Unearth Parc Jean-Drapeau, Montreal QC, August 10

Unearth Parc Jean-Drapeau, Montreal QC, August 10
Photo: Benoit Turcotte
Unearth have never put out a bad album and given their performance at Heavy Montreal, it'd be entirely reasonable to believe they've never put on a bad show, either. After more than a decade as a band — their seminal album, The Oncoming Storm, came out ten years ago — you'd think they would have slowed down, but it seems the metalcore veterans have just learned from their tenure.

Vocalist Trevor Phipps commanded the stage, eventually taking to the barricade to ask, "Does hate mean freedom?," before lying down on the crowd, perhaps to surf around or maybe because it was the only rest he'd get from his relentless performance. Meanwhile, guitarist/vocalist Ken Susi ran and jumped around the stage, stopping briefly to see how far he could let his saliva hang before sucking it back into his mouth. He acknowledged audience members by pointing and mouthing, "I see you," while the rest of his band filled the stage with their presence, blazing riffs and crushing breakdowns.

Drummer Nick Pierce made his mark on the performance by adding his flair to classics such as "Giles," "Endless," "The Great Dividers," "Black Hearts Now Rain" and the rarely-played "Failure." Rapid-fire assaults of double bass exploded unexpectedly. A blast beat-laden new song entitled "The Swarm" matched the intensity of their performance, which was the best of the entire festival.