DAY THREE-JUNE 7TH, 2013 Broken City- JP Woods
My first venture into Metal Fest was Day Three, Friday June 7th, the actual day of Nate’s birthday. I got off work early on a sunny afternoon and headed down to the venue (Broken City). It felt good to be n a dank bar, even if it was an all-ages gig. When I arrived early the place was virtually deserted and I was in time for some early libations and in time to catch the first act. What follows are my notes and a few extremely amateur shots on my phone. I apologize for the poor quality of the photos but our resident professional Monika had not arrived yet. 3:30 Shrapnel. This young (very young!) quartet clad in black jeans and retro thrash shirts (Overkill, Exodus) were a treat. Its always tough to be a new, untested commodity and first on the bill, but they stood tall and did Metal proud by launching the night to a virtually empty room. Pretty new to the scene, classic Metal and thrash, performances and stage presence were a little sloppy but good energy and better yet, some really good song writing, especially a heavier, mid-tempo number called ‘Pieces Over’ with hints of Death Metal vocals. To their credit, by the end of the brief set they had tripled the crowd and even got a half-hearted mini-mish put stirred up. I hope Shrapnel continue on.
4:10. Burning Effigy. Boasting a slightly more ‘modern’, darker sound than Shrapnal, Burning Effigy brought a bit more punch despite having a stand-in drummer. The bass and drum heavy delivery and aggressive was a decent contrast. BF have been gigging around town for some time and by the end of the set they had doubled the crowd again to close to 40 (capacity is probably only 150) so it was good to see an strong early start. They finished with their trademark song ‘Salem’ an intense driving number.
4:40 Arsenal. Quartet, a nice blend of thrash and classic Metal.The gig highlight being a cut called ‘Normandy’ in honour of the 69th anniversary of the invasion of Normandy. Sloppy loose with maybe just a hint of punk ethos like early Maiden, they were fun, talented and the singer could hit some pretty sweet highs notes!
5:10. Kneeled This was the world premier gig of Kneeled, side-project of Dan Neild (get it?) of Gatekrashor fame. This power trio was drunk and sloppy, even though they were still sober! After a really short gig, about 4 songs they finished with a super fast ripped-up, version of Onslaughts ‘Thermonuclear Devastation’. As much as I love Dan as a staple of the scene, Kneeled needed work or maybe even a rehearsal but then that would defeat the purpose! It was about as raw and garage as you can get.
5:45 Hellborn Death Engines Opening with a mighty scream that would make Wren proud, HBDE hit the stage in a blaze of majestic glory. Certainly the most power metal-ish band so far, the quintet killed with power. Don’t let the word PM fool ya’, they play the most aggressive kind of Priest/Maiden style of Metal. Fave track: Hammer Of The Gods’. The writing might not have been the most innovative but in terms of execution and delivery this quintet nailed it. The middle of the pack Power Metal band was carried by vocalist who did justice to a ripping cover of Helloween’s ‘Warrior’.
6:20 Mortillery Alberta success story Mortillery swapped times lots with Gatekrashor because the Edmonton’s Mortillery were just passing through on the way to a Medicine Hat gig (three hours away) and needed time to get on the road. Clearly the most professional and rehearsed act of the night Mortillery leveled the crowd with their hyper brand of classic thrash. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a poor gig by this band. They made into Calgary mere minutes before the gig (after a three hour drive) and hit the stage with a frantic energy that impressed the biggest crowd of the night thus far.
7:00 Gatekrashor After a brief hello and thank you from festival founder and birthday boy, Nate (with hugs and kisses all round from Dan of Gatekrashor) the hometown heroes tore into ripping set of speed-metal that got the crowd whipped up. The band ended with their anthem of sorts, ‘Heavy Metal Rangers’ and all was well.
Deviat: This was my only ventures over to Broken City. It is not the easiest Venue to shoot in but there was a great line up of bands. Gatekrashör was one of the reasons to make it over.
All in all, as a fan of this giant birthday party/ Metal Fest you have to be loose and ready to rumble as four of the advertised bands (Crystal Mess, Savage Streets, Hrom, and No More Moments) didn’t play, but I doubt anyone truly cared, we were too busy having fun.