Thursday, September 26th brought another night of heavy melodies and brutal breakdowns to Toronto’s own, Sneaky Dee's. The night was a wild ride hosted by Homesick, featuring extremely talented local acts As The Structure Fails, Mount Abora, Annaliese and Pillars of Autumn, who were supporting Born a New and Upon A Burning Body on their run across North America. Screams media came out that night primarily to shoot photos for the infamous Pillars of Autumn, but with a line up this killer, we felt it was only appropriate to cover the entire show.
The night started of strong, with As The Structure Fails taking the stage and setting the bar high for the rest of the night. I've seen these guys a few times now and they never cease to impress. On top of their incredible stage presence, their live performances always sound like I’m listening to their recordings. Crisp, djenty tones coupled with technical and precise drumming always leaves me speechless. As soon as they played their first note, the crowd became instantly invested. The most notable moment of their performance was during their final song “When Karma Hates You". The song features 2 sudden stops during the last breakdown that never ceases to double the energy in the room, and set the presidency for the rest of the night.
Up second was the prog lords (and one of my personal favourites) Mount Abora. These guys always deliver a solid performance, leaving the crowd contemplating the magic they just watched unfold. This night was no exception. Their unique use of ethereal and atmospheric guitar tones and sporadic tempo changes make for an exciting performance. The one thing I love about this band is their ability to send the crowd into another realm. You know those bands that halfway through the set, you realized you haven’t blinked or taken a breath in almost a minute? Yeah, that’s this band. During their performance a quick look across the crowd showed many mouths, half agape, intently watching, and that’s truly something special.
Playing third that night was a band I had heard of many times prior but had never seen live; Annaliese.The Northern were originally set to play that night but had to drop from the show due to unfortunate circumstances. Luckily, with little to no preparation, Annaliese stepped up and saved the day. Their performance that night was an explosion of high energy good vibes. I really enjoyed this bands attitude and style. Their upbeat melodies and vocal patterns acted as a strong transition piece between Mount Abora and Pillars of Autumn.
Pillars of Autumn played fourth, instantly engaging the crowd with their hit instrumental Prelude off their 2019 album The Masquerade. As soon as the first breakdown hit the crowd immediately began funneling to the front as a mosh pit formed in the center. The band was clearly a fan favourite, receiving roaring applause and crazy amounts of energy from start to finish. The bands use of crushing breakdowns paired with melodic sweeps and harmonics makes for a technical and chaotic display. Vocalist Nick Young brought his A-game, belting out ghastly high screams at fast speeds followed by low growls and gutterals. The band was excellent, executing technical melodies and rapid double bass with precision. Their final song featured a crushing instrumental that took the crowd by surprise and once again, brought the energy level to an all time high.
The 5th act of the night was New Jersey based metalcore band Born a New, who's deadly guitar chugs and beatdown-esque grooves had the crowd jumping into each other with rage. These guys brought the heavy, displaying hefty amounts of anger and emotion throughout their performance. Their stage lighting, heavy guitar chugs and pounding drums brought some serious hype to the crowd. At one point I saw a few people literally throw themselves through the crowd with adrenaline fueled excitement.
Up last to close off the night were the metal powerhouses Upon a Burning Body, from San Antonio, Texas. As soon as the first note hit, you could tell the crowd was ready for it. Mosh pits began forming in the center of the crowd as others headbanged and jammed out around them. The band featured a stunning display of coloured strobe lights which timed perfectly with every beat played. The bands vocalist Danny Leal has a unprecedented way of engaging the crowd through his intensity and vocal cues. Many of the crowd were left screaming along to the lyrics and Danny made use of this, taking moments to let the fans belt it out.
By and large, this was definitely one of the best shows I’ve seen all year. Each band displayed such high levels of energy and professionalism that left the crowd wanting more. You can catch a glimpse of moments from the night, as well as keep up to date with the many bands through their social media links listed throughout this article!
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Written by: Kurtis Bradimore Photos & videos by: Kara Bradimore