Concert Reviews

Oppressor - Cryptopsy - Gorguts - NecroMortis
Sept 10th 1998
Les Foufounes Electriques, Montreal, PQ, Canada

My ears still ringing from last week's Slayer concert, I went to Foufounes to a slightly more intimate atmosphere for some good straight forward brutal death metal. The first band was NecroMortis, who were replacing Nile on this 4 band bill. This Quebec band was good, but nothing special. The vocalist was pretty intense, although I think he was just growling nonsense, no real lyrics to speak of. The band was pretty tight, they played a good set, and then it was time for the headliners.

Oppressor was first, and my favorite of the lot. Their sound was pretty bad, really muddy, which is a shame because their riffs are so intricate (Especially bad was the acoustic passages, that sounded terrible, like they were being played through a 10 watt peavey or something, the sound was so thin). But even though they didn't sound all that hot, they played a great set. These guys have real stage presence, the two guitarists and bass/vocalist are huge, well over 6 feet, real giants. When I say they dominated the stage, they did just that. Guitarist Jim Stopper was crazy, he thrashed around the stage like a madman, while still performing all his riffs perfectly. And the singer, Tim King, growled with great passion, his long curly hair completely obscuring his face and the mike. Would you believe they played all their material at almost twice the speed of the recordings? I was shocked, all the stuff off "Agony" was a lot faster than normal, and yet still with the same precision. They played 'Corrosion', 'Kingdom Of The Dead', 'I Despise', 'Gone', 'Passage', 'Carnal Voyage' and a few others that I can't remember. The audience didn't seem to get into the band too much, I don't know, maybe I'm the only huge Oppressor fan in the audience, but I liked em.

Next up was Cryptopsy. First off, I can't give these guys a proper review, because I'm not really well versed with their songs. I've heard only one or two tunes from the band, so it was a real surprise when they got on stage and completely tore though about 10 songs with incredible precision and brutality. I have never seen a drummer play that fast since Dave Culross. The drumming was amazing, accurate, hard hitting, fancy, but at the same time to-the-point and with lots of groove. And the riffs were great too. They played some of the most intense songs I've ever heard, and thrashed around like maniacs. The crowd really got into it, seemed like the whole audience gave them the best reception of any of the bands. An excellent set, I will definitely pick up their new album.

Finally, Gorguts took the stage. After a quick interruption due to the drummer needing to go to the bathroom, they started playing lots of songs off their newest album. I really hate to offend these guys, but the stuff on "Obscura" is probably too complex for their own good, and it's almost impossible to mosh to, since there's no coherent beat. The crowd kept yelling for older material, which they did give by playing 'The Erosion Of Sanity' and 'Stiff and Cold', but overall I was disappointed with the performance. They should have played less new stuff, and stuck to the older material. Seemed sort of anti-climatical, maybe Cryptopsy should have been last.

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