The event took place on 23 of May at “The Palace Theater” which is in the very center of Calgary city. This concert was a part of “The Verminous Remnant Tour 2023” big tour which is held in support of Verminous full-length album which was released in 2020 by Metal Blade Record.
Trevor Strnad (lead vocals) described the album as:
“I think this is the biggest evolutionary leap we’ve ever taken from one album to the next. We stoked the creative fires with 2017’s ‘Nightbringers’ and it’s gone much further now in ‘Verminous’.”
Although the album was released 3 years ago, it still has huge interest from the fans all over the world and it looks like the guys will be touring with it ‘as long as the demand is there’.
This is it for the event’s background, so it’s time to proceed to the concert itself.
Even if you have never been to “The Palace Theater” before (as it was with me) it wasn’t hard to find this place due to a long line of metalheads on the street, waiting.
The door was opened at 6 PM and everyone was asked to provide the ID at the entrance to confirm that their age was above 18 years old. The crew was polite and did their job quickly so the whole line disappeared pretty soon.
At the main entrance and inside of the hall several stands with the band’s merch were already present which gave an opportunity to walk around and buy some stuff before the concert had begun.
The first band, Phobophilic, opened the concert just in time, at 7 PM. Their start was energetic and full of aggressive riffs from the very beginning, which immediately brought everybody’s attention to them. The band positions themselves as Nauseating Death Metal. What caught my attention in their performance was how they were switching the tempo. As soon as you get used to one line, another approaches and in between all this, the solo appears. All of that is united in one picture and sounds really interesting together. I would say that this band is quite technical and deserves more than 30 minutes of a set. It was a really interesting beginning and I think they did their job, as a first band, really well.
The next band was Fuming Mouth. This band has a pretty significant background. Started in 2013 they already have 1 full length album, 4 EPs and singles and signed in contract with Nuclear Blast. Their music can be described as death metal with some hardcore elements in it. The whole set you are locked to the stage by overwhelming strength and pressure which covers you as waves and only some breakdowns give a moment to take a breath before the next song. But the main feature of this band, as for me, is the mood. Nevertheless the intensity of their music is high, it feels like you are standing in the very center of some viscous substance. When I’ve looked at their lyrics (Depression, Loss, Inner struggles) it became obvious that this effect on listeners is intended. They are good at transferring their mood.
Frozen Soul was the third band to play on the show. I’ve never heard them before but I was eager to hear them as they were much awaited by the people. I’ve heard murmurs, saying that they can’t be missed. So, I was intrigued. Probably the best description I’m able to find is that they are playing straightforward and uncompromising death metal, pushing the riffs through you with a high intensity. They are very communicative with the crowd and demandive, I would say. The circle pits were in every song and the crowd appreciated that amount of headbanging and madness around.
The band names their style as ‘Cold death metal’. All the lyrics are about frost, ice, coldness, and winter. The whole performance was about transferring that mood to the listeners but the thing I found pretty funny about that, is that the band is from Texas.
Terror is a Los Angeles based hardcore band who, probably, has the most significant history from all the bands in support. They already have 8 studio albums, 6 live albums and a lot of compilations, demos etc. They were the last band before headliner “The Black Dahlia Murder” and the crowd met them with the full power as they were already pretty well warmed up by the previous bands. I’m not a big fan of a hardcore but I can say for sure that people met them with great pleasure. The infinite circle pits, stage diving. The energy was almost palpable in the air.
And finally The Black Dahlia Murder performance has started. The biggest concern for fans at this show was the vocalist of the band. Last year, at the age of 41, Trevor Strnad – lead vocalist and co-founder of the band had passed away. So, it was unpredictable how things would go on and who was replacing him. Brian Eschbach (former rhythm guitar) took that responsibility and did his job very well.
The whole crowd was already very well warmed up and as it was pretty tight near the stage with the previous bands it was almost impossible to reach it when they began their show. They’ve started with the eponymous song with their album – Verminous proceeding with the next songs from the album. It was exactly what was expected from them – pushy riffs, great solos, insane drums and the great performance and communication with the audience. The stage diving reached the limit when security was all ears and eyes. They almost hadn’t time to put down one metalhead as the next one was already at their proximity. One of the last songs was performed together with the vocalist of the Fuming Mouth band.
To summarize, the concert went really well. Despite the fact it was Tuesday, the concert hall was fully crowded. Either it is the end of the coronavirus pandemia era or just a starvation for metal music – metalheads were spending their time freely without thinking about Wednesday morning. I suppose Wednesday’s hangover reminded them how good the concert was.)
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