance as I’ve never really been a huge fan of deathcore, grindcore or metalcore. At the end of the day, we all go to shows for mostly one band, and it’s fairly common to be unfamiliar with an act or two. If you’re a fan of the openers and the headliner, then that’s just a special treat.
The first two acts played very similar music and I had a hard time distinguishing them, besides the appearance of their vocalists. Sanction is a metalcore group from Long Island and seemed, for the most part, a bunch of young kids. Age doesn’t define your musical talent in the slightest, but I found them very energetic yet boring at the same time and in a sense, very angsty (though I believe that term is extremely overused). Their set wasn’t too long and I couldn’t pick anything positive besides, possibly, the composition of some guitar passages.
The second act was Enterprise Earth, a deathcore group from Washington. Unfortunately, I didn’t find their performance to be too memorable either. They put on a visual show and their guitarist was quite talented but as I said before, core stuff usually falls pretty flat for me and the vocalists of these two bands were so alike, if I was blind I wouldn’t be able to tell them apart. There was no subtlety, just screaming that felt extremely one dimensional.
Thankfully, the latter three acts of the show were very enjoyable. Rivers of Nihil had a brilliant set in support of their newly released album, Where Owls Know My Name. They came out and the guitarist announced they’d just be playing a few riffs tonight because their vocalist was stuck at the airport. Then they started their set and blew the crowd away. Without vocals, you can truly listen and deconstruct the music. With brilliant guitar riffs, blast beats and a stage presence, they blew me away.
Thy Art is Murder was the final act before the death metal legends. I enjoyed their music much more than the first two openers, but I probably won’t listen to them on my own time. The one redeeming feature of their set was their vocalist. He had such an indescribable essence to him. He was very humorous in between songs and another frontman I thought of that’s similar is Papa Emeritus III. Very different styles of vocals and music, but they are so prolific and enjoyable to watch.
Finally, Dying Fetus was on and their set was absolutely unreal. I’ll admit, I’m not too familiar with their material before their most recent album, but after this show, I need to get into their older stuff. The trio of John Gallagher, Sean Beasley and Trey Williams is one for the books. They play Brutal Death Metal that will shake you to your core and they really harmonize with each other on stage. During their set, they played several songs from Wrong One to Fuck With and plenty of older material. The crowd was loving the show and John Gallagher actually encouraged the mosh pit to get even crazier, several times. The technicality of Dying Fetus is present in every instrument and they balance it well in each song. Their set was amazing and they take the cake for best performance at that show. I’ll definitely catch them whenever they come to Toronto next.
Dying Fetus and Rivers of Nihil get my spot for the best acts at the show with their technical music and the composition of the tracks.