Vancouver recently sold its soul to metal at The Rickshaw Theatre – and gladly, as the infernal deal was brokered by 30-year scene veteran and metal overlord Max Cavalera and his seasoned post-Sepultura band Soulfly, with support from a strong lineup of tourmates (Soilwork, Shattered Sun) and local acts (Dead Asylum, Pyramidion.)
Local supergroup and constant purveyor of the tightest live shows in Vancouver, Pyramidion blasted through a solid set of trademark Egyptian-themed death metal. Too little room to maneuvre on the gear-packed stage prevented vocalist Kyle Scott from achieving the full effect of his customary hyper-lurch, but the calibre of the band’s performance ensured a rapt and attentive audience nonetheless.
The strong and enthusiastic turnout for Dead Asylum hinted at the quality of thrashing melodic death about to be unleashed. The song “Ashes of the Saviors” was a memorable highlight; and one hopes that Samantha Landa’s impressive technical proficiency behind the drumkit inspires more young women to turn to drumming, as percussionists always seem to be in short supply and Landa is only the second woman this reviewer has seen drumming within the local metal scene over the past two years (the other being Iron Kingdom’s Amanda Osterman, who recently retired her sticks to focus on other projects.)
Texan outfit Shattered Sun cranked up attendance another notch and delivered a blistering set of melodic postcore metal, inciting the crowd to an unexpectedly massive level of mosh activity. Swedish metal veterans Soilwork followed, clearly excited to perform a whirlwind set for an enthusiastic pack of loudly cheering fans.
And then, Soulfly emerged. With new member Mike Leon (ex-Havoc) on bass and Marc Rizzo on lead guitar, Cavalera and company laid waste to the crowd, unleashing songs old and new with biblical fury. Beginning with a handful of new tracks, the band demonstrated the Old Testament wrath of its latest album Archangel before switching to an alternating selection of Soulfly and Sepultura songs (Refuse/Resist, Arise/Dead Embryonic Cells) that ended only when the assembled masses had been reduced to sweating pillars of metal and leather.
Soulfly’s We Sold Our Souls to Metal Tour continues (dates below)…