Septicflesh / Krisiun / Melechesh / Inquisition Annex Wreckroom, Toronto, ON, October 12

Septicflesh / Krisiun / Melechesh / Inquisition Annex Wreckroom, Toronto, ON, October 12
While the performances at this show were all top-notch, this was definitely a case of factors beyond the bands' control interfering with the success of the night as a whole. Gladiatorial Canadian death metal band Ex Deo (who base all of their music off of ancient Roman history) were unable to make the first date of this tour, as frontman Maurizio Iacono's primary project Kataklysm had to perform at the Metal Invasion festival in Germany. While their presence was certainly missed, having one less band to contend with ended up being a blessing, as almost every set had to be cut short because of curfew concerns and technical issues that delayed set-up. Not to mention that doors were at 5:30 p.m.

Despite having to contend with the sun shining outside and a barer room than should have greeted them as dedicated metal fans raced directly from office jobs to the venue, black metal act Inquisition put on an excellent opening performance. Dagon's droning, stentorian voice seemed to lull the crowd into a trace-like state while Incubus's blast beats pummelled them. Their sound is remarkably deep and rich, especially for a two-piece black metal outfit, and their performance was at once evil with a deep, wicked groove to the riffing that made everyone forget the sun was still shining through chinks in the heavy curtains.

Mesopotamian black metal warriors Melechesh put in a show-stealing performance that drew extensively from their most recent full-length release, The Epigenesis. Their music, which draws heavily from Sumerian folklore, features distinctly Middle Eastern chord progressions and riff structures. The result is a sound that takes the typical chill of black metal, torques it and reflects it back, blazing hot and branding. The thumping, insistent rhythm of "Great Gathas of Baal Sin" had every fist in the air.

Brazilian death metal band Krisiun were forced to deliver a somewhat truncated performance after set-up delays cut into their playing time. The three brothers performed a set characterized by the same thick, powerful riffing and relentless drums that defined their most recent release, The Great Execution, though they also reached into their back catalogue. Alex Camargo's death growls were in fine form — he manages to at once sound sinister and inhuman, yet also enunciate clearly and vary his tone successfully.

The most elaborate set-up also caused the longest delays, meaning Greek symphonic death metallers Septicflesh began their set more than 20 minutes behind schedule and ended up playing for a bare 40 minutes. They delivered an extensive collection of songs from their latest album, The Great Mass, which incorporates elaborate samples and is composed for a full orchestra. The strain of having to play recorded symphonic passages along with the band seemed to test the limits of the Wreckroom's sound. However, Septicflesh performed extremely well in the time that they had, bassist/vocalist Spiros Antoniou cutting a villainous figure as he directed the crowd's screams like a conductor. In the end, the ravenous audience was left unsatisfied, demanding more, as Septicflesh promised to return and attempted to mollify them by playing the much-loved "Anubis" to close their show.