Oshawa, Ontario. You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.
Black Metal Halloween
Featuring: Nuclearhammer, Cromlech, Astaroth Incarnate, Visions of the Night and Dawn of Tyrants
Date: Friday October 27th, 2017
Venue: the Atria in Oshawa, Ontario
T-shirt worn: Suffocation 'Breeding the Spawn'
I've been to a lot of shitty, crusty shows with a lot of questionable people in my life but this one may have taken the cake.
It was in Oshawa, Ontario and if you don't know Oshawa it's Canada's answer to Detroit. A town once dominated by but ultimately decimated by the North American auto markets rise and fall. It's a low income, low education, high teen pregnancy, zero hope kind of town.
And it's where I was born.
This show was at some dive bar in the downtown "core". I entered to some of the crustiest people I've seen since the last time I was in Oshawa a week or two ago. I can't quite describe it but it's just a fucked up place full of hopeless bliss.
I showed up just after Dawn of Tyrants had started and they were actually really good old-school thrashy black metal. There was already a drunken kid in his late-teens trying to mosh/fight with whoever was around. It gave me much hope for the evening sucking.
I was really surprised at this point that there was no vomit on the floor.
Visions of the Night were up next. They were a death metal band with old-school death metal and military elements as well as some Brutal Slam. They're weak point was the vocals, which were pretty terrible. The guitarist actually had a better growl than the main guy but he sang maybe five lines their entire set. Their singer was mentioning song titles but I'd be lying if I said I was paying attention.
I may or may not have contracted pinkeye at this point of the show.
Things were taking way too fucking long by the time Astaroth Incarnate got on. They weren't entirely horrible. They were like a symphonic death metal band...minus the "symphonic". Their songs were a little long but they practice, I could tell. Their lead guitar was way too low in the mix though and a lot of coolness was lost thanks to that. Their singer had a wicked getup too but my pictures all suck.
There hasn't been a fight by this point but I bet someone had gotten pregnant in a car out in the parking lot.
You can probably tell how Cromlech sounded just by looking at the picture of them I'm going to post below. They were the odd band out tonight for sure. But they were actually really, really good. Their singer had a wicked falsetto and they were really tight once they kicked it into high gear. I was surprised because I did listen to them a bit online and I thought what I heard was terrible. Their slow parts and mellow parts were horrid but when they rocked out they were actually really entertaining.
Nuclearhammer went over an hour later than advertised at 1:40am. That's a bit much, even for me. Then their one guitarist broke a string after their first song and it took five minutes to get fixed. But when they did play they were fucking awesome, guttural death noise. They got turned off after twenty minutes because of 2:00am curfew and I had to break a fight up during their set. It’s really too bad because they were fvcking awesome. They had no merch, which was too bad too because I’d totally rock one of their shirts. But it was an extra layer of kvlt in them not having any merch, which was really cool.
The worst part of this show: I enjoyed it. I grew up in this shit environment and these were the kind of shit clubs my band played twenty years ago in the same shit city to the same directionless people. It took me back to a time that has long since passed to a life that has long since expired.
It was different from a show in Toronto...
.... I was home.
Visions of the Night
Dawn of Tyrants