Journalist: Kirsti Heitz
Photographer: Navneet Johal
@ Hard Luck Bar
April 16, 2016
(C)2016 www.metalmasterkingdom.com All rights reserved. Photos: Navneet Johal
With a casual air, Hamiltonites Profaner took the stage next with easy smiles and a “good-times” attitude. Synchronized headbanging and guitar/bass movements immediately won be over as Profaner brew up some thrashy tunes with enough melodic arrangements to keep things interesting. Groovy beats and clean vocals added by guitarist Jason Crook were the perfect top off to their tunes. Vocalists Anthony delivered a superb performance as he screamed his way through the tunes and got the crowd riled up so their front-line of faithful headbangers didn’t miss a beat. Profaner kept their set interesting and fans laughing as they interjected their tunes with synchronized dance moves or pushed the crowd to make a perfectly square mosh pit, because why the hell not? Profaner ended their set with a ballad intro that quickly turned into a thrash/melodic tune with the audience waving lighters and each member of Profaner performing a superb solo.
Now that the Wacken Metal Battle competitors have performed, they get a chance to kick back and witness a special treat as Final Trigger performed right before the announcement of tonight’s winner. A new wave of audience members walked through the doors as Final Trigger fans crowded the stage in order to get a good spot for throwing down. These Torontonians classify themselves as “skrap metal” which is hard to explain unless you give them a listen. From hip-hop themes mixed with the heavy goodness of metal and a Juggalo vibe, their tunes have a nu-metal vibe that is amped up. DJ Metal D acted as a hype man when he wasn’t spinning and vocalist/guitaris Jroc had pit monsters wrapped around his fingers as he stirred them into a frenzy. Beat masters JJ and Faz interjected their fast and heavy rhythms with groovy arrangements as Final Trigger performed with the solid experience of a seasoned band.
With some serious makeup and a dramatic setting, Astaroth took the stage next bringing with them a large fanbase who were ready to stir the pit up. With skin painted red, leather trench coat, black hair slicked back and firey red eyes, vocalist Astaroth (locally known as Sam) took the center stage with growling vocals and a dramatic yet animated presence. Though I do love me some extreme FX makeup, I wish that the theme that vocalist Sam chose would have been spread equally amongst the rest of the band who were dressed in little to no makeup. Astaroth played a high energy set with interspaced melancholic moments were vocalist Sam opted for not quite pitch perfect clean vocals accompanied by some slick blast beats by the stoic Emile.
Last but not least we had Wind Cries Mary from London take the stage to wrap up the competitors portion of the night. Assuming that the crowd’s energy level was on an almighty high after Profaner, Wind Cries Mary tried to squeeze the same size pit from the Hard Luck Club but it took at least half their set for fans to finally react and get into their tunes. Being true to their genre, Wind Cries Mary threw down in a classic metalcore fashion with plenty of breakdowns and melodic riffs. Vocalist Keiryn didn’t seem fazed by the initially lack of response but as more fans started to be drawn into the tunes, Keiryn knew how to stir the pot and egg fans on into a frenzy.