Oui oui, le black metal Québecois! For night 2, following sets from JUGURTHA, ILMESTYS and DEATH KNEEL, we got into some seriously decadently dark material at Briefcasefest. Fog and fury were the order of the hour with Basalte from Montreal, highlighted by a pummelling performance by their vocalist/drummer that had the crowd enthralled.
Ottawa’s Occult Burial, a thrashy three-piece, were the perfect followup after the air of pure evil was set. Turning up the speed a little bit these guys delivered just like they did with a performance at the fest two years ago, and whipped the whole place into an energy-spiked frenzy. Rebellious punk riffage meets oozing sewer-troll vocals.
Okay a Root cover? I was sold, even though I already knew I would enjoy the set by local fan favourites Demontage. Ripping through doomy yet headbang-happy tracks tinged with the occasional tease of psychedelic influence, it’s easy to understand why these guys have even piqued the interest of metalheads way across the globe.
“Fucking. Awesome.” – heard from no less than three people standing around me at the end of the set by decidedly un-boxable Volur. I mean, I keep thinking I know what this act sounds like, and then it keeps evolving and shifting and changing, under the will of the three individuals involved. Crescendos of power melt into somber harmonies of strings and drums and voices.
Ritual like no other, the tension conjured by the two dark spellcasters of Sortilegia was tangible. A cloaked figure screeches agony through the darkness, a hooded silhouette unwaveringly beats out a blaring rhythm in the shadows. The sound was a channeling of dark powers from beyond the void.
Wrapping it up with a punch to the teeth, the punks of Akitsa wailed and whined their way through the last set of the fest.