Blog Author: Kirsti Heitz
Photography: Navneet Johal
Published: April 28, 2014
WACKEN METAL BATTLE CANADA
Semi Final Round 1
Venue: Hard Luck Bar, Toronto, Ontario
Date: April 26, 2014
Santuarium had the hard job of opening up the night. With a late set up and minimal followers, they performed less impressively than on their first round. There were a few noticeably awkward elements in their set. Their bassist needs to learn to stop body banging and instead a few placed windmills or headbangs looks a lot less awkward. Though I still like their violinist who is both easy on the eyes and adds a nice flair to their tunes. She tends to stand around awkwardly when not playing and tried her hand at headbanging off rhythm while holding the mic stand. Kicking off the heels might help ground yourself when headbanging. Santuarium’s vocalist and drummer made up for this with their strong presence and confident moves.
Psycho Mad Sally danced away on stage next with vocalist Sasha Nevskaya wearing an 80’s looking leotard. My first though was that she forgot to put pants on. Nope, it’s on purpose. She spent the set mooning her drummer and the crowd, shaking her ass and humping the stage or getting straddled by one of her fellow musicians, and I thought Huntress and Butcher Babies were bad, but boy was I wrong. Sasha’s performance aside, their tunes were decent at best with very simple bass lines and pretty good screams depending on how you classify them. My absolute favourite was their violinist, who looked like a gypsy hobo in all the good ways and strummed away on the side of the stage in his own world.
The Parallax have an interesting set up with vocalist/guitarist Antonio Moreira’s guitar on a stand, giving him the free range movement to take his mic and move around when not playing. Their tunes are very technical, bordering on too technical. If they had the set up to match their tunes, they might impress a bit more. Their melodies were solid and I loved the progressive arrangements. Vocals were two sided, I was pleased with the growls but the clean vocals sounded a bit forced and nasal. Their performance needs work, with only bassist Sean Deschenes headbanging and making his presence known. I know that with songs that are technical, it’s hard to hit every note perfectly while whipping your body around onstage, but practice makes perfect!
The final set of the night took a bit in setting up but was more than worth the wait. Pro equipment and My Hollow banners and stands lined the stage. They even got a chant of “My Hollow” from dedicated followers as soon as their intro started playing. The pit blew open as soon as the first riff was played and it stayed open for their entire set. They literally stormed into their first song with all four members (minus drums) taking giant steps forward and then fucking crushing it. My Hollow was engaging in every way. They had rehearsed, coordinated moves, like slowly lifting the neck of their guitars/bass and then slamming it back down, which simply got you pumped up. Their moves enhanced the heaviness of their tunes which mixed everything from groovy technical melodies to fist pumping beats.