The qualifying rounds are now over and we've now reached the end of the semi-finals for the Toronto edition of Wacken Metal Battle Canada 2016. The winners of the Ontario semi-finals have been determined and we look forward to the national final at the Opera House in June. On April 22nd, fans gathered at the Rivoli to witness four great bands from four different parts of Ontario and to see who will be joining Profaner (the other Ontario winner) and the other bands from across the country that are advancing to the finals. Let's get down to the festivities.
Starting off the night were the Hamilton boys in Python. I had the chance to see these guys at the very first round of this year's battle at the Bovine and I thoroughly enjoyed their set then and I enjoyed their set this time as well. Their great groovy tunes and melodies influenced by the bands of the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal got heads bobbing and feet tapping in the crowd. They didn't bring anything as far as uniqueness, but their music was very enjoyable.
Up next were our homeboys in Pyramid Theorem, bringing some great progressive heavy rock in the vein of Rush and Dream Theater. Drummer Vic Dee was very animated constantly twirling and flipping his sticks and showcasing his serious drum chops. Christian Di Mambro showcased impressive bass chops on his Rickenbacker bass playing in the style of Geddy Lee and his brother Stephan, who was on keyboards for most of the set, switched to guitar for one song. Sam Ermellini showed some impressive chops on the guitar with some serious shredding and great tasty melodic solos.
Journalist: Alex Stojanovic
Photography: Alex Stojanovic
Photo edit: Navneet Johal
@ The Rivoli
April 22, 2016
Danko Jones (Danko Jones)
Dan Turcotte (Pet Shop Productions)
Shawn Davidson (Wacken Open Air anthem composer)
Vic Branco (Iguana Studios)
John Belrose (Maple Metal Records)
Raising the energy up next were Ottawa boys Signs Of Chaos. When I saw the seven and eight-string guitars, I knew we were in for some chunky and serious riffage. Their music had a bit of a hardcore vibe to it and it sort of reminded me Hatebreed, except there were more guitar solos. The synchronized headbanging got the crowd following along to the pounding rhythms.
Next up with some great melodic death metal were Walkerton boys Odium. I saw these guys recently in the qualifying rounds and they impressed then and they impressed again. Andrew Fullerton unleashed some great gutterals and melodic vocals as guitarists Bo Louther and Marc Dobson threw down some solid riffs and their music contained great grooves and fast tempos.
After the competing bands played their sets, it was time to close the night with guest headliners Operus, featuring Wacken Metal Battle Canada's organizer J.J Tartaglia on drums, I remember seeing Operus as a competing band two years ago at the 2014 edition of the battle. Will Patterson showcased an astounding vocal ability, ranging from majestic soaring cleans, to dirty growls backed by guitarist Oscar Rangel. During solos and instrumental sections, Patterson would come out with a skull mask and cape on and take it off before the vocals return. They performed like a highly experienced band with tight musicianship and well-structured songs.