I'm amazed at how long it took in this thread before Sacrifice (TO) were mentioned. But in my opinion any plain band-name dropping can be substituted by a research in this very own encyclopedia. The topic is evolution; so we're talking trends and patterns.
The late 70s showed Rush and Triumph playing progressive/power/rock, both were trios and had some success abroad in addition to locally.
In the mid 80s, the thrash scene blew big in Toronto, shows and tape-trading circles; labels such as Diabolical Force. Anvil and Exciter had started a few years ago with their brand of speed metal, but the mid 80s brought out Razor, Sacrifice, Slaughter, Malhavoc.. Annihilator were not that far then, in Ottawa, but for some reason weren't tied to the Toronto scene. One notable influence on the Toronto scene was Chuck Schuldiner who visited often and even landed a gig with Slaughter (CA) on guitar and contributed to expose whatever he was working on to Toronto.
A pivotal moment was the "World War III Metal Festival" with Voïvod, Possessed, Nasty Savage and Celtic Frost, Nov 1985 in Montréal. Otherwise, Voïvod did play with some of the Toronto bands at the time, though they were from Québec. Not being Montréalers almost made them aliens, so they felt at home playing anywhere. At the same time Capitol Records released a compilation of several bands from Montréal and Ottawa. None of these bands sounded anything like Voivod, the Montréal scene was "glammer" and more conventional than what Voïvod was doing (think Swörd). Being isolated, in Jonquière (Arvida), Voïvod had submitted their locally recorded tracks to Metal Blade a few years earlier and were soon with West German record companies.
The Montréal mid-to-late 80s scene had ties with the world of punk and hardcore; even one of the founding DBC members was in a punk band then and bands like BARF were trying to do what pre-Barney Napalm Death were doing. Aside of those heavy but not-very-metal bands, Oblivion (later Obliveon) came out with a technical thrash which for the first time struck a ressemblance with Voïvod, soon to be followed by DBC.
It was at that time that Annihilator, now in British Columbia, finally achieved success with their thrash metal.
In the early 90s a death metal craze swept Québec. It had two main centers of activity: Montréal and surroundings (~200 km radius) and Rimouski/Gaspésie. Though both scenes were influenced by Suffocation, the Montréal scene had more technical thrash/death (Florida) elements in it. One other major difference was the mosh pits: in Montréal they were more hardcore/punk type of mosh pits whereas in eastern Québec were a bunch of people running fast in circles seldomly hitting each other, not unlike in a particle accelerator, with the occasional punk who would go in a radial direction or counter-clockwise trying to knock down as many as he could.
Under their previous moniker Necrosis, the Cryptopsy guys, from Montréal, had played with Suffocation in the US and changed their name and style to "more" death metal. Still around Montréal (but not quite in Montréal), Purulence and Gorguts were playing a more technical type of death metal. Purulence, Gorguts, Cryptopsy and Obliveon interacted with one another and played gigs together. Gorguts struck an early and impressive deal with Roadrunner Records; their friend Nancy Charland was Borivoj Krgin's girlfriend and this apparently helped. She was also managing Obliveon and Cynic (pre-Focus) for some time.
In eastern Québec, before Cryptopsy even released their first demo (as Cryptopsy), bands from unlikely places such as Rimouski (population 45 000) came out: Lord Mortis, Necrotic Mutation and Gorelust with their Suffocation-brand death metal. This was 1992. Self-made promoters would manage to attract bands such as Napalm Death and Suffocation to play in little holes with a population of 2000. In 1993 and 1994, the little town of Amqui (population 6 000) held "deathfests" or "deathstock" (1994) with dozens of Québec death metal bands (including the Montréal ones); in 1994 they got Suffocation to headline. The likes of Deicide and Death would perform in Rimouski's "Agricultural pavillon" only a few years later, with local bands opening. It took a while before the Rimouski bands started playing on the Montréal circuit and by then (1995) there were many more players; Kataklysm, Obscene Crisis, etc and the Rimouski bands were just small fishes in a big pond.
Many other bands kept emerging but in the mid-to-late 1990s the golden years were behind for most bands mentioned; Gorguts lost their record deal and had a gap of 5 years between releases; after Houde left Kataklysm and the parting with Nuclear Blast, Kataklysm wore Deftones t-shirts and were searching for a new sound, which traumatized several fans. Cryptopsy took a singer from the States, to which many people did not relate (same happened with Voïvod after in 1994; though musically it was excellent). Obliveon took a "singer" singer. Gorguts emerged with their Obscura album in 1998 but it's a shame it wasn't released closer to its composing time, as it would have broken more ground then. Kataklysm has had a succesful career since, but for most early fans it's an entirely different band.
I can't speak too much of the late 90s or the 2000s; someone else should. But I would say:
70s; Toronto area progressive power trios
80s; Toronto area thrash (with Voïvod orbiting like the aliens that they are)
90s; Québec (province) death
While Québec were churning death metal by the ton in the 1990s, Toronto bands seemed more into industrial music (Moonster Voodoo Machine, Mundane, Soulstorm, Malhavoc). Worthy of mention is the omnipresence of Pierre Rémillard (Obliveon) at the knobs of most demos and releases made in Québec in the 90s and even 2000s.
This said, I don't mean to undermine other provinces and other bands, just trying to keep it very general. I also remember Disciples of Power from Western Canada in the 90s.
I think if we calculated the number of signed metal bands per capita per province since the 80s, Québec and Ontario would get fairly respectable numbers, though nothing like Sweden or Finland.
Last edited by kalervon on Mon Jan 14, 2013 10:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.