Archive for Heavy MTL

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 2012

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 13, 2012 by Lightning Slim

Getting True Strong and Free up in here.

Hey all, now that there’s snow on the ground here it’s probably time I got off my ass and shared some thoughts on this year’s edition of  Heavy MTL. You know, while it’s still the same year. The 2012 edition will likely be remembered as The Year It Finally Rained, and rain it did for much of the Saturday. That didn’t stop the bands, however, and it certainly didn’t stop me and my crew from getting down and especially dirty in the mud pits of Montreal.

Into the Pit! Wait no, too old, too scary! WHAA!

Big Hit: The word of the weekend was OldSkool, with both Overkill and Suicidal Tendencies absolutely laying waste to the place before a crowd that was eager to receive their 80’s thrash offering. Both bands seemed fresh and vital, with ST in particular back from the dead with a parade of rock-solid hits.

Still Cyco.

Big Miss: Marilyn Manson was an unmitigated disaster. Sloppy play, uninterested banter, poor singing. And this from a band with one of the prime stage slots, which makes it insulting,  considering there were so many small, more interesting bands working their asses off on the same weekend.  From what I’m hearing, this unprofessional behaviour has continued, as well. Slipknot was a bit auto-pilot as well, truth be told, presenting us with a lot of clown-goes-up, clown-goes-down and a distinct lack of the same chops that captivated folks back in the day.

No pictures of those loser bands. Here’s one of Overkill instead.

Great as Expected: Gojira, Kataklysm, Cannibal Corpse. Killswitch Engage had a powerful set with new/old frontman Jesse Leach, holding audience attention even at the height of the rainstorm.

Kataklysm rocks the MTL.

Pleasant Surprise: Who knew the NWOBHM was alive and well in suburban Quebec? 80’s rockers Sword put on a clinic on the third stage, putting me in mind of Grim Reaper and Mercyful Fate. Late on Saturday, Battlecross tore up the place in front a few in-the-know folks, making it feel like a private show. Very cool.

Sword. Spooky! Psychedelic! Wrinkly!

Mo’ Canada: In addition to Sword, we had more Canuck action than ever this year, with Voivod, The Agonist, Diemonds, battle of the bands winners Hollow and many more. Hell, even old chestnuts B.A.R.F. put foot to ass for our listening pleasure. The local scene is always one of my favourite things about Heavy MTL, and this year was stellar.

Hollow. Later spotted peeling off their elaborate corpse paint in the Jagermeister Hot Tub (not kidding).

Organization Bad: C’mon, guys. Let’s talk about line-up. Here are the headliners, year by year:

2008 – Iron Maiden + Motley Crue

2010 – Rob Zombie / Korn + Slayer / Megadeth

2011 – Godsmack / Disturbed + KISS / Motorhead

2012 – System of a Down / Five Finger Death Punch + Slipknot / Marilyn Manson

It’s not what I’d call a direct decline, but does show evidence of corner cutting, as did the late arriving, inaccurate, single-page “programme”. Let’s hope we can see them lure at least one Metal God here in 2013.

Organization Good: The nuts and bolts stuff seemed well in hand, with better access to drinking water,  and more (and more interesting) foods than years previous. It rained and they gave out raincoats, so that wasn’t too shabby. Heavy MTL remains the most consistently easy festival to enter in my experience, with the journey from the subway car, lining up, scanning tickets and searching bags all taking less than 15 minutes.

Mrs. Slim did say I should get outside more.

The Vibe: As always, the best in the biz. It’s what keeps us coming back. These are our people, gathered together in an easy-going place. The fact that we have such a place and that they offer a variety of bands to enjoy and complain about is something to be celebrated.

I like to think RJD sent this after the rain.

Faustian 2.0 – It Gets Worse

Posted in Album Reviews, Uncategorized with tags , , , on June 15, 2012 by Lightning Slim

With Heavy MTL 2012 approaching, I did a little bit of tweaking to this space to improve navigation and hopefully make it fun-er.

Now, under the “Narrow It Down” section on your right-hand side, I’ve sub-categorized my reviews by score. You can see what I gave a Perfect Ten and who netted a three.

I’ve also added a Twitter column – please feel free to follow me if you’re into mocking people for having awkward one-sided conversations with famous roller derby skaters and heavy metal musicians. Be gentle, I am not yet strong in the Twitter – although I hope to be up to speed by MTL time so I can do a bit of micro-blogging from the dusty pits of Parc Jean-Drapeau, and share my super-important thoughts with more than just these guys:

My crew. L to R: Slim, Fredo, AL-X, Glassbane, Bone.

 

As always, hit me up any way you like if you have kudos, review suggestions, hatin’, whatever.

See you by the track or the pit!

Deals & Steals: Century Media Lady Madness

Posted in Deals & Steals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 21, 2012 by Lightning Slim

  Grasping at straws for any linking factors here; I really just let my mind run wild on Second Spin. Wait, four of the records have female singers and are on Century Media records. That’ll make a great title, right?

All prices $US, and I paid $7.99 shipping.

Lacuna Coil – Comalies and Karmacode $7.99 apiece. Just filling in some back catalogue for one of my current favourites. These are from the Waldemar Sorychta years.

The Agonist – Lullabies for the Dormant Mind $9.99 and Once Only Imagined (free with promotion). Featuring Quebec’s premiere girly-screamo band! Weird how In This Moment have already done Heavy MTL and The Agonist haven’t, but happily that’s being rectified this year.

Cemetary – Sweetest Tragedies (free with promotion). Nice best-of compilation from a band with an eerily similar career trajectory to Sentenced.

Excessive Force – Gentle Death Remastered $7.99. The original Gentle Death had the dubious distinction of being one of the worst recorded albums from a band I liked. Fixed now!

Metallica – S&M $11.99. Because in a post-Lulu world I needed to think of better times.

And, going for a lovely $8.99, submitted without comment:

 

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”

Metalheads Speak Out at Heavy MTL 2011

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on August 9, 2011 by Lightning Slim

Cool bit of video here from Steve’s Igloo, who interviewed us at Heavy MTL for a short documentary on behalf of Blistering.com. That’s yours truly in the opening crowd narration. Also, keep your eyes peeled for a handsome group of gentlemen sitting round a table about halfway in.

The director is obviously a Godsmack fan, since that’s all we get for soundtrack despite the many degrees of heaviness on display. Still very interesting stuff and well produced:

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