Friday night was jazz, better than I had anticipated. I had heard Michael Occhipinti before but his new Sicilian Jazz Project has a dark, almost post-rock vibe, emerging from the fusion of traditional Sicilian songs (most of them rather melancholy) and jazz.
The traditional cultural influences continued Sunday night but in a very different kind of fusion - the folk metal kind. Pop by exclaim.ca for my review of Eluveitie's Toronto set (with an excellent shot of the band's frontman by Adam Wills). But here are a couple more thoughts that didn't make it into the review...
On 3 Inches of Blood:
After a couple familiar tracks the self-described "traditional heavy metal" band from Vancouver introduced a new song, their raw energy easily enough to get much of the audience clapping along. A little bass heavy but with leads rising to the top, they temporarily dropped a guitarist to play Rush’s “Anthem,” displaying their patriotic love of Canadiana (also extending to hockey and beer).
On Death Angel:
On Death Angel:
An acoustic intro welcomed Death Angel on stage, but the San Franciscans’ thrash onslaught quickly and drastically cut the niceties short. The classic act’s high-octane set was professional without artificial polish, whether reaching deep into their catalogue or hitting contemporary tracks. Between-song banter leaned on nostalgia with a strong dose of Toronto audience appreciation, recalling a show at the El Mocambo in 1987 plus a long-ago meeting with Danko Jones, who joined the band on stage for “Thrashers.” They played more off The Ultra-Violence, but Mark Osegueda’s channelling of Dio for an interlude of “Heaven and Hell” might have been the coolest moment.
Next up? Maybe Emily Autumn, but probably Finntroll with Ensiferum, Barren Earth and Turisas.