Wolves In The Throne Room + Blackbraid + Gaerea + Hoaxed @ Fairmount Theatre

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An amazing evening of scorching hot black metal was awaiting all tonight as Wolves in the Throne Room were playing at Fairmount Theatre on the night of October 5th. I was quite excited about this one as they had unfortunately cancelled their last scheduled stop in Montreal.

First band up was the all-girl dark rock group Hoaxed from Portland. They played their set as the crowd was still arriving at the venue. They mixed some interesting rock and doom metal riffs with some melodic vocals but the performance fell a bit flat for me personally. The style clashed a bit with the other bands on the bill despite their dark atmosphere. After the review, I took a long listen to their music and found that I enjoyed their latest album immensely.

Next up was Gaera from Portugal. I knew nothing about this band prior to the show, and I must say they absolutely blew my mind. Right from the start of their set, as they walked on the stage in matching black outfits and hoods with their occult logo, I was entranced. They offered us a high-energy performance of their misanthropic traditional black metal. The vocalist was a natural showman; the guitars were offering crushing riffs as the drums were pounding away. It has been a while since a new black metal band has captured my attention so ravenously. I was enthralled during their whole performance and I cannot recommend them enough. I strongly suggest you check out their 2022 album “Mirage” if you are a fan of the style.

Blackbraid had a tough act to follow after Gaera and the crowd was filled with energy and excitement. The one-man solo project from New York offered us a breath of fresh air with their traditional black metal influenced strongly by the first wave from Norway but with strong lyrics and visuals inspired by indigenous history and connection to nature. The aesthetics of their stage wear was a fusion of traditional indigenous and black metal gear. They played passionately their raw black metal sound that paid homage to the classic sound of the genre with the fast drumming, raw fast guitars and a whole lot of stage presence.

The touring band that accompanied the one-man project were all fantastic on stage. During one of the songs, Sgah’gahsowáh, the frontman, burned sage as the guitars were wailing and the drums pounding, creating a billowing smoke in the venue, making for a surreal atmosphere. Another high point was when a flute was pulled out to add to one of the songs, sadly the flute was barely audible in the mix, but just the visuals of it added to the show. A fantastic performance and another band that I highly suggest you look into if you are an amateur of traditional black metal.

It was finally time for our headliner, one of the best American black metal bands, Wolves in the Throne Room. The front of the stage was lined with deer skulls and the back of the stage had a multitude of candles lining it. On top of the giant drum kit that towered atop the stage. The band came out and gave us a majestic performance of their nature-infused black metal. Their slow, hypnotic riffs transcended and entranced the crowd. The venue looked almost transformed as the many smoke machines filled the air with a constant haze. During the performance, incense was burned on stage as the band continued their mesmerizing melodic style of black metal. Wolves in the Throne Room showed why they are one of the best and unique black metal bands in the scene and the crowd enjoyed every minute.

I was at the front of the stage during their performance and was so enthralled, like many others, that I did not notice the fire alarms going off. I got quite a surprise when I exited the venue to find two firetrucks who came down to make sure everything was safe. Wolves in the Throne Room definitely brought the fire to Montreal.

Thanks to Dave and Extensive Enterprise for the opportunity to review the show and for always bringing our city the best concerts.

Wolves in the Throne Room in Montreal 2023

Review – Jason Maher
Photos – Steve Gerrard

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