Monday, 16 September 2013

The Sword at Il Motore

The Sword at Il Motore


On the face of a rocky planet below, a gleaming white spaceship approaches toward its northern hemisphere. The ship breaks through the atmosphere, and from its port bows a young woman mounted on a giant cybernetic eagle flies out beyond the mountains and above a canyon. She is dressed in black leather, has radiant green eyes and hair as dark as a Siberian night. Her eagle is dotted with circuitry, and its natural eyes have been replaced with laser sights that magnify its vision to a thousand degrees. On the canyon’s edge there is a castle surrounded by an army of monstrous, yet sapient, humanoids. They see her approach the castle and roar with sounds of approval.

At last, our queen has arrived.

She sits atop a golden throne on a heightened platform and sees her legions of followers writhing in excitement below. The Queen places her hands on the arms of the throne and scans the horizon ahead. There are tall flames, dark clouds, exploding volcanoes, and even more followers to be seen in the distance. This view pleases her greatly, for tomorrow she and her army of mutants will go on to crush her enemies and bathe in their blood. The music that will accompany this beautiful slaughter is that of The Sword.

They played at Il Motore to one of the biggest audiences that I have seen there since coming to Montreal. It was a nice crowd to behold, as well. The audience was, generally speaking, full of metalheads. They had their patch jackets, metal tees, and flowing long locks proudly on display for all there to see. It was a room full of sweaty men that shouted bassy, deafening roars between each song, in an act of metal brotherhood. There was no moshing to be had on this night, but a solemn reverence for crushing loud guitars while the music played. The stage was set with Orange amplifier cabinets with Verellen heads (a newer brand of high-gain amplifiers), and the Sword’s banner, which consisted of a starry night’s sky and the head of a sorceress. Everyone had been waiting all night for the Sword to enter the stage, clutching their beers, and then the band walked on stage, strapped on their instruments, and the crowd exploded into a roaring frenzy.

What followed was a delightfully lengthy set of some serious stoner metal grooves. The guitars blew us all away with some intense riffs that were as loud as they were heavy. That is, they were heavy and loud to the fullest extent. If there is some transcendental limit to the heaviness and loudness that stoner metal guitars can achieve, The Sword are there. Their betrucker-hatted front man, John D. Cronise, kept everyone at attention with his mighty and throaty vocals that are reminiscent of doom metal greats like Bobby Leibling and Zeeb Parkes (of Pentagram and Witchfinder General, respectively), and the drumming was simply sublime. Their set was a collection of hits like “How Heavy This Axe,” and everyone savoured each song that they performed. It was good times through until the end, and they had an encore. Some audience members didn’t get the message, however, and left, to which Mr. Cronise said “Haven’t you guys heard of an encore?” We all had a good laugh at the audience members’ expense. 
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