August 22, 2014 Heavy Montréal day two domination Montréal, QC 8-10-14
After surviving a historic day one of Heavy Montreal, day two on Sunday August 10th was set to be equally as furious with a dynamic mix of punk, hard rock, and metal bands. Kicking off at 12:30 PM many returned to Parc Jean-Drapeau to witness a lineup of thirty bands spread out over five stages.
After a series of talented Canadian bands warmed up the stages early on, at 1:30 PM the Scène Heavy thrash metal veterans Death Angel put on a eye-opening performance. Commencing the day with classic American thrash metal, shortly thereafter at 2:15 PM over on Molson Canadian Stage was fellow Bay-area thrashers Exodus. Sustaining a lengthy career in metal, the band recently brought back longtime vocalist Steve Souza for the third time provoking memories of their past with an eye toward the future. Set to release their tenth studio album Blood In, Blood Out October 14th there seems to be nothing that can stop this freight train. Exodus came out amped-up playing “Bonded by Blood”, “A Lesson in Violence”, fan favorite “Toxic Waltz”, amongst others to the excited moshers and crowd surfers. Exodus will be a part of the epic tour set for this fall with Slayer and Suicidal Tendencies.
Over at the Heavy Stage, New Jersey’s Symphony X were set to go at 3 PM. Following the theme of broad sounds of rock and metal for this years Heavy Montreal, Symphony X stood out strong with their style reminiscent of epic, orchestral music pairing up melodic lyrics with guitar and bass riffs. The fans, although partiers, were more subdued during their set merely to focus on the astounding instrumentation this band provides. Performing songs like “Domination”, “Eve of Seduction”, “Then End of Innocence” were just a few of the highlights of artistic form of metal. While lead vocalist Russell Allen has been very busy of late with his powerful hard rock band Adrenaline Mob, it was exciting to see Symphony X on stage and fans look forward to their new album slated for sometime in 2015.
A little later at 4:30 PM on the Heavy Stage, Los Angeles, CA’s Body Count featuring Ice-T drew a big crowd. After tragically losing three original members between 1996 and 2004, the band lives on in their memory performing live and releasing their highly anticipated fifth album Manslaughter back in June. Igniting many to sing along with the songs like “Manslaughter”, “Body Count”, and “There Goes The Neighborhood” proved that Body Count is a globally known and beloved band. Closing out with their signature song “Cop Killer” their raw punk rock vibe mixed with rap and metal dominated the stage.
Working their way over to the Molson Canadian Stage around 5:15 PM, hardcore beating fans waited for Hatebreed. Continuing to garner attention, their 2013 album The Divinity of Purpose reached peak positions on charts. Now in 2014 they continue to tour and raise chaos everywhere they go. Led by vocalist Jamey Jasta the hyped-up audience broke into a wild pit right away. Opening with “Everyone Bleeds Now” the energy, moshing, and crowd surfing did not stop until their last song “As Diehard As They Come”.
Bringing on more diversity over at the Heavy Stage, legendary punk rock outfit Bad Religion began at 6 PM. Together now for thirty-plus years the band led by Greg Graffin are considered by most as pioneers in punk rock and heroes of freedom of speech with lyrics that often contain social commentary. Celebrating their sixteenth studio album True North (2013) the band has been on the road with The Offspring all summer long playing to sold out venues everywhere they go. Now it was time for Montreal to be treated to a spectacular set featuring newer and older tracks with favorites “I Want to Conquer the World”, “21st Century (Digital Boy)”, and “Sorrow” to name a few. Interacting with the large crowd as if it was a small club, Bad Religion showed why they are the historic band they are as their raw energy exhilarated all as they closed with “American Jesus”. Do not miss a chance to see this band, it is an experience everyone should have at least once.
With dusk upon the city of Montreal at 8 PM, on the Heavy Stage heavy metal leaders Lamb of God were ready to make some noise. Having been the talk of the news for the past three years, the dust finally settled in 2013 when all legal issues abroad was ended. With enormous fan support through all the chaos Lamb of God is as strong as ever with consistent touring last year and plans to release a new record at some point in the near future. Storming out with a raging fire, vocalist Randy Blythe and company took the breath from the crowd opening with “Desolation”. Fans were moshing in an insane pit and crowd surfers were coming one after another as the band played favorites like “Walk With Me In Hell”, “OMERTA”, “Laid To Rest”, “Redneck”, and closer “Black Label”. This being one of their only appearances in 2014 this audience surely relished the experience.
Everything must end and Heavy Montreal went out in eruption with Slayer at 9:15 PM at the Molson Canadian Stage. Regarded as one of the biggest metal bands in the world, Slayer marched on like warriors after the untimely passing of long-time guitarist Jeff Hanneman and departure of drummer Dave Lombardo in 2013. Consisting now of vocalist/ bassist Tom Araya, guitarist Kerry King, re-enlisted drummer Paul Bostaph, and Exodus guitarist Gary Holt it is difficult to argue with this lineup. Filling the grounds with rabid metal fans screaming “Slayer!” any chance they had, the demolition was ready to begin.
Getting the crowd going immediately with “Hell Awaits” the assault ensued with “Mandatory Suicide”, “War Ensemble”, “Die by the Sword”, “Seasons in the Abyss”, and “Dead Skin Mask” splattered about the set. Raising the blood pressure of everyone, Araya’s unholy bellows were matched by King and Holt’s relentless guitar work along with Bostaph’s powerful drumming. Projecting each member of the band on massive screens allowed all to see each of them display their talents even from all the way in the back. Keeping the adrenaline flowing through the entire twenty song set, they concluded with a final attack of “Raining Blood”, “Black Magic”, “South of Heaven”, and “Angel of Death”.
Heavy Montreal was one of the ultimate experiences a metal fan could ever take a part in. Bands from all over the world showcased their talents to generations of fans. With over fifty bands in two days Heavy Montreal stamped itself as a event festival goers should circle on the calendar for years to come.