Apokalyptik Warrior started the show pretty slowly, but were quick to warm up once the three piece set got heavy. Lead singer, General SS Ramsay was a voracious performer, enticing the crowd with a nearly ghoulish grin on his face and the green lights of the set reflecting in his curly locks. Tom Gervais, member of semi round one winner Midnight Malice, subbed on bass for the Baroness Denise Samuelson, who is away on maternity leave. Apokalyptik Warrior were a decent starter but had a mediocre performance in comparison to the bands to follow.
Ottawa Wacken Battle winners, A Scar for the Wicked were incredible. The double-lead singers brought the competition to the next level, using each other’s vocal talents to stair climb into death metal madness. Ryan Kenyeres and Eric Forget balanced each other with Kenyeres supplying the deeper gutturals and panther-esque howls. It was easy to see this band had swept the competition in Ottawa and kept the audience head-banging away during the duration of their set. A Scar for the Wicked arguably had one of the top performances of the night, making their presence known by standing on the very edge of the stage and head-banging as one, impressive, large six-piece band.
Hallows Die kept the intense level of competition rolling, hitting the stage with the same show of force as fellow band Vesperia, and the audience was loving it. Ryan Boivard has a way of captivating an audience with his intensely serious vocals, yet making fans feel as if he is having the time of his life up on the stage. The front line-up played a very integrated set and the connection they demonstrated played well into their performance. It was a toss-up whether Hallows Die would win this round of competition against the other bands, proving the judges had their work cut out for them.
Journalist: Kaeleigh Phillips
Photographer: Navneet Johal
Date of show: April 25, 2015
The second round of the semi-finals for the W.M.B.C. brought some incredible local Toronto acts to the Hard Luck, with every band demonstrating a strong and competitive skill set. Vesperia won the night, yet the high level of performance of each band left fans wondering how it could be possible to decide who would move on to the final round of the Wacken Battle. In the end, Vesperia earned their win and the band left the audience satisfied after a great night listening in on the local death metal scene.
Joey Glacken of Wretchedpain knows how to entice a crowd, holding the metal piping above stage and leaning off the edge while screaming into the mic with all of his consumable energy. Wretchedpain was a worthy contender in the 2nd semi round of the Wacken Battle. Wretchedpain were a great introduction to a night of great local death metal bands and warmed the crowd up immediately. Wretchedpain brutalized the Hard Luck with a great sound and all band members performing on point.
The competition continued to get hotter as Vesperia took the stage and instantly put the Hard in Luck. Morgan Rider set the stakes high as to be expected, performing consistently and strongly the entire set and demonstrating a high level of competition. Vesperia was the winner of the 2nd round of the semis for the Wacken Battle and will be bringing fierce competition to the Opera House on June 6th. Mid-set, guitarists Casey Elliot crossed to fellow guitarist, Frankie Caracci and the two talented players created a duality of sound that set the bar in regards to quality guitar in comparison to the other competitors. Vesperia finished their set with “Iron Saga”, killing it with a solid instrumental introduction followed by Morgan Rider ripping into his vocals with the intensity as if the band were playing for a crowd of two thousand plus.
Droid finished up the Wacken Battle with a nightcap of thrash metal fit for the intimate audience at the Hard Luck. Droid was one of the gentler bands of the evening, following heavier acts from the other bands. The three-piece band had very tight riffs, typical of a smaller band, yet their performance was lacking in regards to a unified musical presence. Individually, lead singer Jacob Montgomery killed it on vocals and guitar nonetheless, and bassist Michael Gabor slayed on the bass ending the night on a high note.