I was pretty excited when Boris, SubRosa and The Atlas Moth (a band I really enjoyed in April when they played with The Ocean) were gonna tour together. My enjoyment was destroyed when no Montréal dates were announced but my smile came back when SubRosa decided to go up north to play a gig while on a day off. I'm freaking glad they came.
Two local bands were added to the bill, I really think a three bands gig is the best. The gig won't finish at 2 am and it's easier to truly enjoy the music delivered by every entities.
Near Grey opened the gig with their instrumental post metal compositions. I've never really liked instrumental bands except perhaps Godspeed You! Black Emperor and even though this young band was enjoyable, it didn't quite grasped me. The three songs (for around thirty minutes) they played were redundant, plodding and all similarly built but their heavy parts were pretty fun. When there's no vocals, I feel there's often something missing from the equation. Like a cheeseburger without ketchup. Their guitar tone was very cool though and I can see the fans of the genre digging them, just not my thing, you know?
6 they wish they were Pelican out of 10
Near Grey on Bandcamp
Rhino were next and I knew what to expect since they opened The Ocean's gig and they're also not my thing. I can dig their atmospheric post hardcore approach since I'm a big Cult of Luna fan but they're simply not at their level. They have two guitarists but one of them is utterly unnecessary and tries to do landscapes and endlessly play with his pedals. The other one does all the job and provides good but redundant heavy riffs border-lining on metal. But...but I just cannot stand their singer and his screamo tendencies, I don't think he's a good fit for their sound.
-10 cult points for drinking Le Trou du Diable beer without glasses like peasants.
6 hipster haircuts out of 10
Rhino on Facebook
SubRosa arrived on stage at around 10 o'clock and they totally met my expectations. It's pretty cool to see a metal band where women are the majority and even though the drummer's beard was manlier than Sean Connery's hairy chest in Dr. No, they're still only two men in the band! The two violinists (Sarah Pendleton and Kim Pack) weren't usually loud enough though but I think this was due to the venue's sound system. Nonetheless, these electric violins really managed to create vivid soundscapes complimenting the guitar skills of frontwoman Rebecca Vernon who was clad in a black dress.
They played four songs from their excellent latest album More Constant Than the Gods but not “Cosey Mo”, a song I wanted them to play but oh well, it was a solid set anyway. The twelve minutes “The Usher” being a clear highlight. They also played two songs from No Hope for the Mighty Ones.The set was about a hour long and I wish it would have been at least ninety minutes, there's something magical and ethereal to their blend of doom metal, stoner, noise, drone & folk and it's totally entrancing. The soft, intriguing vocals of Vernon were like lullabies mixed with heavy riffs and the rare harsher vocals of Pendleton and the new bassist (who was tastefully loud as fuck). Great, great band.
10 metal needs more women out of 10
SubRosa on Facebook
Thanks to Yannick Marchand for the live pictures.