Nasum / Brutal Truth / Burning Love / Homolka Annex Wreckroom, Toronto ON May 20

Nasum / Brutal Truth / Burning Love / Homolka Annex Wreckroom, Toronto ON May 20
It's been seven years since legendary Swedish grindcore act Nasum called it quits following the tragic death of vocalist Mieszko Talarczyk, who died in the 2004 South Asian tsunami. This year marks what would have been the band's 20th anniversary. To celebrate -- not to mourn -- the band have headed out on one last tour to say a final, official goodbye.

For Nasum's first, and last, time in Canada, the metal populace were out in full force at the Toronto stop on the tour to witness the momentous occasion. Toronto bands Homolka and Burning Love opened the show, and while Homolka were impressive with their intense energy and massive wall of death-grind noise, the momentum was lost with Burning Love, whose brand of hardcore punk was sadly out of place on this bill.

Thankfully, the time between sets was short and New York grind masters Brutal Truth soon hit the stage with a high-energy sonic assault. Their performance featured a number of tracks from their most recent album, End Time, including spitfires "Fuck Cancer" and "Small Talk." Vocalist Kevin Sharp was a dynamic frontman to watch as he jumped about barefoot onstage and screamed his lyrics right in the faces of those up front.

Goofy banter between songs from Sharp and bassist Dan Lilker lightened the mood, while guitarist Erik Burke and drummer Rich Hoak exemplified their on-point performances, despite some poor sound quality. The ahead-of-schedule show left some extra time for Brutal Truth, who performed oldie "Denial of Existence" from their 1992 debut album, Extreme Conditions Demand Extreme Responses, before ending their set with "End Time."

The crowd piled in for Nasum, many eager to get up close. Rotten Sound frontman Keijo Niinimaa has taken over vocal duties for the tour and was an excellent choice, as his stage presence dominated while he screamed lower and deeper versions of Talarczyk's vocals. The band performed an incredible, well-rounded set featuring tracks from all four of their albums, starting off with "Mass Hypnosis" and "The Masked Face" from Human 2.0 and Inhale/Exhale, respectively.

Nasum seem to have picked up right where they left off, never missing a beat throughout their near hour-long performance. The aptly-titled "Fury" from their last album, 2004's Shift, was a definite highlight, as the band played it with intense aggression. Nasum took the request of "The Deepest Hole" before ending their set with "The Idiot Parade," which was simply stellar. Only a pool of beer, sweat and blood (literally, someone's head got cut open during the set) was left behind as the crowd poured out of the steamy Wreckroom.