Heavy MTL 2012
Parc Jean Drapeau, Montreal, Quebec
August 11 and 12th
Review and photos by Monika Deviat
This year Metal-Rules.com ventured to Parc Jean Drapeau in Montreal, Quebec for Heavy MTL 2012. The two day festival occurring over August 11 and 12th, was set up on the beautiful island park in the St Lawrence River. There were three stages running almost non-stop: the Heavy MTL and Jagermeister stages side by side and the Apocalypse stage set a bit further back in the park. This year it wasn’t the headliners that drew us to the festival (besides Voivod’s headlining set on Sunday night on the Apocalypse stage during the same time as Slipknot), but it was the bands a bit lower on the bill that had us attending the festival. A big draw was the fact that Heavy MTL assimilated the Summer Slaughter Tour and Kataklysm’s “The Iron Will Tour” into the weekend.
Even with the Apocalypse stage running bands at the same time as either the Heavy MTL or Jagermeister stages we were able to photograph all the bands we were actually interested in, checked out a couple new bands and watched brief moments of a few sets that we really could have done without. Merchandise for all the bands was selling out quickly both days. The assortment of food vendors had everything from corn, fruit, poutine and the usual hot dogs and pizza. Over the two days tens of thousands of people came to Heavy MTL to take in a festival not unlike what you might get in Europe.
DAY 1 – Saturday
The first band of the day was Toronto’s hard rockers, Diemonds. They played a tight set, with lots of catchy choruses and the songs were full of energy with just an overall stellar classic rock feel.
We went from hard rock to the first real metal band of the day for us, Job For A Cowboy. While still early in the day, the band had a sizable audience accumulating in front of the stage. They pulled off a strong set even with some sound issues right at the beginning.
Dark Century won Heavy MTL’s battle of the bands and scored a spot on the festivals line-up. The five-piece death metallers from Montreal had a solid following come out to see their set.
Grindcore band Exhumed was next on our list. They started off with “All Guts, No Glory” setting an unrelenting pace for the rest of their thirty minute set.
Kataklysm, the headliners of “The Iron Will Tour” encouraged their fellow Canadians in the crowd to be louder and rowdier in the pit. With songs like “Crippled and Broken” and “Push the Venom”, a furious mosh pit was delivered.
Fleshgod Apocalypse played a tight set but their symphonic influenced style of death metal was bit odd to experience outdoors in the middle of the day. Even so, in their tattered tuxes and dirt smeared visages, Fleshgod Apocalypse played aggressively and dramatically, making for an intense experience and we were reluctant to leave their set early to go shoot the next band that started in the middle of their set.
With the skies darkening over the Heavy MTL stage, Cannibal Corpse brought their unrelenting and graphical assault to the festival. Opening with “Demented Aggression” the onslaught of windmills, brutal riffs and beats didn’t let up. In typical fashion, after “Hammer Smash Face” Fisher announced to the crowd, “Did I say that was the last song? I lied.” And the band of course closed with “Stripped, Raped and Strangled”.
Just before Cannibal Corpse was done, Goatwhore was starting up on the Apocalypse stage. As the band was preparing to hit the stage it began pouring. Fans either just braved the downpour or pulled on some ponchos and crowded up towards the stage. Goatwhore played an excellent set, mixing older material like “Apocalyptic Havoc” in with songs off their newest release Blood For Master [Metal Blade, 2012]. The band has such a captivating and furious stage presence complimenting their blackened death metal you can’t help but be dragged in by the music.
It was still pouring when Origin took the stage and one of the first things vocalist Jason Keyser did was heckle those in the crowd wearing ponchos. Keyser was in the crowd throughout the set, high fiving crowd surfing fans as they were ushered away from the stage by security, and even crowd surfing himself. The band tore through the set with technical precision and aggression.
We had one of the coveted special photo passes to shoot System of a Down so we checked out some of their set. They kicked off with “Prison Song” and the fans were singing along to every word for the rest of their set. The politically charged lyrics were offset by Serj Tankian’s grins to the crowd and general cheerful demeanor. To close off the day they played over twenty songs in their set.
Day one of Heavy MTL had a lot of heavy technical bands that nailed their sets. Aside from the midday downpour – which was only caused concerns for camera gear – it was a good but muddy time.