Blackrat, Visigoth and Gatekrashor; Broken City, Calgary, Alberta, May 6th, 2015
Normally I don’t review too many concerts, let alone local bar shows but this is a bit of an exception. Calgary Metal fan, journalist and local scene supporter Sarah K. recently entered the promotions game and this was her first gig and I wanted to show my support. In addition, I believe, it was the first ever Canadian gig for Metal Blade Recording Artist Visigoth, a historic occasion so I headed down to the bar to check it out and do a quick review. Photos and additional write-up/review courtesy of Jeff B.
Broken City is a small pub in downtown Calgary mostly populated by hipsters, the university crowd and the bar hosts games nights, punk rock bingo and other stuff but on occasion they do host a decent Metal gig. It’s a small venue but fortunately for a Wednesday the place was pretty full. The regulars who showed up play the card game ‘Magic’ ™ looked on with amusement at the small legion of old-school denim and leather crowd who congregated to worship at the altar of steel.
Local favourites hit the stage early, on purpose to let the people who have to work a chance to come out. I wish more promoters/bars did this as going to work at 5:00am (for me) after a late bar show that starts at 11:00pm or later is tough on the system! Local Metal maniac and man-about-town Dan Neild lead his boys ripped through about a 30 minute set of classic, tradtional, old-school (whoever yo want to label it) Metal. Attitude, energy, the band has it all. These guys were born 20 years too late but they embody the spirit of Metal like few others.
As good as they are I had seen both the local bands several times each, for me the real treat was Visigoth from Salt Lake City. These guys have some big buzz and based on some hard work and some very solid demo material they got snapped up by Metal Blade for their full-length debut, THE REVENANT KING, which came out earlier this year. As I said earlier I think this was their first time in Canada and certainly the first time in Calgary. The band played a good chunk of their debut album. Vocalist mentioned he had a cold and actually his speaking voice sounded really rough and scratchy as he chatted between songs but he brought his ‘A’ game and his suffering did not show as he belted out the tunes with power and force. I was pleasantly surprised how many people were singing loan in the audience considering the album has only been out for a few months. The band played (for me) an album highlight ‘Dungeon Master’ which he dedicated to the kids sitting at tables playing ‘Magic’ and they ended off with the one-two punch of the title track and ‘Iron Brotherhood’. The only negative thing I can say was that they sold out of their CD before I could get a copy! They came and conquered and seemed to have a good impression of the hospitality of the local Metal heads.
After a long hiatus of eight or nine months, they returned to the local stage to deliver their Motorhead styled, gritty, blackened metal. They also brought the stage show including a giant upside down cross complete with skull of cow and candles, followed by minimal light and lots of smoke. Great atmosphere and great energy. The crew that was there enjoyed their set a lot there was much head banging. A great way to end the night!