Archive for the ‘Heavy Metal’ Tag

Elephants Of Scotland and Brave the Vertigo at Nectar’s for Metal Monday March 30, 2015   Leave a comment

Nectar's photo by Tim Lewis

Nectar’s photo by Tim Lewis


It was a cool and misty evening when I walked home just after 8. I settled in restlessly and never got the boots off the feet. I slid out the door and trudged downtown. The rain had stopped but the air was full of moisture as I walked into Nectar’s and said Hello to Matthew Bryan Hagen. The lightly full room of metal heads freely gave their attention to Elephants of Scotland as the opening keyboard salvo of Endless (pt1) announced the arrival of the heavy progressive rock the Elephants do so well. The song rolled through it’s changes, and there were huge cheers as the first part concluded and eased up into the beginning of part 2. Mousetrap followed with it’s stomping verses and bright chorus. It always takes me a few listens to get to know an Elephants song, so I had a bit of a better handle on The Sun Dripped Orphans And The Wizard’s Teapot, having seen them play it last Thursday. Its dense multi-sectional runs became more of whole as I began to understand how all the pieces fit together. As much as I love their past, I’m really excited for their future. They followed with a killer super heavy A Different Machine, then scared us with another new one called Counting On A Ghost. Like Teapot, I liked it a lot more the second time around, and liked it a lot the first time I saw it. As they were the opening band, they only had a short time, so they kicked the night with the beautiful and powerful interstellar cruise that is Starboard. It was stellar and the crowd was very appreciative.

Elephants Of Scotland at Nectar's March 30 2015 pic by John M Whyte

Elephants Of Scotland at Nectar’s March 30 2015 pic by John M Whyte

Having not eaten since lunch, I grabbed some food in the break, which kept me there for the beginning of the next band, Brave the Vertigo. With two guitars, one of them singing, bass and drums, they lit into some heavy metal riffs. They had a bit of an Opeth feel when they varied songs from heavy to a more open acousticish sound, but after the Elephants careened through dozens of sections per song, Vertigo sounded a bit too straight forward. I hung out for four or five songs then took the long walk home. Puddles on the ground said it had recently rained, but I found a nice clear window for the walk. What a great night.


Vultures of Cult and Lord Silky at the Monkey House October 15, 2013   Leave a comment

I had a good time at The Monkey House last night. It’s been a while since I’ve had a good metal outing. I caught a ride with Nathan Curtis, and we arrived at quarter of 10 with Vultures of Cult onstage. Their super heavy dirge riffs seem straight forward, but had a lot of subtle time changes. It’s like you could rock into the groove, but really had to listen to see where it was going. They weren’t super fast, but were magnificently heavy. The vocals were screamed at near cookie monster level. Both guitar players shared the singing/screaming duties and the rhythm section ran through the changes with sledgehammer precision. They were really good, and I had a great time.

Lord Silky followed and kept the heaviness flowing. That and the beer. The singer, guitar, bass and drums quartet were a bit more solid metal, than the Vultures dirge and every note was an assault on the senses. Think big burly bearded men whipping the crowd into a mosh pit frenzy. PBR cans were crushed, baptizing everyone in the packed club, except those back by the pool tables. T-shirts were ripped off and thrown to the audience, and when the singer went to rip off drummer Kelly Ravin’s shirt, he yanked him across the kit. After a short rearrangement of the cymbals, they kept the rock loud and ferocious. Their set was not super long, but was a fun powerhouse of a show. What a night!!

Holy Grail, Razormaze, Amadis, Distrot at Nectar’s for Metal Monday July 8, 2013   Leave a comment

I grew up as a heavy metal fan, but over the years, metal has grown rougher and my tastes in music have widened.  I still like music loud and fast, but some of the grungy death metal, is a bit much for me.  I’m not quite sure what clued me in to this show, but I’m glad I noticed and went.   I had wanted to see Amadis again, but also saw Holy Grail listed as playing Montreal.  I hung out with Nathan a day or two before the show, and we watched a couple of videos from HG and they looked like old Priest or Maiden.

Monday was a long work day.  I almost blew it off, but Nathan called and said let’s go.  We did.  Distrot were playing when we walked in.  I’m not a fan of the cookie monster vocal, and they were using it to full effect.  Both guys who were singing (guitar and bass), and the woman singer were growling it out.  It’s a bit too bad, ‘cause otherwise, I absolutely loved the band.  They had a smooth, deeply heavy, richly textured sound.  The music was blisteringly fast, went through lots of great changes, and they were completely spot on.  I hung out by the bar, since people were dancing aggressively, but security had things well in hand and people could dance hard without bothering anyone.  Their set was short and wonderful.  If only they just sang the songs, instead of growling them.

Next up was the heavy metal band Amadis.  They are a bit over the top, but quite fun.  They were dressed to the metal 9’s with denim, leather, spiked armbands and a flying V guitar.  The bald singer seemed to be doing his best Rob Halford, and the whole set had a Judas Priest vibe.  Their usual bass player was out for the night, and they guy filling in did a great job.  He was noticeably dressed more like a Burlington musician, than a member of Amadis, but sonically, he was locked in.  Their set seemed a bit short, maybe because the fill in guy only had time to learn a few songs, or maybe it was because there were four bands on the bill.  Either way, it was a pretty good time.

After that bit of metal fantasy, things got back to real, straight up metal when Razormaze took the stage.  With a grungy bass, blistering guitars, and screamed vocals, they rocked the place to its core.  There was lots of great soloing, and the riffs were tons of fun to ride.  The set was a relentless attack, with every song a furious slice of joy.  I think they are from the Boston area, so hopefully they will come back again soon.

It has been a great night so far, but things only got better when Holy Grail hit the stage.  The twin guitars, bass, drums and singer band, reminded me of Paul Di’Anno era Iron Maiden, without even remotely sounding like a rip off.  Seeing the dark haired singer leading the band through the magnificently stunning set was pure joy.  The only song I remember them playing was Ride the Void, but really, every note of the show was exhilarating ride, to try and keep up with them.  The harmony guitars blended beauty and power.  The rhythm section pounded out the songs, and the singer’s voice was rich and strong.  They had the audience enrapt from first note to last.  Their set seemed too short, but it might have lasted forever.  Time did not matter at all when they played. 

After they wrapped up, it was time to settle up and head home.  I’m so glad I took a chance, paid $5 and saw four bands that I really liked. 

Iron Maiden Montreal July 11 2012 with Alice Cooper   Leave a comment

This picture was posted on Facebook by so I hope it’s ok to use here

Phantom of the Opera

Iron Maiden live 2012

I am a man who walks alone. Except Wednesday July 11th.. I caught a bus to Shelburne, picked up my brother and a car, and headed north to Montreal. It was a beautiful day. The drive was easy. Getting through the border was easy. There was clear sailing into Montreal, with no hold up on the Champlain Bridge. Moments later we were in and parked. We wandered around a bit, grabbed a bite and went to the show. The ticketless option I had to take when ordering tix put us in a long line. It was kind of stressful, but it went pretty quick and we were in and seated 15 minutes before showtime. Our seats were four rows above the floor and very close to the stage. The stress of waiting in line slipped away, and soon enough, it was showtime.

The lights went down and Vincent Price began reading the intro to the Black Widow. The band kicked in and Alice Cooper was wheeled out in a small staircase. He had a spider arm jacket and set off sparklers in his hands. The crowd was on fire as we sang We love him, yes we love him. The band, with three guitar players, bass, drums, and Alice, kicked it up a notch for a wicked heavy Brutal Planet, then lit the room up with Eighteen. He brought out the snake for No More Mr Nice Guy, then got the audience singing Hey Stoopid. I was a bit worried when I saw that in the setlist, but it was pretty fun live. Next up, Orianthi Panagaris, ripped out a killer guitar solo, proving girls can rock as hard as any guy. For Billion Dollar Babies, Alice had a sword full of dollars, that he shook into the audience. Alice looked both menacing, and like he was having a great time, despite the photographer who kept walking up to the band to take pictures. Alice shooed him away a few times. For Feed My Frankenstein, Alice donned the lab coat, did some experiments at the back of the stage, and a 12 foot high monster puppet came to life to wander the stage for the rest of the song. Up next, Poison rocked pretty hard, and had the audience singing. Wicked Young man followed, and it was great except that photographer came back again. Alice was sick of it, and took his mic stand and rammed it through his heart. A couple of local goons took him from the stage, but came back to make Alice pay for his sin. They grabbed him and stuffed him into the guillotine. The blade dropped as the band cranked out I Love the Dead. They finished off the song, as the executioner held Alice’s head to the audience, and then the stage went dark. Suddenly the school bell rang, and out came Alice in denim tux with a Canadians shirt underneath. Large balloons were tossed to the audience, and the band locked into Schools Out One balloon came back to the stage and Alice disintegrated it with his sword. He slashed his way through most of the rest, as the fans tossed them back to the stage. As the song slid past the second No More Pencils part, the lyrics changed to We Don’t Need No Education. The audience followed along up to the All in All It’s all Just Bricks in the Wall part. Alice brought the school back and sent it into recess. The band received a hero’s ovation as they left the stage.

After the standard 30 minute switchover, the music on the PA kicked into Doctor Doctor. The lights went down as it ended, and some heavy classical music begat Moonchild. The set was tremendous, as was Iron Maiden. Two hours of back to back to back really intense songs kept us standing and rocking all night long. We were very close to the stage and at times it was like a Janic Gers guitar clinic right in front of us. Steve Harris spend the night with something between a serious grimace and a huge smile on his face. As always, he mouthed all the words. Murray and Smith traded solos and played beautiful harmony guitar. Nicko roared on drums, and kept the pace driving all night long. The band were on fire, and so was the stage for much of the show.

The first few songs came at us fast and furious. There was not much chat in between. Moonchild set the staggering pace for the show. Can I Play with Madness had the audience screaming the chorus, the Prisoner had the classic video opening from the TV series, and rocked hard. 2 Minutes to Midnight followed and kept the audience singing loud and true. They slowed things down a bit for the beginning of Afraid to Shoot Strangers, but were at full tempo by the end. The brutal pace continued with a searing version of The Trooper. Bruce ran to our side of the stage and hung the tattered Union Jack in Gers face as he was soloing, seeming to delight and annoy him at the same time. The night turned Biblical with a reading from Revolution, and the band used massive amounts of fire on The Number of the Beast. Ken and I were sitting so close, that we could feel the heat. They dug back to the first album for Phantom of the Opera, and I was elated. I’ve had that running through my head a lot lately. It’s so great to hear Bruce sing it. For Run to the Hills, Eddie showed up as a cavalry trooper with an arrow through his head. The 12 foot caricature of their mascot brandished a sword and dueled with Janic a bit. Dave strapped on the flying V and Adrian sang a bit on Wasted Years. The audience sang a lot. Seventh Son of a Seventh Son unfolded like the beautiful epic that it is. After the heavy opening, as is slowed into the middle section, one of the candles on either side of Eddie the prophet was lit and the other was not. As Bruce finished off the lyric with “So it shall be written, so it shall be done” he pointed at the unlit candle, flicked his wrist, and up it lit. So simple, and yet, so sweet. The band brought the song through the rousing final stages and ended with fireworks exploding from the ceiling, in perfect time. That’s the rock and roll we know and love! They stayed on that album for the Clairvoyant, then slowed things down for Fear of the Dark. It built and built to a stunning height before ebbing back where it came from. We returned to the beginning with a rousing Iron Maiden, and the version of Eddie on the Seventh Son album appeared, holding his beating heart in his hand. Thank you and good night.

Of course that was not the end. The stage was black but the video screen lit up. Winston Churchill gave his speech and the band ripped into Aces High. The audience was still singing along at top voice. Going back to the Seventh Son album one final time, The Evil that Men Do kept up the punishing musical pace. Again, they reached back to the beginning for Running Free. Bruce did the band intros and periodically yelled “I’m running Free” with the audience screaming the same back to him. They wrapped it up with a bang, and brought down the lights as they left the stage. The house lights started to come up and Always Look on the Bright Side of Life started playing. What a show. What seats. What a great time.

We we went out the nearest door, and made our way to the car. We were quickly out of the parking long and on the road out of town. The was a bit of a slowdown on the Champlain bridge, but after that, it was smooth sailing home. Crossing the border went quick, and I had Ken home in Shelburne 2 hours after the show ended. Still wired, I drove home, but woke up early the next morning to bring the car back. I met Ken and my parents for breakfast, then caught a ride back into town. Through with being a car person, for now, I am a man who walks alone.

Thanks to Blammermouth for posting these videos