COVENANT FESTIVAL 2017: NIGHT ONE (Blood Incantation, Phylactery, Ceremonial Bloodbath, Firecult, Randal Collier-Ford) 8 June 2017

COVENANT FESTIVAL 2017: NIGHT ONE (Blood Incantation, Phylactery, Ceremonial Bloodbath, Firecult, Randal Collier-Ford) 8 June 2017

The third iteration of Vancouver’s Covenant Festival has passed and, after a very busy month, we are at last ready to post our coverage of the event, beginning with its opening night at The Red Room.

Cryo Chamber recording artist Randall Collier-Ford delivered a cinematic opening set of dark ambience that suggested vertiginous black space and endless distance. While a technical difficulty which had affected his set during last year’s festival made a brief repeat appearance, Collier-Ford swiftly honed in on the glitch from behind his xenomorphic gas mask and promptly eradicated it. Local black metal adepts Firecult took advantage of their Covenant Festival debut to introduce some new material to a customarily dynamic and incendiary set. No official word yet regarding a release date but we look forward to hear how the ‘cult has evolved since the debut of their single “Portal” last year. Ceremonial Bloodbath‘s brand of militant death metal is a rarity in the current Vancouver scene and we like it that way – every performance by the band is a refreshing blast of old school brutality, period. Alberta’s Phylactery proffered a similarly traditional approach to death metal, albeit with a pronounced Satanic thrash influence in the vein of early Slayer, and clearly was a highlight for many in attendance judging by their enthusiastic reception. Nevertheless, Blood Incantation‘s performance remains this reviewer’s personal highlight of the show – from vocalist Paul Riedl’s sci-fi conspiracy banter to the skillful use of complex chains of pedal effects and some astonishingly progressive songwriting, the band distinguishes itself as a strange new visionary brand of death metal whose influence could spur an entire new subgenre of paranoid cosmic cacophony.

Enough said, on to the photos below – and check back next weekend for the second round of Covenant 2017 coverage!

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Editor’s Note: Apologies for the limited photo gallery functionality below. Some of you may have noticed that we recently made the switch from WordPress to a self-hosted site and one of the top items on our to-do list is to find a decent photo gallery plugin – one that doesn’t exploit its users through exorbitant fees in exchange for basic functionality – and, that said, we eagerly look forward to the day when we leave WordPress behind altogether as our primary publishing tool; in the meantime, your patience with gallery viewing is appreciated.  

(Click to enlarge)