Not even a cold and rainy night could stop the metalheads in Toronto from enjoying another fantastic feast of underground heaviness and doom.
OPENING ACTS: Wake and Conjurer
Despite the bad weather that’s been hitting Toronto for days with nonstop rain and colder-than-expected temperatures, the cozy Lee’s Palace received an awesome number of fans this Tuesday night for the Deceiver North America MMXXIII Tour, featuring the bands WAKE, CONJURER and KHEMMIS, on another fantastic event organized by Noel Peters of Inertia Entertainment. One of the concert goers was Keith Ibbitson of Lower Eastside Photography, who took care of the amazing pictures from this review, and as you can see based on the photos taken it was indeed an incendiary night of underground Black, Doom, Death and Sludge Metal in the city, courtesy of three of the most interesting bands you can find out there.
The first band to hit the stage was Calgary, Alberta-based Black/Death Metal act WAKE, and it was an unforgettable experience for all fans at an already packed venue. Still promoting their 2022 album Thought Form Descent, those five Canadian metallers delivered an electrifying performance to the crowd, with their intense sound and powerful vocals inspiring everyone for some good headbanging throughout the entire set. The lighting and sound were on point, adding to the overall atmosphere of the show. Playing a mix of old and new songs that had the crowd singing along, Wake’s performance was flawless, not to mention the venue itself was perfect for the show, with a great layout and plenty of space for everyone to enjoy the music. Overall, it was an amazing display of heavy music and great vibes, and if you get the chance to see Wake live, don’t miss it!
This Abyssal Plain
Swallow the Light
Venerate (The Undoing of All)
Kyle Ball – vocals
Arjun Gill – guitars
Rob LaChance – guitars
Ryan Kennedy – bass
Josh Bueckert – drums
Right after Wake, it was time for UK’s Sludge/Doom/Post-Metal outfit CONJURER to deliver a solid performance that was nothing short of electrifying, having the crowd fully engaged form start to finish. Mixing some of their old songs with newer ones from their 2022 opus Páthos, the band formed of Dan Nightingale, Brady Deeprose, Conor Marshall and Noah See showcased all their versatility and growth as musicians, hammering the heads of each and every person at Lee’s Palace with their sluggish, heavy-as-hell sounds. Kudos to the venue for another excellent lighting, adding an extra layer of intensity to Conjurer’s performance, and if I were you I wouldn’t miss their show in your city if Sludge Metal is your cup of tea. Needless to say, I can’t wait to see them perform again in Toronto.
Cracks in the Pyre
Dan Nightingale – guitars, vocals
Brady Deeprose – guitars, vocals
Conor Marshall – bass
Noah See – drums
After opening for Opeth and Mastodon in the beginning of 2022, and also for Trivium close to the end of the year, Denver, Colorado’s own Doom Metal entity KHEMMIS returned to Toronto now in 2023, this time as the headliners, for another lesson in doom. Having recently launched a two-track EP titled Where the Cold Wind Blows, Khemmis kicked some ass from start to finish, opening their set with the excellent Avernal Gate, followed by one of the songs form their new EP, the also amazing Sigil. The crowd was buzzing with excitement as the quartet continued their electrifying set until the very end, closing their performance with the thrilling song A Conversation with Death.
The crowd at Lee’s Palace was obviously headbanging along with the music, and Khemmis fed off of their energy, delivering an even more powerful and intense performance than expected. Overall, it was an incredible night of heavy music at Lee’s Palace spearheaded by those American metallers, who proved once again why they are one of the most exciting bands in the genre today and why they keep coming back to Toronto (either as an opening act or as the main attraction) so often. Well, as a matter of fact, Khemmis mentioned during their performance that Toronto has the most underrated food in the world, saying that every single time they come to the city to play a concert they have the tastiest food in the world. In other words, they love Toronto from the bottom of their blackened hearts not only because we’re the best metalheads in the world, but also because they know that they never have to play with an empty stomach in the city. It’s like a win-win situation where they get fed with first-class food, while we get fed with first-class music, right?
House of Cadmus
Above the Water
A Conversation with Death
Ben – vocals, guitars
Phil – vocals, guitars
David Small – bass
Zach – drums