Wacken Metal Battle -- Toronto, Ontario -- June 22nd, 2013
This is the first year the Wacken Metal Battle has come to Canada, and the two local bands that I really liked that were involved made it all the way to the finals (Crimson Shadows and Vesperia). Amazingly, both bands share two members, so those guys had a pretty good shot (2/5) in making it to Germany. I thought in advance that Crimson Shadows would win because they have a really unique sound and an amazingly insane fanbase.
I was impressed by the calibre of judges they had. Some of these people are pretty well-known. Here's the list:
Glen Drover (Megadeth / Testament)
Martin Popoff (BW&BK / HardRadio)
Sarah Lutz (Metal Blade Records)
Noel Peters (Inertia Entertainment)
Adam Sewell (Stereo Dynamite Records / Monster Voodoo Machine)
Rob Urbinati (Sacrifice)
I got there sometime around 8 and pre-ordered the new Crimson Shadows EP (only $5 and I guess they'll ship it to me!). Adrenechrome was on around 8:40ish or so. They were ok. I don't know how to describe their sound. They had a lot of thrashy or death metal parts, but didn't seem like either style. It was ok, and they seemed to have quite a few fans there, but the floor didn't really fill up, and as soon as the next bands played, it was clear that this band was not quite as good live.
Up next was Crimson Shadows! This was my 8th time seeing them and my friend and I went right up to the front. To say that was heavy and fast would be an understatement. My neck still hurts, but it's just so amazing to see musicians who are that talented. As I've recently learned, being at the front of the stage is not so great for sound, because you can really only hear the amps in front of you and the drums. Most of the vocals were difficult to hear, so I'd probably stay back next time, but it was great nonetheless. I think the first two songs may have been new, but I'm honestly not sure.
Lost In A Dark Forest
Beyond the Mountain Wasteland
The next band was Dissension, from Quebec. Metal-Archives lists them as melodic death/thrash metal, but it sounded like black metal to me. I regret not looking into them more beforehand because they were really good. Just from watching them, it was very clear why they made it this far. I think they played "Set To Kill", but I don't know anything beyond that.
My friend and I moved back to the front for Vesperia, this time standing on the other side so we could be in front of the guitarist who is my old guitar teacher. I maintain that he is the most talented guitar player in the GTA, maybe even in Toronto. These guys were extremely heavy and I really enjoyed them. Again, from where I was, it was hard to hear their proper sound as they have a lot of folky stuff, but I didn't pick up a lot of that. It was enjoyable nonetheless, and I'd like to see them again.
The next band was Hollow, but I'd arranged for a ride right after Vesperia ended so we left at this point. When I woke up this morning, I saw that Crimson Shadows won, which I am extremely happy about. Too bad this contest didn't exist last year, or I could have seen them at Wacken :P
8/29 - Borealis
9/6 - Gruesome
9/9 - Axxion, Amulet, Manacle
10/3 - Hibria