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10 Things We Learned at HEAVY MONTRÉAL 2019 at Parc Jean Drapeau [Photos & Festival Review]

Now in its tenth year, the Heavy Montréal festival took place on July 27th and 28th at Parc Jean Drapeau in Montreal. We came, we saw, we head-banged, we noshed. In celebration of a decade, here are ten things we learned at this year’s edition of the festival!

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Now in its tenth year, the Heavy Montréal festival took place on July 27th and 28th at Parc Jean Drapeau in Montreal, QC. With the renovations on the islands completed, the festival was held on the now permanent installation at Espace 67 of Parc Jean-Drapeau. Presented by Black Label, over 50 bands played four stages throughout the day. There was something for everyone, including some energetic sets from genre metal bands stemming back over 40 years.

Devin Townsend, Quiet Riot, Hatebreed, Killswitch Engage, Steel Panther, Godsmack, Evanescence, Watain, Ghost, Dirty Honey, Skálmöld, Atreyu, Fu Manchu, Corrosion Of Conformity, In This Moment, 3Teeth, Clutch, Slash and Slayer were amongst the weekend’s terrific lineup. This extravaganza of diverse artists and bands was spread out over both afternoons and evenings across three stages. More than 30,000 festival-goers attended the two-day event that went from 1:00 pm through to about 10:30 pm both days.

Anthrax receive their heavy metal hardware:

On Sunday afternoon at around 4:45 pm, the members of Anthrax were inducted into the Heavy Metal Hall of Fame in the Heavy Montréal press tent. Anthrax’s almost 40-year contributions towards the genre of metal simply cannot be denied. It was super cool to watch everyone swell towards the branded interview container as the members of the Anthrax strolled up and accepted their celebratory statues.

We came, we saw, we head-banged, we noshed. In celebration of ten years of Heavy Montréal, here are ten things we learned at this year’s edition of the festival…

01. Slayer Reigns Supreme
– How do you articulate the massive hole there will be in the metal community at the end of this year when Slayer wrap up their legendary career? With this performance marking the final Slayer performance in Quebec, fans turned out in droves for one last mosh as the legacy thrash group tore through some of their finest material one final (Canadian) time. The amount of pyro blasted off as the four members of Slayer laid waste to the Montreal crowd was truly epic. A truly ultimate ending to this tenth edition of Heavy Montréal.

02. Heavy Metal Rules!
– So says the members of Steel Panther. Currently hyping up their new album (aptly entitled Heavy Metal Rules), the band broke out their newest single “All I Wanna Do Is Fuck (Myself Tonight)” live for the very first time at Heavy Montréal. If you strip away all of the sexual innuendo, comedic self-deprecation, and their 1980’s cock-rock outfits, Steel Panther is a damn fine foursome of talented musicians. The fact that they have taken their satirical stage performances to the level of popularity they have attained is truly incredible. Their Heavy Montréal performance on the Scène de L’Apocalypse stage late Saturday afternoon was amongst the most entertaining of the weekend.

Check out Mike Bax’s live gallery of Day One at Heavy Montréal 2019:

Heavy Montréal @ Parc Jean Drapeau (Montreal, QC) on July 27, 2019

03. Heavy Metal = Kid Friendly!
– The Heavy Montréal festival is a family-friendly event; admission was free for children under ten. The Heavy Montréal Kids Zone was a real taste of metal for fans of all ages with inflatable mosh pits, arts & crafts, splash pad action, bouncy castles and lots of marvellous mini-mayhem. Keeping kids safe has definitely been made a priority so, in addition to free admission for kids under ten, this year also saw the implementation of a new “Child Pairing” system using festival-goers’ RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) bracelets. These bracelets allow families to stay closer together throughout the festival experience. The new system enables parents to digitally tether with their children by pairing their bracelets so that they can always stay connected.

This is a free service, offered by Heavy Montréal to all parents who want to register their children’s bracelets on-site at the designated info kiosk. With the registration process, valuable information can be encoded on the child’s bracelet including name, the emergency contact information of parents, and specific allergies or essential health information, accessible instantly to all security and staff on-site with a basic RFID scanner. It’s an added value that makes everyone feel that much safer and closer to their loved ones!

04. All Hail The Riff!
– Stoner rock; riff rock; doom; sludge. Call it whatever you want, it’s a genre of music with lots of fans. Fu Manchu, Corrosion Of Conformity and Clutch all performing within a few hours of each other on Sunday was indeed a thing to celebrate. Three of the most hallowed bands within their genre in one spot and patrons got to bask in second-hand smoke while banging their heads to the very best material all three groups have recorded. Clutch closed out their set with “Electric Worry” on Sunday, definitely one of the highlight moments of the weekend.

Here’s a quick official recap video of Day One at Heavy Montréal 2019:


05. Satisfaction Could Be Found on All Four Stages
– Two of the best performances we caught over the weekend were on the more intimate Scène du Jardin stage. L.A. bands Dirty Honey and 3Teeth both dropped amazing sets on Sunday. Dirty Honey’s straight-up rock n’ roll approach easily won over patrons who strolled past the stage as the band was performing. 3Teeth’s modern take on industrial music drew in enough curious patrons it became a challenge to push through the crowd to either the Scène de La Forêt stage or back towards the main stages. Both of these bands topped my list of the best sets of the weekend.

06. Improved Espace 67 Grounds and Gold Level Experiences
– The newly finished updates to the Parc Jean-Drapeau festival space proved to be well-thought-out indeed. The green space leading up to the trees has been bisected with paved pathways, leading to the very back of Espace 67. The grounds have also been updated with a metal barrier that keeps the audio experience more localized to the main stages. Special sand has been poured everywhere that prevents the accumulation of traditional mud. Many towering light fixtures are scattered throughout the grounds, enhancing safety as patrons move about the festival. These fixtures add to the visual experience of the headlining bands as they were utilized to form a grid of light-beams that gave the appearance of being caged in light.

This year, fans looking to kick-up their Heavy Montréal experience could opt to purchase a GOLD pass offering fast-lane entry onto the festival site along with access to the Casino de Montréal GOLD Terrace. The GOLD Terrace is an L-shaped, 2000 capacity, elevated platform with a premium view of the main stages, offering exclusive concessions, exclusive bars, and private premium washrooms. During Fever 333’s performance, their guitarist ended the bands set by running towards the back of the festival grounds and giving an up-close-and-personal performance in the back of the Casino de Montréal Gold Terrace.

Check out Mike Bax’s live gallery of Day Two at Heavy Montréal 2019:

Heavy Montréal @ Parc Jean Drapeau (Montreal, QC) on July 28, 2019

07. In This Moment Have Upped Their Game
– Gone are the days of lead singer Maria Brink standing centre stage in a frilly dress and heels as the band performs. In This Moment is now a pure visual spectacle, complete with stage props, wardrobe changes, and choreography, unlike anything the metal world has ever seen before. Brink and two accompanying dancers in cat masks crept about the stage and pawed at bassist Travis Johnson and rhythm guitarist Randy Weitzel as they looked into the audience. Brink performs with a head-set microphone allowing her to dance and mime atop the stage throughout the band’s performance. Every song featured something new and exciting to look at, keeping fans enraptured for their entire set. Impressive.

08. Eat It Up!
– This year’s edition saw the return of the YUL EAT Gardens. The Gardens featured four iconic Montréal restaurants: Agrikol, Street Monkeys, Foodchain and Grumman ‘78, each featuring unique décor and a large terrace, cooking signature dishes from their regular menu to the delight of hungry attendees. Lots of tasty craft beers were also on tap to fans who braved the heat lubricated enough to raise their fists under the sweltering sunny Montréal skies.

YUL EAT Well at Heavy Montréal: (Photo courtesy Trevor Lamas)

09. VIP at Heavy Montréal Equals an Unparalleled Deluxe Experience
– For fans willing to spend the extra money for a VIP experience over the weekend, they got treated like kings and queens for the weekend. A separate garden oasis behind and off to the left of the main stage offered a separate place to purchase food and drinks. VIP patrons also have access to private air-conditioned bathrooms, lounge on bean bags, hammocks, and cushioned patio furniture. A VIP after-party DJ-set both nights after the headliners were finished performed kept the party going until the wee hours of the morning. Locketgo provided private lockers with phone charging stations and ample space to jam a backpack away for the day. Locketgo offers an innovate locker system with an easy-to-use reservation system that was so simple to sign-up for and use.

10. Ghost Has Genuinely Achieved Greatness
– Ghost have very quickly transcended their way from unique bar-band to a headlining powerhouse. In the past five to six years, the band’s mystique and music have won over fans like Dave Grohl and Metallica. That support has helped to bolster Ghost very quickly towards a Grammy win in 2016 for Best Metal Performance. What fans saw on the Scène Heavy stage Saturday night was an audio-visual spectacle of an unparalleled nature. Cardinal Copia and his band of nameless ghouls led the Montréal crowd through ninety minutes of the best material from all four of Ghost’s commercial releases.

And here’s what you either saw, or missed, on Day Two of Heavy Montréal 2019:


– This tenth edition of Heavy Montréal illustrated once again that a festival curated around heavy music is both sustainable and popular. While Heavy Montréal might not draw the crowds that the Osheaga and ÎleSoniq Festivals tend to, it continues to pull enough fans from around the world to justify its existence. Given that metal is a sub-genre of music with way less radio support, the fact Heavy Montréal has made it through a decade is genuinely something to celebrate. It offers a European festival experience without having to fly to Europe. Every year, the lineup offers a wide selection of international acts, many performing the festival as their first North American shows. This year, Beast in Black and Skálmöld both played for the first time in North America, and both bands were greeted with massive crowds curious to see them live.

Heavy Metal Accoutrements: (Photo courtesy Trevor Lamas)

Features

Track-by-Track: Beyond Unbroken Discuss Some of Their Greatest Hits

Hard rock/metal band Beyond Unbroken join us for a special track-by-track rundown of some of their most notable and significant songs.

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Beyond Unbroken
Beyond Unbroken

Beyond Unbroken has proudly unleashed “The Madness” via FiXT Music. It’s a fitting title for the metal quartet’s brand-new single, released with an accompanying music video earlier this month. The clip matches the song’s intensity, a deep dive into the small pockets of our minds where our demons lurk. “The Madness” depicts a psychological struggle where the mind succumbs to manic thoughts. The prison in the video is a metaphor for this struggle and the fact that one’s mind can become its prison. With “The Madness,” the message that the band is trying to convey is that you are not alone. Pain comes, and it’s often only temporary. Facing obstacles is a part of life, and we derive strength from these experiences. We’re all in this together, and Beyond Broken wants to emphasize that.

Beyond Unbroken celebrated their tenth year together last year, originally formed between Monte and Michael Money after leaving Escape the Fate. Although “The Madness” is a very aggressive metal song, the band is not defined by one genre. They enjoy trying new sounds, mixing genres, and, in doing so, defying expectations. The Money brothers and their bandmates derive inspiration from all of life’s experiences, culminating in a hard-hitting sound widely appealing to fans of both rock and metal.

With the recent release of “The Madness,” Beyond Unbroken joins us today for a special track-by-track feature in which they expand on the stories and meanings behind some of their most notable songs.

1. “The Madness”

“Lyrically, the song deals with the negative thought patterns we sometimes find ourselves in when facing struggles such as depression and anxiety, which can have negative impacts on our mental health. The song is about finally facing and breaking through those barriers. We wanted the music to greatly relate to the impact on the potential of the mind’s destruction, from heavy, ground-shattering guitar riffs and high-octane scream vocals from Michael Money, until you are met with the blissful vocals of Monte Money on the chorus to tie it all in. We literally couldn’t be happier with how this track turned out. It’s so great we had to do it justice by complementing it with an equally crazy music video.”

2. “Blood On My Hands”

“This was the first song to debut the dynamic we wanted for Beyond Unbroken and its future sound going forward in correlation with our label FiXT. The song truly resonates with a dark nuance of a tale of the aftermath of murder, demons, drowning, and blood, literally losing one’s mind and the regret of the aftermath of it all, begging for forgiveness only to be faced and judged as the criminal at hand hears the words ringing ‘Burn It, Burn It, Down, This Is Your Hell!’ as the embodiment of the victim finally gets payback. The song’s breakdown is truly unique and heavy and does the story justice in this dark, sinister world.”

3. “Running Out of Time” (Remaster)

“The official first single off the album debut. The song defines the band’s growth with modern originality, depicting as we age how little time we truly have and how we shape our destiny. We wanted to bring up the track with a slightly new touch to signify our signature sound as a remastered version with intense drums and big, booming guitars that complement the vocals. The song is a staple of our sound.”

4. Andromida – “Break the Cycle” (feat. Beyond Unbroken)

“With ‘Break the Cycle,’ we wanted to vocalize the effect the routine of everyday life has on us. Doing the same routine day after day becomes a monotony that you never even question, but are left just sitting in silence and suffering with all these thoughts in your head. The song is about finally breaking that vicious cycle of repetitiveness. The music defies all natural law and order of the world with big, chunky guitars, screaming verses and breakdowns, and a mind-bending chorus met with a screaming metal vocal choir to really kick you out of your seat and inspire you to take action.”

5. “With or Without Me”

“In ‘With or Without Me,’ we took you into a digital world influenced by big blockbuster movies like Blade Runner 2049 and TRON: Legacy, and games like Cyberpunk 2077. We wanted the touch of mechanical machines and digital sounds to meet heavy guitar-driven choruses to really bring a big impact to today’s music. We absolutely love the track and how it resonates with all our listeners.”

6. “Falling Down + Heathens”

“2020 was the year of lockdowns and COVID-19, with everyone staying inside. We noticed a significant increase in at-home quarantine-type cover songs that began to take social media by storm. With ‘Falling Down + Heathens,’ we wanted to do more than just a cover. We aimed to create a mashup consisting of two entirely different genres of music, putting them together to make something new. The result is this masterpiece, a song that truly unleashes Monte Money and Michael Money’s capabilities without any restrictions. The monstrous dueling guitar solos leave listeners hitting the repeat button. We never imagined that the song would end up being one of Beyond Unbroken’s greatest releases to date. We are truly thankful for every one of you who contributed to its success.”

Beyond Unbroken “The Madness” single artwork

Beyond Unbroken “The Madness” single artwork

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Alternative/Rock

OSHEAGA Music and Arts Festival Returns with Powerhouse 2024 Lineup

OSHEAGA Music and Arts Festival dropped an unbelievably impressive lineup for their 2024 edition this week.

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OSHEAGA 2024

The OSHEAGA Music and Arts Festival dropped an unbelievably impressive lineup for their 2024 edition this week. The 17th edition of the festival will take place from August 2nd to 4th, at Parc Jean-Drapeau on Île Saint-Hélène, close to downtown Montréal. Headliners include SZA, Green Day, and Noah Kahan setting the tone for a diverse exhibition that is sure to appeal to the masses.

Representation is present for all genres at this year’s fest. Rock is covered by old-school legends Rancid, LA rockers The Linda Lindas, ’90s indie favourites Sleater-Kinney, and grunge icons The Smashing Pumpkins. R&B will be backed by hip-hop pioneer T-Pain, as well as Tyla, Ayra Starr, and Michaël Brun. Pop is represented by Mean Girls powerhouse Reneé Rapp, Euphoria star Dominic Fike, and alt-pop phenom Melanie Martinez. Indie will be covered by Irish musician Hozier and this generation’s Elvis, Stephen Sanchez. EDM will be showcased with sets by world-class producers like Martin Garrix and Labrinth.

If you’re someone who enjoys all types of music, this year’s OSHEAGA is a can’t-miss event. The lineup easily competes for the best of 2024. Tickets are on sale 2/21 for 3-day passes and 2/23 for single-day passes. Prices are as follows:

GENERAL ADMISSION TICKET / SINGLE-DAY: starting at $165 CAD
GENERAL ADMISSION TICKET / 3-DAY: starting at $395 CAD
CASINO DE MONTRÉAL GOLD TICKET / SINGLE-DAY: starting at $320 CAD
CASINO DE MONTRÉAL GOLD TICKET / 3 DAYS: starting at $745 CAD

PLATINUM TICKET / SINGLE-DAY: starting at $685 CAD
PLATINUM TICKET / 3 DAYS: starting at $1,620 CAD

Get your tickets while they last!

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Indie

J.MYSTERY Releases His Pure and Earnest Single “Everlasting Love”

J.MYSTERY drops his latest single, “Everlasting Love,” which takes all the emotion and heart of his sound and pours it into something pure.

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J.MYSTERY
J.MYSTERY

The name of Portuguese singer-songwriter J.MYSTERY has grown synonymous with high-quality and emotionally resonant sounds that strike something deep within listeners, amplified by the artist’s magnetic performances and enigmatic, distinctive presence. J.MYSTERY’s latest single, “Everlasting Love,” takes all of the emotion and heart of his sound and pours it into something that feels pure and earnest, evoking the spirit and euphoria of a new relationship and the wonder and optimism that comes with it.

These thoughts and feelings are captured as much through the artist’s delivery and soundscape as it does in his lyrics, creating an atmosphere and feel that is full of hope and dreams and visions of a brighter future.

J.MYSTERY says of the track:

“I wrote ‘Everlasting Love’ thinking of the early stages of a relationship when you want to know more about the person next to you, and you start planning for the future because you know there’s something unique, something worth fighting for. Everlasting love.”

There is an engrossing charm and vulnerability to this sound that reinforces this statement and makes for a raw and easily identifiable ode to the most sincere form of love.

While the exciting artist has made a name for himself over the last few years as a unique and boundary-pushing talent, doing things his way and carving out a unique path and vision, it is the more human and emotional side that has cemented his growing following. This new release sees him continue to open up and bare his soul while maintaining a level of intrigue and mystique through his otherworldly atmospheric style. “Everlasting Love” is out January 26th.

J.MYSTERY “Everlasting Love” single artwork

J.MYSTERY “Everlasting Love” single artwork

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