This show was held at the Foufounes Électrique in Montreal on March 10th 2010. The lineup was (in order of play) Hollow, Battlesoul, Suidakra and finally Orphaned Land.
Hollow had already started when I arrived. My first impression of this band was not too great--I had never heard of them and when I saw 6 people wearing makeup a la black metal, I wasn’t sure it would fit in with the show or be any good at all. I was however, pleasantly surprised! This band mixes black metal and some really nice melodies. The keyboards remind me a little bit of Blackguard, but more blackish. They played a few songs that sounded really good and pumped up the crowd for the rest of the show. A band with some nice potential. There’s not a demo or CD released yet but they’re set up to deliver one in May. I really enjoyed hearing them and I suggest everybody gives a listen to this band. They were the only local band at this show and can’t wait for their CD to be released.
The second band to play was Battlesoul. It’s another discovery for me as I was heading to this show only knowing half the bands playing. They’re playing a Celtic trash metal genre, one I had never heard of before. When they came on the stage I immediately thought of a copy/paste from Ensiferum since they were all wearing kilts, but I was wrong--they play a more aggressive style of music. I liked their style but could hardly stand the vocals of the first song. After that, however, the singer started to use a clean and powerful voice that fit really well with the band and he mixed it with his harsh vocals. I got used to it, but I prefer his clean voice. As for their show overall, they gave a good one. I enjoyed seeing them live and I’d like to see them again sometime. This genre has a lot of potential. Check out Battle Soul here.
The big names started, beginning with SuidAkrA. I want to tell you this stupid fact before I start the review: the name SuidAkrA comes from the name of the signer spelled backward--Arkadius... Anyway, I was really hyped for this band. I discovered them last year (2009) with their album 'Crogacht', a wonderful album. The crowd was ready for this band and I could feel the tension in the air. They started with 'Wartunes' and then followed with my favorite song 'Isle of Skye'. The guitarists played really well, and Arkadius gave a nice show but didn't interact very much with the audience. They played for about an hour, covering songs from their albums 'Caledonia', 'Emprise to Avalon' and 'Command to Charge'. They covered their most recent albums by playing a few song from each, a total of 8 songs. When they finished, I was a bit disappointed because I wanted to hear more, but since they weren't the headliners I couldn't really expect anything else. I really enjoyed this band and I'll see them the next time they come.
Finally, Orphaned Land embarked the stage. It’s their first time in North America and I wondered if they would ever make their way over here. I discovered this band by watching the documentary “Global Metal”, a must if you haven’t seen it. I was stupefied when I saw them entering, they all were in religious clothing. Two were 'Jewish' wearing the traditional hat; the drummer was wearing typical Arabian clothing and the bassist and signer were wearing some kind of old dress--a 'wanna be Jesus' getup. (There was quite a resemblance). They started strong with their song 'Sapari', one of my favorites on their new album. Kobi Farhi is an excellent signer and sings really well live. The band played songs from the albums 'Mabool' and 'The Never Ending Way of the ORwarriOR'. I really enjoyed this show, but it was more progressive, so no thrash and a few head banging songs. It flowed nicely as I listened to the nice melodies of the lead guitarist Yossi Sa'aron Sassi. Sassi traded his guitar for one song--a strange guitar used for traditional Arabian music. In the end before the comeback, the drummer played a really cool solo, another surprise for me. I’m not really used to bands letting their drummer play a live solo. They reserved their best live songs for the end, playing 'Norra El Norra' and asked everyone to jump. I was surprised when everyone obliged their request, it was pretty fun. They finished their show with their amazing song 'Ornaments of Gold', which is excellent live, especially when everyone put their hands in the air and sang the melody. I can’t wait for more from them. I hope they come back soon for another show.
Final words for this review: Wow! What an amazing show, this might be one of the best shows this year. The bands fit in well with each other and the audience was really in the mood. This will definitely be in my 'moments to remember' for a live show.
You can see more pictures from the show here.
“IX Legion”, last song played by Suidakra
“Sapari”, First song played by Orphaned Land