The Atlas Moth + Royal Thunder @ Bar Le Ritz PDB – 13th February 2018

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The Atlas Moth Bar Le Ritz PDB

It’s a Tuesday night in Montreal and somewhere across town over 2000 metal fans are packed into MTelus to see Stone Sour and In This Moment. Unfortunately for the bands playing Bar Le Ritz at the same time, this has surely affected numbers of people turning up to witness two of the best doom metal bands currently doing the rounds, Royal Thunder and The Atlas Moth.

Royal Thunder Montreal

It’s already 9:30 pm before Atlanta, Georgia’s Royal Thunder saunter onto the Ritz stage in almost total darkness. After almost a decade and a half laying down their psychedelic, doom-laden riffs the four-piece have their sound perfected and recent album, Wick, has received glowing reviews. Vocalist Mlny Parsons recently admitted in a podcast interview with MetalSucks that she used to be in a cult, along with her husband and Royal Thunder guitarist Josh Weaver. This revelation is not entirely shocking due to some hints that Parsons dropped in previous interviews about having a rough past and the themes of spirituality in her lyrics. She has the voice to fit the riffs beautifully, conjuring up visions of Janis Joplin fronting Kyuss.

The band remain in the dark for the duration of their all-too-short set, but the lack of light seems to complement the sound perfectly. It’s heads-down heavy rock and the crowd lap it up. I do feel though that with a better sound system and a fuller room, Royal Thunder would really prove their worth.

Atlas Moth Black & white

Chicago post-metallers The Atlas Moth have just released their fourth full-length LP, Coma Noir, and the record marks the experimentalists’ first album with new drummer Mike Miczek, as well as their first release for Prosthetic Records. The band have created a unique approach to doom metal, blending elements of noise rock, black metal and psychedelic rock, and with this new album they seem to have moved more towards the atmospheric black metal side of their sludgy sound and many of tonight’s highlights are the newer material. Sadly it seems a percentage of people had come primarily to see Royal Thunder and, as The Atlas Moth’s set progresses, the crowd becomes noticeably more sparse. But that’s not because the band on stage are delivering anything less than an intense live performance.

The Atlas Moth Montreal

Frontman Stavros Giannopoulos has a voice filled with pain and raw authenticity and his bandmates successfully hammer out the brutal heaviness that’s then blended with eerily glittering, post-rock subtlety. Those kinds of dynamics work well and only make the heavy sections seem even more impactful. It’s difficult to tell if the disappointing turnout bothers them but those in attendance are treated to a solid performance by a band that will hopefully attract a broader audience on their return to Montreal.

Atlas Moth live

Review & photos – Steve Gerrard

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