After the whirlwind trip to Edmonton for Black Mourning Light Festival (and Wormwitch’s subsequent show at The Local Omnivore, incidentally a great alternative venue – we loved the hospitality, and the chainsaw, too), there was just enough time to transfer a weekend’s worth of data to the Factory Worker desktop before heading out again to Vancouver’s Red Room for Black Monday.
A convergence of two malevolent tours – The Sabbath and the Void (Uada, Helleborus) and Make War, Not Peace (Erimha, Panzerfaust), the show opened with regional support from Edmonton’s Idolatry, of whose set this reviewer caught only the closing moments (apologies to the band for the absence of photos.)
Helleborus followed with a set that had much better sound than its Edmonton show two nights previous (although Uada‘s haunting sonic assault immediately thereafter merely seemed louder than it had in Edmonton, so perhaps the difference was a simple matter of mixing.)
Returning to Vancouver after a three-year absence Panzerfaust has clearly refined its live show in the meantime, as demonstrated by sound and staging: aside from a slightly protracted setup, the blitz of provocative, militant-themed songs was a decimating performance of auditory nihilism draped in bleak occult ornamentation.
Erimha‘s affirming philosophy of strength both appears and sounds tribal in nature; that is, the band is singular in its vision of aggression as a fundamentally unifying or communal experience, and its energetic live dynamic offers something of an optimistic approach to the performance of “blackened” music.
Judging by the modest turnout (an all too common phenomenon for a Monday night show in Vancouver), contemporary North American black metal remains a rarified branch of the local extreme music scene; fortunately its adherents are nevertheless committed to supporting their creative community and one hopes that, eventually, the lower mainland can sustain its own black metal festival and make every day of the week as black as this particular Monday.
(Click to enlarge photos)