BURNING THE DAY, ENDAST & A SIN FOR A PRAYER | LEE’S PALACE, TORONTO, ON
Thursday, September 5th,2013
Arriving to Lee’s Palace brought some serious winds of change and new things, both metaphorically and literally. Initially the fact that I had not attended a show at Lee’s Palace, and furthermore the element that there was a definite chill in the air that almost seemed to swallow Toronto and Southern Ontario overnight, dare I say bidding farewell to the summer.. Nonetheless onto one of the best ways to spend a Thursday night in Toronto!
The first of the three bands to play, A Sin For A Prayer, took the stage at Lee’s to an unfortunately meager initial audience attendance. Nevertheless these guys definitely made the best of it. A strong sounding four- piece band out of Mississauga, Ontario who know how to bring the metal. They launched this Thursday into overdrive with huge leads, chugging open riffing and driving drums. They brought many interesting elements to their performance with song composition that included contrasting interludes with droning guitar notes, ambient and dynamic bass lines, as well as ample dueling guitar shredding.
Second to perform, hailing from Montreal, Quebec, was Jagermeister metal titans, Endast. Whenever these fine gentlemen come into town, whether it be a known venue or a basement show, they unfailingly leave brains frayed from the awesome metal beating inflicted. Opening with an explosion of massive sound, Endast did not waste any time getting into their own channel. The resonance of vocalist Big James Arsenian’s growl brought any wandering ears and eyes immediately to attention. Endast drummer Blair Youngblut is always right on point and in the pocket with pulverizing rhythm. They had awesome stage energy, with an outward evident chemistry between band mates. Endast’s guiarists have an exceptional tone combined between the two of them (Chris Arsenian, and Pepe Poliquin) that could be blamed on the pair of Godin guitars- Pepe by the way, brings killer dive bombs. Hard. Endast packed their set with songs both old and new, encompassing soaring interludes, remorseless dense riffing, and persistent open chugging that you cannot help but bang your head to. Yours truly cannot resist from mentioning how virtuous of Big James it is to always leave the audience with something to reflect on during or after their performances, this time addressing the loss of excitement from audiences to bands coming through Toronto due to the fact there is always touring bands stopping in Toronto, and to not lose that spark, nor take such great performances for granted.
Last but most definitely not least to gear up and take the stage was the headliner of the night, Burning the Day. With roots in Toronto this was a self-declared “Welcome Home” show for the band, a noticeably strong following was in attendance to support, filling up the venue a great deal. Immediate impression of these guys; incredibly tight, and heavy in all the right places (if you know what I mean). Drummer Steve Mitchell has an astounding drum sound with a kick drum that has obviously been refined to perfection, continuously keeping feet and heads moving. Guitarists Matt Metcalfe and Maxim Shelkov have an indisputable harmony performing together with seamless transitions, dueling riffage and overlaying melodic grooves. Burning The Day brings vocal range in abundance, with extraordinary clean and screaming vocals out of front man Cesar Silva, as well as first rate stage banter, continuously praising fans for their continued support and for allowing them to keep doing what they love to do, perform. This was a very sincere expression of modesty from him. On a more metal note, these guys brought some tremendous technical playing to the stage at Lee’s with absolutely stomach shredding breakdowns, infectious leads, and some unreal tapping riffs. Burning The Day certainly got the crowd moving not leaving a head steady. They encouraged the crowd to party like it was a Friday, even though it was a “school night” as their vocalist declared it, and their performance as a band incontestably made everyone forget they had work the following day, and just to let loose and have a great time. Once their scheduled set had ended they briefly seemed to be leaving before an audience chant for just one more song inspired an encore song which brought a Killswitch-esque chorus, and plenty of head banging.
Overall a more than satisfying show, and outstanding performances were to be had Thursday night at Lee’s Palace and The Heavy Press could not have been happier to be there!
Words By: Scott Cruickshank