BeatRoute’s Calgary Metalfest band picks: Wherein we wax poetic on the best of the batch

Friday 09th, September 2016 / 14:11
By Breanna Whipple

CALGARY —

W.M.D

Every so often stars align and we are gifted a band that revives the glory of Bay Area thrash that dominated the ’80s. Forming in 2014 with four remarkably skilled musicians, Calgary’s own W.M.D distances itself from the commonplace pizza party thrash and delivers a no-bullshit, technically-driven meltdown. Witness it for yourself at the Calgary Metalfest kickoff party on Wednesday, September 14th at the Ship and Anchor.

BLACKBIRD ELECTRIC

Envision yourself on a sunny beach bathed in the smoothest whiskey. If one were to encapsulate such a euphoric moment into sound the result would undoubtedly be on par with the feel-good tunes of Calgarian rock ‘n’ rollers Blackbird Electric released on their 2015 debut, Sunset City. Pure rhythmic paradise. Get down with these sex ‘n’ rollers on Wednesday, September 14th at the Ship and Anchor.

THE CADAVOR DOG

If in an alternate universe Leatherface became musically inclined, it is doubtful that his seething rage would rival that of The Cadavor Dog. Hailing from High River, Alberta and festering in homicidal lust and relentless aggression, the trio have released two blood-spurting full-lengths since their formation in 2010. They’ll be headlining the kickoff show on Wednesday, September 14th at the Ship and Anchor, miss it at your peril.

CRYSTAL MESS

Unmatched in terms of aggression, the amalgamation of metal and punk undoubtedly reigns in Calgary’s crossover kings, Crystal Mess. Following their formation in 2008, the act has produced three of the harshest full-lengths the city has to offer. With an upcoming EP, their nuclear genocide is sure to punish the masses when they rock Distortion on Thursday, September 15th.

PROFITS OF CRIME

Due to the picturesque mountains, it’s hard to believe that Profits of Crime, a hardcore band as blasphemous as they come, was birthed within the hamlet of Priddis, Alberta. Worship, their 2015 debut and sole full-length, preaches anti-religious anthems above pulverizing instrumentals. Their heavy arsenal packs a blistering punch that will pummel you to the ground on Thursday, September 15th at Distortion.

SAVAGE STREETS

We live in a world where trenches have been filled with corpses, chambers were built to suffocate families, and bombs relentlessly fall from the sky. Fuelled by the historic and ritual sadism throughout history, Savage Streets death/thrash 2012 debut Filth/Rot/War is harsh and unforgiving. The tentatively titled Covert Psychological Operation EP is imminent.

CONCRETE FUNERAL

Through sweat, determination, and hard work, Calgary’s own death/thrash quartet, Concrete Funeral, has been pounding the pavement toward completing their debut full-length. With an idiosyncratic fusing of old school death compositions alongside Randy Blythe-esque vocals, they exemplify the artistic freedoms of splicing two unlike genres to produce an intriguing sound. Don’t miss the band on Friday, September 16th at Dickens.

DISCIPLES OF POWER

Beyond the desolate plains and frostbitten wastelands of Edmonton, Alberta a unique fusion of the harshest death and thrash metal was spawned. Disciples of Power upon conception was a four-piece devastation, pulverizing auditory sensory with their 1989 debut, Power Trap. Cultivating a devoted following with their labyrinthine sound bathed in violence and occultism, the group went on to release five full lengths before their split in 2003. Despite the apparent fatal end, demand brought upon their return in 2012. The reincarnation of their twisted brilliancy intends on bringing forth new tracks of hellish Armageddon pending their anticipated sixth release. See them on Friday, September 16th at Dickens.

TOXIC HOLOCAUST

A spark of seduction ignites when a cobra is poised to strike, the victim falling hypnotized despite being fully aware of the imminent neurotoxic peril. Akin to the aforementioned destruction is the extensive discography of Toxic Holocaust, a black/thrash project brought to life by sole mastermind Joel Grind in 1999. Join the melee when they headline at Dickens on Friday, September 16th.

GATEKRASHÖR

Leather, speed, and alcohol fuelled the greatest decade of metal we’ve seen. Tapping into the raw animalistic vein of the ’80s, Gatekrashör deliver liver punishing, neck-breaking speed metal. Following up a decapitating debut full-length in 2014, the defenders of the old are set to release a chain-breaking EP following their last call performance on Saturday, September 17th at Flames Central.

Calgary Metalfest 2016 happens Sept. 14 to 17.

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