Rosewood started us out with a very loud death-core set. The band can clearly play their instruments, and vocalist Andrew Davidson has some killer pipes. I found every track sounded the same – there was nothing that popped out for me.
Bookakee was up next and its always a pleasure watching these guys in their horrific Halloween-esque appearance. At this point, Foufs was quite packed and people were still walking in.
Pennsylvania’s Black Crown Initiate took the stage with their extremely technical and very loud, melodic set. We had covered this band back in May for the Metal Alliance Tour in Vancouver and I must agree with Leilah; they won the beard award for the night..again. The technicality of the guitars meeting each other’s riffs was really tight, along with the double drum kicks. The clean vocals were difficult to hear but we had no problem hearing James’ growls.
As soon as I saw curly-haired Adam Zlotnik sporting an Anthrax tee, I knew Toronto’s Fatality would be thrash. I think the crowd was a bit thrown off as this was the only thrash band on the bill, but everyone seemed to really dig them.“Let’s start playing some fuckin’ music,” Spencer started off. His vocals were high pitched and raspy, totally making for a perfect thrashy voice. “Uppercut” was definitely a highlight for me. There was so much Anthrax influence in there, and it was a blast singing along to these fun dudes. They got a circle pit going to this track and Spencer is hilarious on stage, full of smiles and dancing all over. Not to mention the guitar solos caused my head to swirl.
San Francisco’s Fallujah were up next with a pretty big fan base prepared to watch. “Montreal, how the fuck are you doin’ right now!?” Alex Hoffman yelled into the mic. These guys were definitely a huge standout for me. They started up with a slow beginning and molded it into loud, heavy and fast-paced set. I loved Hoffman’s interaction with the crowd. He got them hyped up by getting them to form a circle pit; Fallujah t-shirts were everywhere. The vibe I got from watching every single person in the crowd head-bang was incredible. “The Dead Sea” had powerful and emotional riffs, and strong vocals from Hoffman. They played a new track “The Flesh Prevails” which got me to officially fall in love with this band. The slow melodic opening of this song coupled with the traditional double drum kicks brought the overall progression of this track to a beautiful conclusion. The emotion felt on stage and the energy they gave out to the crowd resulted in a very positive reaction. Totally blown away by this performance, I did not want it to end.
Next up was Vancouver’s Archspire. “On a count of three…I want you all to kiss each other,” Oliver Rae Aleron screamed out to the crowd. People literally turned and looked at each other. While this band was a little too brutal/death for my taste, I definitely appreciated and liked the really quick, robotic-style vocals. I have no idea how Aleron was able to sing like that. During “Seven Crowns and the Oblivion Chain” people went nuts. The bass lines in this one was what stood out to me. The mini breakdown mid-song was sick as well, with the guitar hums and slower-paced drum kicks. The overall energy of this band was really entertaining to watch.
Rings of Saturn were on second to last. I really think that by this time, this event had kicked the heaviness of Heavy Montreal in the ass. This band considers themselves to be “Aliencore”, a made-up genre. When I tried looking up the exact definition on Google, Rings of Saturn popped up. The California natives performed tracks like “Shards of Scorched Flesh”, a really fast-paced death metal track with high-pitched, screamy vocals and deep breakdowns. It was definitely alien-esque and eerie to hear and watch.
The last band of the evening was The Faceless. Signed to one of my favourite labels, Sumerian Records, I was stoked to check these guys out live. The energy that projected off the stage and onto the crowd was outright incredible. “People of Montreal, let me hear you!” Geoffrey Ficco exclaimed, his voice so fucking radio friendly. This man has the perfect voice for radio when speaking, which he then transforms for his alter-ego when singing. I also really dug the fact Evan Brewer was sporting a WU-TANG t-shirt while he chilled on the right of the stage playing his bass lines. It was ridiculous hearing everyone “humm” at the same time to Michael Keene’s very melodic guitar solos. Everyone knew the notes and sang along. I’ve never seen that at a show before. I also admired Keene’s clean vocals, although at some points he sounded off key. Alex Rüdinger, in my opinion, definitely won the prize for drummer of the night.
The night came to an end and I was all metal’ed out. Until next year.