Trois-Rivières Metalfest X
Dates: Friday the 15th and Saturday the 16th of October
This festival is headed in Trois-Rivières, a city about one hour and a half from Montreal. It was the festival’s 10th anniversary this year and they wanted to make it memorable so invited some of the industries heaviest hitters to fill the line-up. Trois-Rivières is split in two nights with a good 6 hours of shows each night. Usually they cover a lot of genres in those two nights and this year was no exception. The first night had the more hardcore offerings, Despised Icon headlining, where Saturday night was more death metal and featured Cannibal Corpse headlining and closing the festivities. Because this city is somewhat far from I live, I had to miss the 3 first opening bands, so each reviews is going to start with the 4th band playing. Usually at this point of the show bigger names are starting to play...
The first three bands of Friday were Unfallen, Strigampire and Divinity. Unfallen and Strigampire are totally unknown to me, so I’ll direct you to their myspace profiles (her and here) and you can check them out if you want. Divinity I knew, they are a band I had the chance to see a mere week before at a really small show in Montreal and they pleasantly surprised me then so I’m sure they put on a great show at Trois-Rivières but as I said before, I missed it .
So I finally show up on Friday night and I hear this band, right?. I’m not sure which one it is, but I know I have already heard them. I remember having a kind of strange memory associated with them but I’m not sure so I walk in, see a nice crowd of over 600 people, push my way forward to see which band it is, and to my unpleasant surprise it is none other than Urban Aliens. They’re all dressed up in a kind of long underwear, which makes me wonder if they are really a serious band. They’re not.. They’ve been going at the music thing for a few years now but probably wont go much further then they did tonight . I didn’t like most of their songs, but I can afford the complement that they are really good with the crowd.
The following band of the night was Misery Index. These guys have a lifetime pass to play at the Trois-Rivières Metalfest. They are the band that played the most at this festival and it was my second time seeing them live there, the first time being in ‘07 for the 7th edition of the Metalfest. This is the sort of band that can really crank up the crowd for the bigger names. Their songs are aggressive and fast, the perfect things for a big trash. Misery Index plays pretty well on stage, gives a good performance, but you know I can’t help but feeling that they are missing something. Like when you’re eating a really good meal but you know it lacks that certain spice or flavour to make it just right, this is the feeling I have with them. All in all, I really liked their performance and shortcoming aside, if you want something fast and aggressive this is the band you want to see.
The sixth band of the night was Mononc’ Serge and Anonymous. This group is actually more of a coalition than a real band. To put you in context, Anonymous is one of the pioneers in the trash metal from Quebec--they have been playing for over 20 years. On the other hand you have Mononc’ Serge who played bass for the pop/rock band Les Colocs, got a degree in philosophy in his spare time, and then started to sing and formed this coalition with Anonymus. So what do you get when you mix this strage marrage up? Three things; one is a lot of beer drinking, and the other is a really original band who mixes some strong riffs (not the death metal genre), some really engaging lyrics, and humoristic songs and sketches on the stage. Maybe this doesn’t sound like the ingredients for a great band but they are really incredible live. These guys have what it got to make a show memorable, especially Mononc’ Serge who’s very charismatic. Highlight of the set was during the song “l’âge de bière”, where Mononc’ Serge goes “fishing” for the most motivated audience member and then brings him on the stage to make this guy chug a beer with him. Or better yet, before another song he made the entire crowd sing Happy Birthday Grandpa (yeah, wtf?) for no reason I could see. I don’t envy Despised Icon, who was on next and had some Shaq boots to fill.
Ah, Despised Icon. This is their last tour I’ll ever see them on since they’ll be retiring after the few shows they have left. I had never had the chance to see these guys live before so I knew I wanted to stay for them. For those who don’t know Despised Icon, they are a deathcore band from Montreal. You might be asking yourself what a deathcore band is doing in a metal festival (I did). Well, this year they tried to get a variety of musical acts to fill up the line up and DI brought the crowds. One special thing about this band is their two main singers (yeah two!) who play off each other seamlessly. This is a rare thing, and I actually really appreciate it in this band. They gave a nice performance on the stage, playing aggressive stuff over aggressive stuff and the crowd went crazy. Were they surprisingly good? Yeah, really. Surprisingly good enough to surpass Mononc’ Serge and Anonymus? Not quite. They are really tight when they play but were a far cry from the best of the evening.
For the first night there was a good line-up. Especially the two last bands, they were both incredible. Misery Index was a good warmer for those two, and Urban Aliens, well... no comment. Here’s a few videos of the bands for your viewing pleasure:
Mononc’ Serge et Anonymus : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NV2aiQ0XSZc&ob=av3e
Despised Icon : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-cro_l8HLY
Misery Index : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2aBXIPZUlx4&feature=fvst
Stay tuned for part two of my review coming next week.