Live : ‘March of Death’ on Foufounes Electriques – DEICIDE, JUNGLE ROT, ABIGAIL WILLIAMS, LECHEROUS NOCTURNE

march-of-death-tour-2012-promo

Deicide | Jungle Rot | Abigail Williams Lecherous Nocturne
Venue: Foufounes Electrique
City: Montréal, QC, Canada
Date: 2012Mar04

Every so often you encounter a show where the headliner is the main draw and the openers do nothing for you (on paper). For me, Deicide’s “March of Death Tour” was one of those. While I do enjoy Jungle Rot and Abigail Williams (I’m not familiar with Lecherous Nocturne but know the name), I bought a ticket to see fucking DEICIDE. Deicide is one of my favorite metal bands and one of the few that I have not seen, so when I heard the news of this show I honestly did not give a damn who was opening. I would have sat through Linda Ronstadt to see Glen Benton roar over some of the finest death metal ever written.

First on stage was South Carolina’s Lecherous Nocturne, who go for the God Dethroned-style of “blackened” death metal. My issue with that style is that, unless done tastefully and evenly, the overall sound is bland. There are successful bands that blend the two genres, and older songs from Lecherous Nocturne indicate they know how to do it, but presently seem lost. While all the musicians are on point, the writing is run-of-the-mill:  blast beats on top of blast beats, speedy riffs, aggressive solos. Plus, present vocalist Brett Bentley is a bad fit, though talented in his own right. He has a good scream, but doesn’t pace himself. As soon as the vocals hit, his nonstop screams disrupt the flow of the song.  Lecherous Nocturne needs a growler that knows when to start and stop, where to pause, where to stretch out lyrics—not just spitting words as loud and fast as possible. A stronger stage performance would improve live delivery, which was good, but I expect more in the future.

Next on the bill was Abigail Williams. I was excited to see this band, initially. Despite their inability to figure out what they want to be and the occasional “-core” moments, their older stuff from In The Shadow of a Thousand Suns is pretty crazy and the album solid on the whole. But the pervasive sickness of misdirection infects this band. The Abigail Williams I saw was one with minimal presence. Now a three piece, Abigail Williams is exploring the slower, artsier and more atmospheric side of black metal. In some cases, I do like that style, but in order to make it work, the band playing has to be “all in”. Dramatic lighting and dry ice will only do so much. Ken Sorceron, founder and front man of Abigail Williams, had no charisma whatsoever this evening. It looked like he didn’t even care about performing and opening for a truly legendary band in Deicide. I could barely pay attention to this set. Not a fan.

At this point, my evening had been marred by some stomach issues and I was starting to worry that I was going to be ill in a foreign country, which is always a treat. [Agreed!  ~Ed.]  Thankfully, Jungle Rot came to my rescue. Simple, straightforward, head-bangin’ death metal was the cure for my ailments. There aren’t any crazy solos or complex riffs, it’s just death metal. Death metal that got a huge crowd reaction—so much that they played an encore. No one else played an encore. Not even Deicide. These Montréal metalheads are definitely a breed of their own, but they give respect and credit where due. Surprisingly, there were a lot of people there that were just as excited to see Jungle Rot as Deicide, and after watching, I can’t blame them. They played a great, career-spanning set, and really got the crowd moving. Superb job overall.

And now we are left with none other than the headliner: Deicide. I must admit that I had my doubts. I know Glen Benton’s style. Glen Benton does what he wants when he wants—almost like a combination of Kenny Powers (HBO’s Eastbond and Down) and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin—and that made me nervous. Glen is 44 years old now. I figured he might just be going through the motions, but I’ve never been more happily wrong.

The Deicide lineup is the same as their last tour: Glen on bass, Steve Asheim on drums, and Jack Owen and Kevin Quirion sharing guitar duties. While it would have been nice to see the Hoffman brothers on guitars alongside Glen and Steve, Jack Owen and Kevin Quirion do a great job. I do have one beef: Glen Benton and Steve Asheim are the only ones swinging their heads and getting into it. Jack Owen gets a pass because that’s just how Jack is and always has been. He’s also Jack fucking Owen—the man sweats death metal street cred, so he’s allowed to be stoic. However, for all his tremendous talents, Kevin Quirion had little to no charisma. This threw me for a loop, as he performs vocals in his own band, Order of Ennead. Perhaps, in the interest of energy for their “one show per day for a month” tour plans, they were more reserved to avoid burnout.

Regardless of my one gripe (and the annoying super-fan who climbed on stage and danced during the first four songs) nothing could bring down this show. Deicide played a great set that bounced from album to album and covered all of their crowd favorites. Glen Benton and Steve Asheim really put on a show. Steve is the picture of professionalism in Metal. He’s been with Deicide forever, he loves what he does, and he does it with no questions asked. Glen Benton is the same guy he’s always been. His between-song chatter was obscene at times, condescending always, but pretty funny overall. He introduced one as being “about an old guy who used to be on Kung-fu and then died, this one is called ‘Hang Like David Carradine Until You’re Dead.'” Just a bastion of bad taste, is ol’ Glen Benton. As for his musical performance:  (un)holy shit. His growl keeps getting deeper, his shrieks pack a punch, and he can still tear up a bass. He may not be Mr. Popular, but the man is one hell of a performer.

Before I sum things up here, let me say something about the venue: Foufounes Électriques on St. Catherine Street in downtown Montréal. If I could see a band at any venue from my Metal travels, it would be at Foufounes. The atmosphere is phenomenal [Any place that guards their entrance with giant spiders and skeletons is cool with me! ~Ed.], the bar is inexpensive for Montréal, the crowds are great, and the live sound of death metal is fully embraced by the sound guys. Oh… and no security!

While not the best altogether tour package I’ve seen, Deicide and Jungle Rot made it more than worthwhile. Lecherous Nocturne and Abigail Williams definitely didn’t wow me, but if you are a fan of either of those bands (in their current states) go see this show. If you’re just there for the “old school” fare, maybe show up a little late.

~Cole Dougherty

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