Messe des Morts Festival: Live Review

By on 17 December 2013
Sargeist. Photo: Kim Baarda

Sargeist. Photo: Kim Baarda

Last month saw the mighty Messe des Morts festival hit Canada with a veritable smörgåsbord of fantastic black metal from the likes of Sargeist, Horna, Tsjuder, Taake & more. But don’t worry if you couldn’t make it, Jason Deaville and Kim Baarda were there to experience the ravishing grimness of it all, and here’s what they thought…





Montreal, Quebec, Canada in late November may as well have polar bears and penguins roaming about. In fact, I think I saw a few igloos dotting the city. Seriously, though, it was incredibly cold; cold enough that my fingers just thawed allowing me to write this piece without shattering any frigid digits. Of course, I understand how contradictory this sounds, given the fact that I was in Montreal to see some of the most frigid, icy black metal to ever exist. All things considered, despite the cold, the setting could not have been more fitting.

Taake. Photo: Kim Baarda

Taake. Photo: Kim Baarda

On to the music. From the moment we set foot in the Théâtre Plaza for the three day Messe des Morts III Festival (Mass Of The Dead Festival, for the non-French speaking), we were struck by the overall mood and ambience; the ornate, romanticism/melodramatic architecture of the venue contrasting with that of the eerie stage lighting and artificial fog, providing the perfect backdrop for the stellar line-up. Unfortunately, we missed the first day of festivities, but the next day were treated to headliners Horna, Throne Of Katarsis, and Taake, all playing their very first time in Canada. If you are familiar with both bands, you can certainly imagine the scene – one filled with pigs blood, robes, inverted crosses, and black metal magic.


Horna. Photo: Kim Baarda

Day three in Montreal starts with the obligatory Montreal smoked meat sandwich and poutine, and ends just as epic with performances from Finland’s Sargeist, France’s Belenos, and an incredibly evil performance from Nordic tundragods, Tsjuder.

Tsjuder 2

Tsjuder. Photo: Kim Baarda

We highly recommend Montreal and its penchant for deliciously rich foods and love of extreme music, regardless of the bone-chilling, ridiculous arctic-like climate.

WORDS: Jason Deaville

PHOTOS: Kim Baarda

You can find Messe des Morts festival on Facebook.


About Kez Whelan

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