San Francisco-based heavy duo La Fin Absolute du Monde don’t often make the northward trek across the border, even though one half of the duo (Cyndy Melanio) grew up in Vancouver; so, despite the date of their recent performance conflicting with the launch of Modified Ghost Festival at the Biltmore, one’s choice of which show to attend was obvious. The pair (rounded out by Jason Myles) played a polished set that would inspire any fan of innovative heavy rock: backed by rigid industrial-tinged beats reminiscent of Godflesh – an obvious influence as well as occasional collaborator (Godflesh founder Justin Broadrick supplied a remix of LFAdM’s “Black Sheep” in 2014), their energetic live show and full sound exceeded one’s expectations for a duo performing on the Rickshaw’s relatively large stage.
As technology and stylistic hybridization facilitate an increasing number of two-person musical acts (notable recent heavy examples include Norway’s Pil & Bue and Seattle’s Bell Witch), one would hope that the pair’s unique “neo-noir” will find its audience, especially among younger listeners and connoisseurs, both of which are demographic groups more accustomed to the disruption of established musical genres than one finds among fans of pure hard rock or metal. Industrial heavy music has a modest but nonetheless devoted local following which actively supports regular visits from innovative projects like Author & Punisher, so there is certainly room for more and one hopes Vancouver will see La Fin Absolute du Monde again before long.
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La Fin Absolute du Monde:
Local singer-songwriter Elza supported with an intimate opening set of old and new songs accompanied by a full backing band, including the clever banter of bassist Darryl Greer (Revenger). Where LFAdM songs are driven by heavy guitar, Elza proffers lovely vocal passages, accompanied by melodic textures and punctuated with bright beats and percussive elements, to render transfixing emotional interludes that flow seamlessly from one to the next (and would be even moreso if the ensemble can work on minimizing downtime between songs.) The debut of new song “Swayed” suggests that its modest songwriter is more confident in her vocal abilities now than on 2014’s Glories EP and that she is comfortably crafting material to band-friendly specifications. The ensemble seems very close to finding its collective stride and one looks forward to seeing Elza and company play more live shows this year.