There’s a rule that metal-heads are generally kind, well-tempered, accepting individuals despite their dark musical allegiance. At this evening’s edition of the We Sold Our Souls to Metal tour at Montreal’s Corona Theater, we met the exception. A written announcement on the concert hall’s front door saying that Polish death metallers, Decapitated, would not be playing sent this man on a rant to anyone who would listen about how the only reason anyone was here was to see Decapitated, how Soilwork is basically just Rush-lite (what?), and how nobody even knows that Max Cavalera is still alive. Thankfully, he sold his ticket and left, and was not around to be a downer on this otherwise amazing evening of metal.
Alice, Texas’ Shattered Sun seemed a little bit out of their comfort zone. Their imposing six-person lineup was faced with a fairly small crowd of people who didn’t seem all that familiar with their music. They made the best of it, though, with their singer, Marcos Leal, offering an olive branch to Montreal by saying this was their first time here, and they’d been given some of the best hospitality and marijuana of their young lives. Though his requests to open up a moshpit ultimately failed, by the end of their set the now slightly more packed crowd at least showed rousing vocal approval for Shattered Sun’s brand of NWOAHM.
Soilwork boasts one of the tightest live lineups I have ever witnessed. Though their current bassist, Markus Wibom, has only been in the band for a few short months, he danced around the stage with his bandmates and nailed every bomb on his four-string like he’d been doing this for decades. Their set mostly highlighted their stellar new album, The Ride Majestic, but they still took the time to play old fan favourites such as the now decade-old “Stabbing the Drama,” which made the crowd explode in a fury of singing and moshing. The new track “Alight in the Darkness” was a personal highlight; it showcased Soilwork’s knack for metronomic rhythmic switch-ups.
Honestly, had this been any other headlining act, Soilwork might have stolen the show. But Max Cavalera is not one to be outdone. He yelled out, “we sold our souls to metal!” before the heavy metal mainstay, Soulfly, burst into that track and two others from their latest release, Archangel. If you’ve never seen Max Cavalera perform, he’s fairly unique as a frontman. His right hand effortlessly speeds through thrash riff after thrash riff so quickly that it barely looks like it’s even moving at all, he calmly screams and growls the lyrics to metal classics new and old, and he delights in inciting the crowd in impromptu sing-a-longs. All of the current members of Soulfly, including brand new bassist, Mike Leon, look like they’re having the time of their lives alongside Max, but Zyon Cavalera has truly inherited his father’s knack for metal. Watching this young drummer power effortlessly not just through modern Soulfly hits but Sepultura classics like “Refuse/Resist,” and “Roots” is nothing short of mesmerizing. He nails fill after fill that his arms look like they may just fly off. The closing the mashup of “Jumpdafuckup” and “Eye for an Eye” had the crowd in absolute ecstasy, and after an hour and a half of almost nonstop Cavalera driven magic, the satisfied crowd left with the understanding that selling our souls to metal has never felt so good.
Written by Syd Ghan
Photography by Isa Hoyos Ishca Photography
*edited by Danielle Kenedy