Concert Review – Trivium (Rebel, Toronto, ON, 10/25/2022)

The awesome night where Trivium switched from being an Orlando band to a Toronto band. 

OPENING ACT: Khemmis, Whitechapel and Between The Buried And Me

My last concert of such intense month of October couldn’t have been any better, as the city of Toronto hosted a fantastic night of modern-day metal with the Deadmen And Dragons Tour at Rebel, with the bands KHEMMIS, WHITECHAPEL, BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME and the al-freakin’-mighty TRIVIUM proving that heavy music is still alive and kicking as opposed to what several “experts” say about it. It was a very comfortable night temperature-wise and the venue is awesome for concerts like that, with the only problem being as always their parking lot, which made several fans wait for over one hour to be able to get out of it as soon as the concert was over. Well, it is what it is, so let’s focus on the music which is what really matters in the end.

The first band to hit the stage at around 6:55pm was Denver, Colorado-based Doom Metal act KHEMMIS, which also opened for Mastodon and Opeth a few months ago, still promoting their 2021 album Deceivers. Their setlist might have been short but it was very cohesive and electrifying, inspiring an already big crowd to slam into the pit to their doomed and heavy creations. It was my second time seeing Khemmis, this time from the very beginning, and not only I must say I was impressed with their energy throughout their entire set last night, but I also think everyone at the venue felt the same chemistry with the band. If that’s not an invitation for Khemmy to keep coming back to Toronto, I don’t know what would be.

Avernal Gate
Three Gates
A Conversation with Death

Band members
Ben – vocals, guitars
Phil – vocals, guitars
David Small – bass
Zach – drums

After a quick bathroom/beer break, Knoxville, Tennessee’s own Deathcore outfit WHITECHAPEL began their sonic attack for the delight of several diehard fans of the band at Rebel, and it was indeed a ferocious performance by frontman Phil Bozeman and his horde. From the opening tune I Will Find You, from their 2021 album Kin, to the closing moments of Doom Woods, Whitechapel drove the fans insane into the pit, with the whole band sounding on absolute fire specially during newer songs the likes of Lost Boy and A Bloodsoaked Symphony. Excellent performance by a band that I’ve never been into that much, but that I will surely give a few more listens in more detail in the near future.

I Will Find You
Lost Boy
This Is Exile
A Bloodsoaked Symphony
Doom Woods

Band members
Phil Bozeman – vocals
Ben Savage – lead guitars
Alex Wade – guitars
Zach Householder – guitars
Gabe Crisp – bass
Ernie Iniguez – drums

The most “meh” moment for me of the entire night was the performance by Raleigh, North Carolina-based Progressive Metal band BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME, which despite being very technical and precise in what they do, their setlist sounded a bit confusing and tiresome. The songs Revolution in Limbo and Never Seen/Future Shock, from their latest album Colors II, were played to perfection, but at least for me they lack that spark or special element that would make them truly entertaining live. There were a lot of BTBAM fans at the venue enjoying the show, though, maybe due to a different type of connection they have with the band, but as I said several people at the venue didn’t enjoy the band as much as they had fun with Whitechapel.

Sun of Nothing
Revolution in Limbo
Extremophile Elite
Never Seen/Future Shock
The Future Is Behind Us

Band members
Tommy Giles Rogers – lead vocals, keyboards
Paul Waggoner – lead guitar, backing vocals, additional lead vocals
Dustie Waring – rhythm guitar, additional lead guitar
Dan Briggs – bass, keyboards
Blake Richardson – drums, backing vocals, additional lead vocals


Finally, at around 9:50pm, the lights went out and the DJ played Iron Maiden’s hit Run to the Hills through the speakers, inspiring everyone at Rebel to sing its iconic lyrics as a cool warmup for Orlando, Florida’s own Heavy Metal institution TRIVIUM. It was a nice moment for me personally as I had just seen Iron Maiden live in Newark last Friday, so that “bridge” from one band to another sounded really awesome to my ears. Then after the intro IX, Matt Heafy, Corey Beaulieu, Paolo Gregoletto and Alex Bent began kicking some serious ass with the excellent What the Dead Men Say, winning the hearts of everyone at the venue instantly.

In case you might be asking yourself why the tour is called Deadmen And Dragons Tour, that’s because when What The Dead Men Say was released back in 2020 we were in the middle of the pandemic, so there wasn’t a proper tour to promote that album before they released in 2021 the brilliant In the Court of the Dragon. That being said, their setlist was a fusion of both albums with a few old school hits the likes of Like Light to the Flies and To the Rats, resulting in a much better and obviously longer setlist than the one they played in Toronto opening for Lamb of God and Megadeth back in May.

Matt was really, really excited with the amount of people that went to see them last night and of course with the warm reception they had, reminding us all about their early days when no one knew what Trivium were in Canada. He kept saying in between songs he’s amazed with what the band and their Torontonian fans have built together, saying the crowd was so rowdy and vibrant to the point Trivium could switch from being an Orlando band to a Toronto band. I have no idea how loud their fans were in Calgary and other Canadian cities, nor how loud they’ll be tonight in Montreal, but yesterday was indeed a very special night for the band based on all mosh pits, screams and horns raised while they played pulverizing songs such as Amongst the Shadows & the Stones, In the Court of the Dragon and A Gunshot to the Head of Trepidation, which by the way wasn’t played in most (or any) of their dates this tour.

By the way, Matt asked the band to stop playing In the Court of the Dragon right in the middle of it due to two stupid idiots that were about to start a fight in the circle pit. He asked them to split and stop with the fighting just like what he tells his four year-old twins, which was a funny moment that I’m sure no one at the venue will ever forget, in special those two idiots. Another thing that I find impressive is that their fans love their newest songs just as much as their old ones, with The Heart From Your Hate being one of the most special moments of the night alongside Shogun and In Waves. So now as promised, Matt, as Trivium “became” a Toronto band we want to see you guys playing ten or more concerts only in Ontario on the next tour, alright? We will be waiting for you with open arms, no doubt about that.

Run to the Hills
What the Dead Men Say
Into the Mouth of Hell We March
The Sin and the Sentence
Like Light to the Flies
Amongst the Shadows & the Stones
Chaos Reigns
The Shadow of the Abattoir
In the Court of the Dragon
To the Rats
The Heart From Your Hate
A Gunshot to the Head of Trepidation
Capsizing The Sea
In Waves

Band members
Matt Heafy – lead vocals, guitar
Corey Beaulieu – guitar, backing vocals
Paolo Gregoletto – bass guitar, backing vocals
Alex Bent – drums, percussion

Metal Chick of the Month – Alexis Brown


What be this beast here that lies deep… asleep right in the heart of me?

With the year of 2015 almost coming to an end, we metalheads must keep on rockin’ as loud as we can, and in order to spice things up a little let’s talk about a stunning ebony girl full of attitude, energy and passion for heavy music. Hailing from Clarksville, Tennesee, United States, the fifth largest city in the state behind Memphis, Nashville, Knoxville and Chattanooga, respectively, breaking down all gender and racial barriers comes the beautiful Alexis Brown, the electrifying frontwoman of American Metalcore band Straight Line Stitch and one of the most prominent black women in heavy music today.

Alexis started in music in her childhood playing violin and the cello, and of course she has always been a singer, with her background being from all kinds, genres and subgenres of music. Despite having such a hardcore attitude on stage with SLS, Alexis hasn’t been into metal music since the beginning: because she is a black girl, she thought she should be doing R&B music instead of anything else, but thanks to her stepfather and her brother she started developing her love and passion for Heavy Metal. Besides, Alexis herself thought that if she had continued with R&B, she would have become just one more black girl doing that. Not that she doesn’t enjoy the unique voice of R&B singers such as Billie Holiday and Stevie Nicks, but she truly wanted to do and be something different in her life and career, and metal ended up being the perfect fit for her vocal range and style.

Before joining SLS, Alexis was part of a Hard Rock band called FSN for five years, and she still remains friends with all original members. After FSN traded out some concerts with SLS, she fell in love with their music, and after some talks with the drummer for SLS she was invited to join the band. A couple of weeks later she ended up accepting the challenge and moving to Knoxville. Formed in 2000, SLS had just released  a demo and an EP before she joined the band in 2003, which basically means there’s no SLS without Alexis Brown and vice-versa today. After her debut album with the band in 2006, entitled To Be Godlike, she has already recorded the EP The Word Made Flesh (2007) and the self-titled EP Straight Line Stitch (2014), two full-length albums named When Skies Wash Ashore (2008) and The Fight of Our Lives (2011), and more recently a new EP entitled Transparency (2015). Although she’s always on tour with SLS, mainly around the United States and some very specific dates in the UK, Canada and the Netherlands, our tattooed goddess mentioned she would love to take her music to completely different and distant places like Hawaii, Australia, Japan, South America and Russia.

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Because Metalcore and Hardcore always have a huge focus on vocals, SLS were very lucky to find Alexis in their path and to be able to have her join the band. Not only her guttural vocals are amazing, as you can see in the powerful tracks Conversion and Remission, but also her clean singing is way above average as in the smooth One Reason. You can also take a listen at her awesome vocal range and performance in other excellent songs like Black Veil, Taste of Ashes and Never See the Day.

When asked about the increasing exposure and acceptance women in metal have been getting in the past few years, our high-minded diva mentioned that although this is indeed very positive, we shouldn’t forget women have always had a huge impact in heavy music, with names such as Wendy O. Williams, Joan Jett and Lita Ford being some of the pioneers, rocking our world for decades already.

Alexis has a very eclectic taste for music: her iPod contains music by Drake, Bee Gees, Barbara Streisand (by the way, she loves her voice), an English Rock band from the 60’s called The Zombies (famous for their debut single She’s Not There, from 1964), as well as many new and indie bands. In regards to her hobbies outside music, she mentioned she loves watching old horror movies and reading lots of Harlequin romance books.

And finally, when asked about the craziest thing that has ever happened to her on the road, Alexis said that she met and kissed somebody famous once, but she didn’t mention who that person was out of respect for his privacy. I guess the question here is not just who the guy was, because that’s too bland and do not represent how blessed he ended up being. We should scream the question, it has to represent what it is to be kissed by such an amazing girl, something like “WHO WAS THAT MOTHERFUCKIN’ LUCKY BASTARD?”

Alexis Brown’s Official Facebook page
Alexis Brown’s Official Twitter

“To me every show is memorable be it good or bad. It’s memorable when the whole crowd is singing all the words to our music, and it’s also memorable when some stupid heckler tells me to show my boobs.” – Alexis Brown