I know I’ve been slacking lately on show reviews, and I have been to plenty since the few articles I did over the summer (Inferi/Alterbeast, Inanimate Existence/Last Of Lucy/Fields Of Elysium and Micawber/Ahtme/Lago in September)…..so I finally pulled my head out of my ass, and the First Fragment show in St. Catharine’s is getting the TMR treatment.
First off…..I gotta talk about how awesome Canada is. Warehouse was a super clean venue….not just the stage (YES BUFFALONIANS THERE’S AN ACTUAL STAGE WITH LIGHTS!) but the bathrooms and bar as well. They really, really care about cleanliness and first impressions. What else I really, really loved was how the bands were so professional swapping over….switch over time was very efficient, and the scheduled length of the show was basically on point! Here in Buffalo for local shows sometimes it drags on past doors, and a 7pm door time might not start until 8pm or a bit later to try to get more people in the venue. I was impressed with the logistics and sticking to the start and end time of the show. It was a very close drive, 45 minutes at most including a few minutes crossing the border on a Sunday. And it was only $12! If you want to keep up to date with the venue’s shows check out The Warehouse!
Now for the music….Occultic was first up. They were on WITHIN A HALF HOUR OF DOORS! They are a no nonsense death metal band with great groove and rhythm. The vocalist was very upfront, present and energetic. I try not to judge bands by band names, or check out their music before a show if i’m not familiar with them. In the modern age, we have those advantages and disadvantages. It’s great to access music easily, but can be good and bad for attendance…..some bands are just better live than on a recording, and people can also make a short sighted judgement based on a recording negatively impacting that show attendance and vice versa. Occultic was a passionate opener that started off a fun filled and relentless night of the various metal bands on the bill. You can check out Occultic’s groovy death metal right here.
Up next were Eaten By Sharks (more band name judging!) who I was curious about because of a random band name. Shit, did they put on a solid show and constantly required crowd interaction. They seamlessly blended classic and modern death metal with some technical flare here and there. I was thoroughly impressed with this awesome band, and can only add another solid band to the ever-growing laundry list of opening bands that may or may hit hit the spot…..and Eaten By Sharks fucking shredded! Check out the band here.
Sinner followed Eaten By Sharks and they were awfully confusing sound wise to be honest. They have a grindcore influence with some hardcore moments and some quick parts as well. Tough to describe, but they were metal for sure! They kept the energy flowing and were entertaining the crowd without hesitation! Sinner was a fun band that also threw in a Hatebreed cover (I’m pretty sure it was Hatebreed) for good measure, as well. If you’re into that sort of style of metal, check out the bros right here.
Unbowed came up next (who was First Fragment’s support on the tour for the November/December run across Canada) and gonna have to be honest I loved this band as much as the rest. They have that blackened death metal feel to their sound with sweet background elements of keyboard/synth, strings and some singing occasionally that offset all the different growls. They were very professional, energetic and had it their whole set. I don’t know if any fans or musicians can relate to such an experience but they didn’t slack at all or show any sort of insecurity….I just KNEW they were the support band, and it did set them apart from the rest. There was that confidence and aura that I think surrounded them during their massively impressive set. Check out Unbowed, you won’t be disappointed at all.
Now for the main event…..First Fuckin’ Fragment. The under appreciated tech death geniuses from Quebec. Their stage presence is beyond wild…..taking into fact their music isn’t the easiest to replicate, I’m shocked they were able to put on a very engaging show. I have been waiting for the guys to come close enough to Buffalo, and shit that quick trip across the border more than did the trick. Also factoring in December around 50 degrees throughout the day leading into the evening with barely any snow made the decision easier travel wise. I was very impressed with their stage presence, and already knew what I was getting musically so I don’t need to constantly say the same things about the great First Fragment that have already been said. The technicality, proficiency, clean playing of everyone and David’s energetic vocals were basically perfect. First Fragment fucking rips, check them out PLEASE.
I absolutely needed to tell the guys how obsessed I am with their talent and skill. And a band as talented as First Fragment they were equally as laid back, as most Canadians generally tend to be.
Here’s a quick take on my phone of one of their many impressive instrumental sections, further showcasing their talent dedication and passion to technical neoclassical death metal.
My cheeky dumb ass between David (vocals) and the legendary Forest Lapointe (bass) (First Fragment, Augury, Ex- Beyond Creation).
A very happy Dave with axe slinger Phil Tougas who is a wild man on stage. Dude is a modern day legend that not enough people know about. He has it all as a guitarist.
And to boot, the attendance for a Sunday evening just under a month before the Holidays was awfully impressive. Excluding the bands, I would guess there were at least 60 people there if not more for an underground death metal show maybe 70. Many metal horns and hugs were had by all at this killer show. Great job Canada, great fucking job. We will be back sooner than later.