People often look at me with an expression of disbelief when I tell them that metal music is all about love. I got further proof of that when I attended the ‘Crusty Cross Canada Cruise’ tour featuring Calgary’s Detherous, and Widow’s Peak, as well as Montreal’s own BornBroken. I got to the show early and had the chance to talk to everybody before the concert. The three bands had only love for one another, the scene and most importantly, the music. And the icing on the cake was that the show took place at L’Escogriffe Bar, one of my favorite venue in Montreal.
Detherous were first and they did not disappoint. Even if the bar was a bit empty at that time, they played a high energy set that mixed death metal’s aggressive energy with the grooves of trash metal riffs. Damon McDonald, their lead singer, was imposing behind the microphone, but still cracked jokes in a playful manner between songs. Many members of Widow’s Peak watched their performance from the front row and you could clearly see the camaraderie between the two bands. They also had a good amount of fun between them and drummer Dimitri Larose playfully called the songs as if they were making up the setlist as they went. They won me over easily, but now our attention turned to Widow’s Peak.
I had previously listened to their excellent EP ‘Graceless’ and I was very curious to see how they would sound live. If you like technical metal, you will love Widow’s Peak. For me, they are the death metal equivalent of Protest the Hero: Original, brutal, full of melodies and with that little something that makes me love a band. If you want to give them a chance, head to their Bandcamp page and crank the volume as loud as you can. When I had stopped at their merch table earlier, their guitarist Scott Cressman confessed that they were mostly going to be playing new songs. Not long after, their lead singer Matt Yeomans grabbed me by the shoulder and gave me one of their stickers, complimented me on my ‘Get the Shot’ hoodie and personally thanked me for coming to the gig. They both told me about their plan to record their debut full-length album as soon as possible. They had no idea that I was there to review the show: they were simply nice guys that liked to talk about music and what bands they liked. There was also a strong contingent from the family of Patricio Paulsen, their drummer. From what I understood, he is originally from the area and they all showed up to see him perform. Their music is definitely not for everyone but that didn’t stop them from smiling and clapping between each song. As I said, love was plentiful in the room.
After playing two tracks out of ‘Graceless’ they dived into the new material and the concert’s energy went up to eleven. Their new stuff is darker, more melodic and definitely epic. One song in particular grabbed my attention: it featured multiple solos and tempo transitions, and could easily be described as progressive metal. I cannot wait to hear it again. Lead guitarist Chris McCrimmon’s skills were very impressive and Mike John was also great on bass. After the show, I thanked Paulsen for the incredible performance and I was surprised to discover that his French was excellent. It was their first time performing in Montreal but I can guarantee you that it won’t be the last.
BornBroken were up next and without much of a surprise they were awesome. Normally a five-piece band they were playing as a trio and it didn’t even slow them down. Lead guitarist Mike Decker told me: “The show must go on. On voulait continuer à jouer donc on s’est arrangé pour.’’ It’s with that kind of passion that they took the stage. The insane vocals of Pepe Waitforit mixed superbly well with the guitar solos. The played multiple tracks out of their critically acclaimed album ‘The Years of Harsh Truths and Little Lies’ and it sounded just like the record. If you are a fan of Lamb of God, definitely check them out; I for sure will try to catch them at their next gig in Montreal. At the end of the concert Decker told the crowd to go and buy the other bands’ merch instead of theirs. “They need the money. A t-shirt for you means food for them. Please don’t buy our stuff, they need it more.’’ he declared with a big smile. I left the venue happy and with the feeling that I had met new friends. This gig was truly something special.
Detherous Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/detherous
Detherous Bandcamp: https://detherous.bandcamp.com
Widow’s Peak Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/widowspeakdm
Widow’s Peak Bandcamp: https://wpdm.bandcamp.com/releases