September 2, 2015 Heavy Montreal Explodes on Day 3 Montreal, QC 8-9-15
On the final morning of Heavy Montréal, a different crowd stirred in. Packing in more vigorously than the past two days, a few wondered if they were getting an early start to see monstrous acts of Lamb of God and Slipknot, or perhaps a few with blackened eyewear were rushing for a good spot to catch the Metalcore Gothic act, Motionless in White. Either way, it was a different mix and vibe, where one could only predict it would be a packed, full day to see over twenty amazing bands and to embrace the third and final chapter of 2015’s Heavy Montréal.
Awakening the third and final day of Heavy Montréal were the Heavy Metallers from Atlanta, Georgia, Fozzy, on the Scène Molson Canadian stage at 1:00 PM. Formed in 1999 originally as Rich Ward’s (guitarist/vocalist) cover band, it progressed to a renowned act as WWE champion and Vocalist Chris Jericho joined in, and it has been nothing but a tombstone masterpiece ever since. Known for having fun, especially after the way Jericho described them as, “If Metallica and Journey had a bastard child, it would be Fozzy.” The remaining contenders include, Frank Fontsere (drums), Jeff Rouse (bass), and Billy Grey (guitar). Releasing the latest Do You Wanna Start A War last June, in 2014, via Century Media Records, Fozzy is still going strong promoting it as the banner droplet displayed the album cover. Jericho mentioned that this was their first time performing at Heavy Montréal as they grooved into “Do You Wanna Start A War?”
Little did anyone know that two headliners of the evening were there watching from the sidelines on the stage, frontmen Randy Blythe of Lamb of God and Corey Taylor of Slipknot, as thousands gathered around during this pumped up set where fans moshed like warriors. The known riffing master, Ward, held an immense amount of energy as he flew across the platform. Jericho embraced all with his gold WWE-esque attire as he rolled along with the set, making sure the crowd participated, including chanting out, “Hey! hey! hey!” Jericho closed the set by telling all to go home to say how they, “Witnessed the band of the hour and got their asses kicked by Fozzy.” There is one last show in North America which is the Kiss Kruise that sets sail on October 30th in Miami, after that they will head overseas.
Crossing over to the Scène de l’Apocalypse stage were the Finnish Death Metallers, Omnium Gatherum at 1:00 PM. Markus Vanhala (guitar) is the only original standing member since the formation in 1996. The rest includes Jukka Pelkonen (vocals), Jarmo Pikka (drums), Aapo Koivisto (keyboard), Joonas Koto (guitar), and Erkki Silvennoinen (bass). Heavy Montréal kicked off the first day of their twenty-six stop North American Summer Tour with Insomnium, that concludes on September 7th at Le Cercle, Quebec City, QUE. Entertaining all with their spirited energy that remained dark and heavy, they performed tracks such as “New Dynamic” and “The Sonic Sign.” A highlighted moment was the guitar solo duel between Vanhala and Koto, where Pelkonen pointed to each member as though it was a competition for the crowd to scream louder for their personal favorite.
Montréallers were in luck this day, as they witnessed the new track for the first time, “Skyline,” which the YouTube teaser released the following day on August 10th. Before closing the set with “The Unknowing,” Pelkonen shouted to the crowd stating if the fans love them that they should, “Buy T-shirts and shit.” The single “Skyline” will officially be released on August 31, 2015 to download via Lifeforce Records. The follow up from the 2013 album Beyond is set to release in February 2016. Hopefully they will return to North America in celebration of this release!
Exes for Eyes
Love and hugs emerged on the Scène de la Forêt Blabbermouth stage at 1:30 PM. Heavy Metallers from Toronto and Montréal, Exes for Eyes proudly went on the stage to perform in front of the Metalheads they adore. Consisting of Big James Arsenian (vocals), Dave Sheldon (guitar/vocals), Graham Porter (bass), and Aaron Spink (drums), they showed the world at Heavy Montréal that Metal, as Arsenian emphasized, “Is a community of love and respect. We know that we get that, but we want to show the world that so people can understand what Metal is really about.” Fans gathered around as close as they could, cheering with Arsenian as he continued, “I want everyone that’s here to just hug the shit out of each other right now!” Surprising enough, Exes for Eyes created the biggest group hug in Heavy Montréal, or perhaps at any Metal show in history. This was an honorable experience for fans to witness a group as dedicated as these guys to bring such a positive vibe and hear them say how much they love the fans. After spreading the love, the set went wild and heavy, as fans turned their hugs into a moshing adventure. Selling their album Tongues Like Figure Eights for $1.00 on their website, go check it out, these guys deserve the love right back!
Motionless in White
At the early hour of 1:30 PM, the Scène HEAVY was beginning to pack up as dedicated fans were shouting, “Motionless!,” in anticipation to see the Goth-Metalcore act, Motionless in White. Embracing the Gothic fashion in more of a theatrical sense, Chris Motionless (vocals), Ricky Horror (guitar), Josh Balz (keyboards), Ryan Sitkowski (guitar), and Devin “Ghost” Sola (bass) took the stage. These Scranton, Pennsylvania Goths are still promoting their third studio album, 2014’s Reincarnate via Fearless Records. Captivating the crowd throughout each and every song, they punched into “Break the Cycle” and “Devil’s Night.” Motionless demanded all fists to be raised in the air during the crowd-roaring “Death March,” “America,” “Abigail,” and “If It’s Dead, We’ll Kill It.” Steaming with energy, Motionless examined all and mentioned how surprised he was to see everyone was so awake at 2:00PM, and roared into “Unstoppable.”
As the annihilation continued with “Generation Lost,” the Danzig cover of “Mother” and “Dead as Fuck.” The performance appeared to have a traditional ending with all band members in tact, however, Montréal fans were shocked and quite a few were envious during the final performance of “Reincarnate.” At this point, a fan jumped onto the stage and his dreams came true that day in front of thousands of fans. Not only did Motionless put his arm around this fan, he also handed him the microphone and let him take the lead in the chorus, more than once, where he felt like he was a famous Rockstar. This fan stayed on the platform for the entire song, headbanged with Motionless, and even had a chance to take a selfie of this incredible moment. It is still not too late to see Motionless in White, perhaps Motionless will pick another fan to join them on the stage during the Summer’s Last Stand Tour with Slipknot, Lamb of God, and Bullet for My Valentine. The tour ends on September 5th, as they will be heading out overseas in November.
Kicking off their first headlining North American Tour on the Scène de l’Apocalypse stage at 2:00 PM were Finnish Melodic Death Metallers, Insomnium. Recently, faced with unfortunate news on August 4th, it was announced that frontman Niilo Sevänen (vocals/bass) had to step down due to an urgent family emergency. At this point they were on the brink of canceling the tour all together, however, too much investment went into it and disappointing their fans was not an option. After the last minute confirmation, Mike Bear (Artisan, Prototype) filled in for Sevänen. An earlier announcement occurred in June that Sanctuary/Ex-Arch Enemy and Arsis Guitarist, Nick Cordle, would fill in for Ville Friman due to a busy work schedule, where he was forced to step down from the tour. With these roadblocks that were faced for such a high anticipated tour where only fifty percent of the band appeared consisting of, Omnium Gatherum’s Markus Vanhala (guitar) who joined in 2011, and original drummer Markus Hirvonen since the formation in 1997.
This unique, last minute arrangement had all powered through a vicious fan-favorable set. Bear, who spoke highly of Sevänen, honorably gave it his all with darkened growls as the melody transcended to a heavy eruption. Fans continued to headbang along, and a few helped with shouting out the lyrics. Vanhala and Cordle captivated all with fueled guitar solos and masterful riffs. Bear, taking the stand as the frontman, mentioned to all how, “One short blonde dude couldn’t make it.” He also admitted how there was, “Another filler, Nick on guitar.” Fans remained understanding, and welcomed the different lineup as they raised their Metal horns in approval as newer tracks from the latest 2014’s Shadows of the Dying Sun via Century Media Records were playing. Due to this emergency, the Eastern European Tour has been canceled as they hope to make it up to their fans in the future. The North American tour wraps up on September 7th, but they will be back on a cruise ship, performing at 70,000 tons of Metal in February, 2016. CrypticRock’s thoughts are with Niilo Sevänen and his family during this difficult time.
Tackling the Scène Molson Canadian stage at 2:15 PM were Alternative Metallers from Los Angeles California, Coal Chamber. Resurrected in 2011 with the same lineup from 2003, consisting of Devil Driver’s Dez Fafara (vocals), Meegs Rascón (guitar), Mike Cox (drums), and the latest Naja Peulen (bass), who officially replaced Rayna Foss in 2002. Fiercefully supporting their latest fourth studio album, Rivals via Napalm Records, the follow up to 2002’s Dark Days, making it a first since they ended their feud and reunited. It was time to kick off a North American twenty-four date Summer Tour which began on July 24th with acts Fear Factory, Jasta, Saint Ridley, and Madlife. On this day, the stage was open for only Jasta and Coal Chamber. Known for incorporating doses of Nu Metal, Gothic, and Industrial Rock sub-genres to their music, Montréal Metalheads were there to celebrate the new and remember the old as they performed tracks such as “Loco,” “Big Truck,” “I.O.U. Nothing,” “Fiend,” “Rowboat,” “Another Nail in the Coffin,” “Oddity,” “Drove,” “I,” “No Home,” and closing with “Sway.” Keeping up with an immense amount of energy as the tour was nearly halfway through, Fafara demanded all to open up a large circle pit. The tour officially wrapped up on August 22nd, and hopefully they will be back soon, but either way, this is a great time to pick up the latest album Rivals to check out.
Hard Rockers from Québec, Sandveiss hit the Scène de la Forêt Blabbermouth stage at 2:45 PM. Formed in 2011, they possess a sound that mixes between classic Black Sabbath with the modern twist of The Sword, which has been seen in their 2013 Scream Queen via Sexy Sloth Records. Daniel Girard (bass), Dzemal Trtak (drums), Shawn Rice (guitar), and Luc Bourgeois (vocals/guitar) hammered the stage with excellence. Fans were left begging for more after their short, thirty minute set.
Making fans’ dreams come true on the Scène HEAVY stage at 3:00 PM were Glam Metallers, Warrant. This was on a day that was close to the four year mark since the passing of original vocalist and infamous songwriter, Jani Lane, on August 11, 2011. Before his death, there were attempts to reunite with the late Lane back in 2008 to maintain the full original lineup, unfortunately his disease in alcoholism took over. This is a group that has encountered many battles in their Rock N’ Roll history since guitarist Erik Turner founded the band in 1984, such as surviving the Grunge Rock revolution years. However, they have not stopped performing and writing music, including the latest eighth studio album, 2011’s Rockaholic.
Thousands of dedicated Rock N’ Rollers joined in to experience and support these legends, which also includes Jerry Dixon (bass), Joey Allen (guitar), Steven Sweet (drums), and former Lynch Mob vocalist, Robert Mason. Feeling as though it was a privilege for the gang to be Rockin’ again at Heavy Montréal, the crowd has expanded since their first appearance back at its first annual in 2008. Allen sprang across the stage with powerful guitar solos while Turner’s flaming riffs jolted into a classic Warrant spirit. Even Mason’s vocals ignited the eighties Glam attitude with tracks such as “So Damn Pretty (Should Be Against the Law)” and “Down Boys.” Mason wanted all to be quiet as they went into the classic ballad of “Heaven,” and eventually told all that it was not swampy enough for the next track as they went into “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.” It would not be a Warrant set if they did not close out with the iconic tune of “Cherry Pie,” which satisfied the sea of fans. There is plenty more to see from these rockaholics that embrace the tour life, as they have a few dates lined up for September and October!
From Connecticut, the Metalcore act Jasta bolted onto the Scène de l’Apocalypse stage at 3:15 PM, where a special guest appeared from the crowd. The ambitious Jamey Jasta has been hitting landmarks in the Hardcore and Sludge Metal scenes, fronting bands such as the acclaimed Hatebreed and Kingdom of Sorrow. It was not until 2011 his debut solo album Jasta was revealed to all listeners. A few short hours away until one of the main acts of the night, Lamb of God, would take on the Scène HEAVY stage, frontman Randy Blythe approached the Scène de l’Apocalypse platform with Jasta as they relentlessly growled into “Enslaved, Dead or Depraved.” Fans were stunned throughout this shocking performance as Jasta and Blythe headbanged like crazy, giving the viewers a special treat.
Once the grumbling duet finished, Blythe veered to the sidelines and placed his eyes behind a lens to take photographs of Jasta’s versatile performance. The energy was massive and so were the circle pits when Jasta performed not only his solo tunes, but a bit of Hatebreed and Kingdom of Sorrow as well, including “Buried in Black” and “I Will Be Heard.” Jasta’s fierce endurance carried on during songs such as “Walk the Path Alone,” “Soldier of Hell,” and “Nothing They Say.” Recently, Jasta has concluded their tour on August 12th, with Coal Chamber at The Chance in Poughkeepsie, New York. However, a few dates are lined up for Hatebreed before Jasta returns to the studio to lay down tracks for Hatebreed, which would be the follow up to the 2013’s The Divinity of Purpose. One way or another, Jasta will return!
Hammering down on the Scène Molson Canadian stage at 3:45 PM were Hard Rock masterminds, Dokken. Formed in 1978, these Los Angeles, Californians faced breakups, lineup changes, including the official departure of former lead guitarist, George Lynch, and of course the Grunge Rock movement. Dokken has conquered all, and currently consists of original members Don Dokken (vocals) and Mick Brown (drums), since 2003 Jon Levin (guitar), and newest member since 2014 Mark Boals, who replaced Sean McNabb on bass. It was 1984’s Tooth and Nail, their second studio album, that brought them to be one of the largest Metal bands spiraling from the eighties. Hits rolled in, especially during their cult classic sensation of “Dream Warriors,” that was featured in the 1987 film A Nightmare on Elm Street. Now, having eleven studio albums under their belt, including the 2012 Broken Bones via Cleopatra Records, these driving eighties forces in Metal were ready to shine for the Montréal Rockers.
Empowering the stage, reminding all of their unforgettable influences, they continue to inspire new artists of today as they powered through tracks such as “Kiss of Death” and “Into the Fire.” Entertaining with guitar solos during the classic “Breaking the Chains,” had the crowd raise their Metal horns in honor. Heavy Metal bliss did not stop there as an instrumental piece grabbed attention during “Too High to Fly.” Dokken announced how he wanted all to pretend it was still the eighties and had all shouting out, “Whoa!,” as they carried on with the set including tracks such as “In My Dreams” and closing with the notorious “Tooth and Nail.” It is not too late to see them, but only a few shows are lined up, including Friday, September 4th at Treasure Island Casino in Red Wing, Minnesota.
Punk Rockers headed over to the Scène de la Forêt Blabbermouth stage to see Ontario’s Dead Tired take their positions on the platform. Originally formed at a bowling alley in 2014 to celebrate a birthday for a member of the band who has since left, Michael “Biff” Young, they have traveled across the local Canadian scene ever since, opening for acts such as Sick of It All. After the word had spread, a debut self-titled album was released on St. Patrick’s Day in 2015 via New Damage Records. Members consisting of frontman, Alexisonfire’s George Petit, Marco Brassett, Phil Waring, and Franz Stefanik, fled onto the platform and shocked new fans with a unique sound of their own of pure Canadian Punk Rock tunes. Fans peaked at moshing gratification during tracks such as “Court of Public Opinion.” Dead Tired were a blast to see live, hopefully they will truck out to the United States in the near future.
On the Scène de l’Apocalypse at 4:30 PM were Virginia Grindcore Metallers, Pig Destroyer. Formed in 1997, it was after the release of 2007’s Phantom Limb, where they received worldwide acclaim, booking tours with acts such as Carcass and Suffocation, and major festivals including Hellfest and Maryland Deathfest. Members include their first time bassist, John Jarvis, who joined in 2013, who is Adam Jarvis’ (drummer) cousin that joined in 2012. The rest consists of Blake Harrison (pan flute) since 2006, and original members Scott Hull (guitar) and J.R. Hayes (vocals). Averaging at under two minutes in length, songs shoot out like bullets. Their latest album is 2012’s Book Burner via Relapse Records, however, in 2013, an EP entitled Mass & Volume was released, consisting of two songs, which features their longest track to date at 19:05.
The packed audience were ready for a rumbling time as they butchered through the mosh pit. Cloaked by the fog machines that were used on stage, their blackened doom and chaos on the platform energized the crowd. Screamed vocals by Hayes erupted,driving fear and horror to any ears, while cutting riffs by Hull slit through throats. The band charged into newer tracks such as “Sis” and “Bug” along with classics “Rotten Yellow,” “Cheerleader Corpses,” “Piss Angel,” and “Trojan Whore.” Check out the remastered release of the 2001 Prowler in the Yard on September 4th.
Marky Ramone’s Blitzkrieg w/Andrew W.K on Vocals
Honoring a pivotal movement on the Scène HEAVY stage at 4:30 PM was Marky Ramone’s Blitzkrieg w/Andrew W.K. on vocals! The Ramones formed in the early seventies in Forest Hills, Queens, New York. This iconic group of Punk Rockers illustrated and possibly pioneered the Punk Rock scene in the United States. Marky Ramone is well-known for playing the drums with the Ramones for a span of fifteen years. He was asked to join one night in 1977 while sitting at the historic CBGBs after finishing up a show with his band at the time, The Voidoids, who were touring with a small English band known as The Clash. Dee Dee Ramone approached Marky at the bar and asked if he could be part of The Ramones. By the time 1978 rolled in, they released his first album with the group, Road to Ruin. On this evening, it was an honor to hear such quintessential tunes with a phenomenal singer, Andrew W.K, who has released five studio albums including his latest, both released in 2009, 55 Cadillac and his cover album of Gundam Rock.
Performing song after song, like a batch of youthful Punk Rockers, the setlist included “Rockaway Beach,” “Teenage Lobotomy,” “Psycho Therapy,” “Do You Wanna Dance,” “Sheena is a Punk Rocker,” “I Just Want To Have Something To Do,” “Beat on the Brat,” “The KKK Took My Baby Away,” “Pet Sematary,” and “Commando.” Bringing fun and nostalgia to the Montréallers, they danced around during these classics. Marky Ramone’s Blitzkrieg has been touring tirelessly and are currently in Europe throughout the Summer.
Energy erupted on the Scène Molson Canadian at 5:15 PM when it was time for the Metalcore act of the early evening, Asking Alexandria. Since their official formation in 2008, from England, they have experienced a few lineup changes including last January when founder and former vocalist, Danny Worsnop, resigned from the group to focus on a new Rock sound with his new band We Are Harlot. Fans have questioned the future for Asking Alexandria, however, shortly after frontman Denis Stoff joined. It was not until the end of May of 2015, the latest single “I Won’t Give In” via Sumerian Records was released, where fans from all over heard this new tune and vocals. The rest includes founding member, Ben Bruce (guitar), Cameron Liddell (guitar), Sam Bettley (bass), and James Cassells (drums). Known for having a diversified sound, respectfully coming from a road of music history including Guns N’ Roses, Slipknot, and Killswitch Engage.
Dramatically walking onto the stage with an immense amount of energy and effortless stage presence, they demanded circle pits and went into “Welcome.” Commanding the crowd to raise their fists in the air and yelling for all to jump, they moved into “Breathless.” The band headbanged in complete unison during “To The Stage,” as Stoff belted out monstrous screams, while fans continued to cheer. Moving to a newer direction, they went into the melodic new track of “I Won’t Give In,” where fans remained captivated. Continuing on,“Run Free” and “Not the American Average” had fans singing along as the entire band moved around on the stage like veteran professionals with movements that reminded all of eighties Glam Rockers, while aggressively performing like Nu Metallers. Musically in sync, they continued with tracks such as “A Prophecy,” “If You Can’t Ride Two Horses at Once… You Should Get Out of the Circus,” and “The Final Episode.” Asking Alexandria will be touring in Europe throughout the Fall, however, will be back to North America at the first Knotfest in Mexico on December 5th, 2015. A new album is in production as Ben Bruce once described it as it being “Some huge Arena-Rock songs.” No dates are officially announced, stay tuned!
Small Brown Bike
Rolling along on the Scène de la Forêt Blabbermouth stage at 5:15 PM were the Punk Rockers from Michigan, Small Brown Bike. With their name initially sprung from the four members being Bike Mechanics back in 1996, they developed the Hardcore/Punk sound that was bursting out in the nineties, however, they broke-up in 2004. After five years of silence, they returned, and in 2013, Recollected was released via Old Point Light Records, which is an updated edition from their 1998 compilation Collection. Known for a distinct style between double vocals and backing melodies, Montréallers were in for a treat. Having only a few shows lined up this Summer, they gave it their all this early evening out in the forest. Hopefully these mechanics will break the silence even further for another return and possibly new album.
Showing no mercy on the Scène de l’Apocalypse stage, at 5:45 PM, it was time for the Seattle, Washington legends Sanctuary. Originally formed in 1985, they released two albums including the debut of Refuge Denied (1987). Touring mercilessly during that time with bands such as Warlock and Megadeth, they have become a legendary band from Seattle, Washington. Unfortunately, it was the Grunge Rock revolution that led them to call it quits in the early nineties. Despite that, a few created the Progressive Metal band, Nevermore. After taking an eighteen year break, original vocalist Warrel Dane, Guitarist Lenny Rutledge, Drummer Dave Budbill, and Bassist Jim Sheppard joined forces for a few reunion shows. After bringing the thrashing bond back on stage, they decided to go back in the studio to record. After a few rounds of second guitarists, the one and only ex-Arch Enemy, Nick Cordle picked up the axe for their European tour after the departure of Brad Hull. This evening, they powered away with strong vocals. At one point, Dane brought in an Andi Deris of Helloween sound. This similarity was cut short as Dan unveiled his brutal vocals, and demanded circle pits, as they erupted into classic tracks such as “Seasons of Destruction” and “Taste Revenge.” Fans were fueled with chaotic pleasure throughout the forty-five minute set. Check out their latest release of The Year the Sun Died (2014) via Century Media Records, which is the twenty-five year follow up from 1989’s Into The Mirror Black. It is not too late to see them, there are a few selected dates lined up in the U.S in October.
Within Temptation, the one and only Symphonic act of the entire three day festival, embraced the Scène HEAVY stage at 6:00 PM. Since their original formation in 1996, from the Netherlands, with founders Sharon den Adel (vocals) and Robert Westerholt (guitar), their style has evolved over the years from Gothic Rock, Symphonic Metal, to the latest, Symphonic Rock. Releasing six studio albums, including 2014’s Hydra, they have been populating the Symphonic fanbase ever since. The remaining members includes Ruud Jolie (guitar), Stefan Helleblad (guitar), Jeroen Van Veen (bass), Martijn Spierenburg (keyboards), and Mike Coolen (drums). Fans embraced this moment, and a few were experiencing their first concert just to see Within Temptation. Still promoting the aforementioned Hydra based on their backdrop, fans awaited for them to storm the Scène HEAVY stage.
As The Silent Force “Intro” chimed in, the crowd roared when Within Temptation walked onto the stage and moved right into “Paradise (What About Us?),” which was originally recorded with Tarja Turunen, however, there was no guest appearances that evening. Adel flourished with her presence as she continued into “Faster.” Adel smiled at her sea of fans as she admitted it was great to be back in Montréal, and asked all to raise their Metal horns as they went into “In the Middle of the Night.” The band knew how to awaken the crowd as the fans endlessly cheered. Adel’s vocals were pristine as she continued with her Soprano range of excellence during tracks “Fire and Ice” and “Our Solemn Hour.” Warming up her voice, Adel admitted to all how it was a trip for them to see them, they had four shows in a row, followed by an eight hour flight, and arrived only a few hours prior to their performance. Without showing any sign of exhaustion, they continued with the Lana Del Rey cover of “Summertime Sadness.” A roaring scream of excitement rushed through the audience as they broke into the fan-favored “Stand on My Ground.” After a few outfit changes and an impressive amount of instrumentation, they continued with tracks such as “Iron,” “The Heart of Everything,” “Covered By Roses” and closed with the classic “Mother Earth.” No current sign of another North American tour as they are back overseas having a few shows lined up in September and October.
Upon a Burning Body
Upon a Burning Body fired up the Scène de la Forêt Blabbermouth stage at 6:30 PM. These Deathcore beings formed in 2005 from San Antonio, Texas and currently consist of Danny Leal (vocals), Ruben Alvarez (guitar), Rey Martinez (bass), and Tito Felix (drums). Under Sumerian Records, they released three studio albums including 2014’s The World Is My Enemy Now. Cutting right into “Red Razor Wrists,” and “Scars,” had the band blood thirsty for movement in the crowd. Leal informed all that he did not want anyone to stand still, demanding for movement as they erupted into “Sin City,” where fans were crazily jumping and a massive circle pit was formed. Continuing with the circle pit vibe, many gathered around the nearby tree during the favorable track “Texas Blood Money.” Closing down their set with the DJ Snake Cover “Turn Down For What,” everyone let loose by jumping up and down while raising their Metal horns.
An immense amount of creativity shined on the Scène de l’Apocalypse stage at 7:00 PM as the lights went on for the Norwegian Ihsahn. This multi-talented instrumentalist is classically known for fronting the Black Metal band Emperor that ruled the Black-Metal world in the nineties. His latest, Das Seelenbrechen (Soulbreaker) makes it his fifth studio solo album which released in 2013 via Candlelight Records and Mnemosyne Productions. Ihsahn mentioned how it has been sixteen years since he has been in Canada and moved into a darkened instrumental track. As calm and collective he is on stage, his performance is nothing but ruthless and filled with Metal. Chilling guitar chords continued to flourish as the Progressive Metal escalated and the crowd erupted into a headbang frenzy. Ihsahn dove into his aggressive vocals in tracks such as “Frozen Lakes On Mars” and “A Grave Inversed.” Performed a new song, “My Heart is of the North,” it opened with atmospheric and groove-esque riffs, however, once Ihsahn’s vocals took hold, his growls transitioned towards a Black-avant garde sound. Ihsahn has an impeccable presence on the stage, and fans remained mesmerized throughout.
Bullet For My Valentine
As the night crowd began to pack in, fans were ready to see Bullet For My Valentine lead the Scène Molson Canadian stage at 7:00 PM. Formed in 1998, the band consists of Matt Tuck (vocals/guitar), Michael “Padge” Paget (guitar), Michael “Moose” Thomas (drums), and newest member since 2015, Jamie Mathias (bass). Traveling worldwide, showing what Metal these Welsh Metalcore mates have to offer, their fan base has been growing nonstop. They have shared the same stage as Iron Maiden and Metallica, and on this night it was Slipknot.
As the backdrop of their latest Venom was shown behind them, fans chanted and cheered. Butchering the stage, they charged with tracks such as “Your Betrayal,” “No Way Out,” “Raising Hell,” “Scream Aim Fire,” “4 Words (To Choke Upon)” and “The Last Fight.” A mammoth circle pit erupted throughout, while those who did not participate were singing along through each and every song. Tuck wanted everyone to continue to jump around along with them, and mentioned how they were there to support their new album Venom. At this time, it was to be released in five days as they went into the new track that was written for their fans, “Army of Noise.” Moving along with their earlier works, they closed their set with “Alone,” “Tears Don’t Fall” and “Waking the Demon.” Wrapping up their North American Tour in Mexico City on September 10th, they will be heading overseas later that month for more shows. Check out Venom via RCA Records, it is quite intoxicating.
Headlining the Scène de la Forêt Blabbermouth stage at 7:45 PM were Detroit Rockers, Wilson. Chad Nicefield (vocals), Matt Puhy (drums), Kyle Landry (guitar), James Lascu (bass), and Jason Spencer (guitar) were there to bring out a fun and energetic vibe to the Montréallers. These ambitious batch of Rockers chaotically ripped onto the scene from their 2013 debut Full Blast Fuckery, and have shared the same platform as monstrous acts such as Black Label Society and Motörhead. This evening, they bled out their survival methods with tracks from the latest Right to Rise via Razor & Tie including the titled track and “Hang With the Devil.” Fans relished in their daring attitude as they gave it their all on the platform.
Lamb of God
As the crowd grew immensely on the field, Richmond, VA Metallers Lamb of God blistered onto the Scène HEAVY stage at 8:00 PM. Formed in 1994, their distinct sound emerged over the years, making them part of the movement that reinvented Metal in the nineties during the Grunge Rock era, bringing forth a sound many artists and fans look up to today. Relentlessly growing strong, the eighth studio album of Vii: Sturm und Drang was released in July, 2015 via Epic records, making it the follow up from the 2012’s Resolution. The crowd was ready to see John Campbell (bass), Chris Adler (drums), Randy Blythe (vocals), Mark Morton (lead guitar), and Willie Adler (rhythm guitar) walk on the platform, ready to prevail with a vicious seventy-plus minute set.
Amping up all, they barbarically fled in with “Walk With Me in Hell” and “Now You’ve Got Something to Die For,” leading fans to ferociously jump in delight. Keeping up with their aggressive speed, Blythe promoted the latest album and introduced the new tracks “Still Echoes” and “512” as he dominated with a scream as fans continued to mosh. Moving along with “Ghost Walking,” Blythe thanked all for coming and mentioned how honored they were playing for Montréal. As the set was heating up, Blythe introduced the next track for a few members that were in the audience, such as Jamey Jasta of Hatebreed as well as Alex Skolnick of Testament, and went into “Ruin.” Other guests such as Dez Fafara from Coal Chamber and Chris Jericho from Fozzy were enjoying the set as well. Continuing with tracks such as “Hourglass” and “Set to Fail,” the crowd pumped their fists in the air. On a slower pace, they began an encore set with “Vigil,” as fans raised their lighters in the air. Moving along, Blythe demanded all to raise their horns during “Laid to Rest,” in response, a massive wave of horns flowed through the crowd. Continuing with commands, Blythe wanted to see the biggest circle pit ever as it nearly filled up the entire area with crazed moshers during “Redneck” and the final track of “Black Label.”
Lamb of God have been keeping busy, touring with Slipknot, and will soon be playing overseas promoting Vii: Sturm und Drang to the world. Blythe also recently released a book, Dark Days: A Memoir, which tells the disturbing true tale of a show they played in Prague back in 2012. Blythe was detained at the airport on his way back to the U.S, and arrested for manslaughter. The surreality of it all would make one wonder, if it was nothing but a nightmare. This horrifying tragedy has been truthfully spoken in this book, which is worth checking out.
Closing down the Scène de l’Apocalypse stage were Thrash legends from New York City, Nuclear Assault. Formed by notable bassist Dan Lilker in 1984, after departing from Anthrax. After this leave, something heavier was bound to break, a chemical eruption called Nuclear Assault. It fired in and led the eighties Thrash scene along with mates such as Metallica, Slayer, and Testament. As challenged as they have been with inevitable breakups in the mid-late nineties, followed by reunions, albums such as Survive (1988), kept them in the Thrash Metal spotlight. Having toured throughout the eighties and nineties as well as present day recordings, including their latest EP from June, 2015, Pounder, they have become a class of their own and inspired many bands and astounded fans throughout. The rest of the pack includes John Connelly (vocals/guitar), Glenn Evans (drums), and Erik Burke (guitar).
This smaller area was filled with Thrashers, ready to mosh in front of legendary Rockstars. One dedicated fan even held up a sign right in front asking for Evans’ drumsticks. As they lunged into their set, framed by impeccable lighting, gripping guitar solos, harsh melodies and enticing vocals excited the crowd. Tracks such as “Rise From the Ashes,” “Brainwashed,” “New Song,” “Critical Mass,” “Buttfuck,” “Sin,” “Analogue Man in a Digital World,” and “When Freedom Dies” were performed. Last Summer, in 2014, it was announced that Nuclear Assault were slowly working on a new album to bring in the Final Assault, a possible final chapter to officially end their 30 plus year career. Fans still wait for this alleged full-length album, in the meantime, pick up Pounder.
After three days of non stop Rock ‘N’ Roll, the time has arrived for the grand finale. The overly packed crowd of more than 70,000 fans lined up to see a group of nine Nu Metallers from Des Moines, Iowa, Slipknot, kill the Scène Molson Canadian stage at 9:15 PM. Formation in 1995, they were just small town folks trying to make their dreams come to life as they created a certain sound of music that was never really heard before. Of course this was during the time of Nu Metal, especially when Korn came out, however, there was something new with this group. Bright orange jump suits and masks concealed their identity, as it was only about the ferocious performance. After their self-titled debut released in 1999, a flock of fans appeared from all Metal platforms. It did not matter whether someone was into Grunge, Thrash, Glam, or Classic Rock, when Slipknot came in, diehard Metalheads shouted, “This is great music!” Moving along through the years, they have become one of the biggest Metal acts in history, being perhaps on the same lines as Metallica, Mötley Crüe, and Alice in Chains, however, for Nu Metal. This crowd at Heavy Montréal were nothing but ecstatic to be there, and the amount that filled both the Heavy and Canadian stages, people were fighting for a good spot even on the VIP risers. Everyone knew this was going to be a performance of a lifetime one has to see. There were many there that never even seen Slipknot before. Children of all ages, people from different Metal backgrounds, and even someone who called himself PVD was there to celebrate his birthday to mosh out to Slipknot. It was an epic moment, more so than Corey Taylor himself to completely imagine. This is Heavy Montréal, where they serve to the crowd and the bands.
With that being said, all were taken aback by the mass crowd, as Corey Taylor (vocals), Shawn Crahan (custom percussion/backing vocals), Mick Thomson (guitar), Craig Jones (keyboard), Sid Wilson (turntables), Chris Fehn (custom percussion/backing vocals), Jim Root (guitar), Jay Weinberg (drums), and newest bassist since 2014 Alessandro Venturella walked onto the platform. Venturella luckily appeared to be back in full health since his recent incident at the show in Hartford, CT nearly a week prior, where he was rushed to the hospital due to a medical emergency. Signed under Roadrunner Records and rightfully promoting the latest 2014’s .5: The Gray Chapter, which is named in honor of late bassist Paul Gray, who passed away in 2010.
Always a stimulating performance, which is shown at their own festival, Knotfest, this evening, they brought the circus-like stage of Metal with them at Montréal. Fans raised their cell phones to record their initial entrance during the Van Halen recording of “Runnin’ With the Devil,” where it transcended to the official introduction of “XIX,” which reminded veteran fans of their initial debut from years past. Moving along with their theatrics, tracks such as “Sarcastrophe,” “The Heretic Anthem,” and “Psychosocial” rolled in, as fans went ballistic with excitement. Taylor admitted to all how he could not believe how many showed up where all he saw was a sea of endless fans. He promised many treats for Montréal as he loved the passion the crowd was showing and went into “The Devil In I.” Circle pits exploded during tracks such as “AOV,” “Vermillion,” “Wait and Bleed,” and “Killpop.” Taylor dedicated the next track to those that do not understand Metal as “Before I Forget” triggered in. Continuing to play tracks from across their career, it was time for “Duality.” Moving along and keeping fans on their toes, Taylor had nearly 70,000 fans go down on their knees to prepare to “jump the fuck up” during “Spit it Out.” It was massively shown, and quite impressive to see such a large number jump up at the same exact moment. Concluding their set was a newer rendition of a “fuck it anthem” as “Custer” combusted.
Charging back on the stage for an encore, “742617000027”opened, followed by “(sic),” and had fans raise their horns while headbanging. Taylor managed to have his “maggots” sing along with him during “People = Shit.” As fans roared, assuming this was the last track, Slipknot knows it is not over until the “fuckit anthem” sings, as they officially closed with the all time fan favorite, “Surfacing.”
As Slipknot closed the three day Heavy Montréal festival, fans were left with a one-of-a-kind experience, dosing in with over seventy acts, and more than twenty-five hours of non-stop Rock ‘N’ Roll. The diversity of acts from all over the World, consisting of many Metal sub-genres, Hard Rock to Punk Rock, made it a masterful event. This happens to be one of the top North American music festivals to attend, and next year, in 2016, it will be another three day affair. Mark your calendars!