Concert Review: The Faceless/Cynic/Meshuggah

February 19, 2009

This is my first “review” of anything on here, so I hope it isn’t too bad. I plan on doing many more reviews so I guess I better figure it out pretty fast or else this is going to make for some pretty dull blog.

So last night I went to the Phoenix theatre for a show featuring metal acts The Faceless, Cynic, and headliners Meshuggah. It would be my first “ear plug” concert, as last time I went to the Phoenix I was deaf for the entire day after, which is definitely not beneficial to my future prospects as an audio producer.

The Faceless were the first on stage, and they started with the instrumental “Akeldama” from the album of the same name. This was a pretty good opener, and it’s also one of my favourites off of the first album. The singer came out at the end, and they started playing another song. Now, I’m not going to lie, and pretend I remember each song in order here, as it’s hard to pay attention to that kind of stuff. I’ll just do my best to mention the most memorable stuff, or at least, the stuff I can actually remember. Anyway, they played mostly material from the new album “Planetary Duality”, including Legions of the Serpant, Sons of Belial, and probably one of the best tracks from the album, Xenochrist. They ended the set with An Autopsy, the first song of the first album, which got the crowd pretty excited. It was still kind of subdued, except for a few of the younger kids at the front (all ages show). Performance wise, it was a pretty tight set, the lead guitarist especially was really spot on with his parts, and his occasional vocals were good as well. The one fault I can find is the lead singer occasionally sounded like he was blowing his voice out, or at least, screaming too high and losing his notes. The deeper growls were fine, however.

Next up was Cynic, which was probably the main reason I was there. There was definitely a lot more anticipation as the crowd was getting excited over the banners being put up, and the guitarist being spotted in the back of the stage. They came out playing Nunc Fluens/The Space For This, the first tracks off of the new album “Traced in Air”. It made for a great build up intro, and got everyone pretty pumped up. They played a lot of material from the new album, including Adam’s Murmur, King of Those Who Know, and Evolutionary Sleeper. Actually, I think they played every song from the new album except one, which makes sense considering it’s only 34 minutes long. Throughout the set they also played songs from “Focus”, like Veil of Maya. The performance was extremely precise, especially considering the technicality of the music. The “robot” vocals sounded great, barring the one point where Paul, the vocalist/guitarist lost his voice and asked the crowd to sing for him.The drummer was full of energy and was great as well. The overall sound was just awesome, and the guitars sounded great. By far the band of the night.

Meshuggah was the last to go on, and my friends and I decided to move the outsides of the crowd, since it was getting tiring to stand up the whole time. We watched from the balcony as they started with lots of energy. The show was being filmed, but I’m not sure what for. I can’t see it being a concert DVD, but you never know. Anyway, the only songs I can remember off-hand are Bleed, Combustion and New Millenium Cyanide Christ. They honestly all start to sound the same after awhile, which is a problem I have with the guys from Sweden. They sounded pretty good, and the singer had a lot of energy, but after a few songs we decided to head back to the merch tables for a little bit.

Back at the tables, we met the drummer from Cynic, who talked to a bunch of us for awhile. He took a picture with us, and was generally a pretty cool guy. He was really animated and outgoing. I talked to the lead guitarist of The Faceless about another upcoming tour they were on with Cannibal Corpse that I wanted to see, but he told me it’s apparently only going to Ottawa and London, and skipping Toronto. I also told him I liked his bright green guitar, which was totally awesome.

Overall, it was a pretty good show. The Faceless were a solid opener, and Cynic was truly awesome. Meshuggah were Meshuggah, and I guess you either have to really love repetitive two riff songs to truly enjoy their sets. I kid all the Meshuggah fans.

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