Who: Inquisition, Melechesh, Krisiun and Septic Flesh
Where: Cafe Campus, Montreal, Quebec
First off the bat was American based, Colombian black metal band, Inquisition. Only being a two piece with guitarist/vocalist Dagon being the center piece and drummer Incubus beating fourth the beats of hell. Considering the limited personnel, Inquisition actually managed to pull a good amount of interest to them, with their fast and violent, yet melodic and catchy black metal riffing creating a wave of head banging across the room. Since its black metal, the treble was up high, so putting in earplugs was somewhat a determent to their sound, but simply standing a bit back and removing said earplugs improved my experience greatly. Dagon’s vocals were also a pretty interesting affair. He tends to sticks to the general, guttural rasp of today’s black metal, but he also manages to push the guttural aspect into territory that’s more akin to Mongolian throat singing than any common metal technique, giving those songs a very mystic feeling. Despite dawning the corpse paint and blasphemous take black metal usual dawns, Dagon didn’t really get to involved with the character those guys usually portray, instead being himself when talking to the audience. Despite this, the band still came off as legitimate and otherworldly. With bombastic drumming, cold riffing (as well as some decently atmospheric and melodic bits) Inquisition sure did well to impress me, a new listener, and the other new fans in the room. [7.5]
Next up was Israeli black metal band, Melechesh, who seem to have gained a bigger following here in North America than I expected. Playing cut-throat black metal with the melodies and riffing of middle-eastern folk music, the rhythm section of this band is something to envy. The drummer Xul is probably one of the funnest drummers to watch and metal, as he dances with the generally unconventional, Arab rhythms and the blasphemous, eastern melodies of the guitars as the two worlds collide in sandy, metallic goodness. Can’t say the vocals were particularly satisfying however, Ashmedi is a good vocalist, but he was way too quiet and a lot of the portions where his voice would have been devastating were severely hindered due to said lack of volume. That being said, when it was his turn to speak he used it well, and was fantastic at riling up the crowd and portraying the band as the bad ass, mystic blasphemers of the insane religious-fascist regime they come from. 
Next up was supposed to be Roman-themed death metal band Ex Deo (although the band is made up entirely of the Montreal death metal royalty Kataklysm), but they were cancelled. The band from Montreal, the town I was in, was cancelled. Huh!? Anyway…
Next up was Brazilian death metal act Krisiun. While these guys definitely seem to bleed the same physical atmosphere as say, Sepultura, their creativity really, really doesn’t. I never really got into this band before, mainly because none of their music did much for me, but upon watch them play their songs I realized why: They are the most uncreative death metal band I’ve ever seen, bar-none. I know that’s a huge statement to make, but seriously every riff was just some simple, tremelo picked neck crawl with a wanky, Slayer-esque dive solo or some other array of generic, filler riffing that a band uses before they get into the good stuff, not as the basis of their entire output. There wasn’t a single riff that incited head bobbing in me. Maybe it’s because any guitarist that just learning how to tremolo pick has played at least 50 of Krisiuns riffs during that process, and literally anyone could come up with those riffs. Like I said the technical skill was good, but in the end it did nothing for me. Although, I’ll admit Alex Camargo was a fun, engaging front man and it’s not like the band screwed up or didn’t have presence, so based off performance alone I’ll go easy on them… 
Next up was the band I was waiting for, Greek death metal gods Septic Flesh. After loving the bands last output of The Great Mass I was a little skeptical of how the show would go down, given that it relied heavily on bombastic, symphonic pieces, which although enjoyable, was far from the atmospheric death metal of Esopotron that made me a fan. As the roadies put together the bands props, two banners and a pagan-esque mic stand I got excited. But as the show went on, I slowly slouched into my place as the band never really grabbed me as much as I had hoped. Spiros is a good front man, I’ll give him that, with his ancient Sumerian priest-like poses and various other mystical attributes, the man can also growl as low as he did back at the beginning of the band, which was a relief. Can’t say he’s much of a bass player though, I suppose it’s because the symphonic’s make up a majority of the bulk that the bass guitar would have taken, but he literally just smacked the bass and played a riff or two. Guitar wise, I also realized that Sotris has sadly decayed into more or less worshipping palm muted, syncopated riffing, akin to Meshuggah, with the occasional razor-blade like riff that hinted at what once made the band great. And to make things worse, the Symphonic backtracks weren’t nearly loud enough, so a lot of the riffing and drumming’s context was lost. Considering that the set list composed of pretty much just the last two albums, these problems more or less plagued the entire show, and the repetitive riffing really grew to annoy me. Things sort of got better at the end when the band played Anubis, which was probably the first song that wasn’t made up of Symph-heavy, syncopated riffing, and for the song Spiros demanded a wall of death, to which the crowd obliged (and which was actually really fun). So all in all, Spiro’s kind of cool stage presence was really the only thing this show did for me. The songs I liked off of Great Mass came off as pretty underwhelming, and not really knowing the songs off Communion, a lot of it just tended to blend together. Pretty disappointing.