Disassembling the Machine
Monster Voodoo Machine at The Volcano in Kitchener, Ontario
with Ink, October 4, 1996

by: Jay Smith
Most fans of hard music in Canada will admit that this country is not necessarily that much of a spawning ground for high quality heavy metal acts that break through with commercial success. Having this in mind, October 4th at the Volcano in Kitchener, Ontario, was an especially dramatic night, where the last Monster Voodoo Machine gig ever took place.

The night started with unwanted complications (MVM arriving/ checking sound late due to Highway 401 traffic accidents/problems). However, when openers Ink started the night off at approximately 11 o'clock, all was forgotten. For about a half an hour, newcomers Ink treated the Volcano to their infectious blend of melodic hip-hop core, displaying elements of bands like Orange 9MM, while maintaining the drama and intensity of bands such as Tool. Despite minor problems with sound and a bassist with a broken hand, Ink played a powerful set, and shall be a force to be reckoned with in the future. However, the people in the Volcano were there for one reason only; they wanted to see MVM go out with a bang.

At about midnight, the lights went out and over the PA came an acoustic/country-tinged ditty about a band named Monster Voodoo Machine, who, as it ended, triumphantly sauntered out and wasted no time in diving into a ferociously intense version of "Temple". The crowd, as well, wasted no time in becoming exponentially overzealous (and unfortunately, a tad too violent). Adam and the band spent a majority of the time in between songs continually humbly thanking the crowd for their respect and support throughout the band's five-year reign. Musicianship-wise, they were in their finest hour, playing tighter than I had ever seen them play! In addition, Adam informed the fans about the future of the members of MVM, with the band mutating into a new hardcore punk-styled band (minus Adam) called Semi-Auto Reflex.

Monster Voodoo Machine's set stuck to the definitive MVM classics of each album: "3 Year Plan" from _Burn_; "Get On With It", and "Born Guilty" from _State Voodoo/State Control_; "Inside These Walls", "Defense Mechanism", and "Fetal Position" from _Suffersystem_. The only non-album track of the night was a cover of Dag Nasty's "Dag Nasty", which incited the already crazy crowd to elevate their animosity. In addition, the band played a fair amount of new songs from the newly-released _Pirate Satellite_ EP, crushing the crowd with "Ghetto Blaster", "Water to Wine" and more. The surprising aspect of the show was that this was the only show that I had ever been to where the sound was beyond 100% perfect - album quality. MVM appeared to be finished the show after having played a tear-jerking rendition of "Distanced". Minutes later, we were treated to a skull-crushing encore containing "Bastard Is As Bastard Does", in which they invited ME (to whom they dedicated the rest of the show to for having designed the MVM homepage) on stage to share vocals with Adam, "Voodoo #1", and the closing epic, "Copper Theft", when a majority of the members proceeded to dive into the crowd, instruments and all.

Like them or not, Monster Voodoo Machine made a big impact on the hard music scene in Canada, sticking to playing uncompromisingly angry hardcore/metal anthems like no other. If you were a fan of MVM and you did not show up for this event, I'll conclude by tormenting this article's readers by commenting that they missed the best hard music concert in Canadian history.

Check out the MVM web site at:


(article submitted 11/10/1996)

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