It’s a miserable, rainy evening in Montreal but the weather was never going to stop over 2000 Montreal metalheads making it to Metropolis for the arrival of Richmond, Virginia’s own Lamb Of God. Especially when they’ve brought the mighty Behemoth along for the ride, a band who headlined this venue on their own not so long ago.
First up though are long-time Montreal death metallers Cryptopsy, who were added to the bill long after tickets sold out but are welcomed with open arms by a venue already rammed from front to back. The four-piece splices hints of grind and death metal to create a guttural, avant grade sound that never lets up for their 35 minute set. No member moves from their designated position on stage but the intensity of their sound easily wins over the room as hair flies and heads bang both on stage and off. Daringly, they perform their 1996 album None So Vile in its entirety. Quarter of a decade into their career, Cryptopsy absolutely deserve the respect they obviously have in the Montreal metal scene.
Judging from the amount of the band’s t-shirts being worn by those in attendance tonight, Poland’s Behemoth should probably be considered joint headliners. As the lights dim and the band enter the stage they take their positions and the crowd go suitably nuts as they launch into the opening chords of Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel from 2014’s The Satanist album. From thereon in it’s a whirlwind of slashing riffs and angry corpse-paint faces. Nergal is a formidable frontman and his bandmates were equally impressive.
Ten minutes before the show Behemoth realised that their sampler was dead. As a result they had to rearrange the setlist and play the whole show with no click, and their set seemed all too brief at around 40 minutes long. But while they were on stage they set the intensity levels to maximum. Every time I’ve seen them live this band has been incredible and tonight was no different. “Now I know why we love coming back to Canada and Montreal” says Nergal before they leave the stage far too early.
Following a band like Behemoth would be intimidating for most groups but tonight’s headliners were obviously not worried. Having recently been on tour with Slayer, whose fans are notoriously tough on support acts, Lamb Of God undoubtedly welcomed the opportunity to play to a room full of converted fans. And as soon as they launched into opener, the appropriately titled Laid To Rest, Metropolis was a sea of moving bodies, crowd surfers and banging heads.
With Lamb Of God every member of the band is evidently fully engaged and committed to the performance, at the same time as being technically perfect in the delivery. Vocalist Randy Blythe never stands still for a second, pacing the stage like a boxer waiting to enter the ring and leading the fans like some pissed off preacher.
Backed by a wall of visuals, the stage looks more like something you’d expect in an arena than a 2300 capacity room, and I think it’s safe to say this is one metal band who will be headlining the Bell Centre in the none-too-distant future. Every song is a highlight, and new songs 512 and Still Echoes easily fit alongside classics like Now You’ve Got Something to Die For and a blistering Redneck.
Randy looks like he’s having a blast on stage and mentions how “Montreal has always been good to us. Merci beaucoup motherfuckers”. Lamb Of God have always been good to Montreal and their fans worldwide and we will welcome them back every time.
Laid to Rest
Now You’ve Got Something to Die For
Engage the Fear Machine
Walk with Me in Hell
Blacken the Cursed Sun
Set to Fail
Words and photos – Steve GerrardShare this :