Live Review: Maritime Metal & Hard Rock Festival

by Justin Roy - 2013 - All Rights Reserved

Vicious | by Justin Roy – 2013 – All Rights Reserved

With all of the outdoor summer shows that have come through the Maritimes, covering a wide range of music genres, there really hasn’t been one that has covered the metal/hard rock scene. So when I first heard rumours back in January that there was a metal/hard concert coming to Fox Mountain, I was pretty excited.

Leading up to the fest, there had been quite a bit of activity surrounding the development of the festival. If you’re someone like me who hangs out on facebook, you’ve probably noticed all of the updates promoting the event. Not to mention all of the posters that have been hung up in your local stores & on local telephone poles. Not just by the promoters themselves, but the fans who have wanted this to happen. This was a show that the fans wanted and by the efforts of the organizers, this was the show that the fans were finally going to get.

The organizers had a lot to prove, and despite not having any major sponsors or a headlining act, everything came together last Saturday night. The success was partially derived from the diversity of bands that came out to play. This wasn’t your run-of-the-mill festival happening here, you had influences spanning heavy metal, progressive metal, grunge, alternative metal, and stoner rock. There was literally something for everyone. The bands who showed up were quite impressive, as they managed to exceed my expectations and these were mostly bands that play the local circuit around town.

The list of the bands that were playing…

Dark Envy, Konjurer, Hitman, Vicious, Black City Avengers, Chaos Theory, Hero’s Last Rite, Big Game Hunt, The Fed Pennies, Iron Giant, Black Moor, Broken Ohms.

To be honest, before hitting the festival, the only bands I’ve had the chance to see live prior to the show were Black Moor, who I’ve seen a couple times play in Halifax, and in the valley. They’ve had alot of success on the east coast in the past few years, and their quite entertaining to see live. Hitman, who sound so awesome, I love their style of mixing desert rockish tunes, but speeding it up with thrash metal. And Vicious, who are a heavy metal band who I’ve been following ever since, and their so talented, and they let the fans have it, especially at the festival with their performance.

by Justin Roy - 2013 - All Rights Reserved

Chaos Theory | by Justin Roy – 2013 – All Rights Reserved

Now, I would like to share with you a couple of bands that I saw for the first time and who rocked the festival stage and I would dig seeing again. The first being Chaos Theory, who where great, their alternative rock sound was sonically engaging, they left a good impression on me after their set.

by Justin Roy - 2013 - All Rights Reserved

Big Game Hunt | by Justin Roy – 2013 – All Rights Reserved

My second pick are Big Game Hunt. They are a band with a gritty sound, similar to that of QOTSA and Kyuss. The lead-singer Jordan Rose also plays in the band Hitman (who played earlier), and he put on really good show and interacted well with the crowd. I personally felt their set was excellent.

Did anyone catch the Fed Pennies‘ cover of Cheech & Chong’s, “Earache My Eye”?

Now, for the venue. I think using Fox Mountain for the Maritime Metal & Rock festival is a great choice as it’s an ideal spot. It has a small built-in stage with a really good sound system, comparable to some of the bigger outdoor venues in Halifax. There’s a large area for camping, which is great since most people will coming from in town. And who doesn’t love camping anyway? There’s also some room for vendors, and nice canteen (I had this urge to eat their cheeseburgers all night).

As the prototype for festivals to come, I do have suggestion in regards to the scheduling. I know the event was originally planned to be a two-day event, and was all squeezed into one day. But as a suggestion for next year, I would like to see the bands sets stretched out to a longer time frame, especially the first few bands who were only able to set-up and play a 20-minute set. I’m sure this will get rectified, and hopefully we do get a two-day festival next year.

Anyhoo, that’s it now. If you agree, or disagree with this review, please comment below, tell me what you think.

About the author


Me, I'm an avid music goer, documenting/photographing Halifax's music scene. I like loud shows, and long walks on the beach.