Night one of the “Two Nights of Metal” festival, hosted by Morbid Entertainment and Red Tentacle, saw an awesome turnout at Gus’ Pub last Friday night.
Kicking off the night, local progressive metal band Ear to Ear opened their set with their instrumental track, “Levitat,” followed by “Ascend,” “Collossus,” “Autolysis” and “Optica” (if these aren’t metal track titles, I don’t know what are). The band, who is Chester Long (vocals), Peter Ball (guitar), Randy Robinson (guitar), Matthew Schwartz (bass) and Alex Wrathell (drums), have a unique style which draws inspiration from a wide range of artists including metal masters like Messhugga and Pantera, experimental genius Mr. Bungle, legendary composer Frank Zappa and rockers Faith No More. The small joint began filling up quickly during their set, and by round two, Gus’ was packed.
Next up, Defective Perception. Hailing from Enfield and Halifax, Defective Perception stays true to the death metal/thrash genre. Band members are Ryan Hand (Guitar/Vocals), Matthew Francis (Bass/Vocals), Chris O’Neill (Guitar) and Colin “CJ” Atkinson (Drums). Some of the tracks featured in their set included “Feeding the Necrocist,” “Constant Manipulation” and “Shapeless Void.” The pulsating drums with heavy snares and distinct growls during their songs are broken up by melodic interludes; pulling the crowd into their heavy tunes. When talking with Francis and Atkinson they explained the rush they feel when people get into the songs and how they love Halifax’s metal scene because it’s like a community where everyone has each other’s backs.
Halifax heavy metal band PITH was next to bat, playing their self titled track “Pith,” along with “Counterinformant,” “Pervitin” and “Sexual Vivisection.” With a sound similar to Lamb Of God, Pith is Jason Vautour (guitar), Troy Kirker (bass), Brett Campaigne (vocals) and Chris Gatza (drums). As soon as these guys hit the stage, everyone who was outside piled in to hear these guys blast their most pit worthy material.
Hailing from Boucherville, Quebec, Insanitarium stole the direct opening spot on the bill. The four piece consists of William Pichette (bass/vocals), Mathieu Gelinas (guitar), Samy Ouazzani-Chahdi (guitar) and Renato Dias (drums). Meeting in college, the guys causally jammed together before forming Insanitarium. With an initial rough start resulting in a hiatus, it wasn’t until 2009 that they gave it a real go and have been only getting stronger since. Influenced by bands such as Children of Bodom, Iron Maiden and Dying Fetus, the Quebec metal heads really knew how to work the stage, igniting the sweaty atmosphere. Chatting with these guys they expressed how their love of playing shows together fuels them and this was made obvious in their energetic performance. The band got the crowd rowdy and ready for headliners, Talaymus.
From Montreal, QC, Talaymus stole the spotlight, wrapping up night one of the metal festival. Krystal Koffin (vocals), Benoît St-Jean (guitar/vocals), Dany St-Jean (bass), Jonathan Herbst (drums) and Nikolai Olekhnovitch (guitar) rocked the crowd; feeding and receiving energy to-and-from one another, all in the name of metal. Playing tracks “Sealed in Blood” and “Ravens Call to Annihilation,” the crowd began getting worked up, which is something that both St-Jean and Olekhnovitch agreed was the best part of playing a show.
“Darker Days Lie Ahead” was a quick track that shifted focus between members, showcasing their individual musical strengths. Olekhnovitch explained their jazz influence and how it adds a different technical aspect to some of their music. Track “Pride of a Viking” ties in with how Koffin describes their sound; “Black Metal Viking music.” The highlight of their set was their cover of Black Sabbath’s “Heaven and Hell,” during which time St-Jean fist pumped along to the beat, making the audience rage.
As a whole the band agreed that despite having played for ten years now and alongside many talented bands, they still do not take playing show for granted and have yet to get sick of it. St-Jean also added that playing shows isn’t about the money or being a rocker; it’s about seeing the people get pumped.
Night one of the metal fest was without a doubt a hit. The bands played tight, heavy, metal-malicious tracks, causing crazy crowd reactions and overall high spirits. Everyone in the pub seemed pumped to be there and ready for night two which promised to be full of good ol’ throw down jams.
- Kayla Bagnell