Call Of The Wild started off the evening with a set of hooky tunes and outstanding musicianship. I love their style, which is a combination of Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Saxon. The guitar synergy between Cyndi Zhang and Tom Stanley is just incredible. There are very few guitar duos that I know of that have the ability to harmonize fast-paced solos and leads and play them so tightly with no flubs. Power Serg had amazing vocal control and his melodies over the catchy riffs were extremely ear-perking. With all the talent of the five members combined, Call Of The Wild is a force to be reckoned with.
Up next were Toronto's metal bad boys Midnight Malice. As I mentioned before, their sound is very much classic speed metal full of melody, which I love. Their image also screams 80s with the total denim and leather outfits. They put on an outstanding performance the first time around, and they've done it again this night. The grooving riffs got heads banging and people moshing, Every instrument was at the perfect volume. Nothing was drowned out.
Finally, finishing off the night was Black Absinthe. They were the only band of the night that I was seeing for the first time, and they put on a fantastic performance. As far as their sound goes, their music is a combination of traditional metal and melodic death metal. The only flaw with their set was the distortion level and the volume of frontman Jack Cerre's guitar. His voice could barely be heard. This is a common flaw I find with a majority of bands. His vocals were only slightly more audible towards the end of their set. Overall, excellent performance.
Journalist: Alex Stojanovic
Photograhper: Navneet Johal
Date of show: April 18, 2015
Well, we are getting closer. The qualifying rounds are now complete and the semi-finals for the Toronto edition of Wacken Metal Battle Canada are now underway. As we all know, April 18th was Record Store Day, so what better way to spend Record Store Day than by going to your local record store, shop for some music, then go to the Rivoli to support our esteemed local talent in the battle to see who will be moving on to the national finals this June with 5 other amazing bands from across the country? It was a tough battle as all five bands were equally amazing in their own way.
Second up was Caym. After seeing them in round 2 at the Hard Luck, I mentioned that they were excellent musically, but they were lacking stage presence. This time however, they delivered a full throttle show with great heavy and groovy tunes and excellent stage presence. A lot more movement and a lot more headbanging. They also had a new drummer named Stephan Stanciu. The band focused more on playing than talking as they segued from song to song and got the crowd moshing from the start of their set to the end.
Phantom took the stage next. I was very excited to see Phantom again because when I first saw them in the qualifying rounds, they really blew me away with their pristine sound, tight musicianship and groovy tunes. D.D Murley displayed amazing energy, both in terms of vocals and stage presence as he was jumping multiple times like a true rock star. There was not one flaw to be found with their set as the volume was perfect and all instruments could be heard very clearly.