Zimmer's Hole Plays The Underground in Calgary, AB
Band Photo: Soilwork (?)
Zimmer’s Hole descended into The Underground in Calgary, AB. on Sept. 29 for a high-octane onslaught of comedic thrash. Those who arrived early enough were in for a treat when local act Kilyakai got things started around 9:30.
Playing mostly new songs that will be featured on their upcoming independently produced debut album (release date still not confirmed), the quintet grabbed the audience by the hair on the back of their necks and didn’t let go throughout their short but crushing six-song set. The thrashy death metallers proved that it’s talent and not a world tour under your bullet belt that gets a crowd fired up.
Taking their name from a multi-generational clan of inbred inbred east-coasters, the Golers – just like the group from which they scooped their band name – offered up a second course of brutal insanity amidst a plethora of heavy power chords and lots and lots of scream until your face turns red-type vocals, some of which could still be heard after vocalist/guitarist Walter Mason’s mic kicked it. The Vancouver-based Golers, joining The Hole on their western Canadian tour, had this crazy punk metal vibe amidst a plethora death and grind. While their sound was somewhat off track from that of openers Kilyakai and the “I sold my soul to Satan to get this awesome” sound of Zimmer’s Hole, most of the audience got into it. I must admit, though, that I was not one of them. There’s something about grungy wife beater shirts that creeps me out, but I’ve also never been a fan of a set where it’s difficult to differentiate one song from the next. But, again, that’s just me.
And then there was The Hole.
I’d love to just tell you that you missed out, put my thumb up to my nose and do the little “na na na na na na” dance, but I do know that part of this tour has been cancelled due to visa troubles, and so I feel for ya, and yes, I must fill you in, because it was just that frickin’ awesome.
Opening with “When You Were Shouting at the Devil… We Were in League with Satan” from their 2008 album of the same name, The Hole came forth from the darkness that envelopes many corners of The Underground and pummeled with all the thrashy goodness that comes from their skillful blend of satire and kick-ass metal. The crowd, en masse, pummeled back. And I have the bruises to prove it, many of which were caused indirectly by frontman Chris Valagao (aka Heathen, Dr. Heathen Hooch, Lorde of Ass-Fire etc.) and his notorious use of props that come in all manner of sticky. In fact, it wasn’t just show and tell, no, it was show and tell and taste and touch. Oh yes, right down to the rotting dummy “Heathen” draped over his back for the song “Fista Corps.” Read the title aloud, and you can imagine in the rest. I think I need to wash my eyes, but I think that’s just from laughing so hard.
One thing that leaves nothing to the imagination is that Byron Stroud fired up some killer bass lines. Stroud makes it look all too easy, but not as easy as my favourite metal drummer, the man himself, Mr. Gene Hoglan. When this guy plays, I swear he’s like some sort of mythical creature. He never appears to break a sweat, and he makes those drumsticks appear as if they’re merely an extension of his anatomy.
If you’ve not had the chance to see these guys, I say what? Get your butt down to one of their shows. These guys never take themselves too seriously, spoofing the hilarious stereotypes the “outside world” has of metal culture, amongst many other easily satirized topics, while performing some of the most instrumentally skillful metal I’ve heard come out of Canada in years. Plus, you can’t get this kind of entertainment listening to the CD. To leave you with one more visual, at one point, guitarist Jed Simon looked over at the band’s sampler – who performs his magic off stage – and just laughed, pointing across the stage as Heathen gave the crowd a golden shower of – hopefully – beer. When you psych out your own guitarist, you know you’ve done your job.
You can catch Zimmer’s Hole starting in November as they tour Europe in support of Swedish death metallers Soilwork.
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