Live Show: APES, 2023-06-29

I honestly don’t recall the last time I was at a bad show, it may never have happened previously. I’m a pretty easy guy to please; as long as the venue is clean enough I don’t think a staph infection is imminent, and the sound is decent, I’m good to go.

Unfortunately, all streaks eventually come to an end. My decision to try and catch Montreal grindcore outfit APES in-person did not go as planned. The venue was not one I was familiar with, although that doesn’t mean a lot — I’m a bit of a dork, and I don’t go to bars for any reason other than metal shows — but no one I knew had great things to say about The Dominion Tavern.

The openers, Cruel Fate were decent, although their material was incredibly basic. Each of the band’s songs sounded exactly the same, consisting of some basic chord progressions, and the odd tremolo run. There were no significant leads whatsoever, so while the band was able to dial in a decent groove, the set felt very repetitive. The vocalist was quite good and the band at least seemed enthusiastic to be playing.

Next up was a group called Spirit of Vengeance who got a few members of the audience doing windmills and moronic karate moves in the makeshift pit area. I honestly did not think people still did this shit at shows in 2023, but I was wrong. Things took a bit of a turn when the band’s frontman walked into the ‘pit’ and kicked an audience member — and his girlfriend — and managed to spill beer all over the floor. Luckily things did not escalate, but I’m not interested in seeing this band and their immemorable hardcore stylings in the future.

At this point, I thought there were two bands left, but Scorching Tomb announced that APES were unable to make it — so they were the last act of the show. This, paired with my extremely hoppy IPA tasting like the very bottom of the keg, was a bit of a downer. The band’s set was fun, but more generic death metal consisting of chords, blast beats, and little to distinguish one song from the next.

It was disappointing to not see APES, whose Lullabies for Eternal Sleep EP (Bandcamp) was one of my favourite releases of 2022. If APES were even half as good live as they are on record, the show would have been completely salvaged. Instead, I’m just glad the tickets were only $20, and at least I got home before midnight…

Band Information

Cruel Fate

Spirit of Vengeance

Scorching Tomb

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