What a great evening for show. On June 20th, 2015 the weather was warm, but comfortable. There’s just something special about attending shows on a cool summer night in Montreal. Last year, I saw three separate, incredible shows (Pallbearer, Deafheaven and Uncle Acid) all at the same venue, Bar Le “Ritz” PDB (formerly Il Motore). After these three shows, I started realizing that this place was quickly becoming one of my favourite venues to see shows. The sound system might not be the greatest, but there’s something about this small, intimate bar that makes seeing shows here a nearly guaranteed good time. Tonight, I saw Liturgy here, a band I’ve wanted to see for quite some time.
The night kicked off with local black metal act, Basalte. These guys opened the show with their mix of blackened doom metal, and it was awesome. I don’t know a whole lot about them; a quick glance at their Facebook page, and the only real info you get is that they started in 2013. But perhaps in this case, less is more. I don’t need any more information about these guys, other than that they can obviously play great music. Their set was short, but sweet. I look forward to seeing them continue to grow as a band.
Up next was Yvette from New York. I usually make it a point to listen to a bit of music from each opening band at a show I’m going to beforehand, just to familiarize myself with some of their work. Unfortunately, time prevented me from listening to any music from the opening bands this time, so I went in completely unaware of what I was in for. I’m actually really glad it worked out that way: Yvette was not all the kind of band I was expecting to see open for Liturgy. Their Facebook page describes them as experimental, industrial, no-wave noise. All I know is that Yvette were insanely good. Their aggressive blend of music seems to draw influence from various genres, everything from post-punk to industrial. They played loud, and with intense passion. I definitely discovered a new favourite tonight.
Ending the night was the always-controversial Liturgy. To true fans of the genre, calling them a “Black Metal” band would be sacrilege. There’s been a lot of debate (and hate) directed towards them in the online community. Generally, opinions on Liturgy seem to sway towards one of two directions; either they’ll be seen as a “flash in the pan,” or they’ll be remembered as a truly great, unique underground band from Brooklyn, New York. One thing is for sure: nothing sounds like Liturgy’s strange new album The Ark Work. To describe it as a metal album would be debatable. But you know what? I don’t care about the opinion of the naysayers of this band. When Liturgy blasted onto the stage with their song “High Gold,” I knew these guys were the real deal. Frontman Hunter Hendrix barely spoke in between songs. Instead, the band ripped through an hour long set of songs of both old and (mostly) new tracks. The highlight of the set was when they ripped into their spastic track “Generation” from the album Aesthethica. However, the majority of their set was a mixture of new songs such as “Follow” and “Kel Valhaal.”
The crowd attending was a small group of approximately 150 people (maybe even less). Small in comparison to other shows I’ve seen here. But it was a small group of very passionate Liturgy fans who hung on to every note played by this band. Every single soul in the bar tonight had their eyes glued to the stage. You can say what you want about Liturgy, but man, do these guys ever bring it to their live shows. They’re not to be missed if they’re playing anywhere near you.
Written by Dominic Abate