An evening of metal madness was put together by Montreal’s Jaune Prodz. Such a perfect warm spring evening, along with old friends – who could ask for more? Sadly, the show did not bring in as many people as they had hoped due to it being held a Monday night.
Versus Agora opened the night with their intensely energetic, loud set. I was blown away by how loud it was based on the fact they had three ridiculously talented guitarists playing in complete sync with each other. Versus Agora is a traditional metal-core band that brought a melodic passion to the stage. I really dug Kyleman Loyd’s frontmanship. His voice was very transparent, and he could do quite a lot with it, entertaining the crowd well by being very interactive. He screamed, “Come on!” and attempted a circle pit with the few people in the audience. It didn’t last very long. Overall, a very technically tight set. I probably should have worn ear plugs for this one though.
Next band up were Ottawa natives, Standing On Oblivion. Wearing matching Mexican ponchos along with baggy black shorts, these huge long haired monsters took the stage and their music definitely went along with their image. Rowdyand goofy, you can tell playing music is something they’re passionate about. The band brought interesting progression to their set, starting off with what sounded like circus music, but then lead to their hardcore prog sound. Juan Pablo joined the crowd at some point in the pit— I particularly love this kind of interaction. The highlight for me was “Golden Gates.” A fast-paced, heavy, raw track with some small breakdowns. I found my head bobbing, and had my usual grin on my face when I am really digging a set. Juan Pablo’s performance reminded me a little of Mike Patton circa 1989. My only complaint about this band’s overall performance was that I felt Juan Pablo was out of sync at times and they seemed a little all over the place/unprepared. Give them a listen here.
Small towners of St. Thomas, Ontario, Make Haste to Mutiny, excitedly hit the stage next, letting us know this was their first time in Montreal. They opened with “The Ventriloquist.” The drumming was pounding so deeply in my chest and wanting to tear my heart out. Very rippedand heavy, deep vocals, it was almost as if you would never expect that kind of a voice to come outof Dylan Youngs, who looked like a teddy bear. Those are always the most surprising ones. The band overall brought great stage presence and introduced themselves well, mentioning they would be around for socializing later. Make Haste to Mutiny are a metal band and you can listen to their new EP The Forsaken for free here: http://makehastetomutiny.bandcamp.com/.
Strike It were up next and celebrated their EP release, “Zoomanity.” They began their set with an intro that boomed so hard I thought the country would actually be destroyed (ahem, Jacques you were right). “Goddamn!!” Buckethead Jason Greenberg blurted out next to me as our jaws dropped by how fucking insane these guys sounded, booming some more as they played their rough, dark basslines and guitar riffs. The energy suddenly changed in the room as all eyes and ears were focused on Strike It. Next track, “Zoomanity,” kicked in and they continued to get heavier. We had Phil who plays lead guitar and does back-up vocals jumping so high in the air, while Dave on bass spun in circles in the back, and Dom continued to run back and forth as he roared into the mic. What I love about this band is how they manage to pull off being a hardcore metal band and sound like nothing I have heard before. Completely original, hailing from the suburbs of Pointe-Aux-Trembles, they spend all their free time jamming and practicing, and boy does it show. This band deserves all the attention they get and I see them making it far in this business. How they have this much energy beats me. When the set was over, everyone around me acted as if it was far too short and wanted more.
Death Lullaby closed the night. Vocalist, Simon Crow, stood right up in front asking the crowd to join him to the front of the stage. As people gathered around, they began a heavy circle pit. There is heavy influence of Born of Osiris in their sound, and while it was obvious, it still worked for them. The band tended to come off a little too technical at times, but I still really enjoyed their energy and stage presence. Simon praised the bands who had performed prior. I look out for these things as its always wonderful hearing how supportive everyone can be of each other. He gave a special shout out to Strike It, saying they had played a solid set. A metalcore band from Montreal made a name for themselves with a pretty decent following and strong sound.