Heavy sounds for heavy times

Johnson’s top eight shows of the week — most of them heavy as fuck — including what could very well be the best metal show of the year.

facebook (379x464)It’s that time of year when shows tend to slow down to a crawl. As the weather gets worse, local shows must also do battle with cash-strapped people trying to get their heads above holiday-induced credit card bills as well as those who’ve given up the fight and have permanently plugged into Netflix. The beginning of 2015 is no different, but it’s Montreal’s heavy hitters who are getting out of the gate early and swinging against winter blahs with a fistful of nickels. If it’s the heavy bands that are planting seeds in our cold, barren ground, hopefully they’ll see the fruits of their labours in 2015. Here’s to the New Year!

Thursday: If you remember the power violence of yesteryear bands like Seige, Crossed Out, Drop Dead, Void, Man Is the Bastard etc, you definitely need to catch the punishing beat-down of Vile Intent at la Vitrola with Shitsu, Gashrat and Facaade. 4602 St-Laurent, 9 p.m., $5

Friday: I could try and describe Dark Tranquility but it ends up they have more than an apt name for themselves already. Warming up the cold stage at Foufounes for them is Insomnium, Hollow and Aeons Fall. 87 Ste-Catherine E., 7 p.m., $30 advance/$35 at the door/$70 VIP

At the cozy and comfy Cagibi, you can peer over your laptop and tepid tea to catch the electrocult boogaloo of Citadel with Francesca Daoust and Kyazma. 5490 St-Laurent, 8 p.m., $7$10

Saturday: One of my fave bands of 2014 was local trio Big Brave. If you were L7 to B.B.’s superior jams, you can jump on ’em at l’Esco with local super group B.Y.H.D. and le Syndicat du Cauchemar. 4467 St-Denis, 9 p.m., $7

The BBQ fanatics at Pouzza keep the melodic punk torch burning brightly at TRH Bar with Set It Back, Our Darkest Days, Fortune Cookie Club and DJ Space Bar. 3699 St-Laurent, 8 p.m.

Down the hill from TRH, you can catch the Special Metal Tombs night with DJ Neo…and you guessed it, Neo will be spinning all the best of metal in all of its glorious forms. Katacombes (1635 St-Laurent), 9 p.m.

Sunday: When you were still in short pants and actually thought the Deftones were heavy, Karma to Burn were steadily putting records out on Tee Pee and defying gravity with their heavy-as-fuck riffage. Don’t miss these underground legends when they devastate Casa on the Sabbath with Sierra and the always oozingly heavy Show of Bedlam. 4873 St-Laurent, 8:30 p.m., $10

Monday: I’m definitely saving the best for last here with my pick of the week. Check it out: Watain and Mayhem sharing a bill, with openers Revenge. Watain blew my puny brain to bits when I caught their POP Montreal show at the old Katacombes many moons ago, but the famous and completely oderous (their animal blood and cow heads had turned rancid as their tour progressed) show they put on at Foufounes a couple of years back remains one of my favourite metal shows of all time. Not to be outdone, Mayhem will easily go to toe to toe with them. Bar none, they created the original Norwegian black metal wave and actually manage to reinvent themselves while upping the dosage with each release. This will literally slay and very well could be the best metal show of the year. Club Soda (1225 St-Laurent), 8 p.m., $28/$30


Current obsession: De La Soul, Three Feet High and Rising