Vancouver Band Rhino Give Potentially Strong Debut At Local Metal Show

FatalityFatality w/Skullthrasher and Rhino
Funky Winkerbeans
July, 22,  2011
Vancouver, BC

Photos by: Kevin Perry

Friday night Fatality took over Vancouver's Funky Winkerbeans and they brought some friends. The Toronto based thrash metal band headlined the legendary pub with guests Skullthrasher and Rhino. This gig needed to be played in a seedy rock club and it doesn’t get much seedier than Funky Winkerbeans. From the plain black walls, to the brown polyester bench seats – to a stage and dance floor tucked away in a corner with the tough, weathered bar flies sitting on the brass stools, Funky Winkerbeans is exactly what you picture when you think of a seedy club. Not that this is a bad thing at all; in fact, it's extremely appropriate.

Fatality is a four piece act that is currently in the middle of their ‘Western Annihilation Tour’. The first half of the tour was all Canadian dates, with last night’s Vancouver show being the last stop, while the last half of the tour is all US dates, ending in Chicago August 6th.

This high energy quartet features, Eytan Gordon (Lead Guitar). Spencer Le Von (Vocals / Lead Guitar), Andrew Suarez (Drums), Adam Zlotnik (Bass Guitar).

Opening for Fatality were local bands Skullthrasher and the newly formed Rhino. This is the very first live gig Rhino has played as they have only been a band for a month. I was surprised with what I heard, despite their lack of history and stage presence, which will come with time. When the the band hit the stage close to 10pm there was not a single person near the stage or even paying attention to the stage, but by the time they had played their second song, they had attracted a small crowd with a little head bobbing going on. Rhino is less of a ‘thrash metal’ band than the other two bands, leaning more towards a rock radio style of vocals – definitely the most deliverable lyrics of the three. The lead singer Ron seemed a little out of place in the band as he is a dead ringer for Morgan Spurlock from ‘Super Size Me’, while the rest of the band looked like they may have been in Ice-T’s metal band Bodycount. By the time they had played their sixth and final song the band seemed to have gotten more confident.  It is too bad the 15-20 people in the crowd didn’t do more than bob their heads. It must be hard to rock if your audience doesn’t rock.
The next band up was Skullthrasher and by this time the crowd was getting a little more excited. Skullthrasher is a much more cohesive unit with a much better stage presence. The vocals for the first couple of songs were muffled, but by the third song, it was much better. Overall Skullthrasher was the least interesting, most generic sounding band of the night.

By the time Fatality finally took the stage at 11:30, the crowd was buzzing with anticipation. They opened their set with the song ‘Razor’ and immediately showcased a tighter, higher level of musicianship. By the time they played their third song of the night, ‘No Use’, the drummer’s rythm was off.  Lead singer Spencer LeVon has great charisma, however his vocals are arguably the weakest part of the band. Lead guitarist Eytan Gurdon is the stand out musician in the band, and I quote “He can play the guitar like a mother fucking riot.”

Fatality’s set was quite short performing only eight songs – closing with T.F.E.S. and no encore.  In the middle of their set they played ‘Victims of the Dead’ which I thought was their strongest. The performance and timing were perfect and they had the audience in the palm of their hands for perhaps the only time of the night.

The night turned out to be a good night of metal from three bands of varying levels of experience and talent.

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