Journalist: Alex Stojanovic
Photography: Navneet Johal
Published: October 1, 2014
View our interview with Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth HERE.
The Blackcloud Syndicate
The Opera House
Toronto, ON, Canada
September 23, 2014
Presented by: Inertia Entertainment
Now that summer is over and the festivals are all done until next summer, many bands are spending the fall season touring throughout North America. One of the few bands that kicked off the fall touring season was New Jersey's own legendary thrash wrecking crew Overkill, who are currently on tour in support of their kickass new album White Devil Armory, which was released in July. A crowd of devoted thrashers gathered outside the Opera House on a warm Tuesday evening. I also had the great honour of conducting an interview with Overkill's legendary vocalist Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth, Acquiring this interview was a real pain in the ass, it was pretty much confirmed when I arrived at the venue, but it was definitely my favourite interview so far. You'll see why.
First band to take the stage was The Blackcloud Syndicate. Anyone that knows this band, knows that they participated in this year's Wacken Metal Battle Canada contest and went on to the semi-finals, but unfortunately didn't make it to the finals. Navneet and I only caught the first two and a half songs of their set due to us having to go conduct an interview with Blitz from Overkill, but after seeing Blackcloud twice already during the Wacken battle, I knew what they were all about, and from what I heard, the crowd really dug their set, so it's great to know that the fans are showing support for the local scene. It's always great to see Blackcloud because during the Wacken battle, they were one of the bands that were a breath of fresh air as I felt that many of the bands sounded monotonous with chugging down-tuned guitars, tremolo picking, gutteral vocals and breakdowns. Nothing against all those elements, I love them, I just feel that they are over-used, especially in the local scene. Plus, the show was three days before lead singer Miko Zolefrapandis' birthday, so what a way to celebrate, right?
Second band were New York thrash legends Prong. It was Prong's first time in Toronto in a while after the band faced some issues with immigration a few years back, but that's all been cleared, and the band had a decent turnout. The band are currently touring in support of their latest studio album Ruining Lives. Tommy Victor really knows how to work a crowd, and the band's set consisted of both new and recent material like "Ruining Lives", "Power Of The Damager" and "Turnover" and most of their classics like "For Dear Life", "Unconditional", "Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck", "Another Worldly Device and "Cut-Rate".
Finally, closing off the night was Overkill. It was my very first time seeing Overkill after missing them the last three times they came through Toronto. The band had a pretty diverse setlist ranging from many of the classic hits and a couple of deep cuts to some of the more recent material. The band stormed on to the stage firing into "Armorist" from the new album. There were a couple of setbacks that the band faced during their set. One was a funny moment where guitarist Derek Tailer slipped and fell backwards on the stage, but quickly got back up, causing Blitz to say "Slippery motherfuckin' stage you got". The other setback was a technical issue with the amps, which caused the band to play without bassist D.D Verni on "Wrecking Crew". Following the conclusion of the song, there was a 5 minute delay so the problem could be fixed, leaving the crowd chanting "OVERKILL" multiple times. The band's set was pretty diverse, containing a wide range of songs from the classics and deep cuts like "Rotten To The Core", "Wrecking Crew", "Elimination", "Long Time Dyin'", "Overkill" and "End Of The Line" to some of the new and more recent material like "Bitter Pill", "Pig", "Ironbound", "Electric Rattlesnake", "Black Daze" and "Bring Me The Night". The band closed their set with their famous cover of "Fuck You" by the Subhumans, with Blitz shouting the famous lyric: "We don't care what you say", followed by the crowd screaming: "FUCK YOU!"
The only downside about the show was that I was feeling a little under the weather that night, so I wasn't able to be as active as I usually am at a show, but it was still awesome to finally see Overkill after missing them multiple times. I highly recommend anybody to see Overkill because the amount of energy and intensity they bring night after night is undeniable and something that you just simply have to see to believe. All and all, it was an amazing night, and I look forward to seeing Overkill again soon!
Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth - Vocals
D.D Verni - Bass & backing vocals
Dave Linsk - Lead guitars & backing vocals
Derek "The Skull" Tailer - Rhythm guitars & backing vocals
Ron Lipnicki - Drums
Labels: E1 Music (North America) - Nuclear Blast Records (Europe)