Ottawa, Ontario (June 29, 2018) – On a hot Friday evening, fans clad in black lined up outside Mavericks bar in Ottawa, ON, Canada, eager to get drenched in sweat as they threw down in favor of A Scar for the Wicked‘s 3rd EP, The Unholy, release. The lineup for the evening was unique, it featured not only bands (Whispers in the Maze, Hatred Reigns, Fractures & Outlines) to musically support, but also included burlesque dancers (Rhapsody Blue, Randi Rogue, and Killsey Van Hellsin) to help keep the night on high spirits.
Melodic metal band Whispers in the Maze, which used their powerful operatic sound to entice people into bobbing along. While the other bands and dancers opted to make the stage their stomping grounds, Whispers in the Maze decided on letting their music speak for itself. Choosing to remain stagnant for the most part, and let it create the atmosphere that they needed. The crowd was slowly drawn in from outside the venue to hear their set, almost as if they were casting a spell onto the crowd and preparing them for what was to come.
Following them were dancer Rhapsody Blue, and band Hatred Reigns. Hatred Reigns did not bother to wait for those taking a quick break outside where it was cooler before tearing into their set. Riding on the high energy that Rhapsody Blue had left behind, the band was on a mission to destroy the venue with their aggressive and fast-paced sound. Hatred Reigns was successful in getting the crowd fired up enough to mosh, creating an atmosphere of an unstoppable music and energy. This culminated in guitarist Jeffery Calder going so hard on his guitar that he did not just break his string but destroyed it. While an unfortunate event, it displayed the ferocity and dedicated that the band had to give their fans an amazing show.
While the crowd took some time to reassemble themselves following Hatred Reigns explosive set, dancer Randi Rouge came out to entertain the crowd. Following her, were post-hardcore band Fractures & Outlines. An interesting choice to the lineup, as the other bands were of the deathcore / melodic metal genre. However, what they lacked in genre similarity they made up for in energy. This was highlighted by their cover of Alexisonfire “This Could Be Anywhere in the World“, which I and the crowd were taken aback by. Not only did they do the cover well, but they got the crowd engaged and were eager to mosh and singalong to it.
For the final burlesque performance, Killsey Van Hellsin made sure to make it memorable, and a capstone event to the final instrumental set of the evening. A Scar for the Wicked came out swinging, eager to show their appreciation to all those who stuck around until their midnight set time. They kept the energies high and ensured that their EP release was something that you could brag about to your friends. The band brought out vocalist/guitarist, Mitch Dimitriadis, of Misshapen to help perform the EP’s title track “The Unholy“. With this, the crowd went wild and even featured a piggyback duo moshing in the pit.
Keeping the spirits high, the band also took a trip down memory lane, inviting former vocalist (the band had not one, but two vocalists at one point) Ryan “CrowdSurf” Kenyeres to come up and perform some of their classic staples, like “The Blood Ritual“. This sent the crowd into overdrive and even got vocalist Eric Forget to come off stage and mosh (while also still continuing to do his vocals) for a bit. While the crowd demanded more, the technical demand of their music was almost too much for the band, and with a final wall of death, they closed out the evening to the chants of one more song.
Be sure to check out all the bands, and congrats to A Scar for the Wicked on a successful EP release!