Canada

Alcest/ Monarque/ Thantifaxath @ Hard Luck Bar, Toronto ON, April 23, 2010

For the first time in a great many shows, I actually sat down during a performance. I sat not because I was bored, not even because I was tired. I sat because the energy it took to operate my legs felt like energy I could be directing towards my ears. I sat on a table top with my eyes closed, rocking back and forth unconsciously, entirely consumed.

Natalie Zed reviews the April 23rd Toronto debut of France’s Alcest. Also sharing the bill were Quebec black metallers Monarque and Thantifaxath.

Ludicra / Krallice / Empyrean Plague @ Rancho Relaxo, Toronto ON, April 14, 2010

I don’t want to in any way cheapen Ludicra’s performance here by saying that they performed “admirably under the circumstances.” They flat-out fucking rocked. They are tough, tenacious, and have a mind-blowing stage presence. Their vocalist, Laurie Sue Shanaman, filled the meagre space with her otherworldly voice.

Natalie Zed reviews the April 14th Toronto performance by Ludicra, Krallice and Empyrean Plague, which took place at Rancho Relaxo

Baptized In Blood – Gutterbound

Playing a thrash, metalcore infused style, the music is fun, dirty, rocking and has your head nodding from the get go. The album is chock full of big sounding melodic passages that work very well and suck you right back into the moment.

KEVI METAL’S RIMSHOTS v.2 #3

The music world is filled with similar smoke and mirrors acts. We’re told over and over and over again that so-and-so’s new album is the one that’ll re-define the genre. How many times have you heard in the last couple years that this-and-that’s “stunning” comeback album is “highly anticipated” and their best yet? Better than Bonded by Blood? Not bloody likely! The lies haven’t stop piling up since the music industry released its ad campaign for Elvis’ second record and this month’s Rimshots lifts the veil, cuts through the crap and saves you some money and/or hard drive space.

Woods Of Ypres – W4: The Green Album

W4: The Green Album is a difficult journey. There is a great deal of darkness, and there are certainly wolves (and worse) in these particular Woods. But, as a listener, you are never without a guide. However difficult and painful it may be, this was David Gold’s journey before it was yours, and it is going to hurt him a lot more than it hurts you.

Bison BC – Dark Ages

A lot of bands attempting to pull off the same thing simply wind up sounding too eclectic to get anything of substance across. But Dark Ages, varied though it is in influence, is still a focused and precise monster, and it’s likely to be another one of those records that will wind up on many a Best-Of list come year’s end.

Cancer Bats – Bears, Mayors, Scraps & Bones

With a swinging and universally mean attack, Cancer Bats set fire to much of their own past as well as a significant number of the bands that would pretend to be their peers as they find the best possible middle ground between old school hardcore (like Black Flag) and Seventies/Eighties-era metal (think Judas Priest), and throw in something that loosely resembles the raw energy of skate punk for good measure.

Helix @ Legendary Red Rooster, Burlington ON, March 27, 2010

Helix has been known in the metal scene since the mid 80’s and has over the years made some incredible tracks. They played a good chunk of them Saturday night and it made for one hell a perfect night. Checking out this band live is a must for any metal fan into the 80’s scene. The hits kept on rolling one after another. Great set list. As I get to see so many bands in concert, the one thing which caught my attention with Helix was their level of professionalism shown on stage. No sloppy guitar solos, no scratchy feedback in the speakers. Basically a flawless gig.

Albert Mansour reviews the March 27, 2010 concert at Burlington’s Legendary Red Rooster club by Canadian hard rock/metal legends Helix.