A whole new generation of death metal bands was in Montreal for one of the biggest nights in metal this season. Le Studio TD was absolutely packed with a young crowd ready to get rowdy for Frozen Soul and 200 Stab Wounds.
Our opening band for the night, Tribal Gaze from Texas, warmed up the crowd with their mosh-infused death metal. The band offered us an energetic performance that got the crowd moving and headbanging, setting the tone for a marathon evening of insanity. Tribal Gaze presents perfectly balanced death metal that is both technical and complex while being memorable and perfect for dancing.
To change the tempo slightly, the second band of the evening was Judiciary from Texas, who brought more of a hardcore edge to the show. Their newest release, “Flesh + Blood,” released in March, is bound to make some hardcore AOTY lists. This was their first time in Montreal, and every hardcore fan in the city was in the pit, ready to mosh for them. Their performance blended the attitude and ethos of hardcore with heavy metal riffs and leads. The energetic and charismatic vocalist jumped around and kept the crowd pumped as bodies flew off the stage. It was a short and bombastic set that left everyone wanting more, and I hope we will get the chance to see them again soon.
200 Stab Wounds are the newest masters of death metal. Their approach to the style feels vintage but fresh. There’s nothing to reimagine the genre, but it feels like no one has done this style so perfectly in a long time. The crowd was in a frenzy as the band delivered pummeling death metal over the course of their set, playing songs like “Itty Bitty Pieces,” “Tow Rope Around the Throat,” and “Masters of Morbidity.” 200 Stab Wounds are part of the new breed of death metal bands that is enjoyed by both metalheads and hardcore kids. I can’t wait until they release some new material, and we get to see them live again.
Our headliner for the evening was Frozen Soul from Texas. They were a perfect fit for one of the first snowy evenings in Montreal. Their 2023 album “Glacial Domination” is an absolute beast of an album, and the band wasted no time starting the set with the opening track “Invisible Tormentor,” a fantastic track with its classic death metal sound reminiscent of both Bolt Thrower and Obituary. The band delivered a stellar performance filled with technicality, brutality, and attitude. My personal standout tracks were “Arsenal of War” and “Morbid Effigy.” The Montreal crowd was as rowdy as ever, with many mosh pit shenanigans. We experienced all the usual dancing and circle pits, but we were also treated to a push-up marathon in the centre of the pit at one point and some people sneaking snowballs past the security guards to throw into the crowd. As the band left the stage, the fans relentlessly asked for one more song, and we were treated to a cover of Mortician’s “Witches Coven.” The old metalhead in me chuckled, wondering if those in attendance were born when this track was originally released in 1997. Either way, the crowd ate it up and danced for one last song.
Death metal is still alive in Montreal, and a whole new generation of metalheads enjoyed the show. It seemed as if everyone who actively participates in the underground scene was at the show tonight, and I saw many familiar faces. If you missed this show, you missed one that will be reminisced about in a few years.
Thanks to Dave and Extensive Enterprise for bringing us the best of the underground scene and all these great bands to Montreal.
Review – Jason Maher
Live photo – Steve Gerrard (taken at MTelus 2023)