2016 was already off to an incredible start after the Astrakhan/Bison/Yob show on Dec. 31/Jan. 1, but we were surprised to find the same high calibre of performance unhindered by any apparent hangovers just two nights later…
The psychedelic stoner doom of Craters set a brisk, mind-altering tone for the evening with a number of sprawling, largely instrumental tracks that managed to maintain a steady course of head-tripping riffage without becoming ensnared in doom’s tendency to needlessly repetitive loops (atmosphere is one thing, but 10 minutes of the same riff is enough to strain anyone’s attention span.) Making their live debut featuring members of 2015 Wacken Metal Battle competitor Firecult, Vancouver’s newest black metal assault team Finite tore through a vicious set of songs with a glacial kvlt vibe, such as “A Thousand Songs Unsung” (below). Expect that this will be a great year for BC black metal.
Rampage followed with a relentless volley of classic punk ferocity, thanks in part to frontman Randy Rampage’s nihilistic commentary on corporatism, gentrification and consumer culture passive-aggression; everything one would expect for from a veteran punk and one of the founding members of D.O.A.
After a last-minute switch with Rampage, surprise headliner from Surrey’s suburban wasteland Brimstone delivered a diabolical sermon of classic heavy metal with the help of vocalist Liam Collingwood (now juggling vox duties for both Brimstone and Chilliwack’s Medevil), punctuated by Danny Sever (Massive Scar Era) on drums. The band has clearly benefited from the changes, delivering its tightest performance to date.
A great show exemplifying the diversity of local talent from the lower mainland and an auspicious start to the new year for BC’s heavy music scene. \m/ \m/
[Editor’s Note: Evidently we goofed on chronological order – Finite preceded Craters. Apologies!]