While the final qualifying round for Vancouver’s contribution to Wacken Metal Battle Canada 2016 proffered the most diverse lineup of lower mainland acts in this year’s competition, Coquitlam/Maple Ridge band The Mountain Man emerged from its backwoods hideout long enough to snatch the win – congrats to them!
Opening act Exterminatus has twice impressed this reviewer recently with their sound and live delivery. A technical mishap during the first part of their set may or may not have affected the judges’ overall assessment of their set, but the fact remains that the band is doing some ambitious work to hybridize the broad range of influences evident in their songs and persisting in their effort will undoubtedly yield future rewards.
Special mention goes to Occasionally Dropped, who had leapt to the top of our “One to Watch” list by the end of their set. Drawing heavily from 90s rock influences, the band nevertheless exhibited a distinct, cohesive sound that will become even clearer with further refinement. Whatever these Langley kids are up to, one sincerely hopes to see them back again next year!
The winners of rounds one through three (Process, Majora, and The Mountain Man) continue to the semifinal round at the Rickshaw on May 1.
[Click to enlarge gallery images]