On a fateful Sunday night at Studio TD in Montreal, we were graced by the presence of two death metal titans, Incantation and Suffocation, sharing the spotlight on a tour that commemorated their awe-inspiring 25-year journey of unleashing brutality upon us.
The evening began with the revelation that is Stabbing, a nascent death metal band. Unfamiliar with them prior to this tour, their performance was a revelation. A fusion of brutal technical death metal and the pioneering wave of deathcore, Stabbing delivered creatively technical segments, intense brutality, and groovy moshing riffs. Vocalist Bridget’s cavernous voice, reaching the lowest growls and impressive squeals, left the crowd in awe. Mosh pits erupted, heads banged, and post-set, fans flocked to the merch table, captivated by Stabbing’s unforgettable show. Their 2023 Demo, a testament to their prowess, has since dominated my playlist, a recommendation I extend to all extreme music enthusiasts.
Following this explosive opening act, Skeletal Remains took the stage with a classic approach to death metal. Aligning seamlessly with the headliners, their performance exuded ferocious energy, marked by pillars of smoke and an opening song that set the stage ablaze. While the rest of the crowd revelled in their performance, I found a lack of variation in their songs failed to hold my interest.
The stage was then conquered by death metal legends Suffocation, a cornerstone in the genre since the ’90s. With a relentless barrage of classics and newer tracks, Suffocation’s set was a relentless assault, initiated by the thunderous “Catatonia” from their 1991 Human Waste album. Guitarist Terrance Hobbs’ heavy, slow, pummeling riffs dominated the mosh pit, complemented by the impressive vocals of new frontman Ricky Myers. Tracks from their latest masterpiece, “Hymns for the Apocrypha,” seamlessly intertwined with classics like “Breeding the Spawn” and “Pierced from Within,” showcasing their enduring passion for brutal music. Suffocation’s performance left the crowd drenched in sweat, a testament to their unwavering energy.
As the night progressed, Incantation took the stage, a personal favourite since my teenage years. Despite some departing after Suffocation’s powerhouse set, Incantation unleashed slow, sludgy death metal, captivating the remaining audience. Their diverse setlist spanned their two-decade career, featuring classics like “Blasphemous Creation” and newer material. The resonance of their slow, loud death metal riffs echoed through the venue, culminating in a triumphant conclusion with “Impending Diabolical Conquest,” leaving an indelible smile on my face.
Heartfelt gratitude to HeavyMTL for orchestrating a spectacular show, a night where the legends of death metal, both old and new, united to create an unforgettable sonic experience.
Review – Jason Maher
Photos – Steve Gerrard