Category Archives: Canada

The Return of the Darkness and Evil

You have read many posts from places all over the world… now, here is my normal life at home, with my friends and my family! It feels good to be back home…

The trip back to Montreal was a breeze. Our two pairs of parents welcomed us at the airport, and then we went to François’ parents place for dinner (with the jetlag, it was like the 6th meal we ate that day!) It was cool to come back to Canada, but a bit unreal… seeing all those signs written both in French and English, and smelling the pure air (at least more pure than in Paris haha). It was still a shock though, to arrive in a corner store and have to pay taxes on top of the price! Over here, when you buy – let’s say, a 2$ beer in a store, it actually comes up to 2.30$ at the cash. In bars, the tax is included, but you have to tip the bar maid every time you order a beer! So, 4$ beer + 1$ tip. Anyway, I think I will be missing the cheapness (and freshness!) of beer in Germany.

Montreal from the airplane window

Our parents re-united to welcome us!

The next morning, I ate a totally Quebec-style breakfast: Creton with bagels from Fairmount bagels. It sounds really weird, but I was extremely excited to eat those! Creton is a simple pork pâté, but these wood-oven baked round bread things are the best in the world. They are so addictive that they are even imported fresh to New York City!

Bagels with creton

Another typically Canadian breakfast – waffle with maple syrup

We spent the following day at my friend Arnaud’s place, to see a GATES OF SLUMBER show. Arnaud is an amazing cook, and he made us one hell of a treat for dinner. We went to the Jean-Talon market (a famous food market here in town) to find the ingredients.

Arnaud choosing some chunky pork pieces

Garlic flower (?) and colored carrots

Browning the meat

Cooking the veggies

The result! Roasted organic pork on a bed of Quebec-grown veggies. It was absolutely godly!

A steak tartare as an entree, once of my favourite meals ever. Delicious.

After this, we headed to the gig – which was located in a hipster kind of venue, Il Motore. Not my kind of place – weird vibe and 5$ beers, so I ended up drinking outside during the opening band. When GoS came, I was already feeling pretty happy (the blurry photos kind of reflect that) hehe! I missed some parts of the following band, HAMMERS OF MISFORTURE, for been a bit too drunk. I’m not used to the strong Canadian beers yet. Anyway, they played really well, and live they sound a million times heavier than on record (yes, it’s possible!!)

Jason and the drummer

A badass looking Karl

A part of the crowd! Lovely VENOM backpatch!

Karine, Arnaud and Chantal drinking outside the venue

I was extremely hungover the next day. I don’t know if it’s because we drank sweet red beer or because they add chemicals in the beer here, but I felt like total crap! To feel a bit better, Arnaud and myself went to a Mexican restaurant for lunch (that’s the beauty of Montreal, it’s extremely international food-wise). It helped a great deal. Poor François had to get up early to go to work! He adapted pretty well to his job though, even though he’s not a big fan of routine.


Mexican soup (I don’t remember the name, but it was soooo good)

Tamales and refried beans (the tamales were actually really dry. I was disappointed)

Also went for pupusas with my friend France… these are Salvadorian specialties. Corn tortillas stuffed with cheese and refried beans – and then served with cabbage salad and a special tomato sauce!!!!! One of my favorite foods ever!

After the Mexican food, we went to visit some apartments – and actually found one that suited us perfectly! It is incredibly full of light, 30 minutes walking distance from my favourite venue and pretty cheap! We got really lucky to find it so fast!!

On Friday night, I met François after his work, and we took the bus to Ottawa to go to my parent’s place. They live in Orléans, a francophone suburb of the city, where I grew up! My grandparents were there, as well as my pregnant sister, Marjolaine. It was a shock to see her, she was already at 8 months pregnant or something!! My grandmother made me my favourite cake, and we just talked traveling for the evening…

My favourite cake! OK, one of my favourite cakes. Angel food cake with a really really sweet corn syrup icing.

Myself and my grandma!

The packages I sent to myself while traveling were waiting for me at home. I was so excited to open them up… I had like 35 packages – some of them loaded with rare LP’s from exotic places, as well as cool souvenirs (and packaged food) from all over. Arghhh!

Part of my packages waiting for me. I was still waiting for four more European packages actually! It was so exciting to open them up!

The next day for lunch, we had some ritual poutine. Remember during the whole trip, I was always trying to emulate poutine with local ingredients? Well, now we had the real thing. Our first one in a year and a half, with local quality ingredients. It was to die for!

Poutine from Fritomania in all its glory! It is considered one of the best poutineries… and it’s a 5 minute walk from my parent’s place! Check out that mass of squeaky fresh cheese and mysterious brown sauce. So good. So artery clogging.

When the weekend was over, François went back to Montreal to work, and I spent the whole week at my parent’s place. My sister had a baby shower, and I went shopping for some furniture that we needed for our apartment (we gave away half of our stuff before leaving on our trip). The following Friday, François came back to Ottawa and we both headed to my friend Alice’s place in Gatineau (a suburb of Ottawa, but on the Quebec side)… we were to have a welcome party with some friends we haven’t seen  in a long time. It ended up to be really crazy…

Starting the party at 4PM with some nice local micro-brewery beer.

Tootsie, one of Alice’s dogs, secretly hoping that she could drink beer as well

Alice in her backyard! She’s a really good friend of mine – have known her for so long!!

Alice’s boyfriend, Eric. He’s dancing to KISS’ Strutter on this photo! Eric is well known for having played bass in BASTARDATOR and HUMAN GREED, as well as living off a daily diet of beer and pizza. Ahh, I missed those two.

Playing poker. No, it’s not strip poker, they just removed their shirts cause it was extremely hot!

My good friend Emma and her young nephew (who only started drinking three months ago haha)

Four of my five Colombian friends that were at the party! I played “Snowblind” for them!

François and Eduard, the fifth Colombian!! He’s the one we went to visit when we were in Medellin.

Jeff (Bastardator ex-singer) doing a “Melissa” pose

Patrick, our drummer, with Steve Bennett (ex-Inepsy bassist) and his girlfriend. Notice his tattoo, it’s all the name of his ex-girlfriends crossed out! Hahahhaaha

Myself with a record! I was doing my DJ like I do all the time in parties!

Marty (ex-Human Greed, Longing for Dawn drummer) and Eric. Friends since the 80’s!

The party table… notice the bag of Ketchup chips. A North American specialty!

People from out of town brought their tents, and so Alice’s backyard became some sort of party camping ground. It was a lot of fun… kind of like a festival, without bands hehe


The next day, Saturday, we were supposed to move from Ottawa to Montreal, but finally it didn’t happen because the moving truck company rented our van to somebody else… so we had to wait the next day. Lucky for us… I slept one hour and we were hungover as hell haha

The inside of the truck, full of our stuff. We don’t actually own very much as you can see! Haha

We spent a few days doing renovation to our new apartment… it was pretty crusty; the people before us were there for 11 years. I don’t think they ever cleaned in those 11 years… we had to scrape layers of fat and goo from years of cooking around the stove! Nasty stuff. It looks great now though, and we really feel at home. It’s a good feeling for sure – especially after having traveled for so long, in different places!

View of my livingroom (not completely finished yet)!

Another part of my livingroom… feels so good to have access to my records. You guys have no idea how excited I am about it hahaha!

I then hopped on the train and went back to my parent’s place in Orleans for a few more couple of weeks – in order to spent a little bit more time with them. Together, we went to a family reunion in Saint-André-Avellin (Quebec countryside)… my uncles and aunts made a pig roast, as well as some roasted beef and poutine! Yeah!!

Claude, the roast master, with the pig

My mom and the family! You see everyone cutting up the pig in the back

I decided to put some of the beef roast with my poutine… it made a great mix hehe

A few days later, I returned in the countryside at my grandfather’s cottage, and made him some Czech goulash (he wanted to try something different and I was craving that meal!) The same day, I learnt that my uncle, the one that was roasting the pork a few photos earlier, was attacked by a mother bear. Apparently, the really warm summer we had in Canada caused a draught, that generated less food for bears… so they get quite dangerous these days. My uncle was just picking black berries and he saw three cubs coming out of the bush… and the mother followed right after – attacking him three times! She bit his leg, she tried biting his jugular vein – and he countered attacked her by putting his whole front arm into her jaw… and hitting her with his steel-toe caps. After a while, she stopped, looking to protect her cubs, and then he ran for his life – losing alot of blood on the way… crazy. He’s now feeling much better, but he’s incredibly lucky he’s still alive!!!

My grand-father’s cottage in Saint-André-Avellin. I spent all my summers there as a kid.

Swimming, fishing, boating.., many hours were spent here

Goulash, that I made for my grandpa!

Myself and my bear-fighting uncle, the day after it happened!

I came back to Montreal two weeks later, as my friend Johan and his wife were having a kind of south-american party at their place. Eduard made the national Colombian meal (bandeja paisa) and we had tons of beer and metal. So fun!

Eddie making his specialty beans

The result! The yellow things are fried plantains

Our table! From left to right: François, Greicy, Johan and Eduard

Eduard looks like a Colombian Halford, no?

The beautiful river that is right beside Johan’s apartment. We are on the Laval side (a Montreal suburb) – you can see Montreal (other side of river) on the photo

Eddie at the end of the party… hahaha

On Monday, I went to see my friend Aurélie’s new apartment – and meet my friend Guillaume. Aurélie is a French girl who lived in Finland for more than 10 years. She decided to move to Montreal, and arrived just a couple of weeks ago. Guillaume is a metal maniac, and I met him at my metal DJ nights in Montreal.

Aurélie and Guillaume

Her apartment is only something like 15 minutes walking from mine, so I came back home by foot. It was late in the night, and I passed in front of this Montreal institution…

Massage aux 4 mains! It’s actually a really sketchy “massage” parlour opened 24/7. The title translates to “4 hands massage”. There, you can ask for a happy ending at a little extra…

I walked around a lot in Montreal with François, exploring the city which changed just a little bit since we left. We’re really happy to be back here, this city really suits our style of living! Nice green areas, mixed with international flavors and beautiful urbanscapes. I love Montreal!

The financial district of Montreal

Old Montreal


The gay village

François drinking beer at our favourite bar, the Katacombes!

Normal poutine and Italian poutine at “La Belle Province” restaurant (not very good actually)

We went record shopping also, and went to 33 Tours – probably the record shop with the best LP collection in Montreal! To our surprise, it doubled in size since our last visit!!!!!!!

I was totally surprised to see DWARR re-issues there!

On Friday, August 24th, we finally went to see DEAD CAN DANCE at the Bell Centre, a hockey stadium here in Montreal. It’s not the best place to host this kind of show, but luckily we were seated quite close to the stage, so we had a good seat. There were some drunken idiots right next to me though – which kind of soured the beginning of the show (the guy beside me would scream “Liiiiiisa!!! I love you!!!, fall off his chair, sing the melodies, etc…) but then he left. What a relief! I was quite a spiritual experience, and it really ended well our trip – as well as the start of our new life. DCD was a big part of the soundtrack of our trip… but we pretty much only listened to the 80’s and early 90’s albums – which they vastly ignored in their show. Ahh well…!

Dead Can Dance

The next day was the first CAUCHEMAR gig in Canada since 2010! It was organized by my friend Carolina, and featured 4 more incredible bands; METALIAN (local NWOBHM-worship from Montreal), DEMONTAGE (Weird Heavy/Black/Thrash from Toronto), BORROWED TIME (US Heavy Metal, Detroit) and OCCULTATION (Doomy black metal from NYC). It was one hell of a perfect evening, with a large turnout, killer metal, good friends, and no fuck-ups whatsoever! All the bands played flawlessly, and gave all they had. We also played a good set – one of our bests! OCCULTATION really put me in the mood, and I was feeling the magic on stage…

Show flyer

METALIAN! They played only 30 minutes, including a cover of JP’s “Freewheel Burning!!”

BORROWED TIME. What a great band, they songs are catchy as hell, but also really original – in a US HM kind of way! It was an honor to see them live!

Adrian and Paul from DEMONTAGE! They were amazing, a million times tighter than the last time I saw them. They dedicated a cover of SABBAT’s “Satan Bless You” to yours truly… thank you!!

JM, DEMONTAGE’s drummer. The best visually impared drummer I know (and the only one!)

Part of the crowd! The promoter, Caro, is right in the middle of the crowd


…They sounded just like on their records. Dark, evil… great riffs and atmosphere


Another Cauchemar photo from the gig – taken by Julien Renaud

I spent the next two weeks doing some job searching, house work, as well as cooking (of course). No news from jobs yet, but hopefully the change of season and the return of students to class should open up a few jobs soon. A few days ago, I got an e-mail from my sister, that told me she broke her waters… and about 12 hours later, she gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. She was 20 days too soon, but she is perfectly healthy!! So we jumped on the bus and went back to Ottawa to see her, and celebrate a little bit. Congrats to the parents, and the grand-parents!!!

Myself with Isabelle, my sister’s first child! She got jaundice after this, but she’s now well and fully recovered!

We took advantage of being in Ottawa again to go visit a part of the downtown area as tourists. Ottawa, which is Canada’s capital, is a beautiful town rich with natural parks and beautiful old British-style buildings. We took a little walk around the capital, and went to the Bytowne market (a food market located right in the middle of town):

Some buildings, as well as theparliament at the back

A totem pole! Usually carved from a single tree, these are usually made by the aboriginal people of the west!

A huge hotel on Rideau street

Maple syrup treats at the downtown market

Huge baskets full of blueberries

Ontario-grown peaches (usually from the Niagara Falls region!)

Summer strawberries… yum

Braided garlic… getting ready for winter already! These apparently last a year!

We also did a bit of shopping at Ottawa’s best independant record shop… Vertigo Records! I found so many good records there, since it opened up, around 9 years ago. I really missed this place!

View of the metal section at Vertigo records!!!

We have done tons of things since… but it’s starting to become a bit repetitive. So, I won’t bore you with that, hehe. The trip is over… now, our new life is starting!

Thanks to all of you for the support throughout those intense months of traveling! Feel free to e-mail us anytime (see contact) if you have any questions or need any tips regarding diy traveling.

Goodbye! Return from the void!