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“Hey, can you kill the lights? It’s totally killing the vibe!”
As the lights died and sound control descended into darkness, Metz sprung to life.
Metz are a 3 piece noise rock band from Ontario, Canada, they released their self-titled debut in 2012 and followed it up with ‘II’ earlier this year, the intense riff based guitar work, driving drum beats and howling vocals really caught the attention of the press with positive reviews across the board. The brilliance of Metz is their ability to take their unique sound and bottomless energy and stick it together to create something powerfully distinctive. Earlier this month I interviewed guitarist Alex Edkins about how he would describe their music, he chuckled as he said: “music for the ADD generation, a commentary and a result of the crazy circumstances we live in” and honestly I couldn’t put it better myself.
Metz played like the venue was on fire, barrelling uncontrollably through their high octane setlist that took equally from their material. Song by song you could feel them easing into their set and as they did the crowd got more and more invested, the band that walked on stage bared little resemblance to the one that left it. Personally I was most impressed by how they were able to carry the distorted raging passion from their albums and transform it into a live show, the guitar shredding solos, the pounding drums and the thick grungy basslines were all there in full force. At no point was anything eclipsed by a certain instrument, all the various tones were given space to breathe which lead to the room feeling like it is almost overflowing with sound, they may only be a 3 piece but the sound they produce is that of a noise rock orchestra.
For their support Metz had their mirror image; protomartyr, where Metz are frantic, uncontrolled and gritty Protomartyr are measured, meticulous and savagely dark. Often compared to Joy Division the Detroit post punk band had a magically cold nature about them, twisted basslines, vivid guitars and delay soaked lyrics that sink into the crowd all came together to create a brilliantly haunting experience. The highlight for me was the baritone vocals that were grand but stony, both live and on the albums this voice manages to have this uncanny ability feel full of passion and passionless at the same time. They concluded their set with ‘Why Does It Shake?’ a jarring mix of tones and tempos that was the perfect summary to their melancholic set.
Throughout their set they showed moments of pure brilliance where they took the atmosphere of the songs and bent them to their will. During ‘Kicking a Can of Worms’ the band juxtaposed the intense heart racing opening with a soft guitar pattern cutting hysterically between furious noise and soothing guitar, musically encapsulated the anxious nature of the band. Metz have serious promise but they also have a lot of growing room, they are a young band with incredible talent they just need to keep on pushing boundaries and raising the bar.
My tip to you: watch this band and hold on tight.