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By Andrew Depedro, Ottawa Corespondent
Saturday, March 1, 2014 @ 9:41 AM

True Blood Thursdays: Death Angel, Tyr & Signs Of Chaos Get The Red Out At Mavericks, Ottawa, Canada, February 13, 2014

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The review was initially supposed to be titled A Toastmaster's Shredding after I had to delay my last-minute Table Topics entry post-celebration due to actually not being a student at the university my chapter's based at when a whole bunch of us went out to celebrate at a few of the campus bars - and were denied each time. But it would've been difficult to explain the whole story behind the title. That and someone else already had dibs on the title for their own speech beforehand.

Anyway, the review calls for actual reviewing......

Despite Ottawa being bereft of the added bonus of having CHLDRNE OF BODOM on this bill for opening night of the Halo Of Blood tour it didn't dampen the atmosphere amongst many local fans on a cold pre-Valentine's Day evening. On the contrary, the bill got to showcase some local talent as well as a bunch of newcomers to the scene straight from the Faeroe Islands a.k.a. Denmark's Hawaii (minus the hukilau, the active volcanoes and the warm climate) to a new audience as well as the headliners who, in their 30+ years as an active touring band had always ignored Ottawa for larger markets; this would be their second visit back here in just under 3 years.

Starting with SIGNS OF CHAOS who were the local opening band - a heavy five piece that rocked the stage. All forty feet of it. As the other bands had brought all of their equipment with them so that no one needed to borrow anything for this show. That meant that their drummer's kit alone just fit the stage because of the space taken up by two other drumkits and four sets of amps. How the rest of the band were even able to move around most of the time let alone avoid running into each other was nothing short of miraculous. They still put on a pretty good show regardless and having been active since 2008 they knew they way around a stage - no matter how small - enough to know that energy and intensity are a few of many keys to a good performance. Their debut full-length disc Rise made up most of the setlist for tonight's show and their souped-up death-meets-modern-groove metal was enough to get a pit in action thanks to songs like "Watch It Burn" and "Break You". The LAMB OF GOD and SLIPKNOT influences are clearly evident in SIGNS OF CHAOS' essence of being, from the chugging riffs and triggered drum beats right down to their frontman proudly sporting a SLIPKNOT T-shirt. In summary, they connected with their audience. And they'll have a chance to practice that even more when they compete with several other local bands next month for a slot for the electric crown on this year's Heavy MTL festival on March 22.


According to the co-headlining quartet that took the stage next, their mission was one of breaking down walls that were erected between different genres of metal erected over the years so as to combat the prejudices that developed from within those same walls. It's been a long mission that's 16 years in and counting and seeing as part of their logo incorporated the CHICKENFOOT logo (remember those guys?) a decade before CHICKENFOOT were even a band, recognition has to go to the Faeroe Islands' own Viking metal mercenaries TYR. Their name refers to the God Of Law And Justice according to ancient Viking folklore and out of many of their peers in the Viking folk metal genre, they lay claim to being the most true of them all in their music. From where I was at the show, they definitely backed up their claim with some lightning fast and heavy riffs and rapid fire drumming on anthems like "Hold The Heathen Hammer High". Their latest disc Valkyrja featured a lot of those same riffs and rhythmic beats but while the songs are slightly tamed compared to their previous work their spirit and impact is not. And songs like "Lady Of The Slain" and "Mare Of My Night" ensure that status with their heavy Thor-like riffs sending heads banging and two-pronged finger salutes flying upwards from the audience. Not bad for the opening night of the actual tour. Definitely Viking soul on a roll which you wouldn't treat like soap on a rope because the beats and the lines are so dope.


As previously implied, there were periods within their career when San Francisco thrash legends and the night's headliners DEATH ANGEL would have indeed bypassed Ottawa while in between larger touring markets on the 401. Not on this tour. Their opening track "Left For Dead" rang loud, hard and thrashy but it was more like the next chapter in their history to be written and less like an apologetic plea for having overlooked Ottawa's heavy metal potential and support for the scene for over three decades. And after their first and way overdue visit back in late 2011 they made a promise to return which they stood by and kept to. With their latest disc The Dream Calls For Blood these veterans of the Bay Area thrash scene definitely went out of their way to make sure they'd be heard by more of the masses which had also supported them in the past. Their setlist however mostly celebrated their present and definitely reminded myself as well as others as to why their new disc topped many a year-end albums list. Seven out of ten of The Dream's tracks (including the aforementioned opener "Left For Dead" and the title track) made the cut for the setlist that night amongst the classic numbers like "Evil Priest" and "Seemingly Endless Time", among others. It also included the rarely-performed classic "Bored", which segued nicely into a fine cover of "Heaven And Hell" whose solo guitarist Rob Cavestany matched perfectly note for note. And frontman Mark Osegueda nailed Dio's vocals on the song nicely, still maintaining enough fire and fury afterwards when the audience called for an encore in the form of "Thrown To The Wolves". By then I was convinced that nothing could top their late 2011 show at the same venue. That is, until Mark Osegueda remembered me from the last show when I brought it up during the meet-and-greet portion of the gig. And agreed to be a part of a couple of selfies that my friend Ryan (from the band 1993) wanted to take. Yes, the selfie photo has become a common rite of passage at shows now.

In closing, DEATH ANGEL's show at Mavericks definitely made up for that frolic through the campus grounds of Carleton University for the post-Toasties event that didn't happen the day before. Now that's something to talk about.


  • "Left For Dead"
  • "Son Of The Morning"
  • "Evil Priest"
  • "Claws In So Deep"
  • "Relentless Revolution"
  • "Fallen"
  • Intro to "The Ultra-Violence"/"Seemingly Endless Time"
  • "The Dream Calls For Blood"
  • "Caster Of Shame"
  • "Sonic Beatdown"
  • "Succubus"
  • "Execution - Don't Save Me"
  • "I'm Bored"/"Heaven And Hell"
  • "Thrown To The Wolves"

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