Dubbed the "Planetary Depravity Tour," the co-headlining tour with the Faceless and Dying Fetus brought Toronto some great death metal, but not without a great deal of filler. The first two bands up were the unimpressive Enfold Darkness and the breakdown-happy deathcore Californians in Suffokate.
Next were Canada's own technical death masters Beneath the Massacre, who completely smoked the previous two opening bands as soon as they blazed into "Comforting Prejudice," surprising old fans with a tune from their 2005 debut EP Evidence of Inequity. The rest of the Montreal, QC band's short set was devoted to their two full-length records, which included highly intense performances of "Society's Disposable Son" and "The System's Failure" from 2007's Mechanics of Dysfunction, as well as "Our Common Grave" and "Reign of Terror" from their latest release Dystopia.
But true death metal fans revelled as Maryland's Dying Fetus hit the stage. Although BTM arguably had stolen the show at that point, it wasn't until death metal legend John Gallagher graced the stage that everyone knew who was boss. Performing tracks from their latest release Descend into Depravity, as well as a wide range of tunes spanning their lengthy catalogue, Fetus brought the best and most brutal set of the night.
They evoked pure evil as they tore through the old tune "Grotesque Impalement" from their 1999 EP of the same name, which caused havoc in the pit from their adoring fans. Fetus finished their set with "Pissing in the Mainstream" and "Praise the Lord (Opium of the Masses)" from their career defining third full-length Destroy the Opposition - not only Fetus's most classic album, but an overall highly revered record in death metal as well - making for a perfect way to end their performance.
It's really a shame that the Faceless play next, because after the powerful show Fetus had just put on, who could possibly follow these death metal forefathers? The Faceless performed tracks from their latest release Planetary Duality and their 2006 debut Akeldama. Although their brand of technical death metal exudes definite musicianship, their songs are really nothing special. Compared to Fetus, the Faceless's live performance was a bore and no competition with a veteran band who have been around for nearly two decades and helped define a genre.