Archive for Blackguard

Preview: Heavy MTL 2013

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 7, 2013 by Lightning Slim

And so the pilgrimage is set to begin again. Heavy MTL 2013 will (hopefully) be a good time that will rinse out the bad taste of encroaching cheapness that has overtaken the show of late. Main sponsor has switched from Budweiser to Molson Canadian, which is a bit like telling a captive that flogging has been discontinued in favour of foot-sole beatings.

Also, remember these?

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The beautiful holographic VIP passes and lanyards that have been a cool feature of the MTL experience are now gone. Paper tickets only. Wonder how MUNG those are going to get when we have to show them to security every time we want to get into the seating area? Also likely gone is any sort of physical schedule, which was slowly eroded from a full magazine/brochure until last year it was a single flyer, inaccurate and delivered late in the day.

For the first time, MTL has offered its own dedicated accommodation package; a set of rooms at the New Residence of McGill University (the building itself is a former 4-star hotel). This could either be the best decision we’ve ever made or the worst, as it is inexpensive and convenient, and populated entirely with heavy metal maniacs. You see the double edge of the sword here, no?

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Now, for the schedule. Here’s Saturday:

Sat Schedule

 

Although I’m a little sad that A7X takes pride of place over Megadeth, I totally get it. Dudes are old and tired. Not as successful as Metallica or grass-roots respected as Testament. Plus, Dave Mustaine is like three seconds away from pulling his pants up to his armpits and turning into cranky old Republican Clint Eastwood. Thing is, Eastwood has always been a “good guy with a gun”, and never wrote “Hook In Mouth” or covered “Anarchy in the UK”.  My crew will be hanging with Wintersun anyways.

Why are we forced to decide between GWAR and Blackguard while Halestorm is in the free and clear? Grr. Ah well, I can’t resist seeing what the inconsistent Antarcticans* can come up with in a festival setting.

Similarly, it hurts me that I have to run from interesting proggers Baroness to see a few minutes of jaunty, parodic Steel Panther.

Sorry, Newsted. A reformed At The Gates takes it. And a possible train wreck reunion of Danzig and Doyle is way more fun than All Shall Perish.

How about Sunday?

Schedule Sun

No interruptions to the silly fun of Huntress! Or Finntroll! Or the-real-reason-everyone-is-here Amon Amarth! Me likey.

Then there’s some time for a Dagwood sandwich, some people watching and a bit of a nap before Machine Head.

Thrash newcomers Havok would be in trouble if both Mastodon and Children of Bodom hadn’t played Canada 150 times in the past decade. I swear I’ve seen Mastodon more than the Dayglo Abortions, and it’s well-known the Dayglos will play your living room for $200 and a pizza if you can track them down. Looking forward to it, Havok!

While I actually enjoyed the mellow vibe Godsmack brought to their last appearance at MTL, I don’t need it again. Certainly not at the expense of missing Cryptopsy.

Zombie is never bad live – let’s hope he keeps his record strong.

 

Will report back afterwards, of course! Check my Twitter feed for on-the-day shenanigans!

 

* I love GWAR, but they can’t self-edit. Every record (excepting the first two) has at least one excruciatingly bad track on it. I made a “worst of” playlist and discovered they could play an hour long full set of filler.

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Wrap-Up: Heavy MTL 2011

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 17, 2011 by Lightning Slim

Heavy MTL 2011 - They apparently added a hint of FLQ, but I couldn't taste it.

With the next Heavy MTL now scheduled for August of 2012, I feel as though a collective sigh of relief has gone through the metal community, and it’s about damn time I posted some pics and memories from the summer. Here are some highlights:

Big Hit: My name is Slim, and I am now a big believer in the KISS experience. What can I say? The boys are a finely tuned entertainment machine. Everyone gets their money’s worth, paid back in pure spectacle and goofy, irony-free singalongs.

There's something I've been wanting to do all night. Possibly every day. Shit, what was it?

 On a smaller scale, Devildriver is definitely coming into their own – they rocked a hard set for an appreciative group of fans, many of whom were obviously there specifically to see them.

Big Miss: The Sword. Blame it on Canada Customs, blame it on bad border crossing paperwork, use the blamethrower all you like. You weren’t there, and it hurts the fans far more than it hurts you. What’s that? Touring with Kyuss a month later? Any special love for me with my MTL ticket? Guys?

Great as Expected: Motorhead (duh). Amazing as always for a cross-generational audience. There was also a buzz in the air as a re-Belladonna’d Anthrax took to the stage, and they did not disappoint with either old or new material.

Pleasant Surprises: Oldies but Goodies! Girlschool was cheerful, witty and a lot of fun, and Diamond Head was an absolute time-machine revelation. Very nice gents to meet, as well. Younger fishes-out-of-water Billy Talent made the most of a chillaxed and generous Montreal crowd to win a few hearts and minds by keeping a sense of humour about their deeply inappropriate presence amongst much harder acts.

Mo’ Canada: Quebec’s Blackguard seemed glad to bring  the speedy pain on the same bill as their heroes Children of Bodom, and Annihilator pulled Alexi Laiho himself out onstage to join them for a song or two. Good on you, Annihilator fans, for mounting the Facebook campaign to get them to the show in the first place.

Note the Habs logo on Laiho. Clever man!

Organization Bad: If you’re listening, Evenko: WE NEED AN AWNING FOR THE GRANDSTAND. I love things blacker than the darkest black times infinity, except if we’re talking about my sun-charred flesh. Some shade for us hallpass kids would be the cherry on the top of your already well-regarded VIP package.

Tasty, but ultimately ill-advised remedy for the giant hot thing in the sky.

Organization Good: Although the three-stage arrangement still led to a lot of running back and forth and missed moments, the sequestering of the third stage in a separate area (in a cool forest, no less!) meant at least the bands did not have to deal with sound bleeding between acts. Cooler, more diverse merch this time around as well, including giant belt buckles (a personal weakness).

The Vibe: Awesome as usual. Friendly people, a culturally rich city and tons of metal. The press were on hand, as well as some bloggers and amateur filmmakers. The feeling in the air was that if we can keep the momentum going it could really become a reliable summer festival.

A very refreshed young gentleman having his picture taken with who he thinks are Rob Zombie and Kerry King.

That’s it for 2011! Now the speculation games begin. Who will headline 2012? Will it have anything to do with a certain group of geezers and their announcement on Nigel Tufnel Day? I know I can’t wait to dissect and examine all the possibilities.  \m/ \m/! 

What metal hath joined, let no man put asunder.

 

Album Review – Blackguard “Firefight” 2011

Posted in Album Reviews, Sevens to Nines with tags , , , , , , , on September 27, 2011 by Lightning Slim

   Blackguard* wear their Children of Bodom influences proudly and prominently on Firefight, with an often frenetic race between the guitar leads and a keyboard that wants to get in on that speedy riffing action. These French Canadian power/death merchants craft a piece of flattery so accurate it could be the missing CoB record, occasionally with a vitality that outshines their Finnish muses. There’s also a bit more industrial clank and gothy ambience to the orchestral sections, perhaps a legacy of the band’s beginnings as no-frills black metal outfit Profugus Mortis.

The speed never threatens Dragonforce, and the anger doesn’t have a patch on One Man Army. Rather, Firefight treads a pleasant if derivative middle path. There’s nothing specifically new here, but it’s well put together and easily digestible. You can up my score if you’re big into Bodom, for you folks it’s almost a must-have. 7 out of 10 

*I wonder if they pronounce it all oldey-timey like “Blaggard”

Deals and Steals: All You Need is Cash

Posted in Deals & Steals with tags , , , , , , , , on September 7, 2011 by Lightning Slim

  Deals and Steals goes a bit country this time out, with a whole lot of the Man in Black with just a bit of blackened metal. All prices $US, shipping was $6.99.

 Johnny Cash – American Recordings, Unchained, The Man Comes Around, A Hundred Highways, Ain’t No Grave. Otherwise known as the entire American Series, collectively purchased at Second Spin for $32.96. The only missing title, American III: Solitary Man, showed up at The Beat Goes On for me the same week for $9.99. Cash’s late-period tales of retribution, regret and redemption are a must-have for anyone even mildly curious about this fascinating musician.

Also headed my way this month:

  Skeletonwitch – Beyond the Permafrost and Breathing the Fire, $7.99 for the pair. Deathly fun with serious riff chops. Have you seen this amazing artwork before?

Blackguard – Firefight $7.99. French Canada’s fast n’ frilly response to Children of Bodom. They put on a heck of a set at Heavy MTL 2011.

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