The Haunted / Shai Hulud / Darkest Hour The Rainbow, Montreal QC - May 9, 2003

Having a European metal band and a Yankee hardcore group share headlining duties may have sounded like a good idea, but last week's show at the Rainbow proved otherwise. Shai Hulud was back in Montreal for the second time in a month to support their new release, That Within Blood Ill-Tempered, on Revelation. The band brought the mosh with their anti-melody, rhythm-driven sound. Playing a mix of new and old songs, Shai Hulud has remained true to their signature aggressive, yet delicate, hardcore style. In contrast, metal thrashers the Haunted made a highly anticipated return to Montreal with a flawless and technically astonishing performance. The Haunted fuse black metal with unique ambient noises, like Gregorian chants, which trigger metal heads everywhere to rock out. But unfortunately, the meeting between the hardcore of Hulud and the Haunted's thrash-inspired metal was more awkward than exciting. The audience was clearly divided over whom they had come to see, leaving the room half empty while each band played. The audience only seemed to agree on the amazingly understated and incredible performance by openers Darkest Hour. The band, which has a forthcoming release on Victory Records, set out to win over a new audience by introducing them to Darkest Hour's perfect blend of punk and metal. With their Swedish metal-inspired guitar hooks and melodic hardcore-inspired vocals, Darkest Hour really brought the show together, which sadly fell apart by the end of the night.