Mayhem + Midnight @ Club Soda – 22 March 2022

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On a quiet Tuesday night, Montreal’s downtown club soda was invaded by a horde of black metal fanatics hungry for some live metal.

In a tightly packed Club Soda, legions of leather-clad metalheads were ready to welcome American black/speed metal band Midnight and the legends of black metal themselves Mayhem. We learned a few weeks ago sadly that Watain wouldn’t be joining the tour due to visa issues.

Midnight was starting this blasphemous evening with their unique brand of satanic old-school-inspired blackened speed metal. As the lights in the Club Soda went out, we heard bells tolling and demons growling. 

Standing tall on their amps, the trio blasts into their first track “Black Rock’n’Roll” from their classic 2012 album “Complete and Total Hell”. The crowd was warming up quickly as Midnight was playing with ferocious intensity.

As always, Midnight were dressed in their trademark black hoods obscuring their faces and donning their traditional denim, leather and bullet belts. 

Having recently released “Let There Be Witchery” on Metal Blade records, we were treated to a few tracks off their new album including the excellent “Szex Witchery”. Midnight continued rocking out with the crowd who was moshing and singing along.

Their high energy performance combined with their blistering fast guitar solos reached a peak once they started playing the crowd favourites “You Can’t Stop Steel” and “Satanic Royalty”. The metalheads in attendance sang along to these unforgettable anthemic black and roll songs.

Midnight played an enthusiastic and dynamic set and closed their 45 minutes set with “Who gives a Fuck?” and “Unholy and Rotten”. Their performance was greatly appreciated by all in attendance. We hope to see Midnight soon again in Montreal! 

On a sadder note, they had one of their guitars stolen after the show. Please keep a lookout for a black flying V guitar and help a touring band out.

After a short break, the crowd was getting excited to witness black metal progenitors Mayhem in action. Mayhem started out in 1984 and wrote two genre-defining classic albums “Deathcrush” and “De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas”. 

The current lineup is composed of original bassist Necrobutcher, the iconic Hellhammer on drums and the charismatic madman Attila on vocals. The black metal veterans Teloch and Ghul have been on guitars with Mayhem since 2012.

As the lights went out, the show started with ominous dark atmospheric music as the musicians walked on stage. Necrobutcher and his satanic bandmates opened the set with “Falsified and Hated” from their latest 2019 album “Daemon”. 

Attila, the charismatic vocalist, was dressed in a red priest robe. Throughout the chaotic background of guitars playing hypnotic melodies, Attila was mixing rasps, growls and religious chanting and commanding the crowd’s attention. He was weaving at the crowd a set of bones and later on a hangman’s noose.

As the band played through their new material, the crowd was moshing along and enjoying the performance. After a few songs, the band went backstage for a quick interlude. The background was changed to the inside of a church. The band walks back on stage dressed in black robes and as the first notes of “Freezing Moon” are played the crowd went wild. Mayhem played a four-song set from their seminal masterpiece “De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas”. We were treated to other classics like “Pagan Fears”, “Life Eternal” and “Buried by Time and Dust”. 

They return backstage for a short interlude, as the background changes to a solid red colour with Mayhem’s written in black. Mayhem walks out dressed to rock out and we are greeted with the first notes of the black metal classic “Deathcrush”. The anthemic heavy black metal riffs is met with bodies flying and horns in the air. The band then proceeds to play another set based on their early raw black metal catalogue with songs like “Chainsaw Gutfuck”, “Carnage” and they ended the show with “Pure Fucking Armageddon”. 

What a powerful performance Mayhem delivered and the fans were very delighted with their evening. The Montreal show was coincidentally on Euronymous’s birthday. I am glad that the music created by such a talented metal guitarist gets to live on!

March is for the Montreal Rocks crew has been very busy! Check out this playlist of all the standout tracks I caught live.

Review – Jason Maher

Photos – Kieron Yates

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