Heavy Montreal 2019: Who to Watch?

Picking out the best bands out of another amazing lineup.

(Photo by Jean-Frederic Vachon)

A thunderous amount of decibels will soon rain down on Parc Jean-Drapeau as the 2019 edition of Heavy Montreal takes place on July 27th and 28th. This year, the festival finally moves back in its traditional location, but newly revamped after two years fo work. The site promises to be amazing, and the ideal venue for two long days filled with great bands, food trucks and even some wrestling!

With acts playing on four different stages, navigating the schedule is an of careful preparation. We’ve gone through the lineup with a fine comb, and here’s our list of acts we think you shouldn’t miss.


Galactic Empire A band that plays excellent heavy metal renditions of Star Wars music, while wearing a variety of costumes from the space saga’s rogue gallery. If you ever needed a reason to show up right as the doors open, this is it. Can I go line up right now?

Galactic Empire

Anonymus Local metal legends Anonymus are celebrating their 30 year anniversary with a performance that will surely be high in intensity!

Quiet Riot Their 1983 album ‘Metal Health’ spawn two mega hits: ‘Cum On Feel the Noize’ and the title track ‘Metal Health’. The road has been difficult for the band, who lost their original singer Kevin DuBrow to a cocaine overdose in 2007, and dropped members left and right along the way. Today, only drummer Frankie Banali remains from the 1983 lineup, but their catalog of songs is perfect for an outdoor party.

Quiet Riot
Quiet Riot

 Cancer Bats Our first difficult pick, since they’ll be playing at the same time as Hatebreed. You can’t go wrong with either one, but I’ll choose Cancer Bats’ unique brand of hardcore at this point.

Cancer Bats (2018 – photo by Asad Aman)

Steel Panther The LA rockers may parody the hair metal scene of the 80’s, but they do it with great songs and top-notch musicianship. Lyrics may be NSFW, unless of course you work at a metal festival.

Steel Panther (Photo by David Jackson)

Godsmack Can you believe that it’s been 20 years since Godsmack’s debut album? The nu-metal icons have managed to stay true to themselves even as their sound evolved, and gained new fans along the way. This will be the band’s third appearance at Heavy Montreal and it promises to be a highlight.


Ghost After a thrilling performance at Place Bell last year, the Swedish rockers are back for a return engagement. Some purists may not like the band’s mix of hard rock, metal and pop, but their live show is undeniably a treat for the eyes and ears.

And if you have to be grumpy and still say no to Ghost, well you can catch Dying Fetus at the same time instead.


Mountain Dust Another good reason to show up early. The Montreal stoner rock band will kick off the day in style and will surely make new fans with their retro sounding hard rock. Think 70’s hard rock mixed with psychedelic rock and a dash of The Doors.

Mountain Dust

Beast in Black Founded by guitarist Anton Kabanen after he left Battle Beast, Beast in Black will bring a touch of power metal to this year’s Heavy Montreal. Big melodies and even bigger choruses, along with great guitar hooks and dazzling solos make Beast in Black a must-see band.

Beast in Black

Metalachi What if a mariachi band decided to play covers of metal and hard rock songs? Find out when Metalachi hits the stage! Their set promises to be a fun set of great tunes done tongue-in-cheek in daring new arrangements.


Gamma Ray And if Mariachi metal isn’t your cup of tea, German power metal legends Gamma Ray will pay us a rare visit and play a set at more or less the same time.

Gamma Ray

Slash featuring Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators Guitar legend Slash and Alter Bridge vocalist Myles Kennedy will assuredly offer a high energy set, and we can expect a few Guns n’ Roses classics in the set!

Slash ft Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators

Anthrax The New York branch of the Big Four of Thrash Metal. Anthrax has played Heavy Montreal multiple times, and has never failed to deliver a set filled with classic tunes.


Slayer As their farewell tours is entering the final stretch, Montreal is blessed with a return visit from these thrash legends, also members of the Big Four. Last chance, for real this time, to catch their show!

This year’s lineup is truly great and varied, and this list barely scratches the surface! There’s definitely something for everyone, and with a little bit of curiosity, one could come out with new favourites too. Let’s rock!

What are your can’t miss acts? Let us know in the comments!

Heavy Montreal takes place at Parc Jean-Drapeau on July 27-28. Tickets are on sale here.

About Jean-Frederic Vachon

Jean-Frederic Vachon is a pop culture aficionado who mainly writes about music, here on Montreal Rampage and at his site Diary of a Music Addict. But given the right subject, he also likes to cover comics, video games and hockey. Contact: Website | Facebook | Twitter | More Posts