Obscura / Abysmal Dawn / Last Chance To Reason / Auroch @ The Rickshaw, November 16, 2011

This mid-week show ignited with our local Auroch. Their complementing dual guitars consisted of both guitarists taking on rhythm and lead roles at different times. I admired the smooth sweeping, but it was hard to hear some of the guitar solos. It was easy to hear the drums though. Seeing Auroch play with a bassist this time made for a fuller sound than the times I saw them without a bassist. Oddly enough, sometimes the guitar riffs got buried in the mix. Sebastian’s upper range guttural vocals sounded like they could have originated from a demonic bird. His low growls also conveyed energy.  There was noticeable feedback in Auroch’s second song. I also heard GSM interference from a cell phone. Should we turn our cell phones off at shows?

Last Chance to Reason was up next, and I somehow detected deathcore in their sound, probably due to their use of breakdowns. Bob’s clean vocals sounded as though they would be more suited to pop rock than to metal. Their lack of grit and their soft style caused them to feel out of place while the rest of the band was playing heavy riffs. There were some moments of guttural vocals though, and the guitars were quite audible for the most part. After a couple of songs in, one of the guitars suddenly had no audio. As the guitarist tried fixing his sound, the rest of the band went into some jam that lasted about 30 seconds or so. It sounded like they were playing some sort of funk rock. I think the drums sounded triggered. I could see a machine, but that may have been for the synthesizer. Overall, the electronic sound in the music was too much for my taste. I prefer a less computerized sound. And I have a feeling that the band may have been using samples and/or backing tracks because I could not see a keyboardist…then again, I may not have been tall enough to see one.!

The third band, Abysmal Dawn, consisted of death metal with deep guttural vocals and a drummer I found rhythmically interesting. The playing did not sound triggered to me. Their guitars played good rhythmic riffs, and the bass line’s notes were audible. The guitar solos had good variety as they did not always play super fast all the time. Sometimes they would hold out long notes with vibrato, and sometimes melodic lines were present in the lead guitar.

Finally, Obscura set the stage, and their songs displayed a both fast and slow tempos. Unfortunately, sometimes the vocals were hard to hear. And even though their music has a progressive and technical approach, Obscura’s melodic lead guitar as well as catchy riffs and motifs were still present. One notable song this evening was “Incarnated,” one of my favorites off their Cosmogenesis album. I could really hear the prog/death influence from Death in Obscura’s music. I recall hearing them make a joke about the new Morbid Angel album. Obscura’s drummer was good at incorporating complex rhythms, lending very well to the band’s progressive vibe.

About Mad Metal Mage

Hey, my name is Linda Lockwood, a.k.a. Mage, one of the co-founders of VanMetal. I've been helping with maintaining, organizing, and pursuing this project since February 2011. Since moving from Nanaimo to Vancouver in 2009, I have learned and discovered quite a lot about Vancouver metal. As a metalhead and dedicated local, I continue to support and appreciate Vancouver metal at its finest. Through VanMetal, I hope to encourage others to support Vancouver metal too.
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