Canada

Augury: Fragmentary Evidence

Montreal’s Augury is describable as Canadian Progressive Death Metal. This band manages to keep the listener’s interest throughout the whole album delivering fresh melodic tunes on their second full length cd Fragmentary Evidence.

Hammers Of Misfortune, Ludicra, Crux Of Aux, Slaughter Strike @ Casbah, Hamilton ON, August 8, 2009

Truth be told, it has been a pretty shitty summer weather-wise here in Southern Ontario so far. Instead of our usual hot, humid summers it has been the kind where you can count the truly sticky days on one hand. This Saturday was another drab, dreary one here in the Hammer, with rain coming and going all day making for a generally blah day. Thankfully, the evening’s entertainment inside at the Casbah did more than make up for the crappy weather outside. In comparison, the four bands that played the venerable King Street West venue left those in attendance positively steamy.

Augury: Fragmentary Evidence

From the opening explosion sound effect, the Montreal band launch into a slew of technical death metal tracks with a definite black metal influence. Deep growled vocals that rise into high-pitched shrieks accompany some precision guitar playing, but things rarely stay in one particular groove for long.

Vinyl review: Agoraphobic Nosebleed/The Endless Blockade split 7″

A tasty little 7″ slab o’ wax hot off the presses over at Chez Relapse, this split release features (what I assume to be) three new songs from Virginia grinders Agoraphobic Nosebleed and a handful of tracks from Toronto’s The Endless Blockade (perhaps that city’s best kept secret this side of Moe Panzer’s Deli up at Bathurst and Wilson – nah, actually way better than that).

Fatality: 3-song demo

Here is a three track demo release from Toronto’s FATALITY, a thrash metal band with plenty of aggressive, melodic technical hooks, blasting beats and soaring roaring vocals, complete with fast, intricate solos.

Skull: Self-titled

Played all the way through, there is barely a second’s hesitation between songs. As such, the album flows together into one long rhythmic, down-tempo doom fest.

Bison BC, Lazarus AD, Barn Burner @ Amigos, Saskatoon, SK, July 14, 2009

Bison BC, or simply “Bison” as they’re known round these parts, has become a live institution in Western Canada over the last year and a half, and the nice turnout on this Tuesday night reflected the band’s steadily growing grassroots fan base. Theirs is an easy sound to like, and one that translates exceptionally well to live settings, especially smaller venues

Blackguard: Profugus Mortis

Like fellow Quebecer’s Unexpect, Blackguard has a distinctive classical European flavor, melodic black metal with a distinctive nod to folk and they like to play fast – Dragonforce fast. However, unlike the self-masturbatory English band, their frenetic pace is not accentuated by technical guitar work, but instead is sopping with keyboards and orchestrations.

Woods Of Ypres, Elevator 22, Will of the Ancients, Musk Ox, Seras @ Club Absinthe, Hamilton, ON (2nd review)

With a Napalm Death concert happening nearby in Toronto on the same night, GTA concert goers were somewhat spoiled for choice on May 15th. Within that context, the crowd that came out to see Woods of Ypres’ debut Hamilton performance on May 15th was relatively small but dedicated to the Canadian group’s unique brand of black- and folk- inflicted metal.

Voivod: Infini

What a gift Denis D’Amour has left us. When the guitarist affectionately known as “Piggy” was diagnosed with cancer, he could have easily rested on his laurels, with every reason to be immensely proud of the 20-odd years of music he created as a member of Voivod. Instead, he dove straight into his art during his final months, writing songs, arranging music with his bandmates, and recording guitar tracks in a burst of creativity that we could only wish to experience when we’re healthy.