Monday, 18 May 2015

Ufomammut, Usnea + Tunguska Mammoth and Show of Bedlam, May 17th 2015 @Bar Le Ritz PDB in Montréal

On this warm Sunday evening, the metal fans of Montréal and its surrounding all met on Jean-Talon boulevard for a night of doom of epic proportions. It was my second evening in a row at this cool venue after the excellent gig of Chilean psychedelic rockers Follakzoid but this time, it was jam packed. The Farnham and Trou du Diable beers were cold as ice and managed to put everyone in a good mood. Even though it would had been nice to get Sons of Otis on the lineup (they played the Toronto gig the night before), we got two legit Montréal based openers.

Show of Bedlam are one of the favorite local opener for metal gigs in Montréal these days, I've seen them several times including a great performance back in March when they opened for Enslaved and Yob but it's always cool to see them again. Their debut full length (initially released in 2012) was recently reissued by PRC so I grabbed a copy (5 bucks!). The band is working on a new album and their live performances got tighter and better than before, their blend of stoner, sludge, doom, noise or post-hardcore is interesting, intense and original. It's like a mix of Neurosis and Swans! Paulina's stage antics are always frivolous, spastic and insane, she's a pretty cool frontwoman. They always use some strange projections (including some grinding teeth or weird nature images) and this is really adding another layer to their live presentation. Kudos to the many promoters putting them on their bills, they're always worth it.

8 /10
Check them out: Facebook

Tunguska Mammoth were the second local openers and their name was more than adequate to be on this bill! I've seen them before so I know what to expect. The quartet plays a form of stoner/sludge with semi harsh vocals. They mix Mastodon and High On Fire into a coherent and catchy mix and are somewhat similar to bands like Red Fang. They played a new composition and it sounded better than their debut album, a bit more original too. I think they rely a bit too much on simple riff progression to unnecessarily stretch some of their songs but overall, it's enjoyable and groovy enough to keep the ball rolling. It's not a style I really dig these days but it's well done and there's not a lot of Montréal bands playing these styles so they're definitely an appreciable bonus when they open for international bands.

Check them out: Mammothbook

Usnea from Portland, Oregon is currently touring North America with Ufomammut and they were an appropriate choice since they're crushingly heavy. Their blend of funeral doom, doom/stoner, doom/deathwith some slight black metal overtones (especially in the vocals) is quite good and even though they're all over the place musically, their long compositions work fine. The band also slight psych and spacey influences and it gives them an entrancing atmosphere. Their dual vocal approach is also quite fun, Justin Cory (guitars) handles the high, screeching black metal ones while Joel Williams (bass) handles the deep, cavernous ones typically used by funeral doom bands. Excellent band.


Picture taken on Ufomammut's Facebook page.

Ufomammut were the definite “pièce de résistance” of the evening. I've been following these guys for a while and I was anxious to see them for their first Montréal gig. The band played Victoriaville (the FIMAV festival) last year as their sole North American gig and being a broke soul, I couldn't attend this show. I was expecting the band to be truly heavy but damn, they exceeded my expectations. The Italian trio are masters of psychedelic doom/stoner, they're the real deal. Massive riffs, an elephantine bass tone, slow but thundering drums and buried but fuzzy and hallucinatory vocals.

Bands often use a projector as a way to add something to their performance, the aforementioned Show of Bedlam do it and I really liked The Ocean's videos. Ufomammut, on the other hand, integrates the projector so effortlessly that it's like a fourth member. The band is also a visual art collective under the name Malleus (they handle all their artwork) and it shows. They have a perfect control on how they present themselves and that's yet another proof that they're a terrific band. During their ninety (??? I've lost track of time, to be fair), they used a wide variety of psychedelic visualizations ranging from stalactites to mysterious priests and intense volcanic flames. It's really well done and fits their heavier than thou music like a glove.

The trio played their whole new album “Ecate”, it was enjoyable and mesmerizing. They have a pretty good discography without any truly flawed albums but it's fun to hear a veteran band play their new material so convincingly. They came back from a short break after the album and played some older material like Stigma from “Idolum”. I'm not quite of the other trackssure since I was completely out of energy near the end, they really drained me in the best way possible.

Ufomammut were one of the most spectacular bands I've ever seen, this set goes directly in my top five of all time. I doubt I'll see a heavier band this year.


Since I don't have a great camera and can't call myself a great photograph, you can use these two wonderful articles.

2 pictures, credit goes to Amarilys Way:

Vita of Ufommamut

Urlo, Ufomammut

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