High on Fire -- Montreal, Quebec -- November 27th, 2012
Venue: La Tulipe
Opening bands: Lo-Pan, Primate
This was my 13th show in about a month. Let's say I feel pretty exhausted by this and school. Anyway, it was an excellent night, just like I expected. The opener was a bunch of fat dudes from Colombus called Lo-Pan. I had never heard of them before this, but they weren't bad. Musically, they sounded like a groove-oriented mix between Karma to Burn and Soundgarden. They had some pretty heavy/greasy guitar and bass tones, but their singer seemed like he was out of place. He had some kind of clean, epic/emotional singing reminiscent of the vocals in bands like Five Finger Death Punch (I'm not responsible for any nausea induced, sorry). I couldn't stop focusing on his voice, and weight. This guy was probably fatter than anyone in our whole province. Stupid comments aside, Lo-Pan were a good opener, but nothing I'm going to listen to seriously at home.
The show really began for me when the new hardcore punk supergroup Primate, featuring Kevin from Brutal Truth and Bill from Mastodon among others, hit the stage. They gave an extremely intense performance, grinding from song to song without any breaks. They had great energy on stage, especially Bill, who kept jumping and lifting his guitar to the sky. It was cool to see him play somthing less sophisticated than his main band and just have fun. Thus, his leads were tasty. Kevin Sharp's voice was better than ever and well complemented by the bassist's shouts. Their set was 25 minutes of pure punk crazyness executed perfectly. I believe they played the whole Draw Back a Stump EP out of order.
The final supporting band was the ever-touring Goatwhore. You guys probably know what to expect when going to see one of their shows, and last night's one sticked to the rule. The leathered and spiked band was super tight and heavy, and Ben Falgoust's performance as a vocalist and as a frontman was impeccable. This guy knows how to get a crowd moving. Getting the hipster audience of yesterday's show to mosh was an exploit for an non-headlining band, but he finally managed to do it during "Judgement of the Bleeding Crown" and their usual closer "Apocalyptic Havoc". Their setlist was focused on their latest offering, Blood for the Master, which was no problem to me, since I've enjoyed that record a lot. The only thing that sucked about their set is that an idiot douchebag in a Jagermeister shirt kept shoving and falling on random people in the crowd. He was probably drunk and/or high on something, but he surely didn't look like he was into any of the bands. After Goatwhore finished playing, he kept yelling at people, looking for a fight, and he finally got kicked out by security. Though he was funny, he brought a wierd, uncomfortable ambiance in the room and I was relieved when he went away.
Now was the time for the band I had wanted to see for a long time. I had actually seen them at Heavy MTL 2010, but the 30 minutes set in front of a clueless crowd had left me unsatisfied. It was about time they headlined here. After a pretty long pause, the Oakland trio quickly hit the stage and launched into the opening track of their new (and fucking great) record, "Serums of Liao", which was immediately followed by "Frost Hammer" from the previous one. The lightings brought a mystic, foggy look to the stage, that was perfect for High on Fire's sound. Des Kensel looked like he had some kind of blueish aura around him while he pounded the fuck out of his drumkit. Matt's voice was excellent, a lot better than in 2010. However, it felt like something was missing. Indeed, his pedals were fucking up and he couldn't get any effects. The techs managed to fix them in time for the mighty dirge that is "10,000 Years", which stepped up the game and really started the set for me. God, his tone was heavy and distorted like I've rarely heard before. It was loud as hell too. One of my friends had forgotten his earplugs and he regretted it bitterly. Although it was loud, the sound was flawless; it was one of those shows where you could wear earplugs and still hear everything clearly, without any major impact loss. Going back to Matt, he looked he was pissed off during the whole set. Quitting alcohol certainly improved his voice and tightness, but not his mood. I also noticed he kept spitting and blowing his nose; he must have caught a pretty bad cold due to the temperature here. Pretty different from California. I also have one right now, so I feel for him. Nevertheless, being sick didn't keep him from delivering one of the best performances of the year. Aside from the third song, like I mentionned before, my highlights were headbanging to "Devilution", moshing to "Rumors of War" and having my bones and brain crushed by "Madness of an Architect". The crowd was responsive, though very static up until "Rumors of War" and "Snakes for the Divine", which got the pits going. It was a beautiful night and everybody seemed to have a blast. I know I had one.
Collapse in Eternal Worth
When Steel and Bone Meet
Parasitic Scriptures of the Sacred Word
Alchemy of the Black Sun Cult
Embodiment of This Bitter Chaos
In Deathless Tradition
Beyond the Spell of Discontent
Judgement of the Bleeding Crown
An End to Nothing
To Mourn and Forever Wander Through Forgotten Doorways
High on Fire
Serums of Liao
Rumors of War
Hung, Drawn and Quartered
Madness of an Architect
Snakes for the Divine
12/18 - Neutral Milk Hotel
12/19 - GY!BE/Neurosis
12/25 - Tribunal (my band)
Last edited by VoidFlame; 11-28-2012 at 06:20 AM.