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RAVEN, VICIOUS RUMORS, LUTHARO In Ottawa, Canada

By Andrew Depedro, Ottawa Corespondent
Tuesday, May 21, 2024 @ 10:29 AM


At The Rainbow Bistro April 22, 2024

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Headbanging!
Hell breaking loose!
Going for the gold!

Two of heavy metal's most underrated powerhouses swung by the Rainbow Bistro in Ottawa (yes, we also have a Rainbow) recently and celebrated some particularly notable milestones - and they also gave some up-and-coming names in Canadian metal some profile as well.

First up as part of this illustrious tour package would be local industrial proto-tech metallers NO PLANS FOR CHAOS. Comprised of two guitarists, a drummer and no plans for a bassist, the fiery trio open their set with "Self-Destruct" from their full-length debut studio album Stories And Conspiracies 2.0. Their set was a decent display of heavy blast beats, chugging guitar riffs and audio snippets with a lot of emphasis on science fiction which became more apparent later on tracks such as "AAN (Alliance Atlantique Nord)", "911" and "Area 51". But even the most ardent and serious of thinking man's metal couldn't miss the opportunity to include a dark cover of the MOTORHEAD classic number "Orgasmatron" in their set (after all, the show was taking place at the Rainbow) as frontman/guitarist Arnold Eigger delivers the song with the same rough-sounding angry drawl that Lemmy possessed. Whatever their future schedule holds in terms of touring and recording, one should assume that the demand for NPFC's burgeoning brand of industrial metal will be of the highest order over time.

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100046776348673
https://npfc2017.wixsite.com/no-plans-for-chaos/

Melodic and well-rounded would best describe the musical impact of Hamilton, Ontario-based melo-thrash metallersLUTHARO, who quickly graced the stage with their presence in the form of a rippingnumber titled "Reaper's Call" from their recent sophomore effort titledChasing Euphoria. Fronted by the mighty vocals of the delightfully last-namedKrista Shipperbottom, LUTHAROdeliver some impeccably solid anthems this side of ARCH ENEMY such as "Ruthless Bloodline", "Wings Of Agony", "Born To Ride" and the closing number "Lost In A Soul". And credit the backing band comprised of guitarist Victor Bucur, bassist Chris Pacey and drummer Cory Hofingfor providing the sonic onslaught backdrop and the overall *ahem* bottom end to Krista's powerful pipes. https://www.facebook.com/LutharoOfficial
https://lutharo.com/
https://soundcloud.com/lutharo-band
https://www.instagram.com/lutharo_official/
https://twitter.com/lutharoofficial

As stellar as the opening bands were in their performance that night, for many veteran fans including yours truly, the anticipation of catching co-headliners VICIOUS RUMORS playing in our fair city for perhaps the first time for many of us was the high point of the evening - unless you were fortunate to recall their infamous first-ever show in Gatineau at Roxanne's back in 1991 during the Welcome To The Ball Tour and were of legal drinking age back then. Or especially at their 2019 show at Mavericks which had made up for the 28-year long wait in between visits. At least I could justify missing the Roxanne's show being underage at the time and maybe even missing the Mavericks show because of babysitting duties. But with 2024 marking the 45th anniversary of the mighty San Francisco-based power metal band's inception, any true VR fan worth their salt could not afford to miss their comeback at the Rainbow that night. Opening with the quiet "Premonition" (written by original guitarist Vinnie Moore) which led into the galloping neck-wrecker "Ride (Into The Sun)" from their debut album Soldiers Of The Night, the current VR lineup comprised of Brian Allen (vocals), Robin Utbult (bass), Gunnar Coston (drums), Gunnar DuGrey (guitar) and founding member Geoff Thorpe (guitar) commenced a celebration of sorts, not only commemorating the band's 45th anniversary but also the upcoming 40th anniversary of Soldiers Of The Night, with its entire playlist making up most of the setlist of the event. The celebration continued stealthily with the album's top tracks such as "Medusa", "Murder", "March Or Die" and "Abandoned" in particular getting their much-needed exposure to both diehards and first-timers in the audience that evening.

And then came the announcement of another milestone which was more of a specific but also darker time in VR's history: The passing of their well-known frontman Carl Albert 29 years ago on the same date as their Ottawa show. While he hadn't officially joined VR until 1988's Digital Dictator, he was a consistent and vocally driving force behind the band's sound and energy for a good decade or so - and guitarist Geoff Thorpe rightfully flipped briefly away from the script to honor his fallen bandmate with some allegedly unrehearsed tributes in the form of "Ship Of Fools", "Minute To Kill", "Don't Wait For Me" and, naturally, "Digital Dictator". Brian Allen channeled the energy and power of his predecessor flawlessly while the newly-arrived talents of Robin and both Gunnars played with a solid chemistry among the vets. And another highlight of the show had been Geoff Thorpe pointing randomly to everyone in the audience to thank them for supporting the scene.

Interestingly enough, I happened to be right up at the front in my KNAC.COM shirt at the time and from my perspective at least, it almost appeared that he was thanking both myself and the station in his speech. Even he admitted that his speech had been partially inspired by the shirt when we both got the chance to talk about it after the show and we pretty much agreed that we were both right. And that was no fake news here.

Setlist:

  • "Premonition"
  • "Ride (Into The Sun)"
  • "Medusa"
  • "Soldiers Of The Night"
  • "Murder"
  • "March Or Die"
  • "In Fire"
  • "Abandoned"
  • "Ship Of Fools"
  • "Digital Dictator"
  • "Minute To Kill"
  • "Don't Wait For Me"
https://www.facebook.com/ViciousRumorsThisIsMetal
https://www.instagram.com/viciousrumorsband/
https://twitter.com/viciousrumors
https://viciousrumors.bandcamp.com/album/celebration-decay

As impossible as it had appeared for headliners RAVEN to match up to their Frisco power thrashing colleagues after that performance, the purveyors of athletic rock put on their leather pads, walked out of the locker room and took on the challenge unabated. The Newcastle, England trio also celebrate a milestone of their own in the form of a nice round 50 years in the game. With a clear and level playing field ahead of them, brothers John (bass) and Mark Gallagher (guitar), along with the Brooklyn-born in-step from hell aka Mike Heller (drums), the trio launch into the blistering "Destroy All Monsters". It's always entertaining to see John and Mark chasing each other around the stage like a couple of coked-up hamsters in a cage throughout most of the show and never missing a single cue. And they always acknowledge their audience as had been the case when I first saw them play the Brass Monkey in late 2022 with RIOT ACT. With not just their bicentennial anniversary as a band to celebrate, RAVEN were also touring in support of their latest album All Hell's Breaking Loose - their 15th! - as they launch into the title track followed by "Surf The Tsunami" and "Turn Of The Screw" before delving back into their classic catalogue with "All For One" and the fist-pumping banger "Rock Until You Drop". The setlist had differed quite a bit from their Brass Monkey show which meant that not as many deep cuts by comparison would be played, but Mark Gallagher otherwise made up for it with an entertaining guitar solo performance, running the gamut from maniacal shredding to a nicely worked-up version of the theme music to On Her Majesty's Secret Service. Talk about Bond-ing with one's audience. And once back from cheerleading on behalf of Team Lazenby, RAVEN continue their conquest with a few more classic numbers such as "Faster Than The Speed Of Light" and the rarely-played "Inquisitor".

Another audience connection by the band is made when Mark Gallagher extends his solo on "On And On" to include a visit to both levels of the venue - main floor and balcony - before returning in time for "Break The Chain" and a neat medley of a few 70's hard rock/metal anthems from UFO, SABBATH and JUDAS PRIEST which had inspired the brothers to pick up an instrument back in the day: "Rock Bottom", "Supernaut", "Symptom Of The Universe" and a faithful version of "Victim Of Changes" which I'm sure the band would've played in its entirety if they had an extra 20 minutes of stage time to spare. It hadn't been the case but RAVEN finally broke the crowd with the closing number "Chainsaw" from the aptly-titled Wiped Out album. Following a brief and free meet-and-greet with all of the bands on the bill and a couple of photo ops sporting the black and white with pride, I too was wiped as I took in a combined total of 95 years of heaviness in the span of four hours.

Absolutely catch both these bands when they break loose into your town.

Setlist:

  • "Destroy All Monsters"
  • "Hell Patrol"
  • "The Power"
  • "Surf The Tsunami"
  • "Turn Of The Screw"
  • "All For One"
  • "Rock Until You Drop"
  • Guitar solo
  • "Faster Than The Speed Of Light"
  • "Inquisitor"
  • Bass solo
  • "All Hell's Breaking Loose"
  • "On And On"
  • "Break The Chain"
  • "Rock Bottom" (UFO cover)
  • "Supernaut" (BLACK SABBATH cover)
  • "Symptom Of The Universe" (BLACK SABBATH cover)
  • "Victim Of Changes" (JUDAS PRIEST cover)
  • "Chainsaw"
https://www.facebook.com/ravenbandofficial
https://ravenlunatics.com/
https://www.instagram.com/official_raven_lunatics/
https://twitter.com/official_raven


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