Soilwork -- Montreal, Quebec -- March 17th, 2013
Venue: Petit Campus
Tour: North American Infinity Tour 2013
This show started at the very early hour that is 6:10 (why 6:10 and not 6:00, I have no clue, but whatever). I managed to get there in time for Hatchet. I had discovered the band a long time ago, because they used to be signed on Metal Blade. I never thought they had anything special that put them apart from your ordinary thrash band, but I was glad to get to see them on their first Montreal appearance. I went to the bar and grabbed a ticket for the Katatonia off-date next month, to which I decided to go since the Steven Wilson show sold out. I sat down for a few minutes until the Bay Area thrashers got on stage. I then went up front and started to fear that what I was expecting (due to the popularity drop that Soilwork suffered since the release of [I]The Panic Broadcast[/I]) was coming true: the floor was empty to a point where it was ridiculous. Including myself, there were 4 people up front and 3 of them were photographers. Still, Hatchet started to discharge their old school thrash attacks on the few people that were there, while urging the ones that were standing on the sides or at the merch booths to come over. At the second song, Paul from Blackguard went on stage and gave us an imperative "Avancez-vous, tabarnak!" (kinda means "Get the fuck up front!"). This and the continuous efforts of the frontman finally came to fruition and the floor started to fill itself as more and more people entered the Petit Campus. In the end, it seems that the only problem was the early starting time, because by the time Blackguard got on, the place was sold-out (which means about 300 people). Anyway, Hatchet were very enthusiastic and energetic and they got a warm reaction from the crowd. They even managed to get a brief pit going for "Signals of Infection". They only played stuff from their new record, which was pretty good news, beacause it all sounded like they improved a lot musically since their generic debut [I]Awaiting Evil[/I] (don't get me wrong - the new songs were generic too, but they were just better).
During the change-up, I got to talk with Sarsip, who had came down from Vermont to see the show (I would have talked longer, but I lost you after the set, see you next time dude!). It was then the time for the California thrashers in Bonded by Blood, who have now become a 4-piece; they dropped one guitar. I was pretty excited to see them, because I'm a big fan of their debut album and I had never caught the opportunity to watch one of their many opening slots for big tours that hit Montreal in the past few years. Sadly, I didn't catch them at their best. First, having only one guitar during the many solos they have drops the energy a lot. I mean, this guy is skilled as fuck and he's fun to watch, but all the heaviness was abandoned every time he started to shred. Second, they were totally out of luck. They kept having trouble with the electricity on stage: Juan's guitar pedal rack kept going on and off, switching him to clean mode in the middle of riffs or solos. Also, during "Immortal Life", they blew a fuse and their bassist's amp just shut down. It took a lot of time to fix it and they had to cut 1 or 2 songs from their set. The band seemed to be stressed out (the singer kept begging for a beer, which he got from the guys in Blackguard), but they managed to pull it off and make things heavy and pounding again with the [I]Mental Vortex[/I]-era Coroner influenced title track to their latest album [I]The Aftermath[/I], that is by far their weakest, but I really like that song. They gave a good performance and people went crazy for them even if the sound sucked. I'm looking forward to see them again sometime in better conditions.
The next band playing was our own Blackguard and I was starting to get hungry as hell since my lunch only consisted of a banana and a small slice of leftover chocolate cake, so me and two of my friends went out and grabbed a few pizza slices (the pizzeria on Prince-Arthur street is actually very good and cheap). When we got back to the venue, the local epic/melodic/generic death metallers were about to play their last song, which was "Fear of All Flesh" from their most recent album [I]Firefight[/I]. I noticed that Etienne Mailloux was replaced by Chris from The Agonist. The place was packed and people were going nuts for our local "heroes". For me, I was bored after one song and I found Paul Ablaze to be annoying as always. Whatever, they gave us time to go get food, so I'm grateful. I'm guessing they played the same set as on the previous dates. If not, someone please correct me. After a long soundcheck, the guitar hero Jeff Loomis, his unmistakable blonder-than-blonde hair and his bandmates hit the stage. I was stoked to see his fingers rape that guitar neck, because I've sadly never had the chance to witness Nevermore live. They started things on a fast pace with "Jato Unit" from Jeff's first solo album. As expected, Jeff was on fire, but his live band had sound issues. The drummer's snare was way too loud and the rhythm guitar was inaudible for at least half of the set (Joe Nurre really seemed to be desperate during the first two songs). Also, the musicians seemed to have trouble correctly hearing themselves in the monitors. Yet, the songs were as heavy (dat bass tone!) and technically impressive as they are on record, especially the classics "Miles of Machines" and "Devil Theory" with their signature neo-classical sweeped arpeggios. The only thing that really disappointed me except for the sound was that there were too many people in front of me and that I only managed to get a few glimpses at Jeff's fretboard magic. By the end of the set, I was starting to be bored by all this technical wankery. More that six songs would have been too much, but they stopped at the right moment. I just wish he would get back with Nevermore some day...
Finally, it was time for the band I had waited for. I was completely psyched to see Soilwork: I've been listening to them since 7th or 8th grade and seeing them live was some kind of childhood dream coming true (the two most recent tours had hit the Foufounes Électriques when I was under 18 years old). When they played their intro and took the stage by storm, the placed was bombed out and hot as hell. My heart started racing and I was mentally thrown five years back to my young fanboy state. I could see I was not the only one; the crowd was completely going insane. They started with the second single from their new record, which wasn't the best opener, but still a great song - and it was immediately followed by their classic tune "Like the Average Stalker", so it was fine. I actually enjoy [I]The Living Infinite[/I] very much. Musically and creatively, they're at their best and, though it doesn't have the same charisma as the older stuff, I believe it's their best since [I]Stabbing the Drama[/I]. Back to the show, the sound wasn't perfect, I wish David Andersson's guitar and Sven Karlsson's keyboard were louder, but I didn't care that much. Björn's vocals were impressively spot-on: the screams were passionate and the cleans were beautiful. I just hope he can keep this up for these 54 concerts with only 3 days off. Anyway, Soilwork seemed like a bunch of experienced, professional musicians who knew what they were doing, while having a total blast. The guitar solos were impeccable and the band was tight, but what struck me the most was Dirk Verbeuren's drumming. That guy is a monster when he's on his kit. He executed the complex and varied patterns on the new songs perfectly and he added his own creative touch to the older songs, making them even more interesting. The bassist, Ola Fink, was also awesome to watch. Not that what he does is extremely technical or anything, but he's the most dynamic out of the six members. He does the backing screams and he never ceases to fool around and to interact with the crowd. Also, the new songs sounded great live, specially the lightning fast melodic anthem "Spectrum of Eternity". The only thing that kept that set from being perfect was the presence of many drunk/retarded assholes in the pit. There were assholes, but most of the crowd was cool. Soilwork actually have very dedicated fans; I've rarely seen a band get their name chanted that much thoughout one set. That kind of devoted crowd brought some epic empowering moments, like at the end of the set when the whole place sang their throats off to the chorus of "Stabbing the Drama". Let's just say that the early teenager in me wasn't disappointed at all by his first time seeing his swedish heroes. He just hopes they'll play more off [I]Figure Number Five[/I] next time. Now, back to studying, you lazy moron.
Silenced by Death
Screams of the Night
Signals of Infection
Dawn of the End
[B][U]Bonded by Blood[/U][/B]
I Can't Hear You
Fear of All Flesh
Shouting Fire at a Funeral
Miles of Machines
This Momentary Bliss
Like The Average Stalker
Spectrum of Eternity
Weapon of Vanity
Figure Number Five
Black Star Deceiver
Final Fatal Force
Long Live The Misanthrope
Let This River Flow
Rise Above The Sentiment
Possessing The Angels
One With The Flies
Late For The Kill, Early For The Slaughter
As We Speak
Stabbing The Drama
I will always defer to your reviews. The reviews are quite good! :flame:
I enjoyed the show. I was a bit pooped. This show was my third in three days and fourth within a week.
I was looking for you to ask you about Blackguard. I thought they were really good. Their sound was awful also.
I think Jeff Loomis is a fantastic guitar player, but I think his set was a buzzkill. The band sounded pretty good, but the crowd simply stopped moving.
I spoke with Juan from BBB before Soilwork came on. He told me that all the equipment was plugged in to one outlet. That struck me as quite funny. My first thought was; there must be another outlet in this building?
I thought Soilwork sounded the best, but I am not a huge fan so I skated early to get my ticket for Diamond Head!!
See you soon!
Nice review man, sounds like an awesome time.
I like The Living Infinite but personally feel they could have made one solid album out of it and cut a number of filler tracks instead of doing the whole double album.
And for the power issues, I don't know, but they must have more than one power outlet. That would be dumb. Maybe BBB just got their gear plugged wrong. Thinking about it, the exact same thing happened to Ken of Abigail Williams on the Rotting Christ/Melechesh tour. He was so pissed off that the band just stopped playing after the third song. It was pretty embrrassing. I just hope this doesn't happen too often. At least the Café Campus doesn't have that kind of problems, which is cool, because I wouldn't wan't Katatonia to have their guitars go off next month... ;)
[QUOTE=W0unds;517127]Nice review man, sounds like an awesome time.
I like The Living Infinite but personally feel they could have made one solid album out of it and cut a number of filler tracks instead of doing the whole double album.[/QUOTE]
Thank you too!
I kinda agree with you on the album, but it's a grower. You know they actually recorded 26 songs for the album and picked 20 out of them? There are maybe 2-3 less good ones in there, but the more I listen to it, the more I like it as a whole. Also, I have yet to test it, but one of my friends told me the tracks on the second CD referenced to the ones on the first, by using similar lyrics and scales/riffings. If you listen to Spectrum and Misanthrope, Tongue and Leech, and so on, you're supposed to notice some similitudes...
I thought Katatonia was at Petit Campus?
[QUOTE=sarsip;517132]I thought Katatonia was at Petit Campus?[/QUOTE]
Well, both the BCI website and the facebook event say Café Campus...
at what time did the show end?
Soilwork is always awesome live. I skipped this one but I saw their last 2 shows at Foufs. Good setlist.
[QUOTE=scouinci;517140]at what time did the show end?[/QUOTE]
Around 11 pm.
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