Mesrine / The Unborn Dead Studio BLR, Toronto ON June 13

Mesrine / The Unborn Dead Studio BLR, Toronto ON June 13
Quebec has its fair share of brutal metal bands and on this Saturday night in Toronto, the packed and sweaty Studio BLR was blessed with one of them. The French boys in Mesrine (pictured) brought an intense assault that grinded everyone's eardrums to a pulp. The four-band bill started out impressively with the incredibly talented musical stylings of Toronto's Unicorpse. The progressive metal band was followed by Oshawa, ON's experimental goregrind duo Cuff. Although they had some trouble with the low sound level of their drum machine, the vocalist and guitarist/backing vocalist that make up Cuff provided a strong and powerful performance.

Up next were the death metal masters in Toronto's the Unborn Dead, who never cease to amaze with their sheer intensity and musicianship. The band performed two new tracks, including "Primitive Origins," during their eight-song dynamic set. The brutal death metal/grindcore band showcased incredible guitar work by John Murphy, pummelling drumming by Johnny Macri, deep guttural growls by vocalist Stefano Manera, and an anchoring low-end by bassist Darek Palubiak. The Unborn Dead also incorporated some fan-favourite tunes including "Parasitic Leach," "Ones Own Blood," and closed their set with the severely brutal "Pieces."

But it was Mesrine that tore the venue up with some of the most enthusiastic fans ever seen. As soon as the four-piece began with "Modern Void," the energy in the room was at an all-time high and it stayed that way throughout the duration of their set. The serial killer-themed grindcore band stayed true to their morbid concept and performed tunes titled with serial killer names, including "Guy Georges," "Dr. Shipman," and "Paul Bernardo," which all happen to be incredibly brutal grinding tunes. Throughout their set Mesrine was commanding and had forceful stage presence complete with harsh vocals, blazing guitar work, and vicious drumming; a stellar live band overall.