There is a point at which the Heavy Metal animal becomes an obese beast, with the musicians wallowing in excesses of decibels and feeding their monstrous egos with fatuous instrumental outbursts.

Last night at Capital Centre, Nazareth and Mahogany Rush crossed that point and went from hard rock to flab rock. While the young crowd gorged itself on the sickening smorgasbord of leftover Hendrix and Clapton guitar solos and screeching vocals, the musicians cavorted about the stage letting the high volume create their energy for them.

Mahogany Rush opened the show with stuffy arrangements of rock classics like "All Along the Watch-tower" and "Purple Haze." They were long on imitation and short on any imagination of their own. And the wall of amplified noise they produced could hardly disguise their sloppy musicianship - a wrong chord is still a wrong chord, even at 100 decibels.

Nazareth did not fare much better despite two acoustic songs that displayed a modicum of musicality. Like Mahogany Rush, the group relied heavily on stale, high-pitched guitar screams and monotonous percussive thrashings.

Perhaps one day, musicians like this will simply fade away and the Heavy Metal dinosaurs will no longer stomp across the countryside. Until then, we can always pray for a new Ice Age.