Saturday, 3 August 2013

Show of Bedlam, Xothogua and Ensorcelor @Death Church in Montréal, August 1st

The show acted as a tour kickoff for Show of Bedlam and Xothogua. Ensorcelor were special guests. Look at Show of Bedlam's Facebook for the dates.  There's dates in Pittsburgh, New York...

I went to the Death Church in Verdun, Montréal to see this show. The venue is a private location, it's quite trashy but everyone were friendly and the atmosphere was very fun and laid back. I went with my friend Chandy and 3 of his newbie friends who didn't quite like the obscure metal experience but I'm sure the evening opened their minds a little! After some time in the backyard drinking some beer, we moved to the “church” for the show and I was impressed by the venue, there's a huge painting on the wall with brains and the name “death church” is painted ahead of an inverted cross behind the stage. The sound was good, better than I expected to be honest! I took no pictures because I was too busy not caring about those, oh well.

-Ensorcelor were the first to start after some delay. The show was supposed to start at 20:00 but it started near 21:30. Anyway, they delivered. I was there mainly for them because I've seen the two other bands before and they're even better than on record. Their torturous approach was very enjoyable, we were served by a huge amount of drone feedback at first until their blend of black metal vocals, slow sludge/doom riffs and icy atmosphere mesmerized the crowd. I believe they played their new split with Moloch but I'm not quite sure. The set was entrancing and I have no idea how long it was, perhaps 30 minutes or so. Great band. I'll see them as an headliner in late September with Verglas! Jonah Campbell's vocals are out of this world, he's such a powerful vocalist, emotional and talented. He's also excellent in the melodic death/black metal band To the Cliffs (Free download of their demo here!)

The new Ensorcelor track here, 20 minutes of goodness:

-Xothogua were next, I knew somewhat what to expect as I've seen them before (opener for The Gates of Slumber and Hammers of Misfortune, great show). They played their newly released tape (that I got with a nice patch) and it was really enjoyable. Subtle and heavy riffs , a thunderous bass and a nice tight and hard drummer make the band a cohesive unit. From atmospheric doom/sludge to faster groove stoner metal almost recalling mid era Cathedral (the last 4 or 5 minutes from their set was like that and it was my favorite moment). The vocals of Devo were screamed while Ari (the bassist) mixed cleans (not quite audible) with some harsh vox. I wish they were more in your face but the sound got better near the end of the set. The experience is a bit more complete on their recording.

You can see that there's a wide range of influences in the band just by the looks of its members, it goes from crusty hardcore to death metal shirts. Very promising band indeed!

Get a digital download of “you wont reach shore” for free here:

-Show of Bedlam were last, the crowd was a bit sparser than for the first two time since it was getting late (or perhaps some other reasons, don't know). I like their music but I much prefer the 2 other bands. While they're pretty interesting, they mix doom metal with sludge, post hardcore and some experimental noise, their sound gets a bit samey after a while. I had enough of their 35 to 40 minutes set. They have an interesting jazzy drummer and Xothogua's bassist is also in the lineup. Their main weapon is Paulina Richards' (I don't think you can find a more beautiful and charistmatic singer in the scene) vocals. She's tortured and romantic at the same time and it's always surprising to hear her delivery since it doesn't fit her cute look. Her stage antics are nice and it's always fun to see a band who's totally into their music. Their music has a nice dark overtone inspired by post/punk and gothic rock, it created an enjoyable spooky atmosphere and the Death Church is the perfect place for such a sound.

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