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Metal Alliance Tour – The Opera House – Toronto Live Review

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Metal Alliance Tour – The Opera House – Toronto Live Review

behemoth, the opera house, april 23, 2014

Photo by Raya P Morrison. Click to view the album

Who: Behemoth w/ Goatwhore, 1349 and Inquisition
From: Gdansk, Poland
Where: The Opera House
When: Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Total Score: 10/10

April has been kind to Toronto. With metal shows almost every day, it was hard to choose just which ones to go to. Metal Alliance Tour was a no-brainer, though. Whoever made this line-up possible is a genius, because all the bands on the bill are highly esteemed in the metal community (despite Inquisition’s recent White Power allegations). It was easy to see how the four bands would complement each other.

Black metal is not everyone’s cup of tea, so I didn’t expect a big turn out, even though it was an all ages show. How wrong was I to assume that! By the time Goatwhore took the stage it was a full house. When Behemoth started the set the space was so scarce you had to battle for every step. The sea of metalheads was disturbed by an occasional hipster, but that didn’t stop anyone from enjoying the show to the fullest.

Inquisition started out the night with some raw underground black metal. Dragon (vocals, guitar) was switching between two microphones located at both sides of the stage. The whole atmosphere of the performance was enchanting and people were moving like they were in a trance. It only felt like the set was too short. 1349 brought true Norwegian black metal to Toronto. The crowd was hypnotized by the intensity of the music and Ravn’s stares and growls. “I Am Abomination” got the whole venue shaking.

goatwhore the opera house, april 23, 2014

Photo by Raya P Morrison. Click to view the album

Goatwhore slightly loosened the grip of black metal on the audience with their death/thrash metal riffs. The crowd  took this moment to really bring The Opera House down and mosh like no tomorrow. Alcohol consumption sky-rocketed. L. Ben Falgoust II (vocals) owned the stage, running up and down and windmilling when he could. Sammy Pierre Duet (guitar) took the time to remind us to “keep Satan in our hearts” – a very heart-warming message this type of a show.

There was a noticeable break between Goatwhore and Behemoth, but the fans soon realized why. Not in a million years have I expected such a professional mindblowing setup for a death/black metal band, even of such caliber as Behemoth. Members of Behemoth came onto the dark stage one by one, Nergal appearing last, holding two lit torches. He stopped in front of the drums as the band started playing “Blow Your Trumpets, Gabriel”, the band’s first single off The Satanist, and also a fantastic opener (for the album and for the show). The stage started to fill with blue light, Nergal traded the torches for his guitar and the song came blasting on the anticipating crowd. Orion (bass) and Seth (guitar) appeared to be standing on podiums on either side of Inferno’s drum set for the entire intro. The podiums were decorated with a coat of arms – an eagle, reminiscent of the Russian two-headed eagle, with the Symbol of Chaos under it. After the first song, Orion and Seth descended from their posts and the show kicked into the high gear.

Behemoth were owning the stage, The Opera House seemingly enlarging to a stadium size one moment and shrinking to the size of a kitchen the next, all by their command. The high energy was felt from any given point in the venue; in the first rows you got the intense paralyzing stares, in the middle you got the mosh-pit, a powerful force produced by the music, and in the back you got the air knocked out of you, as if you were looking down the Grand Canyon. Behemoth’s set was heavy on the new material from The Satanist, with a good selection of their popular songs in the mix. “O Father, O Satan, O Sun!” saw the members put on their horned masks, culminating the night and subsequently closing it.

After everything was said and done, the only thing left to say is that the Metal Alliance Tour was the best tour of the year and it is hard to see anyone top it even with the festival season coming up.

Goatwhore, 1349 and Inquisition photos:
Behemoth photos:

Written by: Raya P Morrison
Photos by: Raya P Morrison

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