For a Friday night there was not as many people at the Rickshaw as I had expected, but that could have been due to the possibility that many people are away from home during the summer. Nonetheless it was still a blast to see Tyrants Blood supported by three strong bands.
Although Gross Misconduct had to pull out due to an injury (hope you get well soon, John), Excruciating Pain stepped up. I still really like the bass solo in the song “Manatee” every time I hear it, and I remember it that night! They even played a cover of John Lennon’s “Imagine”–I love how the intro was very similar to the original, and then it kicked into double time with the thrash/hardcore touch once the vocals came in.
Then we had Naraka hailing from Medicine Hat. I don’t even recall taking a break from headbanging when they were on! I was impressed with how they were not afraid to use different elements such as both clean and guttural vocals as well as varying tempos. Their blend of thrash and death metal had a slight progressive edge to it. And was that a yellow neon guitar I saw? If I recall correctly it may have been an Ibanez…
Xenocide surprised me with their performance as a four-piece with Tabreez handling both vocal and guitar duties; in the past I’ve seen them as a five-piece with Mike on vocals. Tabreez nailed the vocals with his low growls. It was my first time seeing Xenocide at the Rickshaw–I believe it was their first time playing there too. I look forward to seeing what they’ll do next with their technical space-themed death metal.
And finally we had headliners Tyrants Blood, four highly skilled musicians who commanded the stage with their execution of driving riffs and pounding beats; thus they induced headbanging amongst the crowd. The entire band, especially Brian, performed with captivating stage presence and engaged the audience. The few metalheads who showed up to this event enjoyed a set that a larger audience should have seen. Looking forward to their furthered success as they tour Europe this winter.
We’ve included some rough pictures of the bands playing. Sorry for the poor quality–smoke on the stage and a not-so-fancy camera don’t mix that well!