Warcall + Your Last Wish + PolymorphiK @ Cafe Campus – 13th October 2017

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Warcall Montreal

This night was more than an album presentation; it was an album review party, a reunion, a bon voyage get together and a celebration of local metal. The event’s venue was Cafe Campus, a place known for their themed parties, cool designed posters and proud supporter of local bands and lesser-known acts.

At around 8 pm the crowd started gathering sparsely on the floor with their beers (except for about 3 meters in front of the stage), their friends and members from the other invited bands. PolymorphiK took the stage right on time with their straight to the point of death metal, the singer pig squealing and growling their way for almost an hour.

Those who were present from the start did not have a hard time bobbing their heads and tapping their boots to the band, sipping beer and making sure their black garments and tanless faces were not exposed to the stage lights.

Matdog, the singer, briefly explained some of the songs before starting them, giving everyone who did not speak, scream and growl a chance to imagine the message. But after a couple of songs, for brief spans of time, I could understand what was being said, and it reminded me when I arrived in Montreal, not understanding French at the beginning, but after constant exposure and attention I could start comprehending phrases and enjoy conversations.

The whole night proved that a better way to immerse yourself in the city, beyond eating and visiting landmarks, is to look up what local band is playing and dive in.

Next up was Your Last Wish‘s turn, and if you have never seen them live, you are in for a surprise. You see, the singer, Roxana, is a petite woman and they are a melodic death metal band, and in your brain, this does not compute well, but after they start the show, you are taken aback due to Roxana’s range, from the Tuvan-throat-singer like death growl to the Dani Filth screech.

The band has changed throughout the years since all the original members are no longer present, but whatever it was before it just got better with time and in spite of me not understanding one single line of the lyrics, I enjoyed the show quite a lot, mainly due to the great riffs from the lead guitarist and the vocal flexibility of the singer. Quite hypnotizing I would say, even though at one point the singer mentioned that next song was in French and I thought to myself, “What were all the other songs spoken in?”.

The crowd kept bobbing their head, drinking their beers and more people started to take part of the moshing VIP zone in front of the stage, all very civilized and fun. (Yes, I used civilized to describe a mosh pit).

The whole night up until now had reminded me of how important it is to support local acts and how different is the ambiance compared to seeing more famous bands at similar venues. The entire night had a feeling of camaraderie, celebration and mutual admiration and encouragement.

Around 9:45 pm the place started to get packed and the front of the crowd suddenly changed faces, with baby boomers lining up just behind the imaginary semicircle delimiting the mosh pit zone (possibly parents, uncles, aunts, friends and older fans of the WarCall guys), they were clearly excited and supportive of the whole celebration, although one older gentleman seemed somewhat inexpressive and unresponsive to what was happening around and in front of him.

Your Last Wish finished their set by presenting some of their new songs and brought out their new guitar player. The new stuff sounds melodic with intense bursts of chaos and noise at times, the hypnosis broke, and now it became somewhat frenetic and overwhelming, but gladly it was only a couple of songs, and it did not stain the rest of the repertoire.

Now it was the birthday boys’ turn. WarCall got on the stage, set up everything, tuned all their three guitars, two basses, and the double pedal drumset. Then it was camo time, a bunch of surplus stuff got placed on stage setting up the atmosphere for the central theme of the band, war. Gord, Mat, and Phil “disappeared” with their camo pants, army jackets, and black boots, and the final touch was put in place a vast camouflage netting was put on top of the drumset, hiding it almost wholly*.

The opening song was one of my favorites from the new album, “Mission Comando,” a call to arms song worthy of a road trip to any rock festival. The band, known for going straight to the music and talking little on stage, took time at every two songs to reminiscence about their starts, be joined on stage by roadies, fans and friends, thank everyone present and those involved from the beginning and most importantly, they drank up shots to 10 more years of friendship, music and rock and roll.

WarCall’s set was filled with surprises, after a couple of songs, founding members, one at a time, joined the stage to play on some of the first songs and almost at the very end, two members of Plan B joined WarCall for two songs.

For someone who only heard WarCall a week ago, the whole setlist was an excellent introduction to the band, and it’s history and their future. The group knows what they’re doing on stage, clean, direct and powerful. Each song was delivered almost as it was recorded, with excellent guitar solos from Mat, warrior-like screams from Gord and powerful drums from Phil. And as for their new album, it has some great gems in it with a cool sci-fi theme and lyrics that invite you to reflect on personal and world conflicts.

This was only the first show of their tour, which will take them mainly to France and the Czech Republic.

Unfortunately, due to the time and the toll of a long work week, I was not able to listen to Deathallica.

If I were to take only some things from this celebratory concert, it would be the brotherhood feeling, the fantastic guitar solos, and riffs from all bands and the diversity of the metal scene of Montreal.

And to WarCall, bon voyage et bonne tournée!

WarCall setlist:
Mission Comando
Riding With Zombies
The Gun
The Man Who Suffers
The Devil Speaks With A Gentle Voice
Bully Bastards
Alien Forces
Wrath Of God
Faces of Death
Blood For the Sun
War Against War
Hunting Mammoth
Breaking the Law

*Yes, this is a cammo joke.

Review & photos – Ricardo D. F.

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