Date: Thursday March 24th 2011
Location: Petit Campus in Montreal
Bands: Musk Ox , Worm Ouroboros, and Agalloch
This show took place in a small bar in Montreal. I didn’t know what to expect from the crowd; would there be 50 people? Or would it be jam packed with almost 200 persons? The answer I got was really pleasant, when I came in there was a lot of people even if I was 30 minutes early. The first “band” playing is Musk Ox. Why did I put the word band in parentheses, you ask? Musk Ox is a one man project by a guy from Ottawa who plays classical guitar. He doesn’t sing, he just plays his guitar. I was surprised to see the quality of his play. When you go to a metal show, you’re not expecting to see a guy come and play classical guitar, hey? But damn it was good and it was really refreshing. I could have a nice chat with my friends while listening to his songs. He kept interacting with the crowd between each of his songs, which gives us a better appreciation of his talent. I really enjoyed this part of the show. For his final song he had a little surprise for us, Don Anderson from Agalloch came to play a song with him. They played “The Isle of Summer” from The White EP of Agalloch. It was a really nice duo.
The second band makes its entrance on the stage. The drummer, Aesop Dekker, is also the drummer of Agalloch. He’s accompanied by two girls, to from a trio who plays gothic/doom metal. I didn’t know Worm Ouroboros at all but I decided to give this genre a chance even if usually I don’t like this kind of music...
I was underwhelmed.
Their songs where pretty monotonous except for a few flashes where they‑ started to be good. But those moments where too scattered and they did not compensate for the poor music they were playing. It was not really good and the majority of the crowd was talking during the show and not listening to this band. You could see that by the end people were just tired of them and wanted to see Agalloch as soon as possible.
Finally Agalloch comes on the stage after the last boring band. I was surprised that it was their first time in Montreal. I was a little sceptical about Agalloch live because I never heard of them playing live. You know, when a band makes some really good studio albums but you rarely see them live, it could be a little suspicious. So they start off with “They Escaped the Weight off Darkness” followed by “Into the Painted Grey”. A nice start. Then they continue playing songs from each and every album (except the EP), covering most of the years they’ve been a band, which I really enjoyed. In all, more of the tracks they played came from their last two albums “Marrow of the Spirit” and “Ashes Against the Grain” than any others.
John Haughm made a few interventions during his performance, talking about the songs he was going to play or the albums. One thing I particularly loved is when he talked about the song “Ghosts of the Midwinter Fires”. He said that this song was among his favorites that he has written, and his favorites on the latest album. I was happy that we share this opinion :) . Overall they gave a show of almost two hours that was excellent. The sounds of the guitar were really clear even for a place where the sound system is not the best. I was surprised by one “song” they played during this show and it was “Our Fortress is Burning…” because it wasn’t they type of song I thought they would choose for their set list. Another plus for this band is that they chose some songs that flowed well together instead of having a major cut between songs, it made things very smooth. It was really good, don’t be scared to go see them if they come to a place near where you live!