What a ‘beautiful’ night to have a curse. See what I did there, Black Dahlia fans? Yeah, I know, I’m so clever (and so ends my career in comedy). In all seriousness, if you were at Foufounes Electriques on October 2nd, you were witness to the IndieMerch Store 10th anniversary tour, featuring an amazing mixture of metal, courtesy of The Black Dahlia Murder, Iron Reagan, Harm’s Way and Maruta. And what a beautiful mix it was.
Maruta kicked off the evening with their psychotic blend of death metal and grindcore. Fast, short songs, peppered with frantic guitar riffs, blast beats, and plenty of insane vocals. I’d say they were the perfect way to kick off the evening. These dudes were full of energy, and the crowd was giving it right back. It’s obvious that they’re an incredibly hard working band, and give their all at every show. I’m not a massive fan of the grindcore genre, but Maruta may have just lit a tiny fuse in me, and peaked my interest to check out more of this genre.
Up next was hardcore heavyweight’s Harm’s Way from Chicago. To say these guys were brutal would be an understatement. Lead singer, James Pligge, hovered over the crowd like a towering menace while belting out some of the heaviest, and brutal vocals I’ve ever heard. This was all backed by an onslaught of low tuned guitars, and pounding drums. So, yeah, these guys brought it, and brought it hard. A must see band if you’re into the genre. My only complaint is some of the ridiculous activities that some fans of this genre like to participate in. I’ve never understood the appeal of ‘kung-fu-moshing,’ or whatever you want to call it. It looks stupid in my opinion, and I just don’t get it. That being said, if that’s how you choose to spend your time at a show, but you’re still having fun, then I can’t begrudge you for it. When you’re willingly seeking out people in the crowd, however, and purposely kicking and punching people that, very clearly, don’t want to take part in your activity, then you’re just an asshole. This happened during Harm’s Way, and completely put a damper on the evening. Luckily, the one idiot who did that was quickly ejected by security, and the majority of the fans remained respectful of others, keeping their kung-fu moves within the circle of the pit.
After that, hardcore punk/metal band, Iron Reagan, hit the stage and, well…. Holy shit. My experience with this band was very minimal. I had only ever heard a few tracks of theirs. When they hit the stage, the room immediately exploded in a frenzy of circle pits, and moshing. Nearly every single person in the crowd was participating. I seriously loved watching these guys. Blasting through intense tracks like, “Miserable Failure,” “Eat Shit and Live,” and, my personal favourite, the 7 second track, “Your Kids an Asshole” (which they dedicated to anybody fed up seeing parents share an endless amount of pictures of their children on Facebook. So basically, all of us). These guys went non-stop, and barely talked between songs. So much awesomeness.
This was my 3rd time seeing melodic death metallers, The Black Dahlia Murder. When it comes to their music alone, I’m always amazed by how they out-do themselves. Every time I hear a new record from them, I think, “Okay, well this is it, there’s no way these guys can make a record better than this,” and then they release a record and completely prove me wrong. Their latest record, Abysmal, is just another phenomenal chapter is the music of The Black Dahlia Murder. I have the same reaction every time I see them live. They continuously get better and tighter as a band. Opening their set with “A Shrine to Madness,” from the Ritual record, the guys plowed through a set of songs spanning their entire discography; going as far back as their Unhallowed record from 2003, the record that turned me into a fan in the first place. Newer songs like “Receipt,” and “Vlad, Son of the Dragon” got as much of a reaction from the crowd as older songs like “What a Horrible Night to Have a Curse,” and “Miasma.” Simply put, The Black Dahlia Murder are truly one of the most hard-working, and badass bands around right now in the melodic death metal genre, and if you’re even slightly into the genre, then missing them play a live show is unacceptable. If the opportunity arises to see them (and it should because they’re on tour from now until February 2016), then do yourself a huge favour and see them.
Written by Dominic Abate
Photography by Angie Radczenko
*edited by Danielle Kenedy