What do you get when you book a tour with two mind-numbing Doom bands and one of the most influential post-hardcore acts of all time? A ‘fuck-me-up’ sandwich apparently. This post-hardcore Sammy with Doom bread was my Tuesday here at Bucketlist Music Reviews as Neurosis made a destructive return to our fair and fucked up Montreal accompanied by openers of epic proportions! Here’s how it all tasted like. Spoiler alert: my already terrible hearing went from, “Shit, dude. You should really wear ear plugs at shows” to, “I’m not a fucking geriatric.”
Opening up this can of “why are you doing this to me” was Belgium’s declaration of war upon all things music; also known as Amenra, doom slayers from the city of Kortrijk. Shitty lights and big sound. Yeah, it’s a doom band. Amenra doesn’t break any moulds, but they do bring a damn Doom cut steak to the table. Heavy doesn’t begin to describe their sound as it filled the room, but it did set a fantastic tone for what was to come. It’s becoming more and more of a rarity where an opener truly foreshadows the show you’re about to witness, but with Amenra’s performance, the rest of evening had me vibrating into oblivion. If dark, ambient, and the idea of reliving the great depression is your jam, then definitely give these cats a listen.
You know that satisfying feeling you get in your loins when you take that first juicy bite into a damn good sandwich; both excited and euphoric in the most unusually sexual way? Okay, fine maybe that’s just my fat ass, but this is how I proudly describe my emotions when New England hardcore legends Converge hit the stage. There’s something to be said about a band whose sound can be muggy as fuck but still make you want to break shit inexplicably. That is the wonderful work of Converge. You either love them, or you don’t know who they are. They’re the poutine of the hardcore universe, and with the release of their new two-song EP, I Can Tell You About Pain, it was made abundantly clear that they have no intention of finishing up any time soon. This set was surprisingly thick with both tracks from their new EP and an abundance of work from Axe to Fall in particular, including opener “Dark Horse.” Of course, no Converge set would be complete without the pinball like behavior of frontman Jacob Bannon, the roars of both primary composer Kurt Ballou and bassist Nate Newton, or the abrasive flogging from tunes like “All we love we leave behind,” “Concubine,” and, the always legendary, “Jane Doe.” If you’re reading this and you’re somehow a person that’s never listened to Converge, then do yourself a favour and join the fucked side. We have circle pits and other angry shit.
Rounding out the night was the entire reason that room the size of Metropolis was comfortably filled with the crustiest, middle-aged metalheads and hardcore fans alike. The mighty Dad Doom of Neurosis had returned from the bowels of Oakland, CA to rupture our, well, bowels, in a manner I can only describe as loud, sad, and violent, but simultaneously slow. This act is as classic as doom gets in most cases, so you can bet your ass that classic was what we got as “Lost” droned through the room, tearing pieces out of the ceiling that I’m sure the building’s new owners are not so stoked to repair. That being said! I have a big ol’ bone to pick with Doom, Stoner, and all the similar styled heavy metal bands alike!
When did volume replace quality? Don’t get me wrong, tremors running through the Metropolis is my idea of a good time, but at what point is the line drawn between loud for composition and loud for bragging rights? These guys, and I mean the entire movement, are low slow and stealing my soul and that’s fucking awesome, but I still got to work in the morning, man! I’m not personally a fan of doom, though I’d never turn her demonic rage away, I’ve always been one to start slowly to lose consciousness from the overbearing drone. Ranting aside, the night closed out after all kinds of fantastic dark ambience with another beautiful classic “The Doorway,” leaving you wondering which note left the dude’s next to you more shocked: the ones made on stage, or the one made in your pants.
Written by Jason Greenberg
Photography by Danny Donovan
*edited by Danielle Kenedy