Album Review – FesterDecay / Reality Rotten To The Core (2023)

***Review by Luke Hayhurst, writer for Morbid Wings (Print) ZineVM Underground Fanzine and Doom-Metal.com***

FesterDecay are a quartet of Goregrind fanatics who hail from Fukoaka in Japan. Since their 2016 inception the band have put together a decent list of demo and split releases, however 2023 sees the band’s first full length offering; a fourteen track opus of filth and degradation that they have called Reality Rotten to the Core. Rather appropriately, Everlasting Spew Records have unleashed this putrid beast on both CD and cassette.

Leave it to the Japanese to do Goregrind properly. Rather than simply churn out a series of breakdowns, pig squeals and audio samples, FesterDecay have given their sound a firm foundation of old school Death Metal with the inclusion of thunderous and bleak sounding riffs and a sturdy and pummeling back line of throbbing bass tones and thumping aggression from behind the kit. From there the pestilent vocal work of KK2 kicks in to add a layer of grime and detritus, whilst the riffs take on a thuggish and belligerent tone.

Sporting a heady mixture of bowel trembling bass lines and wildly erratic guitar solos, Fall in Grind starts out with a grueling and abrasive sound and only gets sicker and more devastating as more time passes. It isn’t until fourth track Disintegration of Organs that the band really unleash a fully Goregrind sounding style; meaty chugging riffs, furious and violent drum tones and a bass line you could garotte with, whilst all the while the vocals gurgle and boil away to themselves before spewing forth a hostile tirade of bile and pus!

If you want sickening song names attached to mind bending aggressive bouts of malicious, blood curdling sickness, look no further than Aborticide. Not a track for the pro-lifer brigade as I’m sure you could imagine. I like the tracks that slow things down though, the tracks that let the bass tones fester in their juices and riffs take on a deranged, predatory air before unleashing a vicious volley of blood soaked anal fluid in your face; such as the appropriately named Stench of Decay.

In the midst of all of this putridity and carnage, thuggery and hooliganism, there sits From the Dark Tomb which for the most part is a lesson in brooding, oppressive sounding OSDM that then degrades into a maelstrom of pus splattering riffs and maniacal drumming which then plays out over the next few tracks as a purge style rout of blistering heaviness and uncontrollable animosity and animalistic tendencies truly take hold.

In all seriousness, Reality Rotten to the Core is a good blend of the barbaric, the groove drenched and the needlessly silly; everything I want from a good Grindcore album. Plus the OSDM influence which so few bands of this kind utilize. Well played squires.

Best moments of the album: The infusion of an OSDM foundation to their sound. Plus, Aborticide & From the Dark Tomb.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2023 by Everlasting Spew Records

Track listing
1. Rotten Fester Decay 2:16
2. Hash the Tongue 1:36
3. Fall in Grind 2:07
4. Disintegration of Organs 2:13
5. Aborticide 2:17
6. Stench of Decay 3:38
7. Psychopharmacist 1:06
8. From the Dark Tomb 2:45
9. Exposing the Skin Tissue 1:47
10. Carcasses’ Revenge 2:38
11. Cryptic Wounds 1:26
12. Liquidized Gallbladder 0:44
13. Scum’s Karma 2:28
14. Reconstruction of Malignant Miasma 3:53

Band members
KK2 – vocals
Haru – guitar, vocals
⻲頭 – bass, guitar
Ryozy – drums

Links
FesterDecay Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube | BandCamp | Spotify | Linktree

Album Review – Atrocia / Contamination (2022)

It’s time to slam into the pit to the vicious Death Metal spawned by this incendiary French band, dealing with a dystopian universe inspired by science-fiction literature.

The vicious Death Metal spawned by Saint-Nazaire, Pays de la Loire, France-based act Atrocia correlates with diversity and energy, being inspired by the major figures from the 90’s scene in the United States such as Suffocation, Cannibal Corpse and Death with elements of Thrash Metal and a nuance of Grindcore added to their trademark sound. Dealing with a dystopian universe in their lyrics since their inception in 2003, particularly inspired by science-fiction literature, Atrocia are back in action now in 2022 with their third full-length album, entitled Contamination, with the crisp recording and mixing by Arthur Lauth at Brown Bear Recording, the mastering by Zack Ohren at Castle Ultimate Productions, and the futuristic artwork by Giannis Nakos of Remedy Art Design turning it into a must-listen for fans of the genre while also showcasing all the talent by vocalist and guitarist Julien Lésébos, guitarist Sebastian Fuentes, bassist Arnaud Beilvert, and drummer Pierre Garcia.

The fulminating riffs by Julien and Sebastian kick off the brutal Unleashing The Insurgency, with Pierre’s crushing beats adding even more fuel to the band’s Death Metal machine without showing a single second of peace, whereas more of the band’s vile Death Metal comes in the form of Corridors Of The Living Dead, with Julien barking deeply à la Chris Barnes while Arnaud’s bass and Pierre’s drums fill out every empty space in the atmosphere. In Incorporeal Killer the unrelenting Julien keeps vomiting the song’s bloodthirsty words while Pierre dictates the song’s pace, also bringing forward sick, strident guitar solos; and a beyond sinister intro gradually morphs into a putrid sonority in Monolith, an old school Death Metal extravaganza where the whole band will demolish our senses with their heavy-as-hell artillery.

The second half of the album begins in full force with Iron Corps Icy Stalk, presenting truly melodic riffs and solos by Julien and Sebastian while Arnaud and Pierre show no mercy for our damned souls with their wicked kitchen (despite its second part getting a bit repetitive), whereas Lies brings to our avid ears more of their old school Death Metal for our total delight, with Pierre once again stealing the spotlight with his infernal blast beats. Then a cinematic, cryptic start permeates the air until the band returns with their hellish wall of sounds in Curse Of The Two-Headed Queen Cobra, where their riffs will pierce our minds mercilessly, sounding and feeling absolutely pulverizing in an ode to all things Death Metal. Lastly, the band brings forth over seven minutes of pure savagery titled Embrace The Venom, perfect for headbanging like a beast while Pierre hammers his drums with tons of groove, supported by the diabolical riffs and bass by his bandmates.

In summary, Atrocia more than nailed it with Contamination, which is by the way available in full on Spotify, perfectly adding their dystopian lyrics into their core (and extremely brutal) Death Metal, and if you want to show those French metallers how much you love their music you can buy their new album from their own BandCamp page, from the Great Dane Records’ BandCamp page, from Season of Mist, from Apple Music, or from Amazon, as well as by following them on Facebook and on Instagram, and by subscribing to their YouTube channel. It might have taken a few years after the band’s inception before they could release their first full-length effort, but now we can say such French brigade has been on a roll since their 2012 album Inward Chaos, with Contamination cementing their name in the French underground extreme music scene.

Best moments of the album: Unleashing The Insurgency, Incorporeal Killer and Curse Of The Two-Headed Queen Cobra.

Worst moments of the album: Iron Corps Icy Stalk.

Released in 2022 Great Dane Records

Track listing
1. Unleashing The Insurgency 4:59
2. Corridors Of The Living Dead 3:42
3. Incorporeal Killer 4:49
4. Monolith 7:09
5. Iron Corps Icy Stalk 4:50
6. Lies 4:51
7. Curse Of The Two-Headed Queen Cobra 5:34
8. Embrace The Venom 7:25

Band members
Julien Lésébos – vocals, guitar
Sebastian Fuentes – guitar
Arnaud Beilvert – bass
Pierre Garcia – drums

Concert Review – Amon Amarth (History, Toronto, ON, 12/02/2022)

A beautiful night where all Vikings of Toronto put their backs into the oar and rowed in the name of heavy music together with the one and only Amon Amarth. 

OPENING ACTS: Cattle Decapitation, Obituary and Carcass

The last concert of 2022 (at least for me) couldn’t have been any better, as Toronto had the pleasure of hosting The Great Heathen Tour 2022 at this amazing new venue called History, which was by the way inaugurated in November 2021 and belongs to Toronto’s own rapper Drake, with the bands CATTLE DECAPITATION, OBITUARY, CARCASS and the unstoppable heathen horde AMON AMARTH. The venue is in a nice area of the city, near the beaches, with plenty of parking options and decent places to eat nearby such as The Burger’s Priest, making the whole experience a lot more enjoyable than going to a concert at Rebel, for example.

And everything was so well-organized, from the line to get into the venue to the merch booths, bars and coat check, that between the doors opening at 5:30pm and the first concert I had time to do all that and still had 15-20min left before American Progressive Death Metal/Grindcore outfit CATTLE DECAPITATION hit the stage at 6:30pm sharp with their vicious sonic attack. Still promoting their 2019 album Death Atlas, the band spearheaded by frontman Travis Ryan needed less than a minute to inspire the crowd to create a massive circle pit in the middle of the floor section, and that circle pit went on and on until the very end of their concert (and of the entire night, I might say). Moreover, although their setlist was extremely short, it was solid enough to put a smile on the faces of their diehard fans, with the pulverizing Bring Back the Plague being the icing on the cake of their great performance.

Setlist
Anthropogenic: End Transmission
The Geocide
Vulturous
The Great Dying Pt. II
Finish Them
We Eat Our Young
Time’s Cruel Curtain
Bring Back the Plague

Band members
Travis Ryan – vocals
Josh Elmore – lead guitars
Belisario Dimuzio – rhythm guitars
Olivier Pinard – bass
David McGraw – drums

If you’re familiar with the laws, rules and regulations in Toronto you know that most concerts must finish by 11pm depending on the neighborhood where the venue is located, so you can imagine that with four amazing bands like the ones from last night there weren’t any huge breaks in between bands. That being said, I had time to grab a quick beer before one of the biggest Death Metal institutions of all time, the unstoppable OBITUARY, began their insane performance led by the iconic vocalist John Tardy and the crushing drums by his younger brother Donald Tardy. It was again a short but precise and infernal performance by those American death metallers, blending their old school stuff the likes of I’m in Pain with a brand new song from their upcoming 2023 album Dying of Everything, the demolishing The Wrong Time, and by the reaction of the crowd to each and every song played by Obituary we know they’ll keep moving forward no matter what for many years to come. Needless to say, I can’t wait for Dying of Everything next year.

Setlist
Snortin’ Whiskey (Pat Travers Band song)
Redneck Stomp
Sentence Day
A Lesson in Vengeance
Visions in My Head
Circle of the Tyrants (Celtic Frost cover)
The Wrong Time
I’m in Pain
Don’t Care

Band members
John Tardy – vocals
Kenny Andrews – lead guitars
Trevor Peres – rhythm guitars
Terry Butler – bass
Donald Tardy – drums

Another short break, another beer, and then it was finally time for my first ever face-to-face meeting with England’s own Melodic Death Metal/Death ‘n’ Roll trailblazers CARCASS, one of the very few bands I’ve always been a fan of but that I’ve never had the pleasure of seeing live. Still promoting their fantastic 2021 album Torn Arteries, Jeff Walker, Bill Steer, Tom Draper and Daniel Wilding put on a marvelous show for the delight of all fans at the venue, igniting some sick mosh pits to the sound of Incarnated Solvent Abuse, This Mortal Coil, Genital Grinder, and my favorite Carcass song of all time, Heartwork. Hopefully, Carcass will keep delivering amazing material such as Torn Arteries in the coming years, which means more world tours of course, because Toronto loves Carcass and we’re eager to see them again in a not-so-distant future.

Setlist
The Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue (Intro)
Buried Dreams
Kelly’s Meat Emporium
Incarnated Solvent Abuse
Under the Scalpel Blade
This Mortal Coil
Dance of Ixtab (Psychopomp & Circumstance March No. 1 in B)
Genital Grinder
The Scythe’s Remorseless Swing
Corporal Jigsore Quandary
Heartwork
Carneous Cacoffiny (Outro)

Band members
Jeff Walker – vocals, bass
Bill Steer – guitars, backing vocals
Tom Draper – guitars
Daniel Wilding – drums

AMON AMARTH

At long last, just like what happened with Cannibal Corpse, the unparalleled Swedish Melodic Death Metal horde AMON AMARTH was finally able to return to Canada after three years due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and the wait was beyond worth it as their concert yesterday in Toronto was superb to say the least. Those Swedish Vikings kicked some serious ass from the very first second of the classic Guardians of Asgaard (and yes, they’re starting their shows this tour already with a bang), with frontman Johan Hegg being on fire with his deep roars and a very respectful beard. All songs form their 2022 album The Great Heathen Army sounded fantastic live, in special the title-track The Great Heathen Army, adding an extra taste to their incendiary setlist full of classic songs including Destroyer of the Universe and Shield Wall.

The most memorable moment for all fans at the venue was undoubtedly when the band played their new hit Put Your Back Into the Oar, when halfway through it the whole floor section sat down and began rowing like in a Viking ship. That was amazing, really, really fun, proving Amon Amarth are one of those bands that know exactly how to captivate their audiences and interact with each and every fan in the most exciting way possible. If you’re attending one of their upcoming concerts, don’t forget to join the rowing. Their music is awesome, their stage is getting better and better with each tour, but the rowing is something so unique I think it should be mandatory for anyone who purchases a ticket to participate. I can’t wait for the next time Amon Amarth takes the city of Toronto by storm, and I’ll surely be there to put my back into the oar again! ROW! ROW! ROW!

It’s always great to enjoy a night of heavy music in Toronto, to share a few beers with your friends, and to see several familiar faces in the crowd. However, there was one of those familiar faces missing, and it was THE MOST familiar face of the Toronto metal scene. Our beloved super metal fan Walter Froeberich passed away on November 26 after trying to get help for nearly ten days for a serious abdominal pain, but he was allegedly sent home with just some antibiotics and, sadly, died at home in the end. His closest friends organized a protest in front of St. Joseph’s Hospital today demanding justice for Walter, and I really hope something is done to make sure that type of situation doesn’t ever happen again with anyone else in Toronto. I didn’t formally know Walter, but I’ve shared the pit with him many, many times and I’ll miss him in all future concerts in the city. When Amon Amarth played the excellent Raise Your Horns, I raised my horns for Walter, and I’m sure one day I’ll say hello to him in person when we meet in Valhalla again.

Setlist
Run to the Hills (Iron Maiden song)
Guardians of Asgaard
Raven’s Flight
Deceiver of the Gods
Oden Owns You All
The Pursuit of Vikings
The Great Heathen Army
Get in the Ring
Destroyer of the Universe
Put Your Back Into the Oar
Cry of the Black Birds
The Way of Vikings
First Kill
Shield Wall
Raise Your Horns

Encore:
Twilight of the Thunder God

Band members
Johan Hegg – vocals
Olavi Mikkonen – lead guitar
Johan Söderberg – rhythm guitar
Ted Lundström – bass
Jocke Wallgren – drums

Metal Chick of the Month – Haruka Morikawa

A beautiful Japanese nightmare!

As we’re getting closer and closer to the end of another year of pure fuckin’ metal, let’s keep banging our heads nonstop to another extremely talented woman from the underground scene, this time hailing from Japan, or as several people like to call it, the “Land of the Rising Sun”. Easily switching between deep, demonic growls and an angelic, operatic voice, our metal lady of the month of November has been making a strong impact not only on the underground scene in her homeland, but her voice has been echoing all over the world and, therefore, attracting the attention of a wide variety of headbangers worldwide. I’m talking about Haruka Morikawa, also simply known as Haruka, the lead singer for Japanese Melodic/Symphonic Electro Death/Thrash Metal band Heterogeneous Andead, and just by the name of the band and the type of music they play you know you’re in for a treat in our humble tribute to such unique vocalist.

Born and raised in Japan, the skillful Haruka has been the voice of Tokyo’s own Heterogeneous Andead since April 2014, when the band’s current style reached its desired shape and form. However, the band was formed a little before that, though, starting as a project named Andead by founder and multi-instrumentalist Yusuke Kiyama in 2012, changing its name to Heterogeneous Andead in 2013 when they started playing some live concerts. Singing about caustic topics such as sorrow, grief and despair, Heterogeneous Andead have already released one EP and two full-length albums in their career, those being their 2015 debut EP Undead, the 2017 album Deus Ex Machina, and now in 2022 the album Chaotic Fragments, which will be reviewed by The Headbanging Moose sooner than you can say “Japan” and is already available for purchasing HERE. In addition to those, the band was also featured in the compilations Fear Candy 150 (Terrorizer Magazine, 2015), 嘘。(BM Records, 2015), Bad Wish (BM Records, 2015), Halloween – Trick Or Treat (BM Records, 2015), Imperative Music Compilation DVD Vol. 14 (Imperative Music, 2017), and Metal Japan Heavy Chains Vol.5 TieUp ConneXion #2 (Metal Japan Records, 2019).

Heterogeneous Andead have been suffering with several lineup changes lately, with guitarist Sho and bassist Takashi Onitake leaving the band in December 2021 and drummer Tomoyuki Nakano also leaving the band in July this year, which means Yusuke and Haruka are currently searching for a guitarist, a bassist and a drummer to join them in their quest for heavy music. I’m sure they’ll find some talented musicians to be part of the band soon, and until then you can enjoy Haruka’s unique vocals in the official videos for the amazing songs Denied, Automaton and Fission, as well as live recordings of the songs Demise of Reign, Flash of Calamity and Denied live at WildSideTokyo on September 16, 2019, and Unleashed live on February 11, 2017 at Shinjuku Head Power. Furthermore, you can always stream all of the band’s creations on Spotify as well.

An admirer of Classical Music, Jazz, Electronic Pop, Brutal Death Metal and Grindcore, the stunning Haruka doesn’t only mesmerize us all with her mezzo-soprano vocals, singing like an angel, and with her guttural growls and screeches, sounding like a devil, but she also makes sure her looks on stage are in sync with the music being played. According to her bandmate Yusuke, the concept of costumes is basically darkness or gorgeousness influenced by Japanese visual kei, a movement among Japanese musicians that is characterized by the use of varying levels of make-up, elaborate hair styles and flamboyant costumes, often, but not always, coupled with androgynous aesthetics, similar to Western Glam Rock. Simply watch the aforementioned videos of the band, as well as their live performances, and you’ll see the incredible fusion of music and visuals in their creations.

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Owner of a natural Anime voice (according to the band itself), when asked about how she manages to go from her growls to her mezzo-soprano voice (and back) in seconds without having any sort of vocal issues, Haruka said she has already found the perfect way to switch from one style to another, complementing she has never lost her voice due to that extreme change. In one of her interviews our beloved vocalist said that although she didn’t feel her voice was the most remarkable piece of her identity in the beginning, she now understands and feels the power of her voice as part of her character, saying that it was Yusuke who inspired her to sing both harsh and clean vocals when she first joined the band. It was a challenge for her at first, of course, but Yusuke made sure he adapted part of the band’s style to match with her abilities, resulting in a win-win situation for both him and Haruka as the music by Heterogeneous Andead sounds fantastic nowadays. If you’re in Japan you might be lucky enough to witness them playing live, which occurs only once or twice a month, and despite not filling up big venues yet they certainly have a decent amount of followers that always attend their concerts.

Regarding the metal scene in Japan and how well their unique type of Extreme Metal is accepted in the country, Haruka mentioned during an interview that she can see metal bands having issues playing in countries or regions where the catholic church is very strong, but that’s not a problem in Japan as most of the Japanese population doesn’t follow any religion (or at least they don’t follow it blindly, I might say). What’s interesting is that Haruka is a Protestant Christian herself (and she mentioned only 1% of the country is Christian, by the way), but fortunately music and religion are not connected in any particular way in Japan. She also said that because she follows a Christian way of living she believes she can better express herself when singing with Heterogeneous Andead, externalizing all the sorrow and grief from the lyrics in great fashion.

You can watch a few fun and informative interviews on YouTube with Haruka, who’s by the way a big fan of our beloved monster Godzilla. For example, you can enjoy this nice interview to Antichrist Magazine in 2018 where Haruka and Yusuke talk about their previous album Deus Ex Machina; and this one to the Argentinian webzine Territorio Rock, also in 2018. And last but not least, anytime you watch a live performance by Haruka with Heterogeneous Andead you’ll certainly notice her movements are very theatrical, adding an extra touch of finesse to the overall result. The reason for that is that not only Haruka was part of plays and musicals when she was a student, but she also practiced Aikido, a modern Japanese martial art that is split into many different styles, during her childhood, allowing her to improve the visual effects of her personal performance while singing at the same time. In other words, don’t mess with Haruka or you’ll get your ass kicked, got it? Simply relax and enjoy her unique vocals to the fullest, proving how much Japan is and will always be one of the most creative countries in the world when the music in question is Heavy Metal.

Haruka Morikawa’s Official Twitter
Heterogeneous Andead’s Official Facebook page
Heterogeneous Andead’s Official YouTube channel
Heterogeneous Andead’s Official Twitter

Interview – Konstantin Shepes (Lifetaker)

Lifetaker

***Interview by Luke Hayhurst, writer for Morbid Wings (Print) ZineVM Underground Fanzine and Doom-Metal.com***

Luke Hayhurst: Greetings Konstantin and to all of Lifetaker. How is life right now in Germany?

Konstantin Shepes (Lifetaker): Hey Luke, thanks for having us! Since we can not speak for every soul living in this country. Indeed; to us life seems quite bearable at the moment because we are stoked about our new record that came out on Friday!

LH: I won’t lie, until you messaged me about your new album I had not heard of Lifetaker. With that in mind, can you tell me about the genesis of the band? How you came into existence, and how you came to choose the provocative name, Lifetaker?

KS: Lifetaker was formed back in 2018, and we’ve known each other for years. However, we played in different bands up until this point. So, forming Lifetaker became a lucky twist of fate in a way. The band turned out to subjectively fulfill every aspect of being in a band that each member was missing at some point in the past. So, the genesis of Lifetaker lies in the fact that four dudes who share the same vision on art and musical direction happened by mere accident.

You are right! The name itself may appear kind of provocative but so does the music!

LH: You are about to unleash an absolute colossal panzer attack of a second album entitled ‘Der Letzte Raum’ which translates into English as The Last Room. What can you tell me about the concept behind the album name?

KS: We went with “Der letzte Raum” because we thought it’s a decent allegory for the word “crypt” and at the same time the title is not over-explaining things to the listener. On the other hand, it made sense to choose a German title since the songs are performed in German. This is an idea we finally decided to do on this record because it allows us to put lyrics to songs that the songs deserve. Overall, the record is not meant to follow a specific concept. Every song stands on its own.

LH: I’m intrigued by the artwork for the new album. Who designed the piece and what instructions did you give them? How happy are you with the final piece?

KS: The artwork for “Der letzte Raum” is an actual painting by the Russian artist Veronika Polonskaya. We loved it at first sight and worked things out so no instructions were needed.

LH: I mentioned in my review that I’m not massively well versed in the style you play. You combine the very best elements of Grind, Sludge and Hardcore. Which bands would you say are direct influences to the Lifetaker sound?

KS: To be honest, and by saying this I am really honest… We are not influenced by any band out there. We love music to the fullest, of course we do, and we listen to a lot of stuff out there for sure. But, over the years we figured out that being influenced by other artists leads to nothing but the past. We record all the time and besides the records we have already put out, there is an uncountable amount of b-sides on our hard drives that never made it on a record. What drives us is vaguely motivated by music. It is more likely that we let things happen naturally based on our experiences as artists, as musicians, as human beings…true to the motto: If it feels right, it is right. By saying this, I mean that there is not a lot of overthinking going on and we do not plan everything down to the last detail. When you think of a Lifetaker record, and everything that lies beyond, you can think of a car crash. Things happen when you do not expect them to happen!

LH: I saw on your social media that you describe yourself as an anti-fascist band. Do you consider yourself a politically influenced band and how does that channel into your work?

KS: To our understanding anti-facism, or identifying as an anti-facist band, means that you are embracing the future with a healthy mindset and respect for your environment. And the people you are surrounded by, no matter who they are and where they come from. Lifetaker is not meant to be a political band because we prefer the subject of art over the subject of politics. In my opinion, there is no such thing as political art. It is always art, or politics, never both. The moment you try to inject your political taste into art, you are a politician and not an artist. This is what propaganda means. As a band, we really don’t feel like betraying the potential of art because of propaganda that is based on nothing but personal taste. Overall, political views are never channeled into our work.

Album Review – Lifetaker / Der letzte Raum (2022)

LH: Have you had any dealing with bands of a fascist nature? How prevalent in Germany would you say National Socialist ideals are within the music scene?

KS: No, we never had to deal with artists or bands of fascist nature and never will. We do not deal with facism, we smash it!

Concerning National Socalist ideologies within the German music scene. I would say there are people who do not make a secret out of it and are proud to carry these ideals. And there are people who flirt with these ideals but would never admit it in public.

In both cases, the only thing we as a band can say is fuck them!

LH: Getting back to your music. You released your debut album ‘Night Intruder’ back in 2020. How do you feel your sound has progressed since your first album going into your second?

KS: The sound has progressed in a way that we have managed to let go and get rid of certain aspects that are not necessary. The overall statement of a song/record is based on how we have pictured it before recording. Compared to our debut, the new record is straight to the core madness! Both in sound and songwriting, you will find a more punk and noise inspired approach to it.

LH: You have released the new opus on a great looking LP through Black Omega Recordings, who also released your first album. How did this collaboration come about? Why did you decide to stay with the same label?

KS: John who runs Black Omega Recordings used to be the vocalist for a band that I am friends with. At the time, Lifetaker was looking for a label when it came to the release of Night Intruder. We asked John if he would be interested in releasing the record. Since John is a really cool guy, who shares the same views and beliefs, plus the fact that he obviously must have enjoyed the record, it came to the collaboration that lasts until today.

The fact that we stay with the same label is based on the principle that we only work with people who share the same vision and who are truly dedicated towards what they do. We like authenticity, that is why we go with Black Omega Recordings and Lower Class Kids Records.

Lifetaker

LH: Do you take much notice of your local music scene? Are there any bands local to you that you feel people should be paying more attention to?

KS: Sure, we always keep an eye open for what is going on right now! We would love to shout out our friends in Isocult. Check them out, they definitely deserve more attention. It is your way to go if you are into cold post/wavy electronic tunes!

LH: What are the upcoming plans for Lifetaker once the album is unleashed? Will you be touring the new album? How hard is touring right now in Germany, what with the current energy crisis?

KS: We have already started working on new material for future releases. Hopefully we’ll be able to properly tour the new album since COVID-19 made it nearly impossible to play live for the past two years. Furthermore, we hope that the energy crisis will not get us in too much trouble. We are constantly working on things so that we can do what we love most, play live! Let’s see what the future holds for us.

LH: That is all I have for you. Thanks again for taking the time to answer my questions. I shall leave the final words for you.

KS: All the best to you and everyone out there! Stay safe!

Links
Lifetaker Facebook | Instagram | Linktree | Spotify | BandCamp | YouTube

Album Review – Lifetaker / Der letzte Raum (2022)

***Review by Luke Hayhurst, writer for Morbid Wings (Print) Zine, VM Underground Fanzine and Doom-Metal.com***

Prolific Grind/Hardcore/Sludge quartet Lifetaker have returned with a sophomoric full length album entitled Der Letzte Raum (“The Last Room”) which will see the light of day later this month on an impressive looking LP, put out via Black Omega Recordings.

If you are going to call yourself Lifetaker you damn sure best have a sound to match the statement, and these German chaos merchants go about proving their mettle over the course of fifteen short sharp bursts of violence incarnate. I’m not massively well versed in either Grindcore or Hardcore so I’ll instead spend my time telling you how the album sounds rather than trying to unpick the bands myriad influences.

And what it sounds like is what I imagine having your face forcibly dragged along a cobbled street at a hundred miles per hour might sound like. A violent uncontrollable maelstrom of bludgeoning beats, Buzzsaw riff-age and a vocal style from the gutters, spewing forth bile and spite at every available moment. And yet at times Lifetaker produces moments of pure unadulterated fist pumping madness such as the delightfully catchy Kehlbiss or the equally as fun sounding Kadaverstille which are surely destined to be pit favourites at any upcoming shows that the band grace.

An absolutely banger of an album from start to finish; chaotic and carnage filled, viciously spiteful and intoxicatingly gratifying. Like a Panzer tank belligerently bulldozing your house and making you ask for more! Plug this directly into my veins and leave me to it!

Released in 2022 Black Omega Recordings

Track listing
1. Bunkerjugend 1:33
2. Patrizidprotokoll 2:31
3. Fleischwolf 1:37
4. Strafisolator 1:11
5. Alpha Antichrist 1:02
6. Kehlbiss 1:05
7. Störfunk 0:49
8. Kadaverstille 1:25
9. Blutopfer 2:05
10. Gottgeburt 1:22
11. Madenvolk 0:55
12. Schlafparalyse 1:42
13. Tempelfaust 1:49
14. Vernichtungstanz 2:22
15. Gamma Mörser 2:15

Band members
Konstantin – vocals
Alex – guitars
Gerrit – bass
Nico – drums

Links
Lifetaker Facebook | Instagram | Linktree | Spotify | BandCamp | YouTube

Album Review – Gorotica / Morbid Menagerie (2022)

This repulsive, perverted and cannibalistic Australian-based troupe of questionable French origins offers in their debut opus a fulminating 22-song platter of Death Metal and Grindcore.

Shambling out from the dead blackened underbrush of Sydney, Australia’s backwoods comes a repulsive, perverted and cannibalistic troupe of questionable French origins, collectively known as Grindcore act Gorotica. Living as a reclusive hive for the past three years, the troglodytic trio formed of Jon Von Cannibale on vocals, Gaspard La Verge on the guitars and bass, and Raymonde Peste on drums have been honing their rusted blades and musical skills to now emerge under the Gorotica moniker and bring forth to the public their mission of death and cannibalism in auditory form, or in other words, their debut full-length album Morbid Menagerie. The album offers a 22-song platter of Death Metal and Grindcore with elements of Hardcore garnishing the meat and bones of the music, and with several guests lending their pipes to the chaos, most notably the talented Miller from Sydney grind stalwarts Black Rheno and Tobias from the well-known prog outfit Glass Ocean, presenting it as a highly recommended option for admirers of the goriest side of metal music.

Get ready for a pulverizing Grindcore feast titled At The Gates Of The Necropolis, the perfect welcome card by the band where Jon is bestial on vocals; whereas Gaspard’s metallic riffs and rumbling bass lines are accompanied by the classic drums by Raymonde in Fleshgrind, offering us all two minutes of savagery and heaviness. Born Unto Death is another brutal, venomous onrush by the trio, with Gaspard delivering sheer adrenaline through his Hardcore-infused riffs, not to mention the monstrous roars by Jon, while Teeth Removed With A Sledgehammer brings forward 33 seconds of pure dementia, speed and violence where Jon gets the help from Miller on vocals. Less aggressive and exhaling groove, it’s time for Raymonde to take the lead with his rhythmic beats and fills in The Necrophile, and back to their more infernal mode, Jon growls nonstop accompanied by the insane blast beats by Raymonde in Malevolent Insertion. Guest Tobias lends his demented, deep roars to the band in Corpsefucker, followed by Left To Bleed, starting with the low-tuned bass punches by Gaspard and evolving into a Grindcore extravaganza perfect for slamming into the circle pit. Things get even sharper and more thrilling in Knife Wound Gratification, with Gaspard stealing the spotlight with a maniacal string work while also presenting some welcome breaks and variations. In Graveyard Cannibal it becomes clear that they’re definitely a band that mastered the art of crafting sick tunes that last for less than a minute, and needless to say, Jon is insane on vocals, followed by Execution By Fire, slightly more melodic than its predecessors and sounding confusing at times.

One of the heaviest songs of the album, The Endless Urge, is Grindcore at its finest with all band members being on absolute fire until the very last second, while Ocular Impalement offers our ears one more round of dementia and gore in less than a minute; and their Doom Metal vein arises in Human Skin Drapery, a neck-breaking tune led by the sluggish and pounding drums by Raymonde. It’s time to slam into the pit one more time to the sound of Consuming The Flesh Of The Dead, with Jon bringing forth his trademark deep gnarls, followed by 12 seconds of pure insanity entitled Forced Cluster Headache, working as a “warmup” for Purging The Apocalypse, a fantastic, fast and furious Grindcore attack thanks to the superb job done by Raymonde on drums. The title-track Morbid Menagerie continues to smash everyone that crosses their path to pieces, not to mention guitars and bass by Gaspar couldn’t have sounded more metallic. Then guess what? We’re treated to 44 seconds of pure violence in Severed Head Pincushion, flowing into the dark and sinister Obsession With Mutilation, a good option to headbang in the name of Grindcore and Death Metal. And how about a minute of undisputed aggressiveness as their second to last breath of classic Grindcore? That’s what you’ll get in Desecrating The Remains Of A Virgin, before Bound To The Breaking Wheel closes the album exactly like it should, with no shenanigans, no artificial elements, just plain Grindcore by such skillful and enraged trio.

As already mentioned, Morbid Menagerie is indeed a demented platter of Death Metal and Grindcore by those three mysterious marauders that form the uncanny Gorotica, and you can already preorder such disturbing album from their own BandCamp page, and soon also stream it in full on Spotify. You can also start following Gorotica on Facebook and on Instagram for an overdose of gore and death on your daily routine, making your life a lot more fun to the sound of their bloodcurdling creations. In the end, it doesn’t really matter if the band members are French or Australian because the music found in Morbid Menagerie is awesome, showing the trio knows exactly what they’re doing and, consequently, offering us all another great option for enjoying some carnage inside the circle pit.

Best moments of the album: Fleshgrind, Born Unto Death, Knife Wound Gratification, The Endless Urge and Purging The Apocalypse.

Worst moments of the album: The Necrophile and Execution By Fire.

Released in 2022 Independent

Track listing
1. At The Gates Of The Necropolis 1:49
2. Fleshgrind 2:03
3. Born Unto Death 3:10
4. Teeth Removed With A Sledgehammer 0:33
5. The Necrophile 2:25
6. Malevolent Insertion 1:47
7. Corpsefucker 0:31
8. Left To Bleed 2:34
9. Knife Wound Gratification 2:08
10. Graveyard Cannibal 0:47
11. Execution By Fire 2:03
12. The Endless Urge 2:17
13. Ocular Impalement 0:44
14. Human Skin Drapery 3:09
15. Consuming The Flesh Of The Dead 1:39
16. Forced Cluster Headache 0:12
17. Purging The Apocalypse 1:11
18. Morbid Menagerie 2:13
19. Severed Head Pincushion 0:44
20. Obsession With Mutilation 1:55
21. Desecrating The Remains Of A Virgin 0:58
22. Bound To The Breaking Wheel 3:50

Band members
Jon Von Cannibale – vocals
Gaspard La Verge – guitars, bass
Raymonde Peste – drums

Guest musicians
Jean-Paul Lattouf – percussion
Miller – additional vocals on “Teeth Removed With A Sledgehammer” and “Severed Head Pincushion”
Tobias – additional vocals on “Corpsefucker”
Rasmus & Gaspard – additional vocals

Album Review – Abaddon Incarnate / The Wretched Sermon (2022)

These Irish Death Metal and Grindcore legends are back form the underworld after eight years with their most diverse and expressive album yet.

Having been active since the early 90’s, Dublin, Ireland-based Death Metal/Grindcore legends Abaddon Incarnate have only perfected their sound over the years, creating a quintessential blend of both the styles that can easily be enjoyed in all of its glory in their newborn spawn, entitled The Wretched Sermon, the sixth album in their undisputed career and their first since the 2014 album Pessimist. Displaying a sick artwork by renowned artist Ken Coleman, The Wretched Sermon is easily their most diverse and expressive album yet, meticulously written to flesh out every nuance while keeping things brisk and intense, showcasing a band in top form currently formed of Steve Maher on vocals and guitar, Bill Whelan also on the guitar, Irene Siragusa on bass and Olan Parkinson on drums and, therefore, being highly recommended for admirers of the sonic chaos blasted by renowned acts the likes of Napalm Death, Rotten Sound and Misery Index, among others.

Olan’s vile beats kick off the band’s devilish machine in Rising Of The Lights, a fulminating Grindcore attack where Steve roars manically in the name of evil, whereas Veritas is even more demented and infernal than the opening tune, with the guitars by Steve and Bill exhaling pure sulfur while Irene and Olan are on fire with their heavy-as-hell kitchen. Then bringing forward elements from Black and Death Metal carefully added to their core essence, it’s time to slam into the pit to the sound of Gateways, absolutely fast, furious and demonic, followed by Epic Desecration, not recommended for the lighthearted, where Steve and Bill fire endless violence and hatred through their wicked riffage accompanied by the thunderous bass by the she-demon Irene. In the less demolishing but still caustic and obscure Parasite, it’s time for Olan to blast some headbanging beats while Steve screams rabidly from the bottom of his lungs; and back to their most visceral, deranged mode, the band offers us all Hideous Arise, a bestial creation by the quartet with their guitar work and nonstop drums turning it into one of the most pulverizing of all songs. And if you think Abaddon Incarnate will slow down at any given point you’re absolutely wrong, as in Killing Spree they continue their sonic onrush showcasing never-stopping, frantic riffs and solos, crushing drums and evil roars.

Steve’s guttural screams get deeper and more satanic in Into The Maelstrom, with the entire band sounding possessed by an evil force from the underworld, while Irene hammers her bass in great fashion in Resurrected From A Mass Grave, extracting tons of groove and providing her bandmates with everything they need to craft another explosion of Grindcore. There’s no time to breathe as it’s total anarchy to the sound of Shrine Of Flesh, with Steve gnarling like a creature from the abyss until the very last second; and blending elements from bands like Carcass and Sepultura to their sonority the quartet will smash our cranial skulls mercilessly in Hyperchaos, a fantastic tune spearheaded by Olan’s boisterous beats. Their second to last display of sheer animosity and sulfur is entitled Isolation And Decay, presenting another awesome job done by Steve and Bill armed with their axes without showing not even a single second of peace throughout its over six demonic minutes, and lastly, how about we destroy our bodies into the circle pit one final time with the band? That’s what they have to offer us all in Silent Indifference, with the harsh vociferations by Steve pounding our hearts and minds into dust.

As you can see, Abaddon Incarnate are not just back from the netherworld carrying their apocalyptic, gruesome new album The Wretched Sermon in their blood-soaked arms, which is by the way available for a full listen on YouTube and on Spotify, but they’re eager to tear your flesh apart to the sound of their undisputed Grindcore, and if you want to show them all your support and admiration you can start following the band on Facebook and on Instagram for news, tour dates and more of their caustic music. Hence, don’t forget to also grab your copy of The Wretched Sermon from their own BandCamp page, from the Transcending Obscurity Records webstore as an 8-panel digipak CD (by clicking HERE or HERE) or as a gatefold LP, as well as from Apple Music or Amazon. And may the wretched sermon of old school Grindcore by Abaddon Incarnate reverberate inside our damned minds for all eternity.

Best moments of the album: Veritas, Epic Desecration, Hideous Arise, Resurrected From A Mass Grave and Hyperchaos.

Worst moments of the album: Parasite.

Released in 2022 Transcending Obscurity Records

Track listing
1. Rising Of The Lights 2:46
2. Veritas 1:16
3. Gateways 2:26
4. Epic Desecration 2:47
5. Parasite 2:11
6. Hideous Arise 1:16
7. Killing Spree 2:21
8. Into The Maelstrom 1:56
9. Resurrected From A Mass Grave 2:23
10. Shrine Of Flesh 3:47
11. Hyperchaos 3:43
12. Isolation And Decay 6:56
13. Silent Indifference 2:18

Band members
Steve Maher – vocals, guitar
Bill Whelan – guitar
Irene Siragusa – bass
Olan Parkinson – drums

Album Review – Holocausto Canibal / Crueza Ferina (2022)

The legendary Portuguese purveyors of extremity celebrate 25 years of existence with a new opus featuring 19 tracks of flesh rending Brutal Death Metal and skin flaying Grindcore.

Featuring 19 tracks of flesh rending Brutal Death Metal and skin flaying Grindcore, Crueza Ferina, meaning “ferocious cruelty”, is the sixth full-length album from legendary Portuguese purveyors of extremity, pioneers of brutality, Porto-based horde Holocausto Canibal, highly recommended for fans of Haemorrhage, Nasum, Lay Down Rotten and Cliteater, among others. Utterly unstoppable and completely irresistible, Crueza Ferina was produced and engineered by João Ribeiro and mastered by Brad Boatright at Audiosiege Mastering Studio, sounding absolutely devastating from start to finish while adorned in the shocking image of a dead pig killed in a barbaric ritual of traditional slaughter. Far from their sadistic imaginations turning to the torture of animals though, vocalist Orca, guitarist António C., bassist Z. Pedro and drummer Diogo P. have embraced a vegan philosophy, with Z. Pedro telling Loud Magazine in a recent interview that “for us, the only blood we continue to accept to see is human”.

Over one minute of an infernal screeching pig ignites the opening tune Ad Bizarrem Morem before the band begins hammering their instruments in such demented intro, setting the tone for Êxodo Mortuoso, or “deadly exodus”, featuring guest guitars by Robert Vigna of Immolation, a lecture in Brutal Slammin’ Death Metal led by the inhumane gnarls by Orca and the razor-edged riffs by António. Epicédio Madrigaz (“madrigaz epic”) is as pulverizing as its predecessor where Diogo sounds bestial behind his drums, offering Orca exactly what he needs to crush our souls with his deep guttural, whereas Sinaxe do Sepúlcro Tafófobo (“synax of the taphophobic sepulcher”) lives up to the legacy of old school Grindcore with a D-Beat Crust touch, showcasing a sensational performance by António with his incendiary axe. Then drinking from the same fountain as Cannibal Corpse in their early days, Z. Pedro blasts his bass manically making the earth tremble together with Diogo’s massive beats in Ancestrais Ritos Hipóxicos (“ancestrals hypoxic rites”), and it’s time to slam into the circle pit in the name of Grindcore to the sound of Apresto Executório (“executive preparatory”), with António once again slashing our ears with his riffage. Diogo takes the lead one more time in the venomous Aniquilação Suídea (“swine annihilation”), sounding absolutely heavy and devastating from start to finish while spiced up by Orca’s visceral growling, followed by Ávida Tragação (“avid gulp”), keeping the album at a high level of dementia and gore and being perfect for breaking your neck headbanging like a true beast. And Congregação da Flama Felídea (“congregation of the felid flame’) is yet another fast and furious creation by Holocausto Canibal where Diogo sounds utterly possessed behind his drums accompanied by the ass-kicking guitars by António.

Psicótico Interlúdio (“psychotic interlude”) is an instrumental bridge that provides Orca with a break before he comes back ripping in Anátemas Nefandos (“nefarious anathemas”), bringing forward less than 40 seconds that will certainly crush your cranial skull so heavy and frantic it is; while Esquartejado em Segundos (“quartered in seconds”) is even shorter and more brutal than the previous songs with its 25 seconds of sheer savagery. In Prenúncios da Vingança Cavicórnea (“harbingers of cavernous revenge”) the band is back to their streak of “longer” songs, with Diogo’s blast beats hitting you in the head mercilessly, and there’s no time to breathe as the band continues their sonic devastation in Suprema Dominância Taurina (“supreme taurine dominance”), with António, Z. Pedro and Diogo being in a beyond blackened sync while the song’s ending sounds like the soundtrack to a gore flick. The band darken the skies with the truculent Campas do Negro Breu (“pitch black graves”), offering us all Brutal Death Metal at its finest spearheaded by the flammable riffage by António while Orca keeps vociferating the song’s evil words like there’s no tomorrow; and Girândolas da Agonia Profunda (“whirlwinds of deep agony”) is as deranged and heavy as it can be, showcasing another round of sheer brutality blasted by Z. Pedro and Diogo with their demonic kitchen, followed by Miasmas Onanizantes (“onanizing miasmas”), another song that lasts for less than a minute but that is enough for Holocausto Canibal to smash us all with their infuriated sounds. António leads his bandmates with his metallic riffs in Quérulo dos Finados (“kerulus of the dead”), a song that will certainly leave you completely disoriented after all is said and done, and the venomous bass jabs by Z. Pedro dictate the rhythm in the closing tune Sortilégio da Perversão (“perversion spell”), less puissant than the rest of the album but still brutal and grim.

If you think you have what it takes to face the brutality, heaviness and grind blasted by Holocausto Canibal throughout their hellish new album, you can purchase it from the Selfmadegod Records’ BandCamp or webstore as a regular CD or as a CD + shirt bundle, adding an extra touch of violence and gore to your personal collection. Hence, don’t forget to also follow those Portuguese butchers on Facebook and on Instagram for news, tour dates and other nice-to-know info about their career and their music, and to stream all of their wicked creations on YouTube and on Spotify. Put differently, brace yourselves for impact and let’s celebrate 25 years of utter extremity with Holocausto Canibal to the sound of their visceral new album, as the band remains as unflinching and uncompromising as ever.

Best moments of the album: Êxodo Mortuoso, Aniquilação Suídea, Congregação da Flama Felídea and Campas do Negro Breu.

Worst moments of the album: Psicótico Interlúdio and Sortilégio da Perversão.

Released in 2022 Selfmadegod Records

Track listing
1. Ad Bizarrem Morem 2:42
2. Êxodo Mortuoso 2:13
3. Epicédio Madrigaz 1:27
4. Sinaxe do Sepúlcro Tafófobo 2:23
5. Ancestrais Ritos Hipóxicos 0:57
6. Apresto Executório 1:11
7. Aniquilação Suídea 3:10
8. Ávida Tragação 1:26
9. Congregação da Flama Felídea 1:25
10. Psicótico Interlúdio 2:00
11. Anátemas Nefandos 0:38
12. Esquartejado em Segundos 0:25
13. Prenúncios da Vingança Cavicórnea 1:21
14. Suprema Dominância Taurina 1:35
15. Campas do Negro Breu 3:14
16. Girândolas da Agonia Profunda 1:14
17. Miasmas Onanizantes 0:51
18. Quérulo dos Finados 1:49
19. Sortilégio da Perversão 3:30

Band members
Orca – vocals
António C. – guitar
Z. Pedro – bass
Diogo P. – drums

Guest musician
Robert Vigna – guitars on “Êxodo Mortuoso”

Concert Review – Arch Enemy & Behemoth (Rebel, Toronto, ON, 04/25/2022)

A night of rain, insanity, blasphemy and, above all that, first-class Heavy Metal for the delight of thousands of metalheads in Toronto.

OPENING ACTS: Unto Others and Napalm Death

Despite the heavy rain that decided to hit Toronto only a couple of hours before the fantastic tour named The North American Siege 2022 took the city by storm, the venue chosen for such metal attack, the spacious Rebel, was almost packed already when the first band of the night hit the stage exactly at 6:30pm, American Heavy Metal/Gothic Rock act UNTO OTHERS, and let me tell you I feel a little ashamed for not knowing those guys before last night. Promoting their 2021 opus Strength, vocalist and guitarist Gabriel Franco and his henchmen put on a sensational show, with songs such as Give Me to the Night, Summer Lightning and When Will God’s Work Be Done inspiring all fans to dance, slam into the pit, or simply raise their horns in the name of Rock N’ Roll. It was a short and sweet performance by such talented band, and I hope to see them again in Toronto (or anywhere else in the world) in a not-so-distant future.

Setlist
Subdivisions (Rush song)
Heroin
Give Me to the Night
No Children Laughing Now
Can You Hear the Rain
Nightfall
Summer Lightning
When Will God’s Work Be Done

Band members
Gabriel Franco – vocals, guitars, keyboards
Sebastian Silva – guitars
Brandon Hill – bass
Colin Vranizan – drums

Right after a bathroom/beer break (not necessarily in this order), it was time for the iconic Barney Greenway and his Grindcore/Death Metal institution NAPALM DEATH to show Toronto what noise is all about for the delight of admirers of the heaviest and most demented side of music who attended the concert. Having released earlier this year the album Resentment Is Always Seismic – A Final Throw of Throes, the band was on absolute fire from start to finish, with Shane Embury and John Cooke hammering their respective bass and guitar mercilessly throughout their entire set. Amidst a hurricane of infernal tunes the likes of Fuck the Factoid, Contagion, Scum and the one-second masterpiece You Suffer, Barney had time to distill his opinion about controversial topics such as illegal immigration, being always of course on the side of the less fortunate. Closing their boisterous setlist, the band smashed our faces with their rendition of Dead Kennedys’ all-time classic Nazi Punks Fuck Off, sending a message of love and peace, and warning us it won’t take long for those four British noisemakers to return to our beloved city.

Setlist
Unchallenged Hate
Fuck the Factoid
Backlash Just Because
Hung
Contagion
Continuing War on Stupidity
Everyday Pox
Invigorating Clutch
Suffer the Children
Breed to Breathe
Scum
Throes of Joy in the Jaws of Defeatism
You Suffer
Smash a Single Digit
Deceiver
Dead
Nazi Punks Fuck Off (Dead Kennedys cover)

Band members
Mark “Barney” Greenway – vocals
John Cooke – guitars
Shane Embury – bass, backing vocals, noises, effects
Danny Herrera – drums

ARCH ENEMY

Precisely at 8:35pm Sweden’s own Melodic Death Metal army ARCH ENEMY (although we can say the band is now 60% Swedish, 20% American and 20% Canadian) hit the stage and delivered exactly what the crowd wanted, which was a fusion of some of their best classics with the new songs Deceiver, Deceiver, House of Mirrors and Handshake With Hell, from their upcoming album Deceivers (to be released in July), spearheaded by the unstoppable Alissa White-Gluz and, of course, by one of the best guitarists of the Scandinavian metal scene, Mr. Michael Amott. It was clear in their faces how much they missed playing in front of an audience during the pandemic, in special Alissa who always gets very emotional when playing for her Canadian “family”, which translated into sheer adrenaline for our vulgar delectation. As a longtime fan of the band I was obviously more inspired to bang my head to songs such as Ravenous, Dead Bury Their Dead and Nemesis, but I must say their entire performance was awesome. How long will we have to wait to see Alissa and the boys again in Toronto? Massive circle pits like the ones we witnessed yesterday are not created out of silence, you know. We need Arch Enemy!

Setlist
Set Flame to the Night
Deceiver, Deceiver
The World Is Yours
Ravenous
War Eternal
My Apocalypse
House of Mirrors
The Eagle Flies Alone
As the Pages Burn
Handshake With Hell
Dead Bury Their Dead
Nemesis
Fields of Desolation (Outro)
Enter the Machine

Band members
Alissa White-Gluz – vocals
Michael Amott – lead guitars, backing vocals
Jeff Loomis – lead guitars, backing vocals
Sharlee D’Angelo – bass
Daniel Erlandsson – drums

BEHEMOTH

And at 10:05pm the gates of hell opened once again and the almighty Blackened Death Metal horde BEHEMOTH emerged from the underworld with another flawless and very theatrical performance, darkening the skies of Toronto and putting a huge, devilish smile on the faces of everyone at Rebel (at least on the faces of the ones not wearing masks). Kicking off their demonic concert with one of my favorite Behemoth songs of all time, the incendiary Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer, the multi-talented Nergal, Seth, Orion and Inferno did not disappoint their fans, sounding utterly heavy, dark and blasphemous until the very last second. Their brand new song, entitled Ov My Herculean Exile, from their upcoming (and still untitled) new album, sounded amazing live, but of course there’s nothing like raising our horns in the name of evil to masterpieces such as Ov Fire and the Void, Christians to the Lions, Chant for Eschaton 2000, and the hymn to Satan himself, O Father O Satan O Sun!, proving why Behemoth are one of the best and most obscure bands of the current metal scene. And when the night was over and those Polish blasphemers left the stage, it was time for us Torontonians to keep some of that darkness inside our hearts, face the cold and rainy weather outside again, and return to our lairs waiting for the next time Behemoth come back to crush the infidels in Toronto with their undisputed music.

Setlist
Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer
Wolves ov Siberia
Ov Fire and the Void
Evoe
Christians to the Lions
Bartzabel
Conquer All
Ov My Herculean Exile
Decade of Therion
Slaves Shall Serve
Chant for Eschaton 2000
O Father O Satan O Sun!

Band members
Adam “Nergal” Darski – lead vocals, guitars
Patryk Dominik “Seth” Sztyber – guitars
Tomasz “Orion” Wróblewski – bass guitar
Zbigniew Robert “Inferno” Promiński – drums and percussion

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