“Greetings from the superior hockey nation!” quipped Opeth‘s lead singer Mikael Åkerfeldt last night at Place Bell, Laval. Rousing up some roars and boos from the patriotic Canadian crowd, an epic metal concert had suddenly become a hockey-team pissing contest. Following after Atlanta’s Mastodon and Denver’s Khemmis, this Scandinavian heavy prog-rock trio was kicking off their North American tour with a first stop in Montreal, and throwing some jabs at locals in good fun.
The Swede said he was simply kidding, and trying to goad us all. Appeased by his demeanour, as well as insane shredding, fans rocked their heads in sync as Opeth slid into their much-loved song Sorceress, and the mosh-pit churn continued, filled with good metal rage rather than that pesky hockey rage.
Opeth, Mastodon and Khemmis are set to tour across North America through April and May 2022, making a significant amount of stops in Canada. Saskatoon, Calgary and Edmonton are on the list, along with Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver.
The Place Bell was a cacophony of psychedelic visions and thrashing metal. This three-punch prog-rock combination is a heavy hit, ideal for you to up the irons and start throwing your weight around on the ground floor. Yet the adrenaline-laced tracks of these artists are mixed with the twisted atmospheric and slow ambiance pieces that make an even more chilling effect.
It’s not the first time Mastodon and Opeth have toured together, having completed a similar North American circuit in 2012. Their stars have aligned once again, on the tails of recent albums released during the pandemic. Both Brann Dailor and Åkerfeldt could not express how much they were grateful to be back on tour once again, as are we all that they can grace us with their mind-blowing performances.
Review – David Loach
Photos – Kieron Yates