Whatever happened to the days of two- or three-act shows? It seems like every underground metal tour is a festival these days, and that's something that has both advantages and disadvantages. On the plus side, getting to see five bands makes for more bang for your buck, but as a negative, exactly who has the stamina for five full sets of metal after a long workday? Well, apparently about five hundred or so Southern Ontario metalheads did, as this show proved to be one of the best of this tour so far.
After mediocre opening sets by both California's Warbringer and Australian techno-grinders the Berzerker, the real meat and potatoes of the show commenced with Brazilian brutal death metal trio Krisiun. This trio never disappoint. They play loud, unapologetic old-school death metal and do it well, something that the crowd was well aware of. The other New Orleans's supergroup, Goatwhore (which feature members of Soilent Green, Acid Bath and Crowbar in their ranks), were next and continued to make strides in the right direction. Their latest album, Carving Out the Eyes of God, is by far their best yet and they wisely stuck mostly to newer songs for their 40 minutes.
Both latter bands made for an excellent warm-up for Florida's Obituary, who arguably had their best Toronto set in more than 15 years. Unlike their last visit, this time all members made it across the border and the dual guitar tandem of Trevor Peres and Ralph Santolla killed it song after song after song. After seeing Santolla waste his talents in Deicide for so long, it was a real treat to see him play some good tunes for a change.
The veteran Florida unit played songs that spanned their career, including fan favourites like "Slowly We Rot" and "Chopped In Half," with vocalist John Tardy front and centre bellowing out what is still one of the sickest death metal grunts ever after more than 20 years. Simply put, this show surpassed all expectations.