And so it begins, the 2016 Wacken Battle Canada, Toronto division kicked it off with the first show of the first rounds at Toronto’s favourite Bovine Sex Club. Five bands battled it off back to back in the hopes of becoming the one band of this round to head off onto the semi-finals. I was pleased to see quite a bit of diversity in tonight’s WMBC lineup with different styles, set ups and even age groups. With a sparse and quite sober crowd, Mental Circuit had the difficult task of opening up the show with some punk rock beats with a bit of metal groove. Though we didn’t get much on the performance side from these local Torontonian metallers, but their set as pretty solid and vocalist “Plaz” got to show us his vocal range from clean to heavy vocals.
Six of Swords kicked straight into their set with some heavy tunes and gutturals. From their flat edge baseball caps to their wife beaters, this band had a hardcore vibe that was replicated in their musical style. Their constant head banging and bobbing had the crowd following along to the rhythm. Though at times I found their song progression predictable and they had more breakdowns that I would like, they absolutely killed it with their high energy level and dynamic performance.
Last but not least, Crawl finished off the night with what I considered to be a much more experienced performance. Vocalist Michael David Wolf worked the crowd, egging on their enthusiasm and stepping over the stage barrier to get right in the crowds face. Their hard rock tunes and clean vocals were easy to get into and reminded me a lot of Alice in Chains.
Journalist: Kirsti Heitz
Photographer: Navneet Johal
Morgan Rider (Vesperia)
Ingrid Newton (Metal Master Kingdom)
Dan Turcotte (Pet Shop Productions)
Adding their touch of theatrics to the stage, My Frost performed next with their dressed up mic stands, face paint and furs. I quite enjoyed the avant-garde-ish vibe these guys were giving off with high guttural vocals, dissonant riffs and at times, jarring bass notes for effect that worked well with their tunes. If there is such a thing as Monster Metal, these guys would take that title. Though I wish their bassist would join in with the bands dramatic performance and enthusiasm, they performed an entertaining set which was highlighted by a bass and guitar swap between musicians.
With some beer infused tunes, psychedelic leggings, cut off shirts and ripped jeans vests, Python took the stage with their heavy metal / old school style. You can definitely tell that these guys are heavily influenced by the icons of Heavy Metal. Their tunes are easy listening for metallers and give you that nostalgia feeling. I found a few tunes to be a little too reminiscent of classic heavy metal songs, but either way I enjoyed their rowdy performance and good-times vibe.