A review of a musical performance or recorded product created by a band or individual is simply a matter of personal opinion. It doesn’t matter which way you spin it, it always comes down to what the reviewer thought in their “professional” opinion. Sometimes, as a reviewer, you have to work with bands you have never heard of, acts you have adored for minutes, days, months, years, and, sometimes, bands that make you sick to your stomach. In the end, what separates a professional “reviewer” is not just money, but their capability to separate personal bias in the form of disgust or adoration from professional opinion. Technical bullshit aside, who wants to hear about the time that I went to the Eternal Enemies Tour, on Wednesday the 26th of November at Club Soda? If you raised your hand or some shit, then I got you again, you dumb bitch.
The night started off as most do, with a little love from a local band. This time, COMEONRANGERS took the opening spot. While slinging a very common style of metalcore, most often referred to as “djent” (vomit), these dudes were respectably tight in every field possible. My only qualm is the lack of something original and defining that would set this act apart from the rest of the metal/deathcore bands trying to break out of the Montreal stereotype of music. Being tight as a band is like being on a really awesome basketball team. Originality is making it your own sport… BASEketball if you will.
We marched on as Queens, NY’s Sylar hit the stage. For the following series of opinions, please practice all protective haterade procedures. This set hurt, and I far from mean that in a good sense. A bit of background: Sylar were added to this bill as a last minute switch out for Stray from the Path, a band that had quite simply over-toured themselves since the release of their most recent record Anonymous. In honor of keeping it simple and as least offensive as I possibly can, these dudes need a lot of work. They need to work on proper performance and “tightness”, they need to work on originality, they need to work on musical prowess, and most of all, they badly need to can that spoken word, wannabe, rapcore-style shit. For anyone offended by this, I do honestly apologize, not just for my words and opinions, but for our differences in levels of musical “preferences” as we’ll call them. (Yes, I’m going quotation mark crazy. “Fuck you, sue me.”)
One of this gig’s only redeeming qualities was Sherman, TX’s four-piece of deep fried hardcore, Kublai Khan. To keep things simple and intriguing all at the same time, try and picture what would happen if Bury Your Dead had a baby with Meshuggah, and left it on a church doorstep to be raised by nuns. This is beat down hardcore with a vicious down tuning and consistent yet unusual vocal pattern, spiced with good ol’ fashion Christian rage and preaching – worth every cent spent on that CD, I can tell you that.
My own excitement was building as a personal favorite and previous victim of my reviewing arts prepared themselves to hit the stage – Fit for a King, angelically ascended from Dallas, TX in support of their new record Slave to Nothing. Excitement hit its peak as they crashed in with “Warpath”, then disappointment it was. MORE BACKROUND, YAY! The Acacia Strain, originally set to co-headline this tour, were sharing their sound guy with Fit. On the road, they were hit by a drunk driver. Yes, they’re fine. The car was parked. Yes, their PARKED car was hit by a drunk driver. Don’t park in Hartford, CT, apparently. Anyway, this meant that FFAK were forced to use Club Soda’s house technician, who is apparently deaf and completely incapable of speaking English, because who needs to do that at a venue in Quebec, right? Why am I ranting? BECAUSE THERE WAS NO FUCKING GUITAR! The bass was slapping like an old twat at Cleopatra’s across the street, the drums sounded HUGE, the vocals were spot on (with the exception of a little breaking in required with their new clean singer/bassist, and I do really mean only a little), but there was no goddamn guitar for the entire set. Please listen to them, they might be back before you know it. At least I hope they will!
BIAS ALERT! HEADLINER TIME! The curtain drops on Queens, NY’s Emmure as they open up with smash hit “Bring Your Guns to School”, of all songs. Now, I’m going to warn you, reader, I do have a personal hate for Emmure, but I did just give a speech on being unbiased when reviewing a band. Yes, the sound was clear as day, and all three of the notes that made up their entire set were played with perfect precision. Their nineteen dissonance chords rung clear as well, despite the ongoing sound issues. Also, singer Frankie Palmeri did a great job of not enunciating, like always. The band has their fan base, and there’s no disputing the fact that those kids were most definitely losing their shit. So yes, I’ll admit that what they do, they do very well. I do still completely despise Emmure, but that’s my personal opinion, not my professional opinion as a proud reviewer of Bucketlist Music Reviews. Wanna know why I hate them so much? Well, you’ll just have to ask me in person, because last I checked, my dirty laundry is in my dirty apartment, not on the website I proudly represent.