with Jeff Loomis
& Blackguard, Bonded by Blood, Hatchet
March 30,2013 – The Republik – Calgary, Canada
Review and Photos by Monika Deviat
Just after the release of their ninth album The Living Infinite [Nuclear Blast, 2013], Soilwork began the North American leg of “The Inifinite World Tour”. Joining the swedes as main support was progressive shred master Jeff Loomis. Adding some variety to bill were thrashers Hatchet, Bonded by Blood and death metallers Blackguard. On March 30th, 2013 the tour stopped at the Republik in Calgary, Alta., and a sizable line of fans eagerly awaited the show start.
Hatchet from San Francisco, CA kicked off the show early to a good-sized crowd. The band showed their roots with a Bay Area thrash sound. Their short set was energetic and seemed well received by the hard core thrashers in the crowd, but it wasn’t anything innovative.
Bonded by Blood, the second California thrash act of the night, kept a thrashing frenzy going from their first tune, “I Can’t Hear You”. The charismatic band worked the crowd very well , even getting a small mosh pit going.
Montreal’s Blackguard played a powerful set, creating a full and atmospheric sound. In their short set they gave the audience a taste of their upcoming album in among their older work. Vocalist Paul Ablaze is a gregarious frontman and he was singing into people faces and grabbing their heads, inciting more energy. Blackguard’s axemen shredded furiously and joining them on this tour was the Agonist’s bassist Chris Kells. Justine Ethier was a whirlwind of sticks and hair as she laid into her kit.
When Jeff Loomis took the stage a very enthusiastic multitude of fans had crowded up to the stage and welcomed him with cheers and raised horns. The instrumental set contained only a little banter and some thank you’s from Loomis. The forty-five minute set was all about show casing that stellar vibrato technique and speed that is impressively precise. The set was comprised of songs from Plains of Oblivion [Century Media, 2012] and Zero Order Phase [Century Media, 2008] and the crowd loved hearing the technicality live. Everyone was captivated for the entire set.
Soikwork kicked off their set with “This Momentary Bliss” from their newest release The Living Infinite. They followed up right away with an older track, “Like the Average Stalker” and continued to assault the crowd with an hour and half worth of material. With the newest offering being a double album, Soilwork had a lot of songs to choose from for their live set. They included songs like “Spectrum of Eternity” and “Long Live the Misanthrope” among older favorites like “Nerve” and “Possessing the Angles”.
Bjorn “Speed” Strid’s vocals were spot on as he strode around the stage and leaned out into the crowd. Guitarist Sylvain Coudret shredded alongside David Andersson and both of the axe wielders got right up to crowd. Some technical issues had Coudret out for a few minutes but were resolved soon after and he got right back into the energy. Bassist Ola Flink… Dirk Verbeuren demonstrated his technique and speed behind the drum kick alongside Sven Karlsson’s ambient keyboards. A two song encore of “Late for the Kill” and “Stabbing the Drama” made for a strong ending to the evening.