Published Jun 13, 2011Thanks to a number of all-caps Facebook messages, it was made clear that if you wanted to catch this highly anticipated show, you had better get to Sneaky Dee's early. For Toronto's Purity Control, it worked out just fine, as they have built a reputation in their preference for performing short, intense sets. Despite departing the stage just as the, ahem, "intimate" crowd was starting to warm up, the band's intensity served as an appropriate opener for fellow Torontonians Vilipend, who showcased some new material from their upcoming Inamorata LP.
In comparison to Vilipend's last album, Plague Bearer, the new music is heavier, and grittier, and it was obvious that the band, most notably on "The Thin Red Line Between Salvation and Damnation" seemed more interested in encapsulating the mood of their new album than hashing out a quick set.
The same could be said for Brooklyn's Tombs, who were riding high thanks to their recent release, the critically acclaimed Path of Totality. Performing several tracks from the album, like "Constellations," their unique blend of black metal infused with a late '80s noise rock impressed the crowd. Bassist Carson James literally threw himself into the music, while frontman Mike Hill, while somewhat physically subdued, seemed to pour every ounce of his emotional being into his vocals and guitar.
Rounding out the evening was New York's A Storm of Light, who provided an incredible musical and visual aesthetic to the evening. Supporting their latest, As the Valley of Death Becomes Us, vocalist/guitarist Josh Graham (who is also known for his association with Neurosis) provided not only a surprisingly heavy, doom-laced set, but impressive visuals that were projected behind the trio. A shared intensity and desire to create not just extreme music, but a memorable atmosphere, tied the young Canadians and the seasoned Americans together in a well-curated event.