Last night at The Coach and Horses (156 Chatham St. W.) music fans were assaulted by a bombardment of rough vocals and double kick as four metal bands took over for the evening.
Opening the show was After Ashes. Despite the fact that three quarters of the band are underage, these guys are not a seventh grade garage band. They won’t give you Avenged Sevenfold style “metal”, but hair-flailing, mosh-pitting heavy metal, similar to For The Fallen Dreams (without any melodic vocals, of course). Despite a few technical difficulties, these guys sounded great and had the stage presence to go with it.
Up next came London-based group Heaven Ablaze, who did not fail to impress. The vocalist growled his way through each song, with frequent sustains to make Randy Blythe proud, while roaming through the crowd and giving a few very Omerta-esque spoken word intros and breakdowns. The band and crowd fed off of each other as necks got a bit loosened up and hair started flying. The place really filled up directly after Heaven Ablaze’s set, which is a shame, as those late comers really missed something. So the next time you see this name on a bill, making it out to that show is probably a good idea.
The band with the largest draw of the night, Weapon of Choice, proved why that was the case with their set. Self-described as “Aggressive F-ing Thrash Metal”, these guys gave exactly what they promised. With a cracking snare and vocals that ranged from a deranged beast to demonic hissing , guitars that chugged and wailed and a driving bass, these guys filled The Coach up and got everyone moving. With the venues current ban on moshing, the band had to ask audience members several times to calm themselves down, and eventually everyone learned to content themselves by throwing up horns and tossing their heads like demented bulls. It was a beautiful thing.
To close the night we had Xempt, a band I hadn’t seen live since high school, and very much anticipated. I was also excited to once again see Ken Amlin, formerly of Black Kreek behind the kit again, as that had been a while as well. A barrage of sound, these guys gave riffs as catchy as they were heavy and dynamic vocals. The entire sound of the band continuously brought to mind thoughts of The Acacia Strain.