As this summer dwindles, out go the festivals and we welcome the cool breeze and a plethora of shows in September and October. On the first Friday of September, I decided to take in what I called a “Gothic, Melodic Metal Symphony of Holographic Principal”, a powerhouse metal show with Epica, Lacuna Coil and Insomnium.
I made my way to the venue through the giant obstacle course we call Montreal! Could there be more orange pylons in the city? Needless to say, when I got to the venue at 7pm, the first band has already played their set. Really? Talk about an early show. From the comments I heard from people at the venue, Elantris, an Ohio-based symphonic band, had a solid set. Check them out.
Just after I arrived, it was time for Finnish melodic death metal band Insomnium to hit the stage. There were many fans in attendance who here to see them specifically. How could I tell? By the droves of t-shirts I saw in the crowd – merch must have had a field day – and by the pure joy in the fans’ faces as the band played their first note, following the classic “HEY!” chant. The band played a solid set featuring ten songs, mostly from their last two releases. Lots of head banging ensued and lots of sweat was poured. Fans were satisfied, but could easily have watched them perform a lot longer.
Italy’s Lacuna Coil had the honour to take the stage next. This gothic metal band is out touring their latest release Delirium, and for the occasion they came on stage looking like they belonged in an asylum, with make up and straight jacket-like uniforms covered in blood writings. Pretty cool, if you ask me. Their performance mixed with the theatrics made it a very enjoyable set from the first song to the last. Funny story – the bassist Marco Coti Zelati had “J’aime La Poutine” painted on the top of his head in reference to the famous Quebec meal. There is no doubt who the star is in this band. When Cristina Scabbia sings it’s a pure delight, and she is well supported on vocals with Andrea Ferro doing his thing. They are in unison, they as musical veterans, they are very good at what they do. I highly recommend seeing them.
It was finally time for the night’s headliner to give the fans what they wanted. Netherlands’ Epica took to the stage, and from the first note of “Edge of the Blade” from their 2016 release The Holographic Principle, you knew you were in for a tasty treat. They followed this up with a great performance of “Storm The Sorrow.” The band went on like a well-oiled machine and played eleven more songs including “Unleashed” and “Cry For The Moon.” You can tell they know what works in a live set.
One of the standouts of this show was Coen Janssen on keys. This guy is nuts! N,ot only is he great on the keys he’s a machine out there with a traveling kit. What do I mean? Well, one minute he is on the left side of the stage, then he’s on the right, bringing his keys with him. It was very impressive. Seems like the stage was not big enough for him so he decided to take his gear crowd surfing with him. RAD! What can be said for Simone Simon’s voice? Nothing that hasn’t been said before. She has a unique voice that resonates throughout the room. It was a great performance by the band that ended with a Wall of Death during the last song of the night, “Consign to Oblivion.” It was a great show, and only thing that would have made it better would have been a song or two from their new EP The Solace System which was released that day.
Overall, it was a great night for European metal in Montreal.
Written by Eric Brisson
Photography by Danny Donovan
*edited by Kate Erickson