Lamb of God / Chimaira / Eighteen Visions / Atreyu Rainbow, Montreal QC - May 16, 2003

This night kicked off to a good start with Victory protégés Atreyu and their awesome pop-fuelled hardcore. Despite the lame band name (named after a character in The Neverending Story), the band played an energetic set of punky sing-alongs with just the right amount of throaty screaming to call it hardcore. Atreyu's So-Cal influence is unmistakable, with their catchy melodies and pop-punk undertones, and the vocal trade-offs between lead vocalist Alex Varkatzas and drummer Brandon Saller were effortless and amazing to watch. Although the poppiest band on the bill, Atreyu were also arguably the best. Eighteen Visions represented "fashion-core" at its finest, looking more like a boy band than a popular hardcore group. Critics tag the band for putting fashion at the centre of their music, but it adds a playful and interesting touch to a band that sounds much tougher than it looks. Abrasive and intruding, Eighteen Visions blasted songs of their latest release, Vanity, a daring and brutal disc on Trustkill. While less fashionable, Chimaira was much heavier than the other two opening acts. The Cleveland-based band tore up the room with their sickeningly original metal, fusing modern DJ sampling with classic metal riffs. Although the line up screamed nu-metal, Chimaira was anything but. Furious and speed hungry, the band played a solid set of pure guitar-driven metal. The show closed in the same vein, with the American metal of Lamb of God. Touring in support of their latest release, As The Palaces Burn, the band played a strong 45-minute set despite the room slowly clearing out. Their impenetrable metal sound entranced those who were left, but most were too bothered by the fact that Montreal was once again cursed with a hardcore and metal show completely split down the middle.