Bar Octobre, Quebec City, Canada
Most of the time the metal shows come to your home town and you find out about when it’s going down and then you go. However, sometimes you have to go where the metal show is when it is not coming to your town. This was the case when I found out ABORTED was coming to Canada, but not the USA. Since ABORTED hasn’t been played the states for a few years and this was as close as they were coming to me. When me and my friends found out about the show we made our plans and hit the road from Boston to Quebec City. We got into town after about 9 hours on the road and hit the ground running. The listing for the show said 8 PM, but it turned out the first band wasn’t going on until 10:30 at the earliest so we walked around the city and grabbed a bite to eat.
Bar Octobre is one of the coolest little bars I have ever been to and is designed to look like a dungeon with stone walls and crazy metal-inspired art everywhere. We met some cool local folks and it didn’t matter that me and my friends didn’t know any French- we all spoke the language of metal. It also helped that many of them spoke English too. The rowdy Quebecois were all amped up for the night of death metal craziness to come and many were drinking beer right out of pitchers! The first band of the night was local band HERODE. Playing a mix of technical and straight up old-school death metal, they were a big hit. I was especially impressed with their vocalist Yann Marcil who had an amazing voice and stage presence. Finishing their short set with the excellent track “I’ll Be Your God”, HERODE left me feeling like a band definitely worth checking out further.
Next up was SYSTEM DIVIDE. The interesting thing about this band is if you didn’t already know it featured Sven de Calwe and Cole Martinez of ABORTED you might not know the two acts were related. Created as a project between Sven and his wife Miri, the band is an attempt at a heavier, death metal-inspired version of LACUNA COIL mixed with FEAR FACTORY. The results are generally mixed with the occasional good blast-beat laden heavy part combined with the goth-flavored verses and choruses. Their typical song has a heavy intro with Sven screaming his head off and Miri singing the verses, working off his lines. However, their lines do more clashing than intertwining for the most part. Sven’s vocals in this group are almost deliberately different from his other notable work and that is part of the let down. Miri has a decent enough voice, but was nervous and apologized at one point for it being her “first time”. I do know they have played barely a handful of show in total so I’m sure they will get better in time. The one song they played that I did like all the way through was “The Apex Doctrine”. They have some potential here with this kind of talent and a style that would garner notice if put together better, but so far it is unrealized.