Cancer Bats/ 3 Inches of Blood/ Barn Burner@ The Mod Club, Toronto, ON, May 19, 2011

27 05 2011

When the “Warriors of the Great White North” tour rolled through Toronto last Thursday night, rearing its ugly red and white head, it brought with it a crowd as diverse as the nation it represented. From metal heads dressed all in black to hardcore kids in flannel, it seemed you could distinguish who was a fan of each band by what kind of shirt they were wearing. The roster of bands was small but distinct, each providing their own take on what it means to be heavy.

An earlier than normal set time meant that Montreal’s Barn Burner were put in the unfortunate position of opening to a sparsely populated (albeit fairly receptive) crowd. The band made quick work of proving themselves however, showcasing their own potent blend of stoner-meets-classic rock riffing with infectious energy and obvious skill.  While up-tempo tracks “Runnin Reds” and “Holy Smokes” got onlookers banging their heads, it was the slow and doomy haze of “Wizard Island” that was most impressive live. They even debuted a few new songs from their forthcoming album, and with clever titles such as “Dark Side of The Barn” and “Keg Stand and Deliver” it’s no secret that they have a blast doing what they do, especially when what they do is kick ass.

They might look like a motley bunch of misfit thrashers, but 3 Inches of Blood have been working tirelessly over the years to cement themselves as champions of the road. And why not?  Consistently hocking their traditional metal wares across remote parts of the country has not only garnered them a rabid following and honed their performance abilities, but it has seemingly taught them how to deliver on the demanding expectations of their audience. Straight out of the gate it becomes apparent that tonight’s show will be no exception. Opening with long time fan favourites “The Goatrider’s Horde” and “Destroy the Orks” prove to be good choices, helping to whip the crowd into a chaotic frenzy while making one thing crystal clear; they aren’t about to waste anyone’s time with filler. In fact, the 45 minute set was dominated by rare cuts and classic tracks, stopping only to improvise a few Rush riffs here and promote a couple tunes from the new 7” EP “Anthems for the Victorious” there. Although these were songs you had heard a hundred times before, they felt different somehow. Tonight they had an air of mutual respect and adoration. Simply put, this could very well be 3 Inches of Blood’s tightest, most energetic performance in Toronto to date.

It was a type of homecoming for the Cancer Bats who spent much of their early days honing their live chops in venues throughout the city. Playing more hardcore punk than metal, there was clear division between fans of this band and fans of the previous two. While those more metal strayed to the back of the venue, all the rest got right up front, lost in a sea of arms and bodies. Vocalist Liam Cormier bounded from one end of the stage to the other, enticing the crowd to sing along. For the Cancer Bats and their fans, this set was a reason to celebrate. For the rest it seemed, a reason to leave early.

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Want to know more about these bands? Check out the links below!

Barn Burner – http://www.myspace.com/theinfamousbarnburner

3 Inches of Blood – http://www.myspace.com/3iob

Cancer Bats – http://www.myspace.com/cancerbats

 

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