Keeping local music alive and in your face is what we’re all about here at Bucketlist Music Reviews. Fresh blood and veterans of the Montreal music scene and beyond are always welcome within the bosom of our words. This last Thursday the 19th of July at Montreal’s own Piranha Bar was a fantastic example of what we love to see, the resurgence of an old deathcore favourite, Depths of Hatred, for their Bloodguilt EP launch. Tears, laughter, cheers, and cringes alike made appearances, and if you want to know how it went down then you’re stuck with me, assholes.
Opening up the night was locally based “metal” act Penny for the Selfless. The band’s social media indicates that they “refuse to conform to one sub-genre” as their only indication as to who or what they are. What I can tell you from my encounters with them thus far is that they’re a band that takes heavy influence from a wide variety of ridiculously major-name acts while not necessarily taking the steps needed to produce a refined and original product, be it in terms of tone or presence. Their musical compositions are akin to that of Bullet for my Valentine or Asking Alexandria and vocal stylings à la Avenged Sevenfold and even Metallica, while pulling stage antics resoundingly known to be done by bands like (mainly) Slipknot. They have a ton of heart and enthusiasm as well as a desire to connect with the crowd, which is all awesome stuff. But it’s paramount to not lose sight of the requirement of advancing as a musician and completing the necessary steps while presenting your craft in a manner that is original to you. It’s easy to forget what it’s like to be a young band, but it’s hard to excuse a band playing god knows how many shows a week in the same geographic market without taking the time to make themselves sound better.
Following up was St-Georges de Beauce, QC deathcore act Sufferize. A style like deathcore can tend to be a bit one-sided at times, depending on the way in which an act perceives it. In this particular case, I found myself watching these cats and noticing a heavy Whitechapel influence, both in terms of their musical composition and stage presence. I honestly want to be able to comment more on their personal ins and outs, but I found myself preoccupied by trying to ignore the similarities to one of my favourite major-name deathcore acts. Then of course came the realization of one of my biggest live pet peeves: cheap sounding drum triggers. Remember, boys and girls, sample your own kick drum or just use the goddamn house mics in a fucking two-hundred-max venue.
Up next to bat, like a breath of fresh air, was Mount Abora out of Toronto, ON. Slinging more of a Southern hardcore/metalcore vibe with ambient tendencies, this last-minute addition to the bill brought a whole different texture to the evening that I majorly appreciated, but alas I cannot necessarily speak for the rest of the room, who were apparently braving the sensory overload better than I usually do (despite my typical deathcore adoration). Unique vocal stylings, similar musical compositions to that of a noisecore act, and a reduction in blast beats made this an interesting and slightly more comprehensive act, especially as a last-minute addition to a predominantly mono-genre bill.
Hideous Divinity swung into the PA like a sledgehammer to the face with a wind up all the way from Rome. (Not kidding about that part, that’s actually where they’re from). These dudes came a long way from home bearing their refined brand of deathcore, very à la Fleshgod Apocalypse. I said “refined” not just because they’re Italian, but because they deliver an almost orchestral take on an abrasive style of music. It’s a bit on the redundant side, but powerful and consistent nonetheless. Every accoutrement that made up this act was impressive, but one issue stood out pretty hard. Watching the band attempt to converse throughout their set with the house sound tech was less than enjoyable and at times cringe-worthy. Not everybody has the resources or funds to travel the world with their own sound technician, but make no mistake, when you barely speak a lick of English, much less Quebecois French, you won’t regret the investment.
Here we are at the end of the night with intense anticipation. Depths of Hatred are an absolutely beloved act in Montreal’s metal scene, and to see their return was heartwarming for this local advocate, even more so to watch another adored figure join the foray with newly appointed frontman Nico Monette. This being a first performance with a new line up, it can be expected that nerves ran high, and high nerves were definitely displayed for all parties involved. A slight and incredibly subtle dissonance and almost uneasiness could be noticed between the members, but ultimately a sick performance ensued. Time will undoubtedly shed these nerves and the idea of the savagery that will come after this maiden tour tickles my genitals in all kinds of fun ways. Though the house sound by this time of night did them no added favors (again, not necessarily anyone’s blame), the band nonetheless provided a pleasing sonic display of both new material and old. Potential is present, and watching the climb for this band is going to be intensely entertaining.
Written by Jason Greenberg
*edited by Kate Erickson