It’s one of the nicest days in the last month after having one of the coldest months of May and June ever recorded in the good old city of Montreal. The Klash of the Titans tour is in town, the second to last date of this North American trek.
Inside the Olympia Theatre in downtown Montreal is a vast array of people, young and old, coming here to celebrate Thrash metal in its purest form. It’s a packed crowd again like most of the Metal tours that have been coming to the city since early January. I do believe it’s damn near a sellout again and Metal is alive and well in our wonderful city.
I met up with some very good friends of mine, I never said I was going to the show so it was a surprise for them to see me and they were elated. Well after all the late work hours and 50-hour weeks, it was fun to chill out and see some friends at an old-fashioned Metal show. The venue is an old-time theatre like the Corona Theatre, an old venue with a sense of prestige, with a huge balcony upstairs but with a lot of space in front of the stage with massive speakers. This venue is usually for standup comics or straight-up masterpiece theatre but tonight it was a whole new ballgame with Kreator in town…
Beginning the festivities at 6:30 on the button were Spiritworld, a Death Western band from Las Vegas. I was quite apprehensive, to say the least when I read they were a Country/Western-themed band and I honestly did not know what to expect. Well the western theme is ever present with the garb, stage props, and the Red Dead Redemption meets Sergio Leone backdrop but the music is far from what I expected.
Apart from the interludes between songs, and stuff coming from old Western movies, the music is a mix of old-school Integrity, Pantera and the Hell Awaits era Slayer. It was a very groovy, frantic, and energetic set. It reminded me a lot of the early Lamb of God shows I saw here in Montreal. The singer is very vocal concerning crowd participation and the crowd definitely got into it after the first song of a 30-minute set. It went quite fast and it was really good, they mix everything quite well, and the band has a nice vibe to them, such a pleasant surprise, and would definitely love to see them again.
2. The Bringer of Light
3. Committee of Buzzards
4. Unholy Passages
5. U L C E R
6. Relic of Damnation
7. Pagan Rhythms
Next up is Death Angel, Man, what could have been for these Bay Area Thrashers? They could have been huge and some of their early albums are as good or better than stuff from the Big 4. Like lead singer Mark Osegueda said after the first song, Montreal was huge for them back in their early days, and spoke fondly about a show here they did at the Foufounes Électriques in 1987 and how open we were to Metal compared to many places in the States. Montreal has always been avant-garde in a sense and has embraced Metal before many countries and I know bands love to play here in our beautiful city.
What a ruckus they made in their short set, yet taking the time to converse with the crowd and they felt happy to be on stage again, after coming here for the Exodus show a few months ago. They have never done a headline show here since the 80’s so that would be awesome to see them do a longer set obviously. They were the last band to close the boat on the 70000 tons of Metal cruise this year I believe and I know they have a legion of fans all over the world. They played lots of old-school stuff including half of their classic song ”The Ultra-Violence” from the aforementioned album. The fans went crazy when they played it but being a 10-minute song they mixed it with the very underrated ”Thrown to the Wolves” to close out the set. Very intense, straight to the point, honorable mention to their toy Godzillas on one of their tour cases on stage, that was fun to see! I was happy they played a bit of everything, as much as I would have enjoyed more current stuff, being ”The Evil Divide’, and ”Humanicide” are some of the best American thrash metal albums of the last decade and a half. Yet, the old-school fans out there tonight were ecstatic to hear the old songs from the bay area thrashers and they almost stole the show from the co-headliners to be perfectly honest with you.
1. Lord of Hate
2. Voracious Souls
3. The Dream Calls for Blood
4. The Moth
6. The Ultra-Violence / Thrown to the Wolves
It’s time for the legendary Sepultura. Well, never in my wildest dreams I would have thought to see them in concert. They may have only two founding members in Andreas Kisser and Paulo Jr yet I feel it’s still the roots of the band even without the Cavalera brothers in tow. I know some people think they are not the same and it’s the same band without them, but Derrick Green has been the singer far longer than Max ever was for the band and he is the embodiment of Sepultura and Eloy Casagrande is one hell of a drummer, probably one of the most underrated in all of Metal.
They started off with ”Policia” playing on the P.A. system, a song they covered for the Demon Knight soundtrack, a good 25 years ago, a very Punk-ish hardcore song and it definitely set the scene for what was to come next. Touring finally to celebrate the Quadra album, Sepultura bare witness to one very energetic crowd, Derrick Green even said it was the best crowd of the tour and yet I really believe him. The crowd absolutely went bonkers for the old school stuff from Arise and Chaos AD yet very subdued for the new stuff except The Guardians of Earth which hit a sensitive subject about the indigenous people’s rights. Part of the crowd were of south american heritage and I know what Sepultura means to them being one of the first bands to come out of the country but always staying grounded in the culture of Brazil. I saw some tears in the eyes of many people, especially in this song, and in general, there is a real connection between these fans and the band.
I was disappointed the crowd was not too invested in the new songs but the band didn’t seem to mind. The old-school fans loved the early albums and Green sang them even better than Max did back in the day. Green has such a presence and demeanor about his presence and voice and his pronunciation is definitely his strong point compared to Max’s snarling vocal stylings. He adds another dimension to the old songs, especially the incomparable ”Refuse, Resist” and the classic ”Roots Bloody Roots”. A blistering one-hour set that made people wanting more. I was with a lot of people that saw the Cavalera brothers do a Sepultura set on the 70000 tons of metal cruise a few years back and they told me this performance by Sepultura in Montreal blew them out of the water so that’s a pretty big statement, to say the least with Green at the helm!
3. Means to an End
6. Guardians of Earth
8. Agony of Defeat
12. Roots Bloody Roots
Now it’s time for the headliners, Kreator, and their massive inflatable devil mascot in front of their ”Hate Uber Alles” backdrop. It was ominous, to put it mildly, and menacing as well! Kreator, titans of Teutonic thrash, go through their marathon-style career with titles handpicked from their huge discography but focused on more recent albums anyway (only downside). As always, it tears everything in their path although it is a little predictable. As a bonus, the background decor, as mentioned earlier, their demonic mascot (who responds to the sweet name of Violent Mind) overhung the stage and recalls the heyday of 80’s metal. A blistering 10 songs but with some conversation between the legendary Mille Petrozza and the crowd between most of the songs. He loved doing a headlining for us tonight after opening for Mercyful Fate late last year I believe. They hadn’t done a headline show in quite a while, they always played second fiddle to other bands so it was fun to see them being the main act for once. They may talk about hate being the virus of this world on their last album but they felt the love and admiration tenfold in the Olympia Theatre. Probably the best European Thrash Metal band to ever grace us with their presence and the love affair between the band and the city still lives on, and until the next tour, which was promised at the end!
1. Hate Über Alles
2. People of the Lie
3. Awakening of the Gods (Intro Only)
4. Enemy of God
6. Satan Is Real
7. Hordes of Chaos (A Necrologue for the Elite)
8. 666 – World Divided
9. Flag of Hate
10. Violent Revolution
11. Pleasure to Kill
From the opening Spiritworld that many people discovered and to people rediscovering their love for Death Angel, Sepultura and showered with their applause, the most underrated and underappreciated Kreator.
Overall Sound4/5 GoodNot a venue used to Metal shows most of the time, the sound was way too loud at times and my ears were shot after the second band but overall I have heard much worse in 25 years of going to shows.
Live Performance5/5 AmazingA four-band assault on all the senses made for such an enjoyable yet frantic night of action. It was intense and each band played their part to perfection with Death Angel almost stealing the show.