You really can’t go wrong with an all-local metal bill in Vancouver, such is the strength of the scene these days, and this show just reinforced that view. With folk metallers Scythia heading out on tour (including a stop at Calgary's NOCTIS Metal Fest tomorrow) and a new EP release to celebrate, they decided to hold court at the Rickshaw along with a couple of other killer local acts.
First up was Terrifier (formerly Skull Hammer), a new—to me—quartet who blew me away almost immediately with some tight thrash/death. Although the band most assuredly has no weak links, what stood out for me was that both guitarists could shred like crazy. They weren’t shy about it, either, as they freely traded solos during songs like “Scum Ridden Filth” and “Welcome to Camp Blood.” Polished yet absolutely devastating.
Scythia opted for the middle slot on the bill and played most of the material off their new For the Bear EP. Scythia are all about the gung-ho spirit—all galloping rhythms and reeling melodies. They’ve rejigged the band a bit lately, dropping the keyboards and toughening up their sound by adding Brian Langley (Tyrant’s Blood/Infernal Majesty) on second guitar. They apparently haven’t convinced him to put on a kilt yet, but he was well into the spirit of things. A Scythia show is typically a maelstrom of fun, and this gig was no exception. As if the costumes and oboe-festooned folk-metal tunes weren’t enough, they had Vancouver’s premier metal belly dancer, the beautiful (and brave) Mahafsoun Faroogh, join them on stage for “Voice of the Blade.” Fancy! All in all it was a memorable sendoff for a tour that’ll see them travelling to Montreal and back, after which those stage getups are gonna need some serious Febrezin’.
Nylithia closed the show by giving us all a right good thrashing. They’ve developed into one of Vancouver’s deadliest acts. Again, there are no weak links in this quartet, and the energy and mayhem they produce is incredible. Guitarist Royce Costa is especially phenomenal. The guy is like five guitarists in one. As he fires off frantic, single-note riffs, alien Voivod funk grooves or crazy solos, he’s intensity personified. The fact that he’s got three bandmates who can keep up with him and keep it tight is just as impressive. Worthy headliners for sure, on this or any other night.