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Heavy MTL 2013 Review

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Heavy MTL 2013 Review

Heavy MTL 2013 GWAR - Cred: Tim Snow

Heavy MTL 2013 GWAR – Cred: Tim Snow

 

HIGHEST RANKED: ROB ZOMBIE 9.8 (see below)

What: Heavy MTL – Produced by Evenko
Where: Montreal, Quebec
When: August 10 – 11, 2013

DAY 1

The fifth edition of Canada’s biggest and best metal festival got under way yesterday in brilliant fashion. Situated on the man-made island of Ile Ste. Helene, which was created for the Expo ’67 World’s Fair, and now used to host every major outdoor festival that takes place in this fine crumbling infrastructure of a city. Using almost the same set up used for the Osheaga festival, minus one stage, which played host to a sold-out crowd of 120,000 this year, meant plenty of space for the long-haired contingent to get their party on.

What was to be one of the most anticipated shows of the year for us at The Scene began in frustration, due to an incident in the early morning hours the night before. Andrej Ivanov was heading home after a night of work, when he was surrounded and mugged for his camera, phone and wallet. This was the display of cowardice what I awoke to!   And we as a team has to decide weather or not to continue with the event coverage.  If anybody hears about a Nikon D600 being sold around the city, please contact The Scene immediately! Check out Andrej’s version of HEAVY MTL 2013 here

Heavy MTL 2013 ObeyTheBrave - Cred: Tim Snow

Heavy MTL 2013 ObeyTheBrave – Cred: Tim Snow

The festival kicked off with two of Montreal’s own; Obey The Brave on the Molson Canadian stage and En Route to Heavy MTL winners Death Lullaby on the Galaxie stage. The audience was still making its way in past security by the time Obey The Brave began, but that didn’t stop the band from pouring their souls out for those that did get in early enough to see them play. As always, Obey The Brave delivered a great, energetic set — performing tracks off of their debut record “Young Blood”.

Heavy MTL 2013 Device - Cred: Tim Snow

Following that, I caught Device; a super group of sorts, featuring David Draiman of Disturbed on vocals and containing members of Filter and Evanescence, too. I personally enjoy Draiman’s voice and enjoyed their set. Especially when Halestorm’s front-woman was invited out to perform her part on “Close My Eyes Forever”, from Device’s debut, self-titled record. The band also played “Vilify”, which sat atop Hard Rock radio for a few weeks earlier this year.

As they finished, Texas cowboys from hell Hellyeah began on the adjacent stage. Hellyeah can also be considered a super group, featuring members of Nothingface, Damage Plan, Mudvayne and Vinne Paul of Pantera fame. Starting off with “Cowboy Way”, proving that these boys are still damn proud of their Southern heritage, even though they did drape Canadian flags over their amplifiers. Hellyeah were also great, despite performing to an underwhelming audience. Why people arrive late for an event like this is truly beyond me — especially when you have artists of this caliber starting off the day.
I watched in astonishment as Evenko employees arrived to rake up the discarded waste and crushed beer cans into giant garbage bags and haul them away. As much as I enjoyed Montebello Rockfest this year, this was a serious cause for concern among the 160,000 people in attendance. It was also pretty astonishing to see just how much had been consumed in the first four hours of the festival, even before the masses flooded in. This was an ongoing operation, and let me tell you, the fields on which the festival took place were spotless! Two thumbs up!

Heavy MTL 2013 GWAR - Cred: Tim Snow

Gwar were next to play the freshly cleaned Canadian stage, which in hindsight meant that the cleaning crew probably made things easier on themselves, as Gwar’s reputation for making a bloody mess never fails to materialize. Soaking, soppy trash probably weighs more than dry. Sound issues foiled the beginning of the set, leading to vocalist Oderus proclaiming “I don’t have a lead mic, but that won’t stop me”. In true Gwar fashion, executions of celebrities (well, maybe not this time around) were the order of the day, as the band dragged out Adolf Hitler and immediately disemboweled him. Blood sprayed out into the crowd and everyone was happy. Then came “the second crucifixion of Christ” where, they ripped an effigy of Jesus Christ in two, humping his severed torso with a giant phallus. But Jesus, of course, was resurrected and returned bigger and stronger than before, where he battled Bonesnapper and Oderus, before being beheaded. Blood sprayed, the shocked crowd rejoiced. Yes, they really mutilated the corpse of our lord and savior… twice! From there, the mighty Baroness absolutely blew away its audience with a bass heavy, flawless performance. This was one of two sets I was really anticipating when the schedule for day one was unveiled, and both sets turned out to be the best of the day.

Heavy MTL 2013 Baroness - Cred: Eva Blue

Heavy MTL 2013 Baroness – Cred: Eva Blue

Baroness are incredible in every possible way. Musically, artistically (check out John’s artwork if you haven’t already) and live as well. Guitarist Peter Adams interacted really well with the crowd, making an already fantastic set that much better. After a serious bus crash in 2012, while on tour in the UK, that result in injuries to nine people aboard the bus, included a broken arm and leg for front man John Baizley, I feared I may never get the chance to see one of the brightest acts in Rock today. As the opening riffs to “Take My Bones Away” rang out, I felt a wave of euphoria and joy sweep me away — I finally witnessed Baroness live and they were unbelievably good!

 

 

Next up, were Sweden’s masters and pioneers of the “Gothenburg sound” of melodic death metal; At The Gates. Having disbanded shortly after releasing perhaps the greatest melodic death metal record of all time, a record that has been “borrowed” from extensively over the Heavy MTL 2013 At The Gatespast two decades. That album, of course, is “Slaughter Of The Soul” and a large portion of it was playing during the groups nearly hour long set. I was, for the second time, euphoric. As good as the day it was recorded and still performed perfectly, too. The audience showered the band in numerous, rowdy chants of “At The Gates! At The Gates!” The highlight and low point of their set came in the same song — where Tomas Lindburg changed his lyrics to reflect his current age, singing “forty-odd years of pain” as opposed to the twenty-five that can be heard on the studio recording. Unfortunately, the songs incredible solo was butchered, but to be fair, that solo was performed by a session musician on the album, and a bloody fine one at that. If the name Andy LaRoque means nothing to you, stop reading this and start research, dammit! I couldn’t believe how tight they were and how bang on Lindburg’s vocals were. Fantastic set! Although I’d like to know who’s stupid ass idea it was to soak the crowd, many of whom had just had posters autographed at the several artists signings, with a fire hose. Seriously, what the shit were you thinking? It wasn’t a hot day by any stretch of the imagination and everybody has a cell phone on them these days. Not once but twice, no less. Seriously? Seriously!

Heavy MTL 2013 Danzig - Cred: Tim Snow

Danzig was next, celebrating twenty five years of his post-Misfits solo career. And he brought along a pair of friends to spruce up an already killer set. As the man promised, the whole set was comprised of older tunes, with several jewels amongst them. “Twist Of Cain” and “Am I Demon” got the party started, and were great to hear, but the highlight of the set began when Danzig was joined on stage by his former Misfits band mate, Doyle! I really didn’t expect Doyle to charge out in full Misfits garb, though, and that just added to the joy I felt at hearing Danzing and Doyle shred through several early Misfits classics such as “Death Comes Ripping”, “Vampira” — which was aided by Rob Zombie himself. Ok, pause! Danzig, Doyle and Zombie, playing Misfits songs! Just in case that didn’t grab your attention the first time I mentioned it. Insane, right? “Skulls” was next, then “I turned Into A Martian”, “Astro Zombies” and “Last Caress”. Eutrophic again! At this point, Doyle left the stage and Danzig ended off his set with, of course, “Mother”. Great! That fire hose was fired off again, forcing me to use a friend as a human shield. She took the brunt of the blast but not all of it. (Yes, I hid behind a women!)

Heavy MTL 2013 Review Megadeth - Cred: Tim Snow

Heavy MTL 2013 Review Megadeth – Cred: Tim Snow

Megadeth took to the adjacent stage next, and began with a track off an album I like to pretend never existed. “Trust” represents the lowest of the low in Megadeth’s career and I really didn’t need to be reminded of that awful track. None the less, the show must go and it was uphill from there. “Hanger 18”, Wake Up dead” and “Wake Up Dead” were the three following songs, and Dave Mustaine screwed up the lyrics a tad on the latter, but whatever! Then there was a movie clip from a film I don’t recall seeing, that talked about Megadeth — which I thought was unnecessary and perhaps detrimental in that in severed the flow of energy. Next up, the band moved onto “Countdown To Extinction era material with “Sweating Bullets” and Skin Of My Teeth” before playing a song partially written in French, and thus a must for Montreal; “A Toute Le Monde”. A pair of newer songs followed that, and the crowd fell silent when “Kingmaker” was announced. “Dancing In The Rain” (Featuring David Draiman of Disturbed) was met with a little more enthusiasm but that didn’t fully return until the group thrashed out on “Symphony Of Destruction”. Then another interrupting film clip, from Spinal Tap this time, before ending in fashion with “Peace Sells” and “Holy Wars”. Comically, Mustaine was enraged when Avenge Sevenfold’s bass tech began to sound check before the band were done. Nowhere near as good live as they are on record, but still great to see them still playing after all these years.

Heavy MTL 2013 Wintersun - Cred: Tim Snow

Heavy MTL 2013 Wintersun – Cred: Eva Blue

The final band I saw on day one was Finland’s Wintersun. Having met up with them just after At The Gates’ set, I knew that vocalist Jari Maenpaa was suffering from bronchitis. After the set, he complained to me that he wasn’t able to reach the high notes but the fact that he was able to sing as well as he did was nothing short of miraculous. Ensiferum were foolish to kick Maenpaa out when they learned of Wintersun — but thats another story. The battering former Rotten Sound drummer Kai Hahto delivered was fantastic but not without fatalities — as the moths that swarmed towards the lit stage were swallowed and splattered by drum sticks. Considering that Wintersun played the same time slot as the massively popular Avenged Sevenfold, and still drew a huge audience, speaks volumes. Unbelievably talented musicians, but unlike other bands that like nothing more than to bombard their listener with a million notes a second, Wintersun know when to groove.

After the show, while knocking back a few cans with the boys from Wintersun, I learned that Andrej Ivanov had emerged from his assault relatively unscathed and was able to catch part of the show. Perhaps too many cans were consumed, and we became stuck on the island until the tour bus driver arrived and ever so kindly dropped us off back on mainland Montreal (!!) I arrived home at 6:30 am, slept a few short hours and got primed to go for day two!

Written by Kieron Yates
Photos courtesy of: Tim Snow (*except where noted)

 

Mini Reviews DAY 1:

Heavy MTL 2013 HellYeahHellyeah: 7

Stage Presence: 7
Image/Sex Appeal: 5
Musical Abilily: 9
Originality: 6
Crowd Reaction: 8

 

When Dimebag Darrell passed away Vinnie Paul’s heart went with him.  It seems that Hellyeah are enjoying the same kind of major league breakthrough that saw Pantera catapulted into the musical spotlight as the stages they play are getting bigger and bigger. The redneck rockers are a band that’s far more than the sum of its parts. The ethos is brilliantly personified by the sheer obviousness of its name. They got the crowd very energized. Frontman Chad Gray (cool mohawk by the way!) is getting better at interacting with the crowd. Though largely enjoyable, the band’s material is very formulaic for the genre.

 

Heavy MTL 2013 Steel PantherSteel Panther 8.6

Stage Presence: 10
Sex Appeal: 10
Musical Ability: 7
Originality: 7
Crowd: 9

 

Steel panther took things to the next level in terms of debauchery! Frontman Michael Star looked surprised at the energetic crowd. The band played a rude and crude show and the fans loved it.  Some curious onlookers were just laughing-out-loud at the bands hilarious songs (Asian Hooker for example). The band made fun of each other and said they could smell all the girls pussies from the stage. They even poked fun at a black guy in crowd saying he might steal someones wallet (WOW!). They have a big Van Halen influence- Michael sounds and looks just like a young David Lee Roth.

 

Heavy MTL 2013 MegadethMegadeth 9.2

Stage Presense: 8
Image/sex appeal: 8
Musical ability: 10
Originality: 10
Crowd: 10
An impatient gang of hipsters waiting for Avenged Sevenfold didn’t stop Megadeth from unleashing their brand of speed metal. Although the band recently deserted their thrash roots on new album Super Collider, the band are still capable of shredding up metallic delights. Soon everyone was converted as the crowd soaked up every moment of it. Megadeth were on a roll fitting in killer oldies one after after another.  The classic ‘Darkest Hour’ saw the band in excellent form. Dueling solos from both Mustaine and Chris Broderick on ‘Holy Wars’ served as a perfect finale to a masterful set. I just wish the band had played more songs from Coundown To Extintion.

 

Heavy MTL 2013 BlackLabelSocietyBLS Black Label Society 9.6

Stage Presence: 10
Image/Sex Appeal:10
Musical Ability: 9
Originality: 10
Crowd Reaction: 9

 

Black Label Society entered the stage with a rush of blazing guitar work from Zakk Wylde and attitude to spare.  Newer tracks were welcomed like classic staples. The stage presence was formidable with four bodies in perpetual motion.  Zakk Wylde: BLSs shredmaster supreme took some long ass guitar solos that were not particularly welcomed as fans were there to hear the songs.  Overall, a really good show for a man that survived a blood clot in his lungs, deadly alcohol-related diseases, and being dismissed from Ozzy Osbourne – all in the same year!

 

Heavy MTL 2013 GWARGwar: 9.6

Stage Presence: 10
Image/Sex Appeal: 10
Musical Ability:8
Originality: 10
Crowd Reaction: 10
There was a palpable air of excitement at Parc Jean-Drapeau due to the fact that shock rockers Gwar were playing Heavy MTL this year. The hysteria that greeted their arrival was so overwhelming that there is no doubt that these scum-dogs of the universe were on a march to greatness. They displayed a vigorous energy through their 30 minutes set, never dropping the intensity. The crowd was worked over brilliantly by Oderus as he butchered Jesus and Hitler. Then blood sprayed from the open wounds and the crowd got the Gwar show they came to see.

By: Giancarlo Cortez
Photos courtesy of: Tim Snow

 

DAY 2

On day two I emerged into a crowd that seemed much larger than the one that gathered the previous day around this time, and as  latecomers continued to flow in, it became obvious that Sunday’s crowd was much larger than Saturdays.

Heavy MTL 2013 Finntroll

I strolled over to the Molson Canadian stage and caught the majority of Finntroll’s set.  Dressed up in Medieval garb, with Elfish ears (Or I suppose they might be Troll ears! I didn’t know Trolls had ears.) Occupying the stage at roughly the same time Gwar had the previous day, was mighty coincidental, as the two aforementioned bands were the best dressed of their respective days. Finntroll was an amusing band to watch and sounded great. Thankfully I hadn’t missed “Trollhammeren”, even though I hear the band is pretty sick of playing it. I suppose that happens anytime a group records a track that outshines the rest. I can’t imagine how tired Lemmy must be of playing “Ace Of Spades”. That bloody fire hose was at it again, soaking photographers who were only granted access to shoot from the crowd at security’s request. So, let’s recap on this a tad; Security puts expensive cameras in the crowd… and then drenches us.

Heavy MTL 2013 Amon Amarth

Before the final notes had been played on Finntroll’s set, people began merging over to the adjacent stage en masse. The Jagermeister stage was about to suffer a vicious Viking assault from Sweden’s melodic masters, Amon Amarth. What happened next was perhaps the best set of the day. Amon Amarth creates such incredible melody without sacrificing brutality and aggression in their studio albums, and outshine that live. They are imposing lads, tall and stocky, as I imagine the fabled Norsemen they mimic must have been. Despite a pair of silly bilingual signs that insisted people not participate in moshing or crowd surfing, the audience kept the security guards busy, sending wave after of wave of bodies crashing over the barricade. To my amusement, the vast majority of them were young females. There was little wonder as to why security took such delight in hosing down the delinquents. Between virtually every song, the crowd clapped with raised hands and chanted for more. Song after song, all derived with thunderous accuracy. “Father Of The Wolf”, “Death In Fire”, “Pursuit Of Vikings” and War Of The Gods” being the stand-out tracks of the day. “We’ve been on the road for seven weeks and I can’t think of a better place to end a tour than here in Montreal” proclaimed vocalist Johan Hegg, of course to mass applause.

Heavy MTL 2013 Phil Anselmo
Former Pantera front-man, Phillip Anselmo wasted no time, barging onto the stage obviously pumped up and ready to explode. I was lucky enough to have seen Pantera on three occasions, and Anselmo was always primed and set to go and despite aging a little since then, he is still the beast he was back then. Getting started with “Battalion Of One”, Anselmo and his new band, The Illegals, were devastatingly nasty — there are very, very few people that can give a vocal performance the way he can. During the bands forty-five minute set, they mostly played tracks off of The Illegals debut record, including the title track, “Walk Through Exits Only” — got to admit, I absolutely love that album title. Many of the songs off that record sound like “Great Southern Trendkill” era Pantera, especially within the vocals. Anselmo’s interaction with the crowd was as honest and often as it always was, firing off rhetoric like “The next song is the ridiculously titled Bedroom Destroyer” — he then smashed his microphone into his forehead until he bled. The last minutes of the set were kept for an homage medley to the great Pantera. When you can’t escape the shadow of the past, the way many musicians can’t, you might as well embrace it. Comprised of parts from “Domination”, “By Demons Be Driven” and “Hollow” — I was thrilled to hear Anselmo belt out those old tunes once again.

 

I skipped on August Burns Read and headed to the VIP area. I paid eight bucks for a turkey burger that tasted as if it had been cooked the day before and left out all night to dry up and suck even more. I ate the whole thing though, because I’m dumb like that. I washed that down with my pint and headed to the bathroom — I won’t describe what took place in there, but I will say that there was staff inside cleaning it and the place was immaculate. Again, I was impressed by the way the festival was kept tidy. I almost expected to get sprayed down by some hose as I washed my hands, but thankfully, that was just a figment of my over-active imagination.

Heavy MTL 2013 Machine Head

Next up was Machine Head — a band I once enjoyed, once despised, and couldn’t care much about anymore. However, they were there, and so was I, and I’m a nostalgic fool at heart. Rob Flynn knows how to work a crowd though, and at one point had them all jump up and down on command. Just before “Halo” began, Flynn addressed the audience with what I swear was the exact same, word for word statement made before they played “Halo” at Heavy MTL in 2011. “Fucking Wow! Don’t get tired on me, motherfuckers, don’t get tired Montreal. One question, do you know how to head bang?” — I suppose that’s just how they practice their set when in their jam space, but to repeat yourself for two years is a tad on the lazy side. Enjoyable for what it is, Montreal seemed to dig Machine Head.

Heavy MTL 2013 Children Of Bodom

It would seem the festivals organizers have a secret love affair with Finnish metal, bringing over no less than three bands from the region. Scandinavians know how to write music, especially metal. Amid rumors that Children Of Bodom might not be able to play due to illness, those rumors were put to rest once guitar spellbinder Alexi Laiho walked up to the microphone. He reminded me of Bam Margera for some odd reason — I think it was the hat. They began with “Transference”, before moving into tracks such as “Living Dead Beat”, “Angels Don’t Kill” and “Halo of Blood”. The crowd lapped up the million-notes-a-second style of the band. It’s no secret that these guys can shred, but I wish they would focus a little more of groove. “Do you motherfuckers want to hear some old school Bodom shit?” asked Laiho, before delving into “Silent Night, Bodom Night.”

Heavy MTL 2013 Havok - Cred: Eva Blue

Heavy MTL 2013 Havok – Cred: Eva Blue

As is the case with most festivals, there comes a time when you’re faced with the tough decision of choosing between bands playing simultaneous sets; I elected to wonder over to the Galaxie stage to catch Havok while the mighty Mastodon took to the Canadian stage. Not an easy decision, but made easier once I saw how awesome Havok were on that night. I love their approach to Thrash, and think I may have pulled something in my neck due to an overwhelming desire to head bang like a maniac. It was great to hear a large portion of tracks from the critically acclaimed “Time Is Up” album. The title track and “D.O.A”, in particular, were really fun to witness in a live setting. There is a strong party atmosphere about the band that could be felt even before they requested somebody from the audience throw some joints up on stage for them to smoke. They also played the title track to their newest record, “Unnatural Selection.” I believe Havoc were the only group to have the mosh pit divide up and face each other before dashing head on into the dreaded wall of death.
I caught the tail end of Mastodon, just in time to hear Troy Sanders ask the crowd “Are you guys saying I have a massive dong? How did you know?” Interesting. I was happy to catch “The Sparrow”, although I didn’t see much else of their set.

Heavy MTL 2013 Cryptopsy - Cred: Eva Blue

Heavy MTL 2013 Cryptopsy – Cred: Eva Blue

I headed back over to catch Montreal’s own Cryptopsy. The first thought that came to mind was that vocalist Matt McGachy’s voice really sounded deeper than I remember it being in the past. Their set sampled heavily from the classic “None So Vile” album, with some DiSalvo era tracks like “White Worms” in the mix, too. As seems to be the norm in recent times, Cryptopsy brought back former band member, Yourri Raymond, to assist McGachy in singing a few tunes. At Heavy MTL 2011, the group had Mike DiSalvo show up for a few songs and Lord Worm returned to do the same this summer at Montebello Rockfest. In a surprise move, the boys seem to be ready to completely ditch their debut record, “Blasphemy Made Flesh”. McGachy addressed the crowd, saying “This is probably the last time we’re going to play anything off this album and there are too many songs on it we want to play for you guys, so we’re going to play a medley for you. Lets do this one last fucking time.” I felt odd, like a huge piece of my early metal days had ended. I grew up on that album, quite literally. Everybody knows that a Cryptopsy set can’t end until “Phobophile” has been played, and it was the last track of the night. I spoke to drummer Flo Mournier after the set and he expressed being upset with the sound, but from where I stood, I thought they sounded fine.

The festival had one final act to give before returning to slumber for another year. Former White Zombie mastermind, Rob Zombie, has now been performing under his namesake longer than the band that propelled him to stardom, but his greatest work remains “Astro Creep“. It was a delight to hear tracks like “More Human Than Human” and “Super-Charger Heaven”, but Zombie’s performance was lackluster at best and his timing seemed well off. He wasn’t alone in having difficulties though; I am convinced the drummer was playing an entirely different song while the rest of the band were playing a cover of Metallica’s “Enter Sandman”. It was thoroughly disappointing, from an audio point of view. However, the visual, theatrical portion of the show was superb — minus the over-bearing light show. One thing for certain, be it on a stage or in a director’s chair, Zombie is an entertainer.

Despite this years attendance being just 38,000 — down about 6,000 from last year, I still had a great time. I still don’t get why A Day To Remember were on the bill and I’m still annoyed at being continuously soaked by that bloody water cannon, but on the positive side — this was a really well organized, fantastically looked-after event and I personally cannot wait for next year’s edition.

Written by Kieron Yates
Photos By: Tim Snow (*except where noted)

 

Mini Reviews DAY 2:

Heavy MTL 2013 August Burns RedAugust Burns Red: 6.0

Stage Presence: 6
Image/sex appeal: 5
Musical Ability: 6
Originality:5
Crowd Reaction: 8

 

These guys show that their years of experience help wield the crowd with an impressive excellence.  The Christian hardcore band found their place in one of the main stages of the second day of the Heavy MTL festival. Throughout their set, they showed their love for the crowd and also thanked staff and organizers alike. The crowd around me seemed unimpressed, but despite this, closer to the stage, devil horns flew high and proud. Despite all this, the songs seemed to blend with one another and I found myself wondering where one ended and the other started. Overall, I was not especially impressed.

 

Heavy MTL 2013 MastodonMastodon: 7.8

Stage Presence: 7
Image/Sex Appeal: 7
Musical Ability: 8
Originality: 9
Crowd reaction: 8

 

Sludge metal pioneers, Mastodon, brought some heavy thrash riffs to the Heavy MTL this year. An enormous crowd came to see these guys do what they do best. Did they deliver? Oh yes they did. I might not be a fan of Mastodon, but 6000-7000 people would disagree with me.  These guys know how to put on a show! I actually found myself wanting to explore and discover this band as I listened on. As far as I’m concerned, making a believer out of me is definitely a bonus. It is my opinion that if one day, Metallica decided to keep their James Hetfield style vocals, down-tune about an octave, and slow down a touch while adding more texture you’d have Mastodon. Definitely a worthwhile show.

 

Heavy MTL 2013 Machine HeadMachine Head: 8.2

Stage Presence: 8
Image/sex appeal: 8
Musical Ability: 9
Originality: 7
Crowd Reaction: 9

 

From the moment these guys hit the stage, the energy was truly palpable! The band brought a mass of paraphernalia onto the stage, decorating it in a graceful manner. “Holy fucking shit” exclaimed frontman Robb Flynn, and I have to say, he hit the nail on the head! The crowd moshed and bodies surfed as Machine Head delivered blow after blow of “pure f**king thrash metal” energy. These guys know how to bring it, and their fans  answered in due form.

 

Heavy MTL 2013 Children Of BodomChildren of Bodom: 8.2

Stage Presence: 7
Image/Sex Appeal: 7
Musical Ability: 10
Originality: 8
Crowd reaction: 9

 

In the past 7 years, I have only missed 2 Bodom shows. I’ve seen them on high points and low points. So where do they stand today? At a HUGE high! Consider two things: 1) These guys have been around for more than 15 years and 2) Frontman Alexi Laiho performed today despite the fact that he was recently hospitalized. So what does that tell you about this band? They deliver licks, riffs, solos and pick sweeps galore! Alexi still growls like a machine, delivering his death metal voice with high power. And the Hatecrew (Children of Bodom fans)? Well they respond in the only way that they knew fit: MOSHPITS AND CROWD SURFING! Oh and of course, the hatecrew gave it’s biggest deathroll yet (If you don’t know my reference, well look up the album Hate Crew Deathroll). These guys show that they have withstood the test of time, and that they are here to stay. Almost 10 years strong in, I am a proud member of that hatecrew. I found myself headbanging and yearning to be crowd-surfing just for that one band. So what shirt did I wear today? Oh only a COB 15 year tour shirt, nothing special.

 

Heavy MTL 2013 GodsmackGodsmack : 8.8

Stage Presence: 9
Image/Sex Appeal: 8
Musical Ability: 9
Originality: 9
Crowd reaction: 9

 

What can you expect from someone like Godsmack? A punch to the gut of pure musical power. And it was nothing less than a perfect performance! I saw these guys two years ago at the same concert, and they have the formula down pat. These guys are sheer talent, and the crowd ate it up. You can expect nothing short of perfection from such a powerhouse band. Even if you’re not a fan, I can guarantee that there will be something for you, especially a battle of the drums between drummer and frontman; a face-off of the gods. The quote of the night, as far as I am concerned came towards the end of their performance and it goes as follows: “Now be honest”, bellowed frontman Sully Erna – “and you won’t hurt my feelings — who is seeing us live for the first time tonight, raise your hand!” At least half the crowd raised their hand. Erna stopped cold for a split second and said exactly what I said seconds prior: “Really?! Where the fuck have you been for the past 15 years?”  Well it’s safe to say that these guys gained a few new fans at Heavy MTL this summer.

 

Heavy MTL 2013 Rob ZombieRob Zombie: 9.8

Stage Presence: 10
Image/Sex Appeal: 10
Musical Ability: 10
Originality: 10
Crowd reaction: 9

 

Simply put, Rob Zombie stole the weekend. This was by far one of the best performances, when it comes to aesthetics. As the band opened with the song Nosferatu, they came on-stage adorning costumes of vampires. The master of ceremonies bore a hat and a leather jacket with tassels, singing from the top of platform with ZOMBIE in lights. They immediately hit us with lights, sounds and pyrotechnics and they did not stop. Through the first three songs, they made quick costume changes twice, and even brought in a giant vampire/zombie machine. These guys were a bliss to watch from a visual point of view, and a joy to listen to. If you weren’t there to see it, it is truly hard for me to put it in words what these guys gave us, it was nothing short of phenomenal. The crowd? They enjoyed it just as much as me! Mr. Zombie, I am a fan.

By: Andrej Ivanov
Photos courtesy of: Tim Snow

THE SCENE

 


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