The closest thing to a stoner/doom festival we’ve had in Toronto was the 4/20 Sunday Stoner Rock Spectacular, a overambitious 10-band bill put together by me and a buddy of mine. The lineup was all local, the attendance was mediocre, and the ElMo was pretty empty. Still, it was great to see a day’s worth of heavy rocking bands, with just about all my local favs performing. When I heard that a similarly ambitious all-day ordeal was happening just across the border in Rochester, I made the appropriate measures to be in attendance.
Born Too Late II takes place at Rochester rock bar The Bug Jar, and features some Maryland doom metal stalwarts such as Iron Man and Revelation, along with promising upcomers Argus and Ogre, among others. Hosting and headlining the festivities is local trad doomsters Orodruin, who played a tantalizingly short set in Toronto a little over a month ago. Tickets are only 10 bucks–which was less than we were charging on 4/20!
However, if you’re stuck in the T-Dot this long weekend, there are plenty of ways to get your doom metal fix. I know I’ll be heading south with a huge hangover, as TO’s two biggest doom bands will be giving me a royal sendoff Friday nite. Rise Above recording artists Blood Ceremony have booked The Silver Dollar Room (486 Spadina, across from El Mocambo) for a nite of the heavy stuff, putting the extremely slow sludge of Orn on the bill, along with Reverse Mount Rushmore (former members of 70’s rock revivalists The Harold Wartooth) and Orca, who they’ve described as progressive sludge a la Isis. A mere city block away, the band who put the TO in stoner rock are playing at Sneaky Dee’s. That would be Sons of OTIS, kids. OTIS is opening for their pals in Jucifer, a rediculously heavy duo who criss-crosses the continent in a Winnebago fulla amplifiers. They’re well worth checking out if ya haven’t seen em, but ya better bring earplugs! Personally, I’ll probably be skipping out on the headliner to head back to the Dollar. OTIS and BC back to back is just too much doom for one block!
That being said, if you head a block northwards on Monday, the Annex Wreckroom at Bloor and Bathurst is hosting the North America is Doomed tour, bringing three international acts to town. Atlanta’s own Zoroaster tops the bill, bringing their brand of blackened sludge back to town, with more lites than a Christmas tree farm! These guys are pretty heavy, but the main attraction for the COTD crowd will be Indiana doomsters The Gates of Slumber, who started that whole circle thing in the first place. They’d fit right in with the Born Too Late lineup, so Sabbath worshippers take note! Opening the festivities is SerpentCult. You may remember a Belgian band called Thee Plague of Gentlemen, whose singer was arrested for raping young children. Well, it’s the same band, but they’ve replaced the childrapist with a female singer who’s apparently quite the looker. Twelve bucks seems kinda steep compared to the 10 bands for 10 bucks BTL fest, but with the exchange rate, it’s pretty much the same price.
Be there or be glam!
(Blood Ceremony, Orn, Reverse Mount Rushmore, Orca @ The Silver Dollar Room, July 31st. $6, doors @ 9.)
(Jucifer, Sons of OTIS, Titan @ Sneaky Dee’s, July 31st. Dunno the details on this one…)
(Born Too Late II featuring Orodruin, Iron Man, Revelation, Pale Divine, While Heaven Wept, Ogre, Against Nature, Blizaro, Apostle of Solitude, Argus and Cyrus @ The Bug Jar, 219 Monroe Ave, Rochester, NY, August 1st. $10 US, doors @ 2pm.)
(North America is Doomed featuring Zoroaster, The Gates of Slumber, SerpentCult @ Annex Wreckroom, August 3rd. $12, doors @ 7:30.)