SEPTEMBER 28th 2014
Review By: Anka
Photos By: Peter Ruttan

I love fall, not because of warm colors, turkey or Halloween but mostly because this is the best season for shows in Vancouver. After a “dry” summer, seeing the metal events crowding my calendar warms up my heart more than a turkey roast and pumpkin candy. September brought a few amazing shows and the last event of the month was definitely a highlight: Crowbar, Revocation and opening acts Skull Vultures,  Armed for Apocalypse and Acquitted, all a complete package brought to Van by Nothing is Heavy.
Havok were initially part of the tour as well, but broken wrist got in the way and all the rest of the dates had to be cancelled, leaving a few fans disappointed but easily consolable by the amazing headliners.
I missed the openers Acquitted, but while being stuck at the door I was able to hear parts that sounded like something I would have liked to hear from up close. Here’s hoping there’s a next time for that!
Skull Vultures were the other local opening act on this show. This heavy trio, though relatively new, is already a household name that has played many shows in Vancouver and has quickly gained a lot of fans. Not surprisingly, with their versatile style, they fit the bill on many types of shows, and the fit was even better on this show. From the very first roar of vocalist Jason Puder and the suite of excruciating screams, from heavy riffing to downtempo doom, all infused with progressive or groovy passages, there is a sound that is pretty much unique in the scene here but also instantly recognizable.

Next up, Armed for Apocalypse sort of changed the pace and the whole soundscape for about 30 minutes. Their sludge with strong hardcore influences was not exactly what I would have wanted that night (breakdowns, breakdowns, breakdowns, stop the madness!) but nevertheless that earned their spot in the lineup. The aggressive element was felt in the crowd as well when moshpits expanded, sending people on the sides within seconds. Musically, nothing to write home about, but this won the crowd with the dynamics of this mix of influences and the all-or-nothing type of attitude in their awesome stage presence – awesome, if you don’t count in the cutout jeans shorts.

Revocation was a long-awaited name on this bill. Lots of fans seeing them for the first time, others seeing them for a second or third time, yet the stoke level was the same for everybody. Revocation’s style is still hard to describe for me, and it would be too easy to just say death/ thrash metal with progressive elements. It’s not just that. In a live performance, this all gets to a different level. From shreddy air-guitar inspiring pieces to heavy, circle pit starters, a Revocation show is bound to leave a crowd overwhelmed. The groovy part will leave you with a serious bang-over while the technical aspect of the whole performance will leave the geeks with jaw-drop related pain. This, my friends, is a true, non pretentious shred fest delivered with an energetic stage presence. They have a new album “Deathless” coming out in a couple of weeks, first songs sound killer, and you need to keep an eye out for that.

The mighty Crowbar were long overdue for a Vancouver performance. By the time they took the stage, the place was pretty packed, to my delight. Last time I had seen Crowbar a few years ago, it was 4 am and we were in the middle of the Caribbean sea. I sort of knew what to expect now and I knew I’d get a kick out of it, but most of the crowd probably had an even better experience, since I’ve seen a lot of ecstatic faces in there. Carrying through their setlist with the characteristic heaviness and emotion, through sweet harmonies and sludgy riffs, alternating from slower paced tracks to faster punchy ones, Crowbar put on a show to remember and commanded the crowd like true sludge prophets. Their performance always stays so intense whether slow or fast paced. The extra treat was hearing a lot of Crowbar classics and not half the new album as bands would normally do when touring in support of a new release. With a great rapport with the audience, friendliness and passion adding to all that, you can’t really make this performance any better.

Now let’s brace ourselves for one of the best metal seasons in this city. The beginning was spectacular.