September 17th. Summer is winding down and it was a beautiful Sunday evening, so why not head to a dark venue, Foufs, with no windows, a shit ton of metal heads, and some nice, relaxing, extremely loud death metal to start off the week. If you’re a Buckethead, this might appeal to you.
Before things got underway I had the pleasure of speaking with Jon Asher of Asher Media Relations. He does fine public relation work for a number of bands including Striker, the opening group. He told how earlier in the week they had won “best new metal band” at the Western Canadian Music Awards, so I was stoked to check them out.
They’re a five piece band based in Edmonton, and despite a broken down van earlier that day and scrambling for options, they made it to the show. It only started about thirty minutes later than expected, and the crowd was not holding any grudges. And once they were ready, they jumped right into it. I regretfully didn’t catch any track names for their set, but you can check out some of their stuff via the above link. They were quite lively and it’s reasonable to say they reminded me of a hair-metal band in sound, appearance, and stage presence, with discernible vocals and all three guitarists singing backup.
Next on stage was Warbringer. These guys are from L.A California and were also a five-piece group, albeit somewhat heavier than the previous one. They are currently touring for their fifth studio album Woe to the Vanquished, which they played in its entirety. A few tracks I really enjoyed were “Woe to the Vanquished”, “Remain Violent,” “Shellfire,” and “Spectral Asylum.” At this point the crowd was getting more moshy to the trash-filled, sometimes morbid, sounds. If given the chance I would certainly check these guys out again.
The last turn over wasn’t that long, and for their set Dark Tranquility had a huge screen with intense varying visuals in the background (and often projected onto the members themselves). It had been a year since their eleventh studio album Atoma had been released, and a year since they had last graced Montreal with their presence. They’re a six-piece from Gothenburg, Sweden, and are viewed as one of the pioneering metal bands for that area. Formed in 1989 by Mikael Stanne and Niklas Sundin, they are seasoned veterans.
They causally entered the stage and began to play one by one while the crowd chanted “D.T, D.T”. They opened with “Force of Hand” from the new album. When the track was done, lead vocalist Mikael Stanne said a few words about how pleased they were to be back in Montreal and that they were so grateful to the fans for coming out on a Sunday. Often something like that sounds cliché, but coming from him (maybe it’s the Swedish accent), it seemed very genuine. A few tracks I really enjoyed were, “The Science of Noise,” “Terminus,” “The Silence In Between,” and “Therein.”
As the set was coming to a close, the crowd would not let the band go. Mikael saying, “You keep this up we’ll be here all night,” to which the crowd gleefully cheered. Mikael’s response was, “Well all right then, we’re here all night.” That in fact did not happen, but they did play three encore tracks ending with “Misery’s Crown.” After seeing Dark Tranquility I have acquired a new appreciation for Swedish death metal.
Written by Joey Beaudin
Photography by Michael Kovacs
*edited by Kate Erickson