Exhumed / Goatsblood / Allfather Lucky, Victoria BC - April 26, 2004

Victoria's fine-tuned war/black metal grinders Allfather got the show off to a late, but fun, start. When I first saw them they were drinking from horns and I thought it was another case of black metal guys going too far, but their smiles showed they were having a good time (take that, entire black metal genre!). And their music is nothing short of a wonderful wall of noise live, only occasionally lapsing into something that resembles a groove. The songs blend together into one, ultimately, and short sets work best for the band. Vancouver's Goatsblood stole the show with their characteristically self-destructive set. The band managed to get in one song of their nihilistic sludge metal before the bassist's equipment stopped working; during song two, the whole thing imploded into a mess of feedback, with amplifiers being tossed on drum kits and sheet metal being thrown across the stage. What followed was a hilarious scene of the guys standing around the carnage for several minutes, not knowing what to do next. When they finally decided to play another song, it was too late and it was time for Exhumed. California's fine-tuned gore metal machine took the stage with a professionalism reserved for only those in the big leagues. Guitarist Matt Harvey is nothing short of a riff warehouse, glorious Carcass riff after glorious Carcass riff flyin' out of his fingers. Temporary drummer Danny Walker (of Uphill Battle) stole the show; while his day job specialises in messy chaos, Walker proved this night that he is one of the most solid grind drummers around (killer drum solo also, a rarity indeed!). The band ripped through tunes off all three full-lengths and a few songs from Platters of Splatter, their recently released double-disc rarities collection. This was a long but great night of extreme metal.