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The Toronto Metal Scene: Eight Bands to Know

Though Toronto has always had a strong metal scene, its contributions are often overshadowed by those coming from nearby Quebec—where metal might as well be a way of life—or by its own output in other genres, especially indie rock, electronic, and hip-hop.

But Toronto has always been a beacon of heaviness for those who are paying attention. From ’80s thrash-metal acts like Sacrifice, Slaughter, and Infernäl Mäjesty, to more contemporary bands like the wickedly devilish occult rockers Blood Ceremony, and the black-metal mysteries of Thantifaxath to the playfully-poppy output of Godstopper, there’s plenty of dark, riffy goodness to be found in the 6, so long as you know where to look.

These days, the city’s metal scene feels more invigorated and vital than ever before. There have been setbacks, namely the shuttering of venues like D-Beatstro (2015-2018) and Coalition (2015-2019), which booked metal acts on the regular (and in the case of the latter, almost exclusively). Nevertheless, Toronto’s rich, enthusiastic DIY underground pushes ever onward, cranking out every sort of wretched sound under the sun: epic doom, vintage thrash, heavy psych, no-BS metalcore, gut-twisting death metal, and more. Here are eight bands leading the way.

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