Friday, September 20, 2019Light Snow -5°C
Music

Varning of Danger - Hardcore on St Laurent

Posted by Lorcan / November 8, 2010

Varning Poster If you noticed a larger than usual contingent of punk and hardcore types stalking St. Laurent this week, you can thank this year's installment of 'A Varning from Montreal'. Since it was founded four years ago to celebrate the independent hub of metal and punk that the Katacombes venue has become, the willfully misspelt festival has become a serious event on the intertwined punk / metal calendar of the city.

Centered obviously enough around that most metal of venues, Katacombes, 'A Varning...' thrashed away with full line-ups from Thursday to Saturday. With a special Sunday aftershow being added at short notice in Il Motore, the festival brought in heavyweights like Japan's AGE, the punk institution that is Sweden's MOB 47, as well North American scene legends like TRAGEDY and Oregon's finest in the form of HELLSHOCK. Combine the above with with a selection of very finest of local crust and hardcore that the city could provide, a few days of neck-snapping savagery looked very much on the cards.

Pain! Lamentations! It's ironic considering their name, but such was the demand for the TRAGEDY show on Thursday that tickets were simply hoovered up a week in advance, leaving this reviewer empty-handed and gawking as a record shop employee informed me they were all gone. As a European, it's somewhat bizarre to see a deeply underground punk gig like this sell out well in advance, and it speaks volumes for the widespread anticipation that the festival was generating in Montreal and further afield. Thankfully, I happily secured tickets to Thursday's gig and headed along with much anticipation, hoping to get a slice of the action that would be unfolding over the four days.

Filtering in just after doors opened, the usual crowd of studded and patched jackets were gathering at the bar and firing out beer orders while homegrown heros FATAL FLAW set up onstage. Kicking things off with a snappy set, they displayed plenty of energy from the very start, the guitarist whipping around his dreads to the sound of catchy punk 'n' roll. Things aren't too distorted, and the snappy but catchy vibe to their sound reminded a lot of classic 70s punk despite the speed of it all.

Up next is DEPLETION, who bang out a more traditional crust sound. Their short front-woman snarls out the lyrics while an energetic young guitarist, who looks about 16 and sports a killer Morbid Angel shirt, shreds hard and pulls some pretty entertaining solos. By now the venue is filling up, and with the bands radiating good humour from the stage, a fun atmosphere is being felt all around the place, with loud conversations and metal anthems being pumped from the DJ box adding to the fun cacophony.

NUKKEHAMMER are the next band caught, and the Ohio group quickly impress. Despite an ear-splitting feedback issue with a guitar and kick drum that just won't behave, they launch into a set of pure aggression that touches on maniacal. Lead by a wide-eyed and bearded guitarist with a single sleeve on his shirt and a hell of a roar, they reach levels of grinding aggression that kick off the pit for the first time in the night. PERDITION from New York also hit the ground running, and with a set that just drips with Doom's trademark style of bleak chaos, they instill some serious action on the Katacombes dancefloor.
Hellshock rocking hard It was Portland's HELLSHOCK that are the real kings of this evening. It's clear from the gentlemen climbing onstage that they're somewhat longer in the tooth than the younger supports tonight, and after one track it's clear they know exactly what they're doing and how to deliver. Having earned their spurs in a host of well-regarded groups, the band dish out a style that blends the irresistible headbangabilty of prime-era Bolt Thrower with a speedy style of thrashy crust. It's quickly hard to hold onto your beer such is the wave of crowd surfers flying about the place. The group's vocalist is a pleasant guy, giving a swift speech on the coolness of the venue and other bands before launching into another track and launching himself into the crowd. Drawing from a decade long career, they nail every riff and work with a kind of well-oiled ease that makes it impossible not to nod away to the rhythm, even if you're browsing the merch stalls at the back. Gone after what seems like only a few tracks, they're a band you could listen to all night.

Diving out for the last Metro just before AGE take to the stage, it's clear from just a few hours at one of the festival nights that the A Varning... festival has a lot going for it. A rabid scene, a host of local talent and big groups in the genre happy to travel thousands of miles to support an independent festival are all factors in its success. What occurs in Katacombes seems like a genuine collective doing their thing, enjoying the music and reveling in the studded chaos of it all. Long may it continue.
VarningMontreal.jpeg

Photos by Lorcan Archer

Discussion

7 Comments

ChrisDReglin / August 26, 2016 at 09:31 am
user-pic
I whenever spent my thirty minutes to read through this internet site's posts daily plus a mug of
coffee.
kanchipuramsarees / January 22, 2019 at 12:12 am
user-pic
Nice post
kanchipuramsarees / January 22, 2019 at 12:12 am
user-pic
Nice post
golu dolls / January 22, 2019 at 12:12 am
user-pic
Nice post
herbal powder / January 22, 2019 at 12:12 am
user-pic
Nice post

Add a Comment

Other Cities: Toronto