Dying Fetus + Chelsea Grin @ Corona Theatre

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Now this was a show that I was looking forward to for months. I’ve been a fan of Dying Fetus since High school. I’d watch their live performances during class with my buddies and I’d long to be able to go to a metal show. Now finally, my time has come. Not only was this my first death metal show, but it was also my first time seeing Dying Fetus. And the entire experience exceeded my expectations. 

Frozen Soul 

Now, this was a big show. It started at 6:30, and had four openers that were to perform before Dying Fetus. Unfortunately, my work schedule couldn’t be changed so I missed the very first opener, Undeath. Give their latest record a listen, it’s called “It’s Time… To Rise from the Grave”, released in April of 2022. However, I did not miss Frozen Soul, and boy was I glad to have caught them. 

When I walked into Corona Theater, lead singer Chad Green was in the middle of a speech, passionately telling the crowd: “We never thought we’d ever perform in Canada, so this is a dream come true. The last two years were hell, thank you for being safe and for being here early to hear us play. Mental health is no joke! Look at everyone around you, these people are your fucking family. Your feelings fucking matter, if you are struggling you’ve gotta have each other’s backs. Keep each other safe.” The crowd was going insane for his really kind and encouraging words, sending loud cheers and throwing up the horns in respect. 

They didn’t waste any time in continuing their set and started to play their songs fast and loud. Their set was dark, heavy, and felt like a cold, frosty winter. Chad Green’s growling was incredible. He encouraged the pit to get busy, waving his arm around in a circle as he roared into his microphone, and holding up the mic stand as people crashed into each other in the pit during their heavy and powerful breakdowns. 

Once Frozen Soul had performed their last song, they thanked the audience once again for being there early and for going crazy in the pit for them. And as they walked off stage, “Bubblegum K.K” from Animal Crossing: New Leaf played, giving them a gentle exit. 

Bodysnatcher 

Another phenomenal opener that I’m glad I got to see. Bodysnatcher wasted no time with getting their set started, jumping right into slow and heavy guitar and bass riffs that had everyone in the venue thrashing around into each other or headbanging to the rhythm. 

Vocalist Kyle Medina has an impressive voice. His growling was wonderfully controlled and filled with power, really driving the crowd to mosh. Fun fact about Bodysnatcher, three out of four of the members are named Kyle. I just thought that was fun, I wonder what their nicknames would be to avoid confusion. 

They performed a few songs from their newest album called “Bleed-Abide”, all of which had a great reaction from the audience. That mosh pit did not quit, and it would continue to live and grow throughout the night. I love watching mosh pits from above, getting to see everyone run in unison, shove each other, and lift others off the floor alongside with the live music that is fueling the pit just gets me so excited. I couldn’t wait to jump in myself. 

Medina was quite interactive with the crowd. He would wave his arm up to encourage louder cheering, stand at the very edge of the stage and headbang along to the breakdowns, and he would instruct the pit on what

kind of mosh he wanted to see. Bodysnatcher are great performers, I definitely would want to see them again. 

Chelsea Grin 

As the members of Chelsea Grin walked onto the stage, I noticed that the lead singer looked a little familiar, but before I could put my finger on it, the band started their set. They played fast and aggressive right off the bat, bringing the crowd to an insane level of energy. 

As soon as the lead singer started growling, I realized that Kyle Medina, the lead vocalist in Bodysnatcher, was manning the microphone for Chelsea Grin! I’m a little embarrassed by how long it took me to realize it since I had literally just seen the band perform, but my amazement triumphed over my feelings of embarrassment. Medina had just performed an entire opening set for his own band, and now he’s singing for Chelsea Grin for their set! 

Medina took a moment to address the absence of Tom Barber and reassured that he would replace him for the night. And my god does Medina have some vocal cords on him. He had Chelsea Grin’s entire set memorized, nailing every cue and flying through the lyrics with ease. 

Chelsea Grin clearly is loved by the metal fans of Montreal. The cheering was loud and adoring, lyrics were being screamed back towards the band as they played, and the pit never stopped moving. 

Once their set was finished, Medina thanked the crowd for their love and energy, and also thanked Chelsea Grin for inviting him on stage with them. As the band left and Corona Theater quickly emptied as people left for a smoke, I grew more and more excited for the headlining show to come.

Dying Fetus 

Finally, the time had come for the main event of the night. The house lights got shut off, the stage was lit with red lighting, revealing Trey Williams sitting at his drum kit. “The Boys Are Back in Town” played through the speakers, and as the crowd was singing along, guitarist John Gallagher and bassist Sean Beasley took their walk onto stage with their instruments hanging from their shoulders. 

They didn’t waste a second, and got right into it with the first song of their set, “Schematics”. The pit started going absolutely ballistic, everyone was crashing into each other. Now that I was on the floor and was seeing everything up close, I quickly realized that the pit was a bit of a mess. Whenever a circle pit would form, without fail at least two people would run in the wrong direction, causing a huge pile-up and even crashing into people on the sidelines. Even though the moshing wasn’t as great as it could’ve been, I wouldn’t let it get to me. I still had a wicked time. 

They continued with songs like “Subjected to a Beating”, and “One Shot One Kill”. Gallagher spoke a few words to the crowd, calling Montreal “fucking crazy” and explained that while he was backstage, he was watching Human Centepiede. He then requested for a human centipede circle pit, and so a ton of people started running around the pit while bent over and holding onto the hips of whoever was in front of them. 

I got to see a few of my favourite songs, such as “From Womb to Waste”, “Grotesque Impalement”, and “You Treachery Will Die With You”. In Highschool, I’d watch their music videos in class, admiring their expertise with their instruments. And getting to see them play like that live was incredible. Their fingers just flew across their fretboards with no issues whatsoever, tapping out each note and not missing a single beat. It was a little religious to see the musicians I looked up to back when I wanted to be a guitar player. I may not play anymore but I do write, and having the opportunity to write about Dying Fetus, the band that began my love for Death Metal, and that I’ve appreciated for years, is such an honour.

These guys know how to put on a show as well. They used a lot of really cool lighting, my favourite being the neon green lasers that pointed in every direction, swerving along to the rhythm of the song. After expressing to the crowd that Montreal is always a really fun city to play for, and a quick promotion of their new album that comes out soon, they ended their set with “Kill Your Mother, R*pe Your Dog”. As the mosh pit dispersed and the lights turned back on, Dying Fetus fans were made to listen to “Celebration” by Kool and the Gang. Such a fun song to walk away from a ghastly show of chaos.

Review – Jamie Siddall
Photos – Ryan Rumpel

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