metal bands toronto

5 up and coming metal bands in Toronto

Some of Toronto's newest and most exciting metal bands are gearing up to play the fourth annual edition of Briefcasefest. The music festival will once again shine a light on the most imaginative and avant-garde heavy music being brewed throughout Eastern Canada and beyond.

Briefcasefest founder Max Deneau continues to expand his vision for the event with a number of big changes for the 2016 edition. While some of Toronto's biggest music festivals are struggling to stay alive in the competitive summer schedule (hi NXNE; bye Riot Fest), it's heartening to see something this niche actually grow from two to three days.

As always, the lineup is a loud and fascinating glimpse into what heavy Toronto music looks like today.

Here are the five rising metal bands on the bill that should be on every headbanger's radar.

Despite founding in 2007, Paroxsihzem's low profile makes them feel way newer. Recent EP Abyss of Excruciating Vexes showcases their adventurous black/thrash metal spirit: the smothering of riffs, machine-gun blast beats and demonic rumblings could only come from a band eager to push an old genre in even more uncomfortable directions.

Melding sludge and doom influences, Drofnosura's thus far limited output has showcased a lot of promise. As evidenced on two EPs, the local trio has proven adept at crafting glacially paced songs that let the full weight of each chord settle for maximum soul-crushing effect.

This budding local act's sound sits right at the peculiar intersection of early working-class UK punk and francophone black metal. They apparently honour the darkest annals of Quebec's music world through French lyrics, though thanks to thoroughly speaker-damaging, fuzzed-out production, unilinguals like me can't tell anyway. This will be their first live show ever.

Mad Trapper
Metalcore suburbanites Mad Trapper chose their name wisely -- look this guy up and you'll understand what inspires their strain of unrelenting aural chaos. Heavy Toronto bands tend to disappear too quickly, but with two LPs under their belt, past opening slots for the likes of Cult Leader and KEN Mode, Mad Trapper is here for the long haul.

Akroid was one of the most electrifying live bands I've seen in Toronto hardcore. Sadly they're gone, but ex-bassist Scott Sokoloski has just formed Foreigns, a similarly noisy and challenging project. Judging by his own description of the tunes as a "chilled-out, adult contemporary" take on heavier stuff, I'm hopeful that this will lead to the invention of the "dad-sludge" genre.

Briefcasefest 2016 takes place May 19-21 at Coalition:T.O. Ticket info is posted on the Facebook page.

Photo of Mad Trapper by James Yigitoz

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