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Live Report : Chthe'ilist @ Covenant Festival by

Updated: Jun 18, 2020

Via No Clean Singing : "Montreal is one of my favourite cities in this strange, fragmented nation of ours. After the calamity that befell the ill-fated Messe des Morts VI in November, we had an easy decision regarding a return trip after looking at the line-up for Covenant Montreal. Covenant has been active since 2015, the inner circle being composed of members of Auroch/Mitochondrion, Crooked Mouth, and other acts.

Sparguntur glacies et Tenebrae…

Neige et Noirceur opened the festival with a ritualistic dark ambient set featuring a range of eccentric instruments, shrieking vocalizations, and eerie chanting. This was a perfect mise-en-scène  for the night, and an excellent reflection of Spiritus‘ capacity to create a wide range of sonic landscapes. More Natura Mortis Sonoris than Les Ténèbres modernes, their short-but-powerful set was at once imaginative and haunting.

The Black God and the Barren Wasteland

Raw, energetic and furious, Tchornobog‘s death-inflected black metal roared to life immediately following. It was great to see Markov play live so soon after the release of this debut. The thickness of Tchornobog‘s sound is an interesting juxtaposition with the ethereal minimalism of Aureole, and it carried well in a live setting.

Predatory Twilight

One of the major draws for me was the chance to see Chthe’ilist live. Where else can one find Legend of Zelda-inspired madness in the world of metal? Le dernier crepuscule was a favourite album of 2016. and the band’s lineup reads like a who’s who of instrumental archmages in the Quebecois scene, sharing members with Beyond Creation, First Fragment, Serocs, and Zealotry (among others).

The band was an incendiary whirlwind of technical virtuosity, and, with “The Voices from Beneath the Well”, summoned the festival’s only moshing. The solo tradeoffs here between Phil Tougas and Claude Leduc were inspired and inspiring, and Phil Boucher’s virtuosic drumming and Antoine Daigneault’s frenetic, creative bass work were also unbelievably good.

Precision Haruspex

This was the first real surprise of the festival for me. I am a huge fan of Kevin Hufnagel, but actually find a lot of Dysrhythmia‘s music slightly sterile. And while I do like more recent stuff like Psychic Maps and Test of Submission, Veil of Control left me cold. TL; DR? The live performance was fucking masterful. Clinically precise, yes, but also hypnotic, mesmerizing, and brimming with vibrancy.

Originally written by Conchobar for

Originally written by Conchobar for

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