Rather than try to grab your attention with some sort of clever introduction here, I’m just going to jump right in to it. On April 25th, two phenomenal bands landed in Montreal to play one of the best shows I’ve seen this year, so far. Myrkur and Behemoth are two bands that are at the top of their game right now, so when I woke up that morning, I was incredibly stoked for the evening I was about to have.
Full disclosure, I was slightly more excited about seeing Myrkur than I was Behemoth. I’ve seen Behemoth before, and I already knew I was going to witness a fantastic show from them, but Myrkur’s M record was played consistently in my household when it was first released, and is still in rotation frequently for me. Simply put, I love this band, and was incredibly excited to see Amalie Bruun perform these songs. The band kicked their set off with “Den Lille Piges Død,” a song that Myrkur wrote and released for the Adult Swim Singles 2015 program. It’s not on any of their records, so I was quite pleased to see them open with this blistering track. It was a perfect way to start the evening, really. Amalie can go from singing the most beautiful vocal harmonies you’ve ever heard to shrieking like a demon in an instant, and it was simply fantastic seeing that happen. The rest of Myrkur’s live set consisted of songs strictly from the “M” album. Highlights of that set were definitely “Onde børn” and “Jeg er guden, i er tjenerne,” two songs from M that are equally heavy and beautiful at the same time. I do have to address one issue I had, and it actually has nothing to do with Myrkur, but rather with the crowd. I’d like to believe that “metal heads” are people who primarily love metal, obviously, but are also open minded enough to appreciate all kinds of different musical genres. The few metal heads sitting around me were definitely not in that category. Throughout their set, I had to sit through chants of “play some metal!!” and “This is boring!” Or, worst of all, just people completely lacking any respect and laughing and talking loudly, which became especially audible during the quieter moments of Myrkur’s songs. Honestly, show some fucking respect. I especially loved the critique of two dudes sitting behind me, claiming that Amalie isn’t a talented guitarist. To those dudes, I simply say that I’d love to see them play anything even remotely better than what Amalie plays in this video. Anyway, moving on…
At approximately 9:45pm that evening, the mass at the church of Behemoth had begun, and what a sight it was to behold. The band played their newest album The Satanist in its entirety on this tour, and I was really excited about that. The album is killer from beginning to end. “Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel” is the first song on that album, and as soon as the opening riff started to play, the crowd went absolutely insane. Nergal (Lead vocals and guitar) is quite the frontman, to say the least. He commands the crowd with sheer ferocity. He’d occasionally “bless” the crowd, and even proceeded to walk up to them in order to give them Holy Communion (or in this case, unholy communion). When you attend a Behemoth show, you’re not just seeing a “show,” but experiencing a mass gathering of devoted followers and fans of Behemoth, and the “preaching” of Adam Nergal. In many ways, it’s a beautiful thing to see. Strictly focusing on the music, however, the band sound fantastic live. It’s completely obvious that they are highly devoted to their craft, as they play every song with absolute precision. Once the band finished annihilating the crowd by playing The Satanist album, they returned to play a few older songs from other records. Songs like “At the Left Hand Ov God” and “Slaves Shall Serve” made the crowd go even crazier than they had all evening. At the end of the show, the band took a photo with the entire crowd behind them, along the caption “Sold out show in Montreal!! You fuckers are unstoppable.” Yes, indeed we are. Needless to say, it was a loud and heavy evening, and it was glorious.
Written by Dominic Abate
Photography by Isa Hoyos Ishca Photography
*edited by Kate Erickson