Venue: Il Motore
Opening bands: Warsenal, Pallor Mortis, Barn Burner
Skeletonwitch is a band that tours massively. I had many opportunities to catch them as an opening act, but it was about time they headlined here and a lot of people seemed to be waiting for them. However, for the first local band, the place was pretty much empty. Warsenal were better than what I expected they would be, because of their kinda cheesy name. They played thrash metal in the vein of old Megadeth, but with a more modern edge. The guitarist/vocalist fucking rocked: he had great riffs, cool vocals, though his english was sloppy, and a lot of energy. He got some small pits going (probably with mostly friends of the band, but still...). The drummer was pretty good too, but the bassist didn't seem to be able to follow them, and because his sound was at least as loud as the guitar's, it got very annoying at some points. I also felt like they were missing a guitar. I enjoyed them moderately, but I would have loved them if they had two guitars and a tight bassist.
The other local opener was one of the finest new bands from Montreal: Pallor Mortis. They play heavy and dark old school death metal influenced by bands like Morbid Angel, Incantation, and sometimes even Dying Fetus. Their vocalist sounds like what Chris Barnes used to sound on Tomb of the Mutilated
. The only difference is that he is better, especially for the high vocals. His growls are fucking low too. Their drummer also has a particular, precise, almost military, style of drumming and it's brutal. Speaking of their drummer, he just left the band and I feared the band would have to cancel the show but finally he decided to stay for the two remaining gigs that the band had planed. This was my third time seeing them and they slayed even more this time. The vocals had improved and the band was heavier. My only complaints are that the guitarists could be less static, and that the lightings could have been darker, but that's not the fault of the band. Even if the lights were a bit too bright, I love Il Motore. It's a comfortable venue and it has great sound. Also, I wanted to buy their EP, but they left before the end of the show. Hopefully, they'll move their show with Vengeful (which is scheduled the same night as Obituary/Broken Hope) and I'll be able to buy it this time.
The next band was the first of the touring band, but their hometown is in fact Montreal. Barn Burner are a local stoner metal band signed to Metal Blade Records. Though I had heard a lot about them, I had neither listened to them seriously or catched one of their local gigs before. Let me say my mind was blown. They had great energy, and their songs were heavy and catchy as hell. They had a punk feel, but they were still very metal. The place started being packed for them and there was a lot of movement in the crowd. They were even brought back for an encore at the end. I loved their performance and I'll have to listen to their albums quickly!
Then finally came the Witch. The Ohio band demolished everything in its path. I definitely enjoyed them more than when I saw them at Heavy MTL 2010. It was probably because of the more intimate setting of the show, because of the very enthusiastic crowd and also because I knew the songs a lot more this time. As for the previous bands, but just a little bit more, the sound was excellent. You could hear every instrument, except for the bass, perfectly. Their performance was fucking stellar. There are so many things to say about it... Chance's vocals were spot on and his interaction with the crowd was masterful, the riffs and the drumming were crushing, the solos were perfectly executed (especially the one in "Cleaver of Souls"
) and the crowd completely went nuts. Their show was a great time for everyone, including me. I moshed, headbanged and screamed the lyrics I knew like a maniac all set long. The song selection surely helped too. They played every song I wanted to hear, except for "Soul Thrashing Black Sorcery" (they had played "Despoiler of Human Life" back at Heavy MTL 2010, so it was ok they didn't play it this time). My personal highlight was "Cleaver of Souls". It's my favourite song from the new record and it was greatly performed. The pits for "Fire from the Sky" and "Crushed Beyond Dust" were also pure fun.
After the show I bought all three of their CDs.
Reduced to the Failure of Prayer
Erased and Forgotten
Submit to the Suffering
Upon Wings of Black
Choke Upon Betrayal
The Horrifying Force (The Desire to Kill)
Beyond the Permafrost
Longing for Domination
Fire From the Sky
Vengeance Will Be Mine
Of Ash and Torment
Crushed Beyond Dust
Cleaver of Souls
Sacrifice for the Slaughtergod
Shredding Sacred Flesh
Within My Blood