Montreal band of stoner-thrash jesters Barn Burner tore into the crowd, beers hoisted high. The onslaught only paused when the guys took a swig from them. Barn Burner deftly segued from thunderous grind to sludgy cuts like “Beer Today, Bong Tomorrow,” effectively securing its place as one of Canada’s up-and-comers within the metal scene.
By the time Skeletonwitch took the stage, the crowd had already formed a healthy sized mosh pit. There was no question about it: Things were going to get brutal. The Athens, OH, quintet also swore to do its part: Lead singer Chance Garnette announced that the band would cram as many songs into the set as humanly possible. The band delivered on that promise, churning out killer song after killer song. Garnette’s death-metal growls pierced the thick, burly guitars perfectly, compelling many fans to, like kids at the local swimming pool, dive off the stage again and again. “This song is about Satan,” Garnette boomed, and just like that, the moshing began again, before the first note was even played.
Kvelertak took the stage to the foreboding sounds of Gregorian chants and gloomy, churning Scandinavian tides—the calm before the storm. The Norwegian sextet tore into songs from its acclaimed 2007 self-titled debut with aplomb—blistering vocals, a trio of lacerating guitars and grooves to please those in the pit and by the bar. Attendees’ hands remained locked in the devil horns position the entire time, and the stage-diving was constant. The guys in Kvelertak repeatedly thanked the crowd, proclaiming it to be the best Stateside gig in the band’s career.