Revocation -- Montreal, Quebec -- November 14th, 2012
Venue: Foufounes Électriques
Opening bands: Exalt, A Sight for Sewn Eyes, Forbidden Sin
I have studying to do, so I'll go through this very quickly.
For some reason, the show promoter decided to add three of the lame local bands they book on half of their shows before the touring bands. I couldn't make it to the venue on time, so I missed all of them and got there right in time for KEN mode. I chatted with some of my friends there and went to the Revocation merch booth, where Phil Dubois handed me a copy of the new EP. What Scion does is pretty cool: they only ask to have their logo on the album cover and on the tour poster and they finance the whole thing. I don't know if it really helps them selling any cars, but whatever, if it helps the bands, you won't hear me complaining!
Not so long after that, it was time for the Winnipeg power trio KEN mode to start. They were the main reason why I came out to this concert; I've discovered their post-hardcore/noise rock/sludgy masterpiece Venerable, released on Profound Lore Records and winner of the hard rock/metal album of ther years at the Juno awards in 2011, a few weeks ago, and I immediately knew I could not miss them. They only had half an hour to play, but they still gave one of the most intense, bone-crushingly heavy and dissonant (for one song they even had two basses, one playing the rhythmic riffs, while the other was playing atonal leads) performances of the year. They communicated a lot with the crowd physically. You could feel the vocalist/guitarist's rage through his screams and his crazed facial expressions. The atmosphere was really dark too, the only sources of light were two lamps on stage. Most people didn't seem to know them, but they totally killed it and I almost broke my neck. I talked with the frontman after their set, and he told me they were making a new record and that they would embark on a headlining tour in march. I'm already stoked for it. To encourage them and for my own pleasure, I've bought all four of their records after the show.
Next to play were the Philly grove metallers A Life Once Lost. I remember listening to their album Hunter when I was in my second year of secondary school (8th grade for you Americans) and quite liking it, but I had stopped following the band since then. I picked back up on them with their newest release, Ecstatic Trance, which I found to be pretty good. They integrated more Meshuggah-influenced polyrhythms and more epic/space layered guitar riffs. An excellent album, but it didn't translate as well as I would have liked it to be into its live incarnation. First of all, the lead guitar was way too loud and it buried the grooves. Don't get me wrong, the leads were fine, but with the live mixed, they felt detached - they didn't blend as well with the rest of the music as they do in the studio versions of the songs. Also, every song they played, except the final one, was taken from the new record. A little bit more variety would have brought more dynamism to their set, I believe. Bad aspects apart, A Life Once Lost gave a very good performance. They were heavy and the vocals were great. The light show was pretty cool too. They had four bulb pannels that flashed throughout their set. These, added to the amazing job of the lights guy, created some kind of fun psychedelic ambiance in the room. My highlight of their set was the last tune they played: "With Pitiless Blows" from Hunter. Heavy as hell.
Finally, it was time for the headliners. I've never been a huge fan of Revocation's sound (though after this, I think I'll listen to their albums a bit more), but I've always found their riffs to be fun and entertaining. Their performance perfectly reflected these two aspects. Even though the venue was half empty, they managed to get decent crowd participation and frequent pits, which were tremendously fun. Everyone was there to have a good (and violent) time, and it showed. David Davidson's amazing frontmanship sure helped: he knows how to get a crowd moving and his speeches between the songs are particularly funny and entertaining. Speaking of the songs, their choices were very good. The songs they picked were varied and placed in an order that made sure you never got bored. The new songs sounded great live, especially "Maniacally Unleashed". I hadn't seen these New England guys since 2009, and it felt great to have them back here. The long interval between the two times when I've seen them also made me realize how much they've improved technically. Phil's drumming was stunning, and so were the guitarists' mastery of the songs and solos. Having two guitars now obliviously makes them heavier and more hard-hitting. They went through personnel changes recently, but it didn't harm their performance by any means. They still had great band chemistry and the new bassist did an impressive job. Dan Gargiulo also picked up most of Anthony Buda's vocal lines and nailed them perfectly. I couldn't even tell it was a different voice. Great, efficient performance by Revocation. Even though I was more excited to see the openers, I have to admit they were the kings for that night.
KEN mode (partial)
Book of Muscle
A Life Once Lost
Madness Is God
I Sit Ill
I See, I Hear
With Pitiless Blows
Conjuring the Cataclysm
Bound by Desire
Dismantle the Dictator
Across Forests and Fjords
The Grip Tightens
Empire of the Obscene
8/6 - SubRosa
Last edited by VoidFlame; 11-15-2012 at 07:02 AM.