Venue: Foufounes Électriques
Other bands playing: Obscurcis Romancia, Unhuman
I arrived in time to catch the two last songs of local melodic black metal openers Obscurcis Romancia. They were ok, I guess. Their style is pretty generic, with tons of galloping riffs, they had tightness problems and they were totally static on stage. I won't say they sucked, because they're not an awful band, but they just had nothing special.
Next was the band I consider to play the best death metal in Quebec since Gorguts and Cryptopsy. All three of their albums are crushing, dark and brutal masterpieces that take your mind on a horrific psychological trip. Sadly, this was their last show until a very long time. The band is releasing a new EP and a re-recorded version of the first record, Karma
, and going on an indefinite hiatus after that. This was my first (and maybe last) time seeing them with the new line-up, featuring Phil from First Fragment/Chthe'ilist on guitar, and it totally did justice to the albums. Emmanuel's vocals were majestically tortured and furious, and the instruments would drown you in low frequency mud. The sound was great, and it made their performance even more hypnotizing. For "Delirium" and "Cleansing", they brought their ex-bassist on stage, and for "Nightmare" and "Transcending", they brought their ex-vocalist (the one who sang on the records). The dual vocal attack took their performance to another level of brutality, if that's even possible. The best moment was the closing with the first half of their 21-minutes classic off The Omnipresent Curse
("Tempted" was also only played until the half of the song). I'm going to miss these guys. Please do me a favor and check them out.
The last local opener was Unhuman, featuring Youri Raymond (ex-Cryptopsy) on guitar and vocals and Kevin Chartré (from Beyond Creation) on lead guitar. What's funny is that the band has existed for more than 15 year and still has not released one single album, even if they have about 3 full albums ready to be released. They play a mix of many genres: technical death metal, mathcore, jazz, punk rock, power metal, etc. This, added to the wierd insect/alien vocals by Youri, builds into a very wierd whole. They a great performance, which must have been pretty mindblowing for non-initiates. Though, I always thought that their songs were uneven: a lot of them sound like they lack purpose or direction. Also, Youri uses his unique inhaled vocal technique way to often. It's cool and innovative, but sometimes it breaks the intensity of the songs. Anyway, these guys are extremely skilled musicians, and the three last songs they played were splendid.
After that, it was the moment. Anaal Nathrakh's first canadian show, and the first date of their first american tour ever. Many metalheads in Montreal had waited years for this, myself included. I couldn't believe it was finally happening. An intro, that was actually a mix of the ones to In the Constellation of the Black Widow
and Domine Non Es Dignus
, played from the PA and they immediately bursted into the title track of their 2009 album. It sounded like fucking armaggeddon; nothing less. I can't remember seeing a live band that sounded more raw and aggressive than them. Their live drummer is a fucking killing machine, and Dave's shrieks and growls, consolidated by Drunk's (their live bassist - the guy from Fukpig) depraved yelling and screaming, were ear shredding. The heavily distorted guitar and bass tones also ripped faces. The crowd was not asking for anything more and responded very positively to the assault: the pits were violent. Since the show was far from being sold out, people had space to move, which made the pits even rougher. Most of the times, the Fouf's floor ressembled an apocalyptic war zone. There was nowhere to rest: you were attacked by people from every side, especially from the stage. The band, Mick Kenny and the filling guitarist in particular, seemed to have the times of their lives, always headbanging and jumping with a constant smile on their faces, singing the lyrics with the few fans who knew them (I know, this was actually some pretty awful self-indulgence, but deal with it
). Dave looked just like what he had to be: pissed off. He actually looked like he meant every scream. His incessant talking was also funny. At some point, he asked what we tought about Obama's election and one of my anarchist friends yelled "Who gives a fuck?" Bad idea - he suffered V.I.T.R.I.O.L.'s wrath.
Dave's banter was a bit lengthy and it reduced the set's intensity, but it was still funny. Some highlights were his rants about bands that do fake encores (the 3 last songs were their non-encore
) and the introduction to "Of Fire, and Fucking Pigs", which was something like that: "Pigs is an old saying for the human race, that's how we used to call them - long pigs - and fire, well, that's the way I like to think about pigs and humans. Indeed, this song is about bacon." However, although it was entertaining, he should have talked a bit less and played a few more songs. In fact, their setlist somewhat short (only twelve 3-4 minutes songs) and disappointing. Where the fuck were "Do Not Speak" and "Pandemonic Hyperblast"? I just think that my expectations were unachievable. I thought that it would be the best show of my entire life, but the briefness of the set spoiled it a little. Still, I wanted to see Anaal Nathrakh, and I've seen Anaal Nathrakh - I'm happy. Also, the set didn't only have flaws: the new songs, above all "Forging Towards the Sunset", sounded great live and "When Fire Rains Down from the Sky..." was one of the best things I've ever heard a band play. A memorable performance.
At the end of the show, I wanted to buy Vanitas
and maybe get it signed, but they hadn't brought any CD with them on the plane. I guess I'll order it online instead.
In the Constellation of the Black Widow
The Blood-Dimmed Tide
Between Shit and Piss We Are Born
Volenti Non Fit Iniuria
The Final Absolution
Submission Is for the Weak
Bellum Omnium Contra Omnes
Forging Towards the Sunset
The Lucifer Effect
When Fire Rains Down from the Sky, Mankind Will Reap As It Has Sown
Of Fire, and Fucking Pigs
More of Fire than Blood