Mountain Dust, Zaum & Chronolith @Turbo Haus, September 30th 2016
To end this warm month of September, I had to choose between three interesting gigs happening on the same evening. It wasn't an easy decision to make since I'm a big fan of Toronto's Demontage who were opening for DBC at the Piranha Bar and the Red Bull Academy drone gig seemed pretty attractive as well. In the end, I went with the style of music closer to my earth, doom metal. After a long commute to the south west of Montréal, I arrived in time to see the first band on the bill.
Chronolith are a fairly new local band and based on their singer, they play some form of sludge. I guess they do but they're not your usual run-of-the-mill sludge band. The guitar is fairly inventive and sometimes inflicts ethnic influenced leads with a progressive precision and the bass was quite loud with a clean and heavy sound. They're not the dirty, heroin-addicted style of sludge, they belong to the psychedelic school that Kylesa used to teach at. On some of their songs, they had a violinist who added some richness to their sound and it wasn't too dissimilar from what SubRosa are offering us. The singer was pretty generic and didn't offer much as far as stage presence is concerned but maybe he wasn't feeling well that night. Anyhow, I liked their compositions and I'm looking forward to their studio releases.
ZAUM: The duo from Moncton are about to release their second full length (once again on Sweden's I Hate Records) and they decided to do a short two dates Québec trip before going overseas to play a massive European tour. The metropolis was to first to host those two bearded gentlemen and they didn't disappoint. They opened with "Influence of the Magi" the first side of Eidolon, their new album, an extended twenty minutes track full of twists and turns before playing two older tracks. Zaum consists of drummer Chris Lewis and bassist/singer Kyle McDons and those two guys are able to convey an impressive sense of mighty power with their interesting formula. McDons is using a wide array of pedals and his abilities exceed the comprehension of mere mortals such as myself. He's also a sound engineer so he knows exactly what to do to make his project sound great. Decorated with their numerous personalized candles, the stage was blown to bits by the subtle yet captivating red lights emanating from underneath Lewis' drums and the whole setting really managed to give the necessary aura their middle-eastern influenced approach to doom metal needs. Thunderous, simple but not lo-fi, Zaum are all in and they always deliver the slow, tasteful goods.
Mountain Dust are perhaps Montréal's current best rock band and they closed the evening. I had to miss their album release gig so I really wanted to see them play their new songs live and it wasn’t disappointing. The quartet plays heavy rock with an amalgam of influences from diverse eras. You get the lap steel from the blues or country scene, the keys from the Deep Purple and the presence of guitarist/singer Brendan Mainville can recall everything from the grunge era to the early proto hard rock days of the 60s. Speaking of this decade, the band did a fantastic super heavy cover of The Doors’ “Waiting For the Sun”. The dudes are all coming from a metal or hardcore background so there’s this added heaviness to their vintage rock and it’s highly fun to hear and watch. It’s authentic without sounding like a pale copy of your dad’s record collection
Review of their debut album Nine Years