On the evening of Wednesday June 12th, I was lucky enough to witness an eclectic metal lineup at Bar Le Ritz P.B.D. that woke up every single curiosity inside of me and may have opened a whole new set of doors I didn’t even know existed. F L E S H / V O I D, Genocide Pact, PRIMITIVE MAN, and Full of Hell defined the evening with their excellent yet totally different sets and excited every person in the building. The venue being a DIY feeling room, loose wires and disco ball included, is an easy place to relax into. They had me googly-eyed within two minutes at low-cost setting and cheap beer. I thought to myself, “I’m really in the right place tonight.”
So, F L E S H / V O I D went on, and being a decent black metal fan myself, was pretty pleased with their melodic yet very evil feel, and really appreciated their multiple guitarists onstage (Simonne Perron, Jean-François Dussault Desgroseilliers, and Simon Lemieux.) Some might think this is pointless, but they would be missing that several guitarists means a much deeper and fuller tone, sounding more like what an orchestra sounds like with several violinists. As well as having three guitarists, there were also three vocalists, (Jean-François Dussault Desgroseilliers, Phil Worthington, and Cymon Lamarre) who brought this same idea of creating layers to the sound ensemble. Not to mention the amount of emotion and dedication felt while Jean-François bent down over himself onto the ground, praying to his pedals nearing the end of their set. Now that’s what I call spiritually charging your performance. They delivered a technically perfect set whilst scratching that permanently itchy black metal itch.
Our next offering from the metal gods was Genocide Pact, with their grimey death metal, accompanied by passages of slow, classic sounding metal riffs. The pit opened up within seconds, spanning the entire room’s width. As the venue looked fuller than ever seen before to some attendees, the energy could easily be felt throughout the venue. Nice and fast when needed, technically on point and total headbanging goodness permeated the evening. It was pure metal right up your ass, and not one person needed lube because the band handed it to us in the form of kind words of gratitude towards all great metal bands from the province of Quebec.
When PRIMITIVE MAN began, I knew I’d never be the same again. They were so loud, that the ground vibrating so hard almost made me lose my balance. The bass drum felt like it was inside of my chest. Holy shit. If there’s anything to describe their sound, (other than the heaviest music you’ve ever heard in your life before,) it’s the trippiest death sludge of all time. Especially if you’ve indulged in a little greenery. I think I even noticed vocalist/guitarist Ethan Lee McCarthy tuning his guitar to such a loose state that it was the first tuning to which you can actually receive sound. My mind was entirely blown by how wonderfully guttural they sounded and how differently I would intake their performance compared to listening to their recordings. It’s a unique experience. They were able to make me look at everything I knew from a different angle, and made me eternally grateful for the existence of earplugs. I don’t see any scenario in which I wouldn’t buy a ticket to see them again.
After all this mind-bending, began the main act that seemed like they came straight from Hell itself, Full of Hell. “This is a song about rejecting Christ” said frontman Dylan Walker, and I was hooked. I never knew before to which extent a human man (are we sure they’re human?) could produce the terrifying, yet controlled and excellently skilled set of sounds with their throat. Also, how is it possible that someone such as myself, riddled with anxieties, could feel the calmness I felt through harsh grinding death? I’m in it for the long haul to find out, and I can thank Full of Hell for it. Not one head was turned away, not one distracted fool in the room. All this with instances of psychotropic noise samples going in and out between each song. The energy was surreal, and I truly feel lucky to have witnessed them. I left feeling introspective, grateful, and utterly blessed by new realms of sound I discovered. It was like taking acid but in the form of a band. I can’t forget to mention the giggles that ensued after they were done, and half the room emptied that we heard a “just kidding we’re back” and were graced with one last tune. How absolutely thrilling.
Written by Talia Plante
Photography by Jean David Lafontant
*edited by Danielle Kenedy