The annual punk/hardcore/metal festival presented by local promoters Blackdot takes place this weekend. What’s that? Your friends are all at Osheaga but you can’t afford it/are afraid of massive crowds/hate it with all your guts? Well this festival pretty much falls on the total opposite end of the spectrum as far as summer music festivals go.


Noothgrush + Iron Lung + Haymaker + Mammoth Grinder + AHNA @ La Sala Rossa

The opening night of Montreal punk/hardcore/metal festival Rrroooaaarrr features two shows, one at La Sala Rossa and another right across the street at Casa del Popolo. My pick for the night would have to be Oakland sludge metal band Noothgrush.

Show starts at 8 p.m., $20 at the door.


Cro-Mags + Powertrip + Enforcers + Weak Link @ Katacombes

Legends of the 80s NYC hardcore scene Cro-Mags are coming to Montreal for what promises to be a lovely afternoon performance. Also, free BBQ and drinks (while supplies last so get there early).

Show starts at 2 p.m., $20 at the door. 

Blasphemy + Black Witchery + Funebrarum + Innumerable Forms + Hellacaust + Oath @ La Sala Rossa

Blasphemy, a black metal band formed in Vancouver, released two albums in the early 90s and people are still losing their shit. They released a live album in 2001 and have been coasting heavily on their cult-fame status for quite some time. I’m not hating though, nope. I think it says a lot about a band’s influence and staying power when people are still coming out in droves to see them, especially when they haven’t released new material in 20 years.

Show starts at 9 p.m., $35 at the door.

Mental Abuse + Omegas + Long Knife + Hounds of Hate + Ajax + Wild Side @ Casa del Popolo

Mental Abuse were a highly influential 80s hardcore band from Jersey. Rumours that their vocalist, Sid Sludge, was dead had been circling around for years but he finally put them to rest by reforming the band in 2013. This guy is for real. One time, his car broke down in the Lincoln Tunnel so he abandoned it there and hopped on a bus to go hang out with his friends.

I’ll be hitting this show mostly because I never tire of watching Omegas play live and you never really know if it’ll be their last show. These guys are getting old and have moved on to bigger and better things so there’s a huge possibility that they might call it quits any day now.

Show starts at 7 p.m., $15 at the door.


Revenge + Incantation + Abyss + Sabbatory + Occult Burial + Phobocosm @ La Sala Rossa

There’s something about cold places being great spawning grounds for black metal. Revenge hail from Alberta and their sound is so extremely heavy, so brutal and downright barbaric it’s terrifying. This line from a Pitchfork review of their 2012 album Scum.Collapse.Eradication sums it up nicely: “This is black metal ground down to its ugliest, most primal essence, spat out at furious powerviolence tempos and dredged through a filthy morass of down-tuned death metal.”

Show starts at 7 p.m, $35 at the door. 

An explosion happened in downtown Toronto on Saturday night. Not a bomb, not a natural disaster of any kind, but local band METZ’s show at Lee’s Palace at midnight for NXNE. As soon as lead vocalist Alex Edkins opened his mouth, the place went wild.

METZ is a noise pop/hardcore punk band signed to Sup Pop records and since their inception in 2008, they have been steadily growing their fan base both locally in the Toronto area and abroad. Their self-titled 2012 debut release was shortlisted for the 2013 Polaris Prize.

On Saturday, I got to see what all the fuss is about firsthand. The show was revved up in every possible way. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a mosh pit as crazy as the one at this show. The entire ground level was in a flurry. People were running up on stage and diving into the crowd, often without checking to make sure there were hands to catch them first (a few were dropped, and yes, it looked rather painful).


An amp almost tipped over into the crowd when someone dove off it. Edkins brought an air of danger to the stage. A couple of times he knocked the microphone off the stand while playing wildly. Fans would rush up and replace it for him and then stage dive. He stood on the bass drum towards the end of the set (I can hear a collective of drummers gasping) for a good minute or two, and I swear a couple of times I thought he was so into the music that he was going to smash his guitar to pieces.

The intensity with which he sang and played was definitely infectious. Bassist Chris Slorach and drummer Hayden Menzies complete the band and play with as much vigor as Edkins. Menzies is reminiscent of a tattooed Animal from the Muppets with his long hair and seemingly on-the-brink-of-losing-control style. Far from it though. The band is tight and obviously well rehearsed. And they have a lot of loyal and enthusiastic fans. The place was jumpin’.

It’s comforting to know that a three-piece rock band can make great music without feeling the need to bring in additional members. There’s something special about their raw talent that I really appreciate. Plus, it’s always a blast to go to a mega energetic show and jump around.

The band is touring western Canada, the US and the UK for the rest of the summer but here’s a video to warm you up until you can catch a live show.

Photos by Chris Zacchiam see the whole album on our Facebook Page

It looks like it’s going to be a record year for Montreal summer festivals. A new punk/hardcore/post-punk festival has joined the ranks this year. RRROOOAAARRR is organized by local promoters Blackdot Presents and features over 40 bands from August 2 to 4.

There are two big shows per night featuring six bands each at Casa del Popolo and Sala Rossa as well as free aftershows and a daytime show/BBQ/record swap on Saturday at Katacombes. For a list of bands and schedule, see their Facebook event page.

A 3-day pass and tickets for individual shows are available online here or at Sonik (4050 Berri), Sound Central (4486 Coloniale), Phonopolis (207 Bernard o.), and Cheap Thrills (2044 Metcalfe). There will also be tickets at the door.

Look for a more extensive preview next week, including some music from some of my top pics.

Heavy MTL turns 5 this year and the festival has grown a lot since its first edition in 2008. This year’s edition features over 40 bands spread out over two days and three stages.

Besides all the great metal, hardcore, and rock bands you’ll get to see, the Heavy MTL team have added an exciting new event: Heavy Mania. It’s a live professional wrestling event that showcases the best men and women of Montreal’s independent wrestling scene. The event will take place August 10 and 11 at Parc Jean Drapeau. For more info, including a list of participants, click here.

Also part of the festival is The Summer Slaughter Tour taking place at Metropolis on August 9 at 3 p.m. If you can’t afford the $75 for a single day price tag for Heavy MTL, this is your opportunity to see 9 great bands, many of which have played the festival before, for the very low price of $25. Bands include Dillinger Escape Plan, Animals As Leaders, Periphery, and Norma Jean, among others. See here for more details.

Fantasia International Film Festival and Heavy MTL partner up this year to bring you DJ XL5’s Spandex Zappin’ Party taking place at the Virgin Mobile Corona Theatre on August 10 at 11:30 p.m.

If you’ve never been to a DJ XL5 Zappin’ Party, you’re in for an experience like no other. As a director for Fantasia, DJ XL5 started hosting what he called Zappin’ Parties each with a different theme. The parties are basically an audio/visual experience of extremely short, obscure clips from films, cartoons, commercials and televised events spliced together in the most hilarious fashion.


This is a separate ticketed event but one that is extremely affordable, especially if you’ve already dished out the money to buy tickets for the festival. It costs $5 for Heavy MTL ticket holders and $10 for everyone else.

Heavy MTL takes place at Parc Jean Drapeau on August 10 and 11. Check out the schedule here.