I’m now fully recovered from this mighty show, so I figured I’d share a few of my thoughts on an evening of raw metal.
We arrived at the Thirsty Scholar here in my home city of “Saskatomb” before any of the bands had started. There was time to check out the merch tables while they set up and chat with some of the bands. Shannon, my partner in grime, knew the guys in Wake from when she lived in Calgary, so we chatted with them for a while about Maryland Deathfest this year and checked out their wares. We were feeling good due to pounding Bohemians since around 3 in the afternoon, but decided we should probably take advantage of the 5 dollar pints of “smart pilsner.” It certainly wasn’t the tastiest brew, but it beat paying 9 dollars for a pint of your standard domestic (which one of my buddies found out when he bought his girlfriend a Bud Lite). The next day everyone who I talked to that drank the smart pilsner was savagely hungover so I think the name may have been a misnomer. Then again, I kept drinking it, so perhaps I’m not so smart either.
After chatting with the Wake boys we went to check out some of the other merch. We chatted with some cool people from Edmonton, Tsultor Eknagnal and Xolaryxis Anakha. Tsultor Eknagnal did the art for the newest Goathammer release and got to design the shirts for the Canadian Mystifier shows they did after playing MDF. They suggested I check out a couple tapes of bands they played in: Wrath Bestial, a straight up raw black/death/thrash assault, and Sorguinazia, a more atmospheric take on raw black metal. Really solid stuff! They had a nice selection of other stuff for sale, but I had to resist temptation as the night was still young. The first pints had already been crushed by this point, so it was time to get more. I ran into Logan Campbell (Possessor) from the Devil Cult Ritualism label on the way who had brought in a copy of the diehard edition of Revenge’s Attack.Blood.Revenge for me. So far, it was looking like a nice little merch haul.
The opening act Wrought was now ready to begin. This was their first show, although the members have played in various bands in and around Saskatoon including Agony Spawn, Putrid Soul, Narcissistic, Indecipherable, and Singularity. It was some solid death metal with a nice raw sound. The venue doesn’t really have a stage other than a little riser for the drum kit, so the bands are right in your face. Everyone had good energy, and they got a good amount of heads banging, including my own. I liked the big guy with the extra greasy hair, it added to their deathly aura for sure. They didn’t have anything recorded to sell, but I look forward to hearing more from these guys in the future.
Goathammer was up next. This was the band I was the most excited to see since I had yet to catch them live. These guys play raw black/death/thrash in the vein of Black Witchery and Blasphemy, complete with copious amounts of spikes, combat boots and NWN band hoodies. Logan, who I mentioned earlier joined the band and played bass during their set. The tapes simply do not do this band justice. Their performance was absolutely barbaric. Ultra-tight, hammering blast beats, hoarse shouted vocals, shredding chainsaw guitars, an ugly low end and insane dive-bomb chaotic solos mercilessly assaulted us, and this time the crowd whipped itself up into a pit. My neck was not happy with me the next day as I banged my head like my life depended on it throughout the whole set. Prior to the show, Shannon had joked with front-man Sadowülf about buying matching shirts, so we snapped a photo with the band outside with said shirts.
By the time we made it back in Mechanical Separation had already begun their set. These guys have been around for some time, although the band had gone dormant for a while. They’ve been very active lately, so I’ve seen them a number of times before. They play a somewhat unorthodox style of grind that brings to mind acts like Cephalic Carnage or Discordance Axis. Matt, the band’s guitarist was the guy who put on this show (and most of the heavy shows here in Saskatoon lately). So shout out to Matt! As always a solid performance, but by this point the beer had started making things somewhat hazy. I do recall buying Shannon a cool Wake shirt after their set though.
I hate to admit it, but we unfortunately missed Wake’s set as we were too distracted getting in long alcohol-fueled discussions with our many new friends we met that night outside. Thankfully, I have seen Wake more than three times now, so I’m certain they decimated that venue. Last time we saw them they were utterly pulverizing, so I’m sure this time was no exception!
Once the show was finished, and after coming out of the brief time-warp we’d found ourselves in, we decided we should keep the good times rolling, so Goathammer and crew came back to my pad for a rager of an after-party. Records were spun, tapes were blasted, my No Sanctuary Records order was dropped off, and by the time we finally finished off in the wee hours of the morning all flat surfaces in the basement were 100% covered in empty beer bottles and cans.
All in all, a great show and a great night (despite being a shitty drunk poser and missing Wake!). Looking forward to catching Matt’s next show featuring Iskra, Mechanical Separation, Hexxensabbat (which features members of Goathammer), and Hashfiend! It’s a Sunday show, so this time the plan is to not get black out drunk and miss the headliners. Also, no more “smart pilsner” for this guy.