Saturday, July 18th, turned out to be an amazing night for metal. Invisible Orange, a local promotion company, sure knows how to stack a wicked line-up and throw on a good show. Before I get into an overall show review I’ll start with each bands individual performance.
Meridius: Where to even start. These young thrashers were first up for the night and didn’t disappoint. From the first riff to the last lick they kept the energy high and the crowd excited. Not once did I see them stop moving on stage or head banging. Eric Willmotts vocals were pounding and left me in awe of the seamless changing between dirty and clean vocals. Tie that in with the never-ending riffage and harmonies of Kieran Marquis and Sam Buchanan and you have a fresh take on a very old genre. Also I have to give a shout out to their drummer, Nolan Olson. It’s always nice to see a drummer head banging just as hard, if not harder, then everyone else in the band. Kudos. There really wasn’t much that they did wrong for this show. Anytime I picked on anything it was remedied quickly. Found one guitar tone muddy at the start, fixed way before the end of the second song. I’d start feeling that some of the riffs and rhythms sounded like recycled riffs but then I’d get smacked across the face with a hard hitting thrash riff for evening thinking so. So all in all, great job by these young performers. That night this band made a fan, I know I will be following them and can’t wait to see what the future holds for these guys.
King Coyote: Second up was a local prog sludge band. Musically this band is very talented. Their sound is very sick and dirty, and I mean that in a very good way. As for the show I noticed it took them a few songs to dial in with each other, but once they did they never broke off or skipped a beat. The first half of their set was fun and they tied in some stage theatrics. My only issue was the second half of their set the theatrics started to seem awkward. As this being my first time seeing them I couldn’t tell if they were actually fighting on stage as they seemed to start rushing songs just to finish their set. All and all; great dirty head banging sludge, awkward and confusing show.
Spellcaster: Third band up was a very talented power metal band from south of the border. You know you’re going to be in for a surprise when a guitarist walks on stage with a guitar set up just like Jimi Hendrix. Once that first chord rung the band didn’t stop. Great groovy riffs that definitely had me feeling nostalgic, it brought me back to my days of skate boarding while rocking iron maiden as a kid years ago. Cory Boyd and Bryce VanHoosen are power metal guitar wizards. The band as a whole played a wicked well put together set that had all the songs just flow into the next. I only found two issues with their otherwise textbook set. They didn’t involve the crowd too much or talk to them. Also I found the vocals kind of getting lost. I’m a stickler for being able to hear every word when I’m hearing clean vocals, and the words seemed to get lost when Tyler Loney would sing in lower tones. Keep in mind the vocal arrangement was tough and it’s understandable a singer would want to hit every note, but it came at the cost of not fully enunciating words. Other than that they kept the energy high and the crowd captivated.
Out of the Ruins: Before I start, I’m going to feel really bad because this band is probably going to have the shortest write-up while being the band of the night. Though what can I really do? I’m doing a show review and here I have a band, which in my opinion played a flawless show. They were dialed in from the start and with a well thought out set list never let up. The crowd was involved and their energy on the stage was second to none. The whole set really felt like an onslaught of articulated riffs, crushing vocals and pounding drums. Grigor Avensov is a beast/machine (haven’t quite figured out which, but I know he isn’t human) on the bass, and it’s always nice to see female representation in the metal scene. Ange Ruin is probably the only female I’ve seen drum in a melodic prog band and she f****** owns it! Seriously hats off to this band. Too bad they moved to the center of the universe (Toronto) cause Vancouver lost one hell of a band.
So to sum up the night, it was one hell of a show. I feel sorry for the people that couldn’t make it out cause it was worth it. Solid bands, solid promoter and solid venue, really you can’t ask for better than that. Out of the Ruins is one solid band and I really can’t wait to see more of Meridius. Good job everyone.