Iron Golem Centre Communautaire Portugais les Amis Unis, Gatineau QC, September 5

Iron Golem Centre Communautaire Portugais les Amis Unis, Gatineau QC, September 5
Photo: Calum Slingerland
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You know you're in for something special when the pit explodes before the music even starts, and so it was when Ottawa's Iron Golem announced they were about to start. It was even more impressive because the band themselves were relatively tame on stage.
 
The mighty Iron Golem let the music do the talking, with vocalist (and sometimes-guitarist) Andrew Kramer and guitarist François Allaire leading the attack. It was almost unsettling to watch the band play some of the most violent riffs of the weekend while maintaining such tranquility.
 
The crowd, on the other hand, was anything but tranquil. When it wasn't an outright war, streamers were being thrown around; perhaps this set was as close to the infamous Perfo crew as we'll get this year. The third guitar was utilized effectively, allowing harmonies to be beefed up with chunky rhythms in which a two-guitar band would have to sacrifice one or the other. When Kramer handed off his instrument for the last time, he wrapped the microphone cord around his wrist like a boxer preparing for a fight.
 
It was all downright compelling, right up until the point where the power went out, an appropriately dramatic ending for a climactic set from one of Canada's most exciting bands. They can now add "So heavy we caused a power outage" to their impressive resumé.
 
Heart Fest Day 2, Gatineau QC, 2015 09 05