Titan / Indian Ocean Marcello's, Mississauga ON January 9

Titan / Indian Ocean Marcello's, Mississauga ON January 9
Photo: Denise Falzon
Toronto's Titan have proven again and again that they've mastered the art of a stellar live performance. Their show at Marcello's in Mississauga with Indian Ocean was no different. Titan's live sound is - as their band name suggests - immense and powerful. Add to that an extremely small pub, crammed full with people who were unable to move once they claimed their position to watch the show, and the result was utter sonic intensity.

The night started off with Hamilton's Indian Ocean. The instrumental quartet, including the ex-drummer of Mare, delivered an impressive set with chugging guitars and vigorous drumming. Their sound was reminiscent of Explosions in the Sky and Mono, but with a deeply heavier atmosphere. Although instrumental post-rock tends to put me to sleep, Indian Ocean managed to keep my unwavering attention with slow-tempos that built up to strong dynamic riffs.

But the night clearly belonged to Titan as soon as they took the stage, which was just a small portion of the pub's floor between diner-style booths and chairs that were made useful by being turned into pedestals for many attendants. As the five members struck their first notes, the entire room resonated with an onslaught of forceful sound - a combination of the hardcore style of Cursed, mixed with the technical elements of Botch, and anchoring it all down with the sludgy doom aspects of early Neurosis.

Titan's six-song set showcased the band's extreme energy and synchronized musicianship. They began with "The Glory of the Fleet" from their latest recording Colossus and linked it with the next four songs through feedback and short stops, including a medley of snippets from their debut, The Chrysanthemum Pledge.

Titan finished the night off with "His Eminence," a song that combines slow-tempo melodies and crunching riffs in perfect unison. With intricately developed guitar work and larynx-shredding vocals, Titan's performance was overall relentlessly heavy and strong from start to finish.