Class is in session, boys and girls; time to learn a little more about the great big universe of DEATH METAL. For today’s lesson, we’re going into the land of Progressive Death, the lore of Black and Doom (with a guest appearance from a french horn for shits and giggles), and to top it all off, we’ll take a big ol’ jump into the wonderful world of Grindcore! Ladies and gentlemen, follow me into my Saturday night of absolute chaos at Montreal’s dingy little Piranha Bar for the Crosstitution album launch (A.K.A The Kings of Chaos tour, which I’m not fully reviewing because fuck you, the show was probably the same in Ottawa, thank you.)
T’was a brisk winter night on January 25th, filled with broken van windows and local Death Metal sub cultures (again, with the exception of the headliners). Kicking off the night is the Progressive beat down of Seismic Breach. For all of my future complicated words and ill-humored wit, please keep in mind that although Piranha Bar is a stepping stone for all Montreal acts, it still has absolutely garbage sound. Every bit of musical prowess that these dudes successfully displayed was unfortunately hindered by my arch nemesis, drum triggers (…Grumble.) For every ounce of flawless unity the band would attempt to display, the slightest unintentional off beat would be found due to a poor delay of bass drum. Nonetheless very interesting shit, and I thoroughly look forward to watching these cats grow into themselves.
Wikipedia in all of its might defines the French Horn as, “a brass instrument made of tubing more than 20 feet (6.1 m) long, wrapped into a coil with a flared bell.” I got the pleasure of marking something rather interesting off of my list of shit I’ve seen: a french horn in a Black Metal band. Thank you Eohum! (I think.) If you’re on the hunt for something that will make you go a wee bit cross-eyed, look no further than Eohum. Don’t try to pronounce it, just listen. Full frontal folkey fuckery I tells ya. Like any self-respecting Black Metal act, the musicianship was absolutely top notch, tried and true. The vocal section is what most definitely caught my ear. With a bit of research (thanks, Facebook!), I was able to find that the album itself was originally recorded with the mighty Matt McGachy (Cryptopsy, The Era Of, Ex-Three Mile Scream, Etc.) at the forefront. Now, had I been aware that such a power house was going to be present on this evening, I might have done nothing different BUT IT WAS STILL FUCKING COOL. Bearing in mind that although his appearance was brief, the active frontman was equally surprising and beastly for someone with such a tiny form. He had high range like a madman locked in the Douglas, and inhaled lows like Lucifer on the porceilan throne after a pack of smokes. Worth the listen and definitely interesting to watch.
The moment you’ve all been waiting for has finally arrived- the very last band of the evening that I’m going to incessantly ramble about! Gals and Ghouls I present to you Crosstitution, the ultimate in sensory overload and delicious crass, and they wanted me to tell you to go fuck yourself. Insensitivity lives here and if Grind is your game then Crosstitution’s new album, The Metastatic Distortion is what you wanna buy. For any fans of the subculture that is Grindcore, you know that there’s nothing listener-friendly about it. Play it loud, play it fast, and make sure someone’s feelings are hurt. In those terms, everything was wrapped up beautifully with this performance, with a couple THOUSAND pitch squeel bows to top it all off. Am I a grindcore fan? Hell no. Do I think this was entertaining in every possible way, right down to the blood splattered frontman? Fuck yes. And that, ladies ‘n’ gents, is the beautiful thing about metal. You may not enjoy the sound sometimes, and that is disappointing, but if you can at least appreciate the performance, then you’ve spent your hard earned dollars and blowjobs in the right place.
Now I’ve got one last thing to ramble on about and then you can close this window and cry yourself to sleep. Both headliners of the Kings of Chaos tour (Crimson Shadows and Killitorous) had their vans broken into and robbed this evening. Regardless of what or how much was stolen, it is still tragic to think that someone is either greedy enough or hungry enough to need to ruin someone else’s day. Should you have it in your hearts to help replenish, then by all means go reach out to either band with a mild donation towards the cause of being a touring musician and getting fucked in the arse on the road in every which way. Furthermore I’d like to impart upon you a very important lesson. You’re a touring band, bad things will happen. You will get fucked over, shit will get broken, and you will not know what to do. THAT is touring. Do yourself a very big favour and be as paranoid as fuck. NEVER leave a fucking thing in your van that you cant replace or can shed a tear over. You’ll thank me the day you look back upon all of it and realize that it never happened to you.
Written by Jason Greenberg
Photography by Stacy Basque