There’s something surprisingly unique about seeing a show that’s not in Toronto. There’s also something special about seeing a band that the last time you saw were playing the big Mayhem Festival stages and now they’re in your face. A nice Friday night in Guelph, Ontario, the university kids were out for a night of drinking when a bunch of Death Metal bands descended on the DSTRCT, a venue on the second floor of a bar that had some smooth jazz going. Upstairs was some “#BlackLivesMatter” party or something, and in the middle was Metal. Killitorous, Erimha, The Apex and Ending Tyranny were about to shake the support of this building.
The night started a bit late as one of the bands had some troubles arriving at the venue, after a bit of extra waiting we were greeted by Ending Tyranny, who played their new album “Evolution of Deceit” and while it was there first time playing some of these songs, I’m sure another first happened for these guys, almost all the way through their second some someone collapsed! Without missing a beat the band finished, made sure the guy was okay and vocalist Callum Clark goes “what the hell, I missed it!” Some Tech Death goodness knocked this guy right on his ass, must have melted his brain a bit. Clark and the rest of Ending Tyranny, although being a rather small band, have a better stage presence than most bands that have been in the business for 20+ years. While introducing “Faceless Silhouette” Clark was able to joke about “since when did silhouettes have faces in the first place?” When the band came up to the end of their set they were thankful to the crowd and said goodnight.
The crowd was rearing to go, after some wicked Tech Death that a lot of us didn’t expect to enjoy so much next on was The Apex. These guys were pretty cool having got the chance to talk to Tyson as both a journalist (read our interview) and a fan at the show plus their new album is killer and sounds even better live. The band opened fast and hard with “Contention: Chapter 2” the crowd was wild and ready to rock, showing The Apex what they were made the crowd was getting really into it. continuing with “Promise,” “Means To An End” and “Glass Walls” the band eventually hit “If Detroit Rivers Could Speak” getting the crowd nice and ready for what’s to come and closing out with “Contention: Chapter 1” this crowd was ready to kill and next up was going to be the perfect band to do it to.
With their new album “Thesis Ov Warfare” released just weeks ago, Erimha were here to show everyone what they had to offer. Donning full corpse paint and performing barefoot the band opened with the first single from the new album “The First Law” and already the pits were going; this was the start of the destruction. Having played Mayhem Fest in 2014 and toured with Mushroomhead, Erimha were pros at putting on a show, even though this was probably one of the smaller venues they had played in quite a while, they gave it their all. Blazing through their set with new songs the band introduced one from “Reign Through Immortality” although not “Verdict of the Soul” (which later, vocalist Gore told me they removed for a new song at this show specifically) the band roared into “Condemned To Desolation” and the pit grew to scary sizes for this small venue, nowhere was safe while the band played. “Fragmented Existence,” the song played to replace “Verdict of the Soul,” was (almost) worth still not having seen “Verdict” and after a few more songs, t was the end and onto the final band of the night.
This is where things got real insane, using their own lights instead of the house lights and getting everything ready, Killitorous took the stage. This band has their own sense of humour that almost can’t be paralleled and it’s a crazy contrast from the sternness of Black Metal that Erimha has to offer. The band played a bunch of their hits like “’Til Death Do Us Party” and even inviting Ending Tyranny’s Callum Clark back to the stage for “Geore Castanza’s Father’s Son” the band made a ton of new fans with the level of silly Tech Death. At one point the band asked “does anyone like the movie Ace Ventura” which was greeted by a fan yelling “CANNIBAL CORPSE” and the band played 2 seconds of “Hammer Smashed Face” the band was coming up on the end of their set. Which I think a lot of people welcomed seeing as it was like 1:15am at this point. Playing through “No Not The Bees” and “It’s Not Stanley, It’s Stan Lee” the band made their way off the stage and the crowd was done. I’ve never seen a crowd so out of energy after a show, it just shows how much these bands has these people using.
After the show I got to talk with the awesome dudes in The Apex and got some stuff signed by Erimha and finally got to meet all of them. The crowd made their way out looking thrilled to have experienced that level of awesomeness, everyone was making friends outside and all in the, the night was successful. All these bands are worth seeing live and if given the chance, I will see any and all of them again.