I don’t know what took me so long to get this post started… One Eyed God Prophecy was one of the most influential screamo/grindcore/crusty emo bands from Canada, and are still one of the most respected. And they are definitely the ones that put Sherbrooke, Quebec on the hardcore map.
This five-piece formed in 1995 and practiced in guitarist Ugo Desgreniers’ shed, where they would also play their first shows. Dominic Poulin was on vocals, Sébastien Philibert on guitar, Alexandre Bibeau on bass and Jean-Pierre Dionne rounded up the band on drums. The idea of the band was very simple; to have fun as a band of friends and stay true to their emotions and feelings. The band felt most at home playing small club shows where they could feel part of the audience. Their influences would come from Rorschach, Econochrist, Born Again and of course Canadian mates Union of Uranus, Drift and Shotmaker.
During one of their early practices, their friend Yannick Lorrain came by and after hearing their only three written songs, asked them to put out an LP on his label, The Great American Steak Religion. No doubt due to his label this band has kept a cult status over the yeras. In early 1996, with their full catalog of songs, the LP was released. The original album art was red, black and white. Since then the album has been repressed in black and white only.
To promote this release, Yan helped book an entire tour from Quebec to Ontario, then down through Michigan, west all the way to California, then south east to Florida and back up the east coast. It was a massive six week tour that covered all of the United States and part of Canada. Most of the flyers on this tour mentioned that they featured ex-members of Union of Uranus, which was only a publicity stunt created by Yan in order to get more people at shows in the states where they were still unknown. The band embarked on tour with their 1976 orange hippie van ready to play with Anasarca, Julia Palatka, Seein’ Red and Torches to Rome on multiple dates. One of the most iconic show of this tour was at the mid-point, where they played Tampa Bay, Florida with Holocron and Reversal of Man. The tour was a huge success and would prove to be a major influence for bands such as Orchid, and countless late 90’s screamo acts.
Tour listing: (currently incomplete)
- 1996-06-30 Two Steps Above, Ottawa, ON. Julia
- 1996-07-02 Erin Mills Church, Mississauga, ON. Grade, Julia, Maiefraction, The End of the Century Party, In/Humanity, Four Hundred Years
- 1996-07-03 31G, Kalamazoo, MI. Anasarca, Jenny Piccolo, Locust, Resin
- 1996-07-05 More Than Music Fest, Columbus, OH. Great Unraveling, Franklin, Braid, Endive, Fieldtree, The Promise RingSpirit Assembly, Joan of Arc, Across Five Aprils, Broken Hearts Are Blue, Mesin, Avail, Young Pioneers, Jenny Piccolo, Constantine Sankathi, Compound Red, Khai, Anasarca, Harriet the Spy, BoySetsFire, Church of the Bombs, Wallside, Inquisition, Julia, Locust, Three Studies for a Crucifixion, Armstrongs Secret Nine, Remington
- 1996-07-17 Epicenter, San Francisco, CA. Anasarca, Palatka
- 1996-07-18 UC Santa Crux, Santa Cruz, CA. Anasarca, Saturn’s Flea Collar, Space Boy
- 1996-07-20 The Living Room, Goleta, CA. Anasarca, Julia, Disembodied, Set Vector, Kodiak, Lead Foot Broadcast, Q-Factor, Absinthe, Enewetak, Palatka, Tho Ko Losi, The Great Unraveling, Constantine Sankathi, Endeavor, Torches to Rome, Seein’ Red, Man Is the Bastard, Parade’s End, Guyver One, Land of the Wee Beasties, Render Useless, Sawpit, Hellbender
- 1996-07-23 Huntington Beach Library, Huntington Beach, CA. Anasarca, Sawpit, Deadwood Devine
- ???? Tampa Bay, FL. Reversal of Man, Holocron
- 1996-07-28 The Oasis, Memphis, TN. F.D.M., Car 54
- 1996-08-02 The Happy Hardcore House, Washington D.C. Anasarca, Seein’ Red, Torches to Rome
- 1996-08-05 The Cabbage Collective/2125 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA. Torches to Rome, Seein’ Red, Spirit Assembly
- 1996-08-06 Jack’s Correct Fit Shoe Store, Oceanside, NY. Anasarca, Palatka, Inside, Closure, Irony of Lightfoot, Lesser of Two
After the tour the band got working on some new material, closely watched by The Great American Steak Religion. By the end of the year they had sold out of the first press of LPs and Yann decided to repress them. But he quickly found out that the original design had been lost, so he had a similar one created. The leafless tree theme would be a true staple of the band’s image. After playing a few local shows in the fall, Ontario invited them again to play in the province for the new years. The first was December 31st at the Peter Clark Hall in Guelph. This new years eve show was played with Ire, Converge, Piebald, Three Studies for a Crucifixion, Harriet the Spy, Shoulder, Acrid, Drift and Jonah. On January 1st of 1997, the new years day show was played with Acrid, Drift and Jonah once again, plus Armstrongs Secret Nine.
But One Eyed God Prophecy would break up shortly into 1997, just before hitting their two year mark as a band. The new songs were never finished nor recorded. They had done everything they could dream of. But all too fast; the band got too popular too fast, and ended too fast. Still to this day, people are talking about them.
In 2001 a friend of the band, under the one-time record label APC Records, pressed a home made discography on CD. The sole purpose was to have it for himself on CD, but the demand from his friends ended up being high enough for him to make close to 100 copies. The discography not only contained the seven songs from the LP but also two live sets. The first was taken from a sold out and full packed CFLX Radio studio show in Sherbrooke, and the second from Birdhouse.