Now in its seventh year, Diecemberfest stands as the longest-running metal festival in Vancouver and a productive fundraiser event for the local food bank. Presented by the powerhouse trio of local promoters Apocalypse Sunrise, The Invisible Orange, and Modified Ghost, this year’s two-night event at The Rickshaw featured several exceptional performances by local heavy music acts; and from the battle-ready costume of Precious Dudes vocalist Phill Metuzals (bedecked in Christmas lights and protective sports gear) to Cryptic Enslavement’s death metal messiah, every band maintained a festive spirit that belied the aggressive intensity of their music to demonstrate just how much fun heavy metal really is. (Dressed in Santa Claus costumes during intermissions, co-organizers Johnny Matter and Abelardo Mayoral-Fierros hosted a succession of raffle draws – see gallery two below – while excerpts from classic Christmas films played on the projector screen behind them.)
Although we missed most of the first night (apologies to the bands we didn’t see) to attend a listening party, Cadaveric Lividity proved that their explosive debut performance opening for Nylithia recently was not an exception but the standard by which the young band continues to execute its high-energy sets. The aforementioned Precious Dudes remain Vancouver’s best-kept secret in extreme music (and if ever GWAR is looking to recruit a new Scumdog to its ranks, they should look no further than Phill Metuzals). Ultimately, one would argue Johnny Matter’s own band BOG stole the show, as the controlled chaos created onstage by its members is consistent from one performance to the next: sweeping up the audience in a tidal wave of signature fog and thrashy sludge (thrudge?) BOG leaves witnesses reeling and stunned in a literal haze for several minutes thereafter.
Of all the shows this reviewer has attended throughout 2015, Diecemberfest distinguishes itself as the only annual showcase, outside of the Wacken Metal Battle series of concerts, to present to the community the best of our local heavy music talent, both established and developing acts, with genuine camaraderie. To all the bands, organizers, merchants, and attendees, we salute you. \m/ \m/
Gallery I: The Bands
Gallery II: Intermissions and Shenanigans