OCT 10 and 11th,2011


Review By: Metal Mom
Photos By: Char Tupper


A rainy day in Vancouver, BC, kind of the norm for this time of year, but the hour drive in on a slick freeway is so worth the drive. Now lets get past all the needles in the alley, and the rat traps, and all the drug addicts shooting up, and you are about to enter the Rickshaw Theatre. There are 3 bands tonight , and I will do my best to describe each and every one, and I will try to be nice about it…

First up on stage is a band called JUNIUS, never heard of them before this tour, they are a "art rock" band from Boston, Massachusetts, whose members consist of Dana Filloon, Joseph E. Martinez, Joel Munguia, Michael Repasch-Nieves. They call themselves an art rock band, but no where in there set did I hear any form of rock, it sounded more doom/sad, no real upbeats to it, look around at the crowd, and they were all just standing there looking at them. But it didn’t help either that you could not see them, they had their own lights set up that were very bright and facing the crowd, which means they are just silhouettes. The singer had a hat on with a hoodie over top, so you couldn’t even see his face. This wasn’t my style of music, and in all fairness, it could have been because I was waiting for….


(SEATTLE SHOW - the same sad lighting, they still cant be seen)


It wasn’t the second band tonight, whose name is ALCEST, from France, their genre is one I have not heard before, they call themselves “shoe gazing, atmospheric black metal, post rock”, their music at times picked up, but unfortunately for me, it was too slow for a metal show, this will sound mean, and I am sorry, but the “shoe gazing” kind of fit, I found myself looking at the floor and around the room. The crowd responded a bit more to them, but not how you would expect, and the lighting for them was not very good either, too much fog.

(SEATTLE SHOW - the lighting was much better for them here )



What I was waiting for….was this band, the headliner for the night - ENSLAVED. And you could tell that this was who everyone else came to see, the crowds filled the floor after Alcest left, and stayed that way to the very end. Now just in case you don’t know the members of this Norwegian band, let me introduce you: Ivar Bjornson (original member since 1991) on guitar, Grutle Kjellson (original member since 1991) vocalist and bassist, Arve “Ice Dale” Isdal (since 2002) on guitar, Cato Bekkevold (since 2003) on drums, and Herbrand Larsen (since 2004) vocals and keyboards. This is a 20 year Anniversary tour, and they have come to spread their unrelentingly dark sound, with tasteful melodic vocal passages and synth bits that rarely detract from the raw brutality of its vicious riffing and double-kick blasting, or the demonic growls of frontman Grutle Kjellson. What makes ENSLAVED stand out so much is the band members who have perfected their own sound to bring to each album or stage, their was no doubt they were their to give the crowd their all. The vocals from Grutle and Herbrand are both so different and yet create something so tasteful and extraordinary. There was a lot of energy felt, you just had to look at the crowd, mosh pits, horns high, smiles and cheers, they appreciated the energy, the perfection the band created tonight in Vancouver. It was also a special honour to have ENSLAVED dedicate “Heimvegen” to The Tupper’s. A monstrous thank you guys. J From start to finish, ENSLAVED had us hooked, and there was no looking back. There was also an encore tonight, and 3 more songs were played including a cover song .. “Immigrant Song” by Led Zeppelin. You recognize the song, but ENSLAVED put their own touch to it and created yet another masterpiece to their list of many. I personally don’t think I did them justice in saying how amazing they were. So I suggest you see them, or buy one of their CD’s to know what I am trying to explain. For me, I know they have worked hard to create their own distinguishing sound, and they have mastered it well. In fact I just have to go see them in Seattle, one show is not enough. Wish I could do more, but unfortunately work gets in the way.


(SEATTLE SHOW - again, another impressive show from ENSLAVED) They really are the top of their genre, every minute on stage was filled to the brink with energy, and it transferred to the crowd). Very talented musicians. And it was a real pleasure to see 2 shows of ENSLAVED. Hope that it wont be too long until they return and give us one of the most riveting live acts ever.