BEHEMOTH + At The Gates @ MTelus – 4th November 2018

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I arrived midway through a ripping rendition of “Slaughter Of The Soul” by Swedish legends At The Gates, due to a last minute decision to battle through a nasty flu and make my way to the MTelus (still feels strange to call the venue that) and although the pressure behind my eyes was immense, getting to see the band that controlled my highschool walkman (Yeah, I’m old) again was a treat in and of itself.

Lindburg and the gang, including new guitarist Jonas Stalhammar, were tight and to the point, ripping through four tracks from their classic death metal staple album, one that practically influenced a whole genre of metal by itself. That record, of course, being “Slaughter Of The Soul”. They also knocked out two tracks from their newest offering, “To Drink From The Night Itself” and another five from its predecessor “At War With Reality”. I still would give my left earlobe to travel back through time and see them during their heyday, but as that isn’t remotely possible, seeing them back in Montreal is as good as I could hope for, and they were worth the discomfort of being anywhere but my bed while acting like a man does when one has the flu.

I understand from shared banter between sets with friends and various media cohorts that Wolves In The Throne Room had played up to their usual high standards and atmosphere. I would have enjoyed their set, I’m sure, as I always have. I don’t believe in regrets but if I did… this was a moment where that would have taken effect.

It took an age, but eventually the stage crew’s silhouettes dispersed from behind a curtain that had been dropped and shrouded the stage in mysticism, and cheers rang out as the cloaked and masked figures that make up the mighty Behemoth began with the intro piece from their newest record, “I Loved You At Your Darkest”. The masks and coverings were soon discarded and the show truly began.

Behemoth are a band that seem to get better and better each time I see them and always seem to blow refreshing breath into a somewhat stagnant genre. Not unlike what they do on record, truth be told. They played five tracks off of their newest album, which is to say the majority of the recording, and as risky as it is to build your set around a new set of songs, the crowd in Montreal knew the tracks and hollered enthusiastically between each number.

Highlights of the night most definitely came from the two tracks taken from their epic opus, “The Satanist” – “Blow Your Trumpet Gabriel” and “Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer”.

Review & photos – Kieron Yates

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