Metal Alliance 2014, sans Inquisition. Here’s the live report!
It was a sunny and yet rainy evening that I ventured out of my cave to attend one of the few black metal shows that comes through Vancouver. Of course, *engages black metal elitist mode* it wasn’t anything special; The Metal Alliance tour is about as mainstream as it is possible for black metal to be. Behemoth, 1349, and Goatwhore, and with Inquisition being held back at the Canadian border, I barely had any reason to go, except to bring this live report to the readers. There can be no questioning my faith to The Monolith, that’s for sure.
I unfortunately got to the venue late which meant I missed the first two opening bands. I’m not too upset about having missed Tyrant’s Blood; I have seen them before and am not all that into them and their aesthetic. It’s exactly what one would expect from a black/death metal band with that name. I’m not deriding them for it, it has a place, but it doesn’t really do much for me.
I am, however, a little more sad to have missed Black Crown Initiate, a progressive death metal band about whom I heard good things from fellow writer Warunki – but that is what happens with these early shows. Woe is me.
Goatwhore were better than expected. I had not been impressed by their material too much previously to this, but they put on a fairly energetic and passionate live show. I am not familiar enough with their discography to know the names of the songs they played, but I found myself enjoying their set quite a bit. Their intensity translates well live, and they got the crowd whipped up into a frenzy pretty quickly. Set closer “Apocalyptic Havoc” was a lot of fun to watch. Blackened thrash metal is not at all normally something I enjoy as a rule, but live, it seems to work quite well.
1349 were…well they were pretty generic Norwegian black metal. They had all the hallmarks, from blast beats and corpse paint to low-lighting that ruined my attempts to take pictures of them. I spent most of the time standing off to the side with my arms crossed and an unamused expression affixed to my face.
They played a new song, which sounded exactly like their older songs. The only part of their show I really liked was the closing song “Atomic Chapel” which had some cool clean vocals in it. I thought they’d be the most interesting part of the show after Inquisition, but my black metal tastes moved beyond the Norwegian second wave a long time ago. Some people liked them, so good for them I guess.
No pictures please
Behemoth, the mighty headliners – They Who Survived Leukemia – were pretty okay. Their music stopped being black metal long ago, and their brand of death metal has some mildly interesting moments. I enjoyed their most recent album The Satanist well enough, though it certainly was no masterpiece.
I got into the pit for “Ov Fire and the Void” and for “Conquer All”, but other than that I mostly just let the music happen. Whilst not amazing, it as to be said that their drummer is fantastic. Inferno absolutely kills on the skins, and is even more impressive live than on record.
So all-in-all, not an overly-impressive show. The fact that the band I most wanted to see, Inquisition, was denied entry to Canada really left a sour taste in my mouth. They certainly were the best band on the tour. Most of the time the venue was way too dark to get any good pictures, and I can’t say I was all that impressed by the crowd. Maybe I’m just getting too tired of mainstream black and death metal.
Now, I shall turn to my second-in-command for her thoughts on the show
Excellent review, I couldn’t have said it better myself. That’s all folks, until the next time Romanian legends Negura Bunget come through and actually gives Vancouver a good black metal show.