Katacombes was packed for a Thursday night show. A large crowd was out early in anticipation of one of the wackiest non-fast food themed tributes to the founding fathers of heavy metal.
Mountain Dust played a great set to get the crowd going. Now veterans of the Montreal music scene, these stoner rockers consistently deliver a solid set with great stage presence. On this night, they fit their slot perfectly.
The band who on most days are known as Cancer Bats hit the stage as their alter ego, Bat Sabbath. You can tell the two acts apart because in Bat Sabbath mode, vocalist Liam Cormier hits the stage in a black cape emulating the great Ozzy himself. It’s a unique beast, a band that can support their own headline tour masquerading as a cover band. But that’s the beauty of it, they draw larger crowds as the Cancer Bats, this isn’t done for money, it’s an act that exists only for the love of the music, to emulate their heroes.
They came out fast and furious with “Children of the Grave.” It’s immediately apparent this isn’t a normal cover band, they give theses songs the Cancer Bats treatment, perform them with their own flavor.
As they rip through the Sabbath catalogue, they’re shredding like a hybrid, as if Sabbath had a little more thrash and the vocals a little more punk and scream. The crowd ate it up, singing loudly to every song. All the classics were presented and received with raised fists and banging heads, from “Paranoid” through “NIB” and “Ironman.” Their love of the songs came out loud and clear as did the crowd’s.
The finale of the set was the ubiquitous “War Pigs.” Instead of singing the verses, Cormier simply pointed the mic out to the crowd and soaked in their collective voices.
I couldn’t imagine anyone had any voice left after singing so boisterously through the set, but it appeared they did. They chanted for an encore, but not from Bat Sabbath, they were chanting for Cancer Bats. It’s got to be a good feeling when you’ve torn through the most revered songbook in heavy metal and the crowd is clamouring not for more of that, but your own songs.
The band was happy to oblige, throwing off the Ozzy cape. They gave the crowd a five song set including fan favorites “Hail Destroyer,” “Bricks and Mortar” and “Lucifer’s Rocking Chair.” The crowd of raised fists quickly turned into a furious mosh pit. It was a great topper to a night dedicated to the love of music.
Review – Richard Brunette
Photos – Steve Gerrard