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Night of unholy rites.. Goatwhore ignites Toronto

Photos by: Nessa
Review by: Tony Rachtman

Toronto's Garrison was packed on Thursday night as Goatwhore came to give their loyal Toronto fanbase a one-off headlining show.

Goatwhore is currently touring the US with Amon Amarth, but set aside a headlining date just for the Canadian fans. Support for the show was provided by various metal acts from all over Ontario.

Opening up the night was the insanely loud Sinisfear from Cobourg, Ontario. Their set of pure raging death metal was so extreme it bordered on grindcore, but was executed well with accomplished musicianship and great rhythm.

The set was finished off with a grinding but well implemented cover of Maiden's "The Trooper" which the crowd joyfully (attempted) to sing along to, trying desperately to keep up with the tempo.

Next up was Toronto's Astaroth Incarnate, a band that has brighter days ahead of them to say the least. They opened a blistering set with their captivating frontman Sam, decked out in a trench coat and full-war makeup, adding a theatrical element to their live performance. The band was more than theatrics however, as their songwriting and musical abilities were equally as strong as the spectacle.

Astaroth Incarnate is a band to keep an eye on for sure, as the crowd and ensuing moshpit sealed their mark on the evening's crowd.

Empyrean Plague was up next. Their sound of ambient extreme metal is atypical of Ontario's metal scene and very unique. Echoes of Rotting Christ and Neurosis drew the captivated crowd with a hypnotic yet incendiary vibe the crowd really responded to.

The North Bay, ON based band surely has bigger and better things ahead, as they capped off a night of strong opening local acts.

Finally, after a delayed setup thanks to Canada's border clowns, Goatwhore took to the stage. The rather small Garrison concert hall was packed to the rafters with sweaty, hungry fans anxious to get the set rolling. Goatwhore exploded into their set, playing with metronome tight musicianship and a clear, crisp PA system that let the crowd hear every scream, guitar chord, and drum beat. After ripping through fan favorites like "Apocalyptic Havok" and "FBS" Goatwhore finished off the evening with a special encore of "Sky Inferno". Goatwhore finished the night as a headliner cemented into the Toronto metal scene.

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