I woke up this morning and saw my weather app tell me that there was going to be thunderstorms today. Luckily, that was a lie. Under the somewhat cloudy sky, the bands played on. My personal highlight of the day was Metalachi playing three Iron Maiden songs in a row in their unique “Heavy Metal Mariachi” style. (Interview with them coming soon.)

But of course today was also full of some ridiculously amazing headliners too. Slash, Anthrax, and Slayer! Honestly, if you weren’t see there to experience this in all its glory, you missed out!

View this post on Instagram

Banh Mi Pork Tacos from the Grumman 78 stand!

A post shared by Forget The Box (@forgetthebox) on

View this post on Instagram

Beast in Black at #HeavyMontreal2019

A post shared by Forget The Box (@forgetthebox) on

View this post on Instagram

@dirtyhoneyband at #HeavyMontreal2019

A post shared by Forget The Box (@forgetthebox) on

Photos by Adrien G Photo

Heavy Montreal 2019 started off on one of the hottest Saturdays of the year so far. But the organizers were prepared, because there were water sprinklers literally everywhere to keep the metalheads cool. That being said, the amount of long-haired headbangers would probably also be enough for that. If you’ve ever stood in front of one such headbanger, you’ll know that their hair acts as a fan. Keep that in mind next time you attend a summer metal festival. (Or for tomorrow, if you’re already attending Heavy Montreal.)

Personally, my highlight of this Saturday was Evanescence. Amy Lee still rocks and the whole band knows how to get the crowd going. Ghost is up on the Heavy Stage as I type these words and they look… weird. I kind of get Rammstein like vibes from them? Really out there, dramatic, theatrical. Anyways, check below for all the good good Instagram content I created today. And be sure to check in tomorrow for even more Instagram content and some interviews. It’s gonna be great.

View this post on Instagram

Cancer Bats at #HeavyMontreal2019

A post shared by Forget The Box (@forgetthebox) on

Heavy Montreal 2019 is right around the corner, so metalheads all around this beautiful Heavy Metal City™ that we call Montreal are trying to figure out which bands they want to see.

Slayer? Anthrax? Evanescence? Slash? Godsmack? Skillet? I mean sure, yeah, you can go watch the bands that we all know. But this loud festival is also the perfect opportunity to expand your horizons and get to know some local rockers. So without further ado, let me bring you that horizon.

Mountain Dust

White Bluffs by Mountain Dust

Mountain Dust is basically what would happen if Ennio Morricone was a rockstar. Vocalist Brendan Mainville tells some very cool stories that have ups and downs worthy of being made into Spaghetti Westerns of their own. The music rides the waves of these lyrics, ebbing and flowing between calm clean vibrato chords and violent riffs that’ll get you moving.

Mountain Dust will be playing July 28th at 1pm on the Monster Energy APOCALYPSE Stage


Sickness Lives by Junkowl

Despite having formed in 2017, Junkowl’s first album Ravenous comes out in Fall 2019. Still, they’ve made a name for themselves in the ol’ Heavy Metal City™ with their energetic performances. And you know they have what it takes, since they won this year’s En Route Vers Heavy and literally earned their spot to perform. So technically speaking, this is gonna be an award-winning performance!

Junkowl will be playing July 28th at 1pm on the Brasseur de Montréal GARDEN Stage


Killdozer by Dopethrone

Dopethrone plays a unique Canadian genre they call slutch metal – in their words: “A foul Canadian mix of yellow snow, crackhead diarrhea, blood, tears and broken dreams.” Make of that what you will, but Dopethrone’s music is not for the faint of heart. They’re heavy, they’re angry, and there will be a heck ton of trashing.

Dopethrone will be playing July 28th, at 1:30pm on the Blabbermouth FOREST Stage.

The Great Sabatini

Still Life with Maggots by The Great Sabatini

I really like how The Great Sabatini describes themselves. “Our music is an aggressive mixture of noise rock, doom, hardcore, and metal wrapped up in a burly sludge aesthetic. All four of us handle vocal duties. We play loud, and with conviction.” Thick riffs, loud vocals, and dare I say some funny themes? (Just look at the video above.) I’m looking forward to this one.

The Great Sabatini will be playing July 28th at 3:20pm on the Brasseur de Montréal GARDEN Stage

Despised Icon

Day of Mourning by Despised Icon

Despised Icon has only one objective: to absolutely melt your face off with speedy speedy riffs and explosive blast beats. Seriously, it’s ridiculous how fast drummer Alex Pelletier can go. This is the kind of metal all those naysayers think of when they say metal music is too violent. All the more reason to check them out, if you ask me.

Despised Icon will be playing July 28th at 2:40pm on the Black Label HEAVY Stage


… And Then I Saw Blood by Kataklysm

We’re now getting into some more established bands. Kataklysm is a classic death metal band who has been around since 1991. Their latest album “Meditations” somewhat refreshes their sound, making it more melodic and… accessible, for the lack of a better word. All that is to say, whether this is the first time you’re hearing of this band or you’re a seasoned veteran, their Heavy Montreal performance is going to shred.

Kataklysm will be playing July 27th at 2:40pm on the Black Label HEAVY Stage.


La mèche est courte par Anonymus

Comme l’avait dit Rémy Belley aux commentaires de la video ci-dessus, “MÉTAL QUÉBÉCOIS TABARNAKK !!!” Mais seriously, Anonymus est le seul groupe dans cette liste qui chante en français. But of course, that’s not the only thing they have going for themselves. This 30 year-old thrash band still slaps. Their latest album “Sacrifices,” has everything that a thrash fan wants: speedy riffs, thick breakdowns, and melodic solos. Give’em a listen and then come check them out.

Anonymus will be playing July 27th at 2pm on the Monster Energy APOCALYPSE Stage

Heavy Montreal runs July 27th and 28th, tickets available through HeavyMontreal.com

Look for our coverage tomorrow and Sunday on social media and here on the site!

This week is very yellow line centered as two festivals hit Île Sainte-Hélène at the same time, I tell you the coolest (or maybe it’s the most random) thing you could do tonight and we actually mention a local band (Les Breastfeeders) amidst this sea of summer festivals.

Heavy Montreal

For anyone into the metal/hard rock scene the angry little brother of our city’s festival season Heavy Montreal takes over Parc Jean Drapeau for it’s ninth’s edition this Saturday and Sunday. Around since 2008, this fest has steadily grown in popularity and has even seen a re-branding from it’s earlier incarnation Heavy Mtl (or heavy metal!!!!) in order to hopefully gain some crossover appeal and attract fans from a wider variety of musical tastes.

A little piece of advice for the organizers: you can change the name of the fest all you want but when you book bands like Five Finger Death Punch, Disturbed, Nightwish, Killswitch Engage, Napalm Death and Hatebreed to play then who are you kidding, it’s a bloody metal show! I guess their idea of diversity is a couple of headliners that are more hard rock than metal.

For those who don’t want to leave the island or pay the rather ummmm heavy ticket prices there’s also a Heavy in the City aspect to the fest with a bunch of smaller shows and after parties you can attend for a fraction of the cost. For example on Sunday you can head down to L’Astral and check out Cult of Luna as part of the official after party.

The most interesting off site activity by far is taking place Thursday night at Concordia University where organizers Grimposium are hosting a screening of the new film Death by Metal followed by a bilingual panel discussion with members of the industry as well as the director Felipe Belalcazar.

This will be followed by the coolest thing you could possibly do tonight, a workshop on how to sing death metal vocals. That and the fact the event is totally free makes this my hands down top pick of the week!

Heavy Montreal plays Plaine Des Jeux at Parc Jean Drapeau, Saturday and Sunday, August 6th and 7th, tickets $149.50 or 275 through Heavy Montreal.

Cult of Luna play L’Astral, 305 Rue Saint-Cahterine Ouest, Sunday, August 7th, 11:45pm (Doors at 10:45pm), tickets $21.50 through Heavy Montreal.

Grimposium presents Death by Metal at Concordia University, VA114 Cinéma, 1395 René-Lévesque Ouest, Thursday August 4th, 7pm, free ($5 suggested donation)


Also taking place at Parc Jean Drapeau this Friday and Saturday will be one of our newer and more musically specific festivals, ÎleSoniq, which basically turns part of Île Sainte-Hélène into a big outdoor rave. This event is also expansive in it’s secondary options available to people who want to stay on the island of Montreal in the form of a series of afterparties.

ÎleSoniq plays Parterre du Parc Jean Drapeau, Friday and Saturday, August 5th and 6th, tickets $95 to $250 available through ÎleSoniq boxoffice.

Yellow Line Fashion Show

For those paying attention to the dates you’ll notice that on Saturday afternoon there will be an overlap of people heading to Île Sainte-Hélène for both ÎleSoniq and Heavy Montreal. The festivals are obviously separate but anyone taking the yellow line will be treated to quite a display of strikingly different fashion senses.

Les Breastfeeders + OL’ CD + Hobo Lord

For those who want a straight up kick ass rock show I suggest you head down to L’Escogriffe on Saturday where Montreal’s own Les Breastfeeders will be playing with the support of two Toronto acts OL’ CD and Hobo Lord. Take a little pinch of punk, a dash of surf, mix it with a three and a half minute garage rock song and you’ve got the recipe for the evening.

In festival season we sometimes get locked into trying to see the biggest and best international acts around. There’s nothing wrong with that but it’s important to remember there are some seriously talented local acts ready to give you their all… and for a much more affordable price.

 Les Breastfeeders, OL’ CD and Hobo Lord play L’Escogriffe, 4467 Saint-Denis, Saturday, August 6th, tickets $10.

* Featured image from Heavy Montreal 2013 by Chris Zacchia

Know a band or an artist that should be featured in Shows This Week? Maybe a show FTB should cover, too? Let us know at music@forgetthebox.net. We can’t be everywhere and can’t write about everything, but we do our best!

The closer I get to 30, the more I realize I suck. Bars, shows, social gatherings of any kind – I loathe them all. But what I’ve grown to hate most is music festivals. I look back on the days of chugging early morning 40s of Sangrila in anticipation of a day full of mosh pits and outdoor shitters, and I’m truly repulsed. The dirt I’d accumulate under my fingernails and in my nose was a sign of a day well spent. I think I’d rather get trapped in a garbage truck than experience any of that ever again.

ZAC_6519Yeah, I’m a cynic. I’m a baby. I’m no fun at all. Well, prepare to eat your words for just last weekend, I attended Heavy MTL. I’m not sure what convinced me to go. Perhaps it was the possibility of finally seeing one of my favorite weirdos, Rob Zombie, in the flesh. Perhaps it was the thought of enjoying Mastodon live again. Or maybe it was the media pass. OK, it was the media pass.

Aside from getting in for free, I didn’t know what the pass entailed. I checked in, got my bracelet and walked around the grounds. The crowd did not disappoint. Freaks, total babes and men with ponytails mingled together to form a fun, welcoming atmosphere. It didn’t seem like people were trying to one-up each other with their fashionable clothing or offensive headdresses. On that note, suck it, Osheaga.

Many of you no doubt know this but the location itself has very little grass. It’s made up of dirt, Porta Potties, some food stands and trucks, and countless hot dog wrappers flying around in the wind. Pretty simple, definitely nothing fancy. Those who spend lots of time by either stage inevitably get caked in crud. Those who prefer to watch the show from the adjacent hill sit on their sweatshirts or blankets for minimal comfort.

I was told I was allowed to go backstage so obviously, I headed over there almost immediately. Let me just say, it was so luxurious that I momentarily forgot where I was. They have wicker furniture back there, guys. With cushions! I’m talking sectional outdoor couches right by the water, with really big umbrellas in case you need a break from tanning. I bought a rum and coke in a tall can because apparently that exists and I lounged. I lounged my fucking ass off.

When I had to pee, I didn’t experience the line-ups you regular people do. I walked on the nice, green turf, around all the potted plants and flowers, and marched into a bathroom with toilets that flushed. Well, they sort of flushed. They flushed enough to impress me.

When I ate my turkey burger, I made crumbs like I always do because I’m a disgusting pig. But guess what? A guy came over right away and wiped my crumbs off the cushions. There was a designated crumb cleaner.

Rob Zombie-001The whole thing made for an almost bizarre juxtaposition. Fans who paid good money for the festival are having the time of their lives in what is essentially a shithole, and the people who got in for free are chilling, paying zero attention to the big screen broadcasting whomever is on stage. To make it even stranger, when Rob Zombie’s set ended, I went backstage again for one final beer and there was a DJ spinning house music. It made me uncomfortable.

The over the top contrast felt kind of surreal. Maybe I’m exaggerating; it’s not like Danzig walked out and started petting and feeding kitty cats. It’s not like Phil Anselmo was scolding someone for calling out his fart. Still, it’s interesting to see how the festival is enjoyed in two completely separate ways.

Photos by Chris Zacchia

Full Album here

heavy mtl signOne of the heaviest music festivals in North America happened last weekend. Mike Gwilliam and Dawn McSweeney offer their impressions of some of the acts they caught on Saturday’s edition of Heavy MTL.

Mike Gwilliam: Heavy MTL is, in my opinion, one of the best heavy metal festivals in North America and possibly the best in Canada. People from all over the world attend and with good reason. The two-day lineups have been rock solid since the festival’s birth in 2008. While this year’s line-up was criticized by many as being inferior to the previous year’s (System of a Down, Manson, Slipknot, Deftones, Killswitch Engage) the festival has stated on its Facebook page that it simply tries to get the heaviest music it can without sticking to a single genre or sub-genre of the grand entity known simply as Heavy Metal. And with that said, it didn’t disappoint.

Credo: If you see someone down, help them up.


Dawn McSweeney: All I remember is our group deciding in unison that they sucked.

MG: If you’re a fan of Disturbed, you should like Device. I had seen Disturbed live before, but David Draiman, for some reason, just lacks energy here. Sad considering he can be a very powerful and clean vocalist.


DM: These guys rocked. Great crowd interaction, charisma, energy, toe tapping goodness. I plan to hear more of these guys on purpose.

MG: I was bored during this. I got more hell out of Gwar. This was more like heck.


DM: I hate it when people get a chance in the spotlight only to prove the cliché. I was disappointed that the one chick on stage on Saturday was off key, crummy, and singing about how she “gets off on you getting on off me.” Ick. People started chanting for GWAR.

MG: I love female vocalists in bands. Doesn’t matter if it’s In This Moment, Arch Enemy or Hanzel Und Gretyl. I love female vocalists. Halestorm impressed me. Lzzy Hale’s legs were more exciting than Obey the Brave.



DM: Holy shit. I was looking forward to the spectacle, and I underestimated what I was in for. Costumes, staged assassinations, bloodbath and uh, other simulated fluids. With all that, they could’ve easily let the music fall by the wayside, but they didn’t. Theatrical, talented, worth it. I’d see them again.

MG: This was great live. Had a lot of fun watching them. I don’t think you could ever be a fan of metal and dislike watching Hitler get torn to shreds followed by Jesus being crucified with “blood” squirting all over people up front. Awesome stuff. Would love to see the reaction these guys would get if they were to bring out an Osama Bin Laden, George Bush, Justin Bieber, Prophet Muhammad or Pauline Marois in future performances. Great music too.


DM: Chill, melodic metal. Who knew.


DM: I was hoping they’d be fun and funny, and they were neither. Plus, they sucked musically. Oh, and they think it’s funny to call stuff gay, and they did a song about screwing 17 chicks in a row. And they did about 5 pointless minutes on their love of pussy. Fun fact: our group seemed oddly divided along GWAR/Steel Panther lines. I’m a GWAR girl.

MG: This was probably the most hilarious band I’ve ever seen. Steel Panther is not meant to be taken seriously. That’s why they have a song called Asian Hooker. And they even ask the audience “who likes Asian hookers?” They made fun of themselves and audience members. Talking about how big the metal scene is and then saying “look, there’s even a black guy in the audience.” You don’t go to a metal show expecting political correctness. Death to all but metal.


DM: My vote for tightest, most professional show of the day. It truly felt like Their Show rather than a short set in a mega show. I was so impressed, I Googled them on the spot, realized it’s Zakk Wylde’s band. I remained impressed, but stopped being surprised.

MG: Didn’t care for them. Went to get food. Some girl in line ordered 5 hotdogs and stuffed them into her purse. Hero.


DM: I remember them playing; they left no impression.

MG: Love Swedish metal. These guys were great. Would see them again. At The Gates were probably the most impressive band I heard at Heavy MTL. Their hard rock sound was a much needed change from the heavier droning sounds from earlier in the afternoon.


newstead heavy mtl

DM: Fronted by Jason Newsted, ex-Metallica bassist, I really dug this one. Best bass, and sexiest metal of the day. I want to hear more.


DM: What a nice bunch of dudes! They genuinely thanked the crowd for being there, acknowledging that they were playing against Danzig, and they seemed legit flattered at the turnout they got. Great energy and showmanship.


MG: What’s with these scene-core like bands who are only slightly better than Brokencyde? I’d honestly would have loved Heavy MTL to just give Steel Panther more time or someone else instead of this group. The fact they got as long as they did was silly. The sound didn’t seem right either. If these guys are bad on CD then they’re even worse live.



DM: With 42 bands playing over the weekend, and some notable folks including Ozzy’s old guitarist, it seems pretty pompous to be the one band who needed press to sign an additional photo waiver. But Megadeth did it because, well, Dave Mustaine thinks he’s special. I hoped his arrogance wouldn’t affect the performance, but between songs they played movie clips that referenced the band. It was tacky and uninspired. I was disappointed. My Official Music Man, who’s seen them 11 times now, rates this in their bottom 3 performances.

MG: I’m not a Megadeth fan, but I thought this was a good performance and should have headlined over Avenged Sevenfold. I was amused when they took shots at Avenged’s basstech. Overall, they were good. Surprised they didn’t close with “Symphony of Destruction,” but good set, good energy, and a good show.


DM: Best thing I can say about them is that their guitarist rocks and deserves a better band. The young ’uns and the girls seem to love ’em. We couldn’t bear it and bounced early.

* Photos by Jerry Gabriel and Dawn McSweeney, for more, check out the Facebook Album



Formed in January 2012, this Canadian band boasts former members of established metalcore acts Despised Icon and Blind Witness. Their debut album Young Blood displays a no-frills, straightforward approach in a genre that is flooded with bands trying to do too many fancy things. Simple and unpretentious but packs a mean punch.

Obey The Brave play Saturday, August 10 at 1 p.m. on the Molson Canadian stage. 



This is a good example of a band doing lots of fancy things but in a well-executed manner. Their 6th release to date, Elite, was released earlier this year. It features rapidly changing tempos and a machine-gun stop-and-go style built on solid melodies.

Within The Ruins play Saturday, August 10 at 2 p.m. on the Galaxie stage. 



Yes, this is the legendary NYC hardcore band. Many of the bands playing Heavy MTL owe it all to these pioneers of heavy music. Although they celebrated their 25th anniversary as a band in 2011, Sick Of It All show no signs of slowing down and are working on a new record, no release date as of yet.

Sick Of It All play Saturday, August 10 at 3:30 p.m. on the Jägermeister stage. 



This is dark, relentless deathcore at its most frightening. The members of this band do not eat food and breathe air to stay alive like the rest of us. They sustain themselves on pure rage and aggression. Possibly the most violent pit you’ll see all day.

Oceano play Saturday, August 10 at 5 p.m. on the Galaxie stage. 



They beat out over 200 applicants and 20 qualifiers for one of two winning spots at this year’s En route vers Heavy MTL, a battle of the bands that takes place over several months leading up to the festival. They effortlessly blend the traditional heavy riffs and fast drumming with electronic elements reminiscent of bands like Between the Buried and Me.

Of Temples play Sunday, August 11 at 1 p.m. on the Galaxie stage. 



This Finnish band’s music immediately makes me think of Taco Bell’s Fries Supreme: excessive, unnecessary, drowning in cheese but comforting and irresistible in its own special way.

Finntroll play Sunday, August 11 at 2:30 p.m. on the Molson Canadian stage. 



There is nothing to say about Mastodon that hasn’t already been said. They are one of the most original bands making heavy music today. Their music pushes boundaries not only in terms of playing style but also in their wacky lyrical concepts and mind-bending album art. Their live shows are a total-body experience incorporating all the senses.

Mastodon play Sunday, August 11 at 7:15 p.m. on the Molson Canadian stage.



The Ontario band released their first album not even a year ago but there’s already an international buzz around them. They are signed to Sargent House, home of Rodriguez Lopez Productions and bands like Boris, Fang Island, and Russian Circles. Indian Handcrafts are spacey, sludgey garage rock mixed with operatic, screechy guitars and a punk flavour reminiscent of Dead Kennedys.

Indian Handcrafts play Sunday, August 11 at 3 p.m. on the Galaxie stage. 

Featured photo by Susan Moss for Heavy MTL. For a complete schedule and ticket info, visit the Heavy MTL website

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.