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A Skylit Drive at Ritual – Ottawa Live Review

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Saturday, August 8, 2015

Ritual’s energy was pure insanity Saturday night as Ottawa welcomed A Skylit Drive’s Michael Labelle back home. Spectrasonic put on a hell of a show as usual with locals Vesuvius (playing their first show), Violent Tides and Of Reverie opening the night and getting the crowd ready.


Vesuvius at Ritual, Aug 8 2015 – Photos: Matt C

Vesuvius opened the show with their debut single “This House Is Not A Home” with the band’s merchandise manager Chris Law contributing a vocal guest spot. Vesuvius have been quickly on the rise after taking a break from their previous band Of Burning Empires – and I do hope to see them out more often. Also, props to frontman Billy Melsness for killing it on vocals.

Violent Tides2

Violent Tides

Violent Tides continues to prove how pissed off they are, and the crowd fed off it. It’s as if vocalist Kevin Bastien took a whole bunch of rage pills before going up due to his consistent stage stomping and high pitch screams – which just fuelled the intensity of the crowd. Playing a few covers including A Ghost Inside, Violent Tides definitely impressed me in a way they hadn’t before.

Of Reverie Ritual

Of Reverie

Of Reverie’s sets are always something to look forward to – and it is still unfortunate that they don’t play many local shows, but it makes it so juicy when they do. Saturday’s show was the first to feature their new screamer Jared Blanchette, formerly of Of Burning Empires and who will be appearing on the band’s upcoming full length absolutely crushed through the set, especially on “Parallels” and “Echoes”. The latest single the band released, “Voice of the Fallen” had another guest contribution from A Skylit Drive’s Michael Labelle – something we all hoped would happen. “Echoes” still stands as one of Ottawa’s best post-hardcore songs with the breakdown “FUCK YOU AND FUCK ALL OF YOUR FRIENDS”, which furthered the most pits that were incredibly encouraged throughout the whole show.


A Skylit Drive

A Skylit Drive took to the stage quickly after Of Reverie’s closing song and jumped right into tracks off of Rise, the band’s 2013 record. I was a fan of A Skylit Drive prior to Labelle’s joining, but he definitely makes me appreciate the band so much more. After a thank you to the crowd and the Labelle family – frontman Michael Jagmin and the band slammed into their latest single “Within These Walls”, before closing off with “Crazy” and “Rise”.

“Crazy”, a track I hadn’t heard before from the band was definitely my highlight of the show. I do wish they played “Those Cannons Could Sink A Ship”, but I’ll just have to wait and see them again!

It was hot in Ritual. The crowd was fiery, the bands were killer and the bar area was almost deserted so it was easy access to a icy cold brew – plus we got to welcome Labelle back with some serious headbanging. It was one of Ottawa’s better post-hardcore shows recently, for sure.


A Skylit Drive

James Rockso

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