We're nearing the end of the qualifying rounds of the Toronto edition for the 2016 Wacken Metal Battle Canada as we're already into round 4. A group of devoted metalheads packed the tiny Bovine on a cold Friday night to witness 5 bands competing for the great opportunity to represent Canada in Germany this August at Wacken Open Air. Kicking off the night was Cellphone. Despite having a pretty unusual name for a metal band, their music was very solid, which to me sounded like punk tinged thrash and groove metal. Vocalist and bassist Miami Mike is quite an exceptional bassist as he pulled some crazy bass licks and J. Leon delivered some great grooving riffs.
Now it was time for Earth's Yellow Sun, who are the first band in Wacken Metal Battle Canada history to have saxophones. With a guitarist, drummer, bassist, keyboardist and three saxophonists, they squeezed everything and everybody on the tiny Bovine stage and gave a performance that wowed everyone in the crowd. They played their entire EP in one continuous performance without stopping. The only speeches from the band came before and after the performance. Their music was progressive metal, and it also had a bit of a jazz flavour because of the saxophones and keyboards, and with the performance being one continuous whole, it also had an avant-garde feel. From the majestic melodies of the saxophones and keys to the funky bass licks, grooving riffs and smooth drumming, our ears loved every minute of their set. Earth's Yellow Sun is a band you just have to check out. They received a tremendous applause at the end. It's always very refreshing to see something different.
Closing off the night was Dawn Vally. I had the chance to see these guys at the Wacken Metal Battle two years ago and it was great to see them again. The best way to describe their set is complete chaos as Jeff the bassist and Onionz the guitarist banged the hell out of their guitars and they, along with vocalist Sycrote stomped the stage with a ton of ferocity. Onionz put a crazy amount of energy into his guitar shredding that his high E-string ended up snapping, leaving him with only six strings, as he was playing a seven-string guitar. However, the band experienced some technical issues on stage as Onionz's guitar kept cutting out, leaving him playing without any sound coming from his amp a few times. Aside from the technical issues, Dawn Vally gave the most energetic performance of the night.
Journalist: Alex Stojanovic
Photographer: Navneet Johal
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The energy level went way up as Brantford boys Door To Door Human Gore took the stage all guns blazing next. Guitarists Alec McRae and Martin Pickell delivered some chunky brutal riffs with their seven-string guitars and Wally Warwick growled his guts out with awesome gutterals. He even admitted to being out of breath before the last song. With their furious headbanging and tight musicianship, they put on an excellent performance and really got the crowd into their set.
Blastomycosis took the stage next raising the energy once again with straightforward death metal. You can tell that Blastomycosis is a band all about fun from their pretty crazy song titles and lyrical concepts. The best description for the band would be death metal with comedic lyrics and song titles. They also played the most amount of songs, which was about 7 or 8, but they played the entire 25 minutes they were given without going over, plus all their songs were pretty short so it worked out really well. Great performance and the crowd was definitely into it.