04/27/2007 - Behemoth, Necronomicon, Profugus Mortis, Magister Dixit @ Le Medley, Montreal
In what would prove to be both a warm-up date for their upcoming fight for global darkness with a new album on Century Media, boisterously titled The Apostasy, and a gift to the Montreal scene that has so supported Behemoth in years past, Behemothâ€™s attack on this evening was flawlessly prepared and carried out. But before the faithful weeknight metal warriors from our increasingly muggy urban core (and its surrounding boroughs) could feast their eyes upon a fully decked-out and rejuvinated Polish black metal legend, entrÃ©es were served in the form of Magister Dixit , Profugus Mortis, and veterans Necronomicon, who performed with Behemoth throughout Quebec numerous times since the turn of the decade. Focused and sworn to their chosen form of expression, old school black metallers Magister Dixit [www.magisterdixit.cjb.net] and new school counterparts Profugus Mortis [www.profugusmortis.com], eased the moderately sized weeknight crowd into the eveningâ€™s business with established and spirited, if slightly drawn-out metal sounds that were exhaustive and authentic in drawing from their influences as they were draining on those tensly taking it all in. Magisterâ€™s upcoming third full-length, My Anger is an Eternal Field of Demonized Mercenaries, impressed those familiar with the band and capable of differentiating old from new. Profugusâ€™ newest, So It Begins, provided much of the material that shone brightest during their short set. Last of the openers, another local unit albeit the most veteran, Necronomicon [www.necronomicon.ca], offered up the first taste of measured brutality on this eve, treating their fans to new material from the upcoming album The Return of The Witch, and bringing out well-known ninetiesâ€™ death bangers from The Sacred Medicines and Pharaoh of Gods. By the last song, the bandâ€™s not-so-oft witnessed live performance left an impression that will help them keep buzzing in spite of the numerous more technical and ambitious local acts currently laying stereos and stages to waste. Behemothâ€™s [www.behemoth.pl] long-running brew of old school black metal infused with light-speed, jaw-dropping percussion was explicitly brought back to Montreal by popular demand and band partiality. Nergal and co. selected this very city as one of the few warm-up dates before Ozzfest and undisputably brought their (painted) game-faces to the table for the occasion. The set was their most diverse of the bandâ€™s numerous Montreal performances in recent years, both in selection and tempos, as an intriguing balance of material culled from most of their six-plus albums treated the crowd to plenty of the satisfying stop-overs in the bandâ€™s recorded history, that existed prior to the band unexpectedly striking a chord with the metalhead masses with 2005â€™s speedfest Demigod. On this special occasion, Demigod was not the focal point of the setlist, which allowed the band to both breathe and exhibit their most cult material, including Pure Evil and Hate and From The Pagan Vastlands from their early-ninetiesâ€™ material, as well as placing ample focus on Satanica and Thelema.6, to rabid fan response. The band aired a freshly-written number from The Apostasy which harkened back to the more measured pinch-harmonics of Satanica, in turn ushering in reassurance of the band re-exploring territory from arguably their creative peak that produced the handful of underrated classics which preceded Demigod. If these dark spirits from Poland can remain inspired by the diverse array of mythological, philosophical, and occult sources that have become their fuel in recent years, Behemoth will soldier on without relent. Their performance on this night suggests exactly that.