Written By Timothy Voldemars Johnston
Standing on my balcony yesterday as the sun set, gazing upon a sky on fire, I knew this night was going to be something special. There was just something in the air and I was not disappointed.
It took me about 45 minutes to get downtown to the Danforth Music Hall, as traffic sucked, as usual when I am trying to actually get somewhere on time. I missed the opening band. I will say however, that I have seen Black Anvil several times and… not my type of music, so not a big deal for me. I heard good things from people standing outside though. I’m assuming they were appreciated by those who did get to see them. I did however get there just in time to witness the mighty Immolation.
Immolation is tied with Deicide for being my favorite Death Metal band of all time so, I would have been very angry if I had missed any of their set (even though Ive seen them only a couple months earlier at the Velvet Underground. They are a band I will always try to see, no matter how often they tour and did they ever destroy this night. Wow! What a pummeling, steamrolling, crushing performance. While not my favorite performance ever from them it was definitely up there. I had some trouble making out the riffs, and that was unfortunate, but it was great to see them in front of such a huge crowd getting the appreciation they deserve. My only regret is that they only played for 30 minutes. But did they ever put a lot into those 30 minutes.
Many who know me understand Im not a huge fan of Death Metal in general. It’s just not my thing. But somehow this band hits me different. They create such an amazing and unique atmosphere with their music. Their guitarist, Robert Vigna, is probably in my top 5 favorite guitarists of all time. His leads
are just perfection in my opinion.
After Immolation ended and a bunch of people moved back from the front, I moved up a bit with my buddy to get a better spot to witness what was to follow. The reason I came to this show. The lights went down, the stage went red, and out marched the Ineffable Kings of Darkness, Dark Funeral. I immediately had flashbacks to when we, Eclipse Eternal, opened for them at the Opera House in 2007, the first time I ever saw them. A smile, teeth showing, crept onto my face. I knew what was to come.
Raging, blistering fast, raw yet melodic, memorable Black Metal. And that is what they delivered. No holds barred, they owned the stage. Definitely the best performance I’ve ever seen by them and the audience was won over. Screams, cheers and horns up after every song. I will admit, I was a little concerned that this audience, which was obviously mostly Death Metal fans, would not appreciate the offering provided, but I was happily surprised. When, near the end of their set, Dark Funeral’s newest singer waved their black banner, the audience erupted in applause and my night was made.
After they left the stage, I headed outside to get some much-needed air and to cool down as it was hotter than hell in the venue. 1,500 (?) people packed into the venue was a lot. Definitely the biggest metal concert I’d been to in a very long time.
Outside, I met up with a Toronto Metal stalward, Beast! Back when I first started playing shows, many years ago, Beast had been at almost every show and knew everyone. Then he disappeared for a couple years. Took Cannibal Corpse to bring him back out. Was good catching up. Then back inside I went. I found my buddy again, this time much further back and on came the headliner Cannibal Corpse. Now, I will fully admit, I’m not a big fan (see earlier where I said I wasn’t really into Death Metal). I really only like a couple songs by them, and those are the really old ones, so, of what I saw, I will say, live, they are amazing at what they do and the audience went absolutely wild for them.
The pit was crazy. The band played with pure conviction and based on the reaction of everyone around me, I’ll say they did exactly what everyone wanted. I stayed around for several songs, got to hear one of my favorites, and then took off to the sound of wild cheering and craziness continuing behind me. Now that’s a metal show. First sold-out concert I’ve been to in many years. Definitely one to remember.