Montreal’s Mutank takes the WOA Canadian title
They’ve made us write about them before, and now they’re making us do it again. Montreal thrashers Mutank, took the cake at the end of the grueling battle that takes place across Canada for months involving over a hundred bands from coast to coast.
Last year the victors were Toronto’s own Crimson Shadows, and they went on to represent Canadian metal in Wacken, Germany, and actually won at the festival there as well. Now, it’s Mutank’s turn to head to Germany in August to represent Canadian metal at its finest to possibly the best and most fierce metal audience alive.Heading on just before guest headliners, Toronto’s Skull Fist, Mutank came out with something to prove, and left no questions unanswered.
You know if guys are drinking their drinks out of gas canisters, they’ve got to be seriously bad ass. And they are. What stands out more is their uncanny ability to bring new life to thrash metal, keeping down smooth and soothing melodies, but never negating that hardcore thrash quality.
Skull Fist need no introductions. Leading the movement in bringing back retro hair metal, again, at its finest. These guys can wail. And that’s why they were invited as special guest headliners, to give the fans one more dose of pure unadulterated shred metal.But before all that, Canadian metal was well represented on this night with two finalists from Toronto (My Hollow, Burning The Day,) one from Vancouver (Neck Of The Woods,) one from Calgary (Exit Strategy,) and of course the winners from Montreal.
First on the bill were fan favourites My Hollow. It’s weird to be openers on a set list made entirely of headliners, but they didn’t seem to mind at all as a full flood of fans rushed the stage as soon as they started to play. With bands playing throughout the night as tight as these guys were right from the beginning. the judges really had their work cut out for them. Any one of these bands could’ve reigned victorious after this show.
The guest judges were: Robb Reiner (Anvil,) Noel Peters (Inertia Entertainment,) Tim Henderson (Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles,) Lindsay Schoolcraft (Cradle Of Filth,) Jon Asher (Asher Media Relations,) Adam Sewell (Riot Rock Management/Stereo Dynamite,) Darrell Shelley (Scene Magazine,) and Drew Copeland (Villainizer.)Next up at the Opera House was west coasters Neck Of The Woods. Another heavy group with a strong synchronicity and solid sound. They could’ve used a little more time in sound check perhaps because the group’s instruments’ levels weren’t even. Overall they put on a good show though, but that might of cost them some points with the panel.
Burning The Day came out guns-a-blazing with their chaos theory style guitar licks and metal meltdowns. They progressively break up their heavy parts with some stellar melodies and slower parts, but you know it’s only the eye of the storm before they come back with a vengeance a few bars later.After these three groups having destroyed the crowd, they were sweaty as hell from moshing hard but ready for more. And it was coming.
Calgary’s Exit Strategy had the next slot and came out ready to kill. A little heavier and a littler harder than the rest they came out swinging and put on a remarkable show. They had the headbangers raging rather than moshing, probably a good time for them to give their bodies a rest before Mutank came out. Mutank’s like a modern day Slayer combined with Anthrax, with a little influence from all of the Big Four actually. Their presence may seem a little aggressive and intimidating. but people from Montreal really cherish the theatrical aspect of music, and these guys fully embrace their on stage persona and give the fans a full fledged filling of metal fury.
That was it for all the competitors of the evening, the decision was made after the last show, and to all who witnessed, I think it was clear who was going to take the win. Then it was time for the guest headliners Skull Fist to come and rock the place in full metal celebration after a battle well fought. Skull Fist has had an amazing year so far, starting off with the release of their new album Chasing the Dream, that was followed by a two-month European tour before coming back home to Toronto to celebrate with their loyal home fan base.
Best part was, director of Wacken Metal Battle Canada that Martyr had the pleasure of speaking with before this year’s competition, J.J. Tartaglia was filling in on drums for Skull Fist. Great way to end a great year, and all involved all looking forward to seeing where Mutank ranks in this year’s Wacken Open Air battle in Germany.Story by Devin Size, photos by ftfphotography