March 17, 2023, 11 months ago

Photos: Thomas Mazerolles | Words: Bruno Maniacci

gallery black death rotting christ carach angren uada gaerea

Another sold-out show of the “Under Our Black Cult” tour featuring Greek death metal titans Rotting Christ, Dutch gothic theater of Carach Angren, American melodic black metal masters Uada and Portuguese mysterious hooded menace Gaerea. Montreal metal fans answered the call to honor this interesting line up, gathering four different entities, each worshiping their own black cult tonight in remarkable performances.

Gaerea is the paroxysm of modern post-hooded-black metal, certainly bringing an intriguing ritual there, with their black painted hands and a possessed singer, sometimes reminding the post-hardcore voice of the first Regarde Les Hommes Tomber album. It is a bit like Uada and Mgla went to some sort of tribal religious club: well-dressed, and a clean sound. Still efficient, powerful with good riffs and melodies there and there from their recent Mirage, but the no guitar amps and sequenced performance gives a flat dynamic to the sound in the end.

Sadly, probably most people would say Uada did not sound that good this night when they were actually sounding real. Plugged in actual amps, no exaggerated triggered bass drum, just pure wrath delivered by some melodic black metal masters these days - take a look at the Dissection shirts in the crowd - able to navigate through the approximate sound conditions and, thanks to their intense touring experience, giving them a great intensity. Also, which band got the balls to play a brand new unknown song – called “Retraversing The Void” - in a 4 song set, not trying to please your little comfort with only "Spotify hits" and safe sequenced plastic sound? Haters will hate, in an era where post-black metal points toward the decline of modern metal and music, with technology and computers slowly destroying the human energy and heart within the music, Uada still delivers black metal in a proper and authentic way.

But the following act was getting back to it, with the gothic theatrical metal of Carach Angren. Once again, a flawless performance, super tight and everything, impressive riffs and rhythm changes there and there. But how flat is that sound, when everything is coming out from the monitors, even the non-existent bass? Oh yeah, it sounds just like the CD. So clean. Too clean. Carach Angren is like Dimmu Borgir trying to have sex with Cradle Of Filth but just ending up watching Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas. And surely, they have beautiful videos, and storytelling in their lyrics, and actually interesting music parts there and there, but that computer processed no amp, no bass player sound is making the whole thing flat. Go watch a live from Dimmu Borgir playing “Stormblast” in 1998 somewhere in Poland, and then think about what happened to the world of heavy metal, even in that specific genre.

Thankfully, the Greek horde of Rotting Christ was here to kick some serious ass, and prove that you can play with sequenced orchestrations, real amplifiers, and still crush some skulls. The death black well-oiled metal machine is powerful, and you can feel the live experience through their incredible energy. The sold-out venue is headbanging to their killer mid-tempo songs like “Fire, God And Fear”. Not to mention the thrashy Destruction-esque “Societas Satanas” paying great tribute to Greek metal legacy of Thou Art Lord. Impressive energy, a massive sound, great bass and guitar tones, including epic solos proving that a Gibson Lespaul plugged in a real amp sounds way better than the other amp-simulated bands. Rotting Christ take the headline as masters, delivering a solid and powerful performance, hailed by Montreal fans. 

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