Date: Friday April 30th, 2010
Place: Underworld in Montreal
Bands: Eternal Burden + Monarque + Alcest
Tour name: Lunar Abysses over North America
Underworld was an unexpected venue for a black metal show; it usually caters to the more punk/emo shows.
Eternal Burden had the mission of warming the place up while preparing us for the two bigger bands, but failed miserably. Their music was okay at best, nothing exceptional. They brought nothing new, only some remixes of music you’ve already heard. I don’t think they’ll continue to play music for much longer even with one album released and another one on the way. They played songs from both of their albums and the singer looked like he was in pain every time he growled. Unless you’re a diehard fan of black metal and desperate to find something burdening to you, stay away from Eternal Burden.
Monarque, the second band up to play, was a black metal band from Quebec City. This is a one-man project by Monarque (the name he gave to himself). The band really looks pretty obscure, the kind you like for a black metal band. The show went well – they played songs from their two albums and a few off their demos. I think Monarque has potential; they gave a nice performance, nothing exceptional but still good. This is the kind of band that will stay underground and fans will enjoy, but they will never fully gain the praise they deserve. A nice find for a black metal fan.
After Monarque’s show, something unusual happened. The people organizing the show asked everybody to leave the venue so they could do a sound check. I waited with everyone else outside for about 15 minutes before we were called back in for Alcest. As the show was about to begin, the second guitarist ‘Zero’ told us that he was sorry, but ‘Neige’ (the lead singer) had lost his voice and wouldn’t be able to sing. What a disappointment to go see a band where the signer can’t even perform! I suppose the (somewhat) redeeming feature was they played anyway, although without vocals, it was just an instrumental band. Zero was doing the backing vocals during the show, so we had some vocals. Despite all, I must say I was impressed by their performance. The music was tight and well executed and youcould hear each instrument clearly. I did miss the vocals, especially during the song ‘Écailles de Lune’, but it turned out to be amazing anyway with over 16 minutes of satisfying melodies. I’ll give big thumbs up to the drummer Winterhalter – a very nice performance.
Final words: Probably the worst and without a doubt, the most disappointing show I’ve seen this year. Eternal Burden was horrible, Monarque was good but nothing to throw you to the ground with and Neige from Alcest wasn’t able to sing – at least Alcest as instrumental music is good. I would recommend giving Alcest a listen first (streaming from their myspace here (http://www.myspace.com/alcestmusic)) and if you like what you hear, go see them live. (Make sure Neige has his voice back before you dish out money for tickets though.)