REVIEW: Beyond Creation – Fallujah – Arkaik – and Equipoise: Live at The Sanctuary, Detroit MI

The bright blue paint job on The Sanctuary makes it the most inviting building on Cardiff Street. Nestled in the middle of Hamtramck, a pint-sized town in Detroit, The Sanctuary is actually one of the most inviting music venues in the whole city. The Canadian Death Metal act, Beyond Creation brought their proggy and technical goodness to Ham Town earlier this week. It was the second to last gig on a month-long tour with Fallujah, Arkaik, and Equipoise. The band has been promoting their most recent full-length album, Algorythm (Season of Mist) on this run and hearing it played in full made for a perfect Metal Monday.

Local acts Carnis Immortals and Boreworm opened up the evening. The present, fresh faces in both bands set the standard for a great night of metal. Their eagerness and sprouting skills assured the crowd of the thriving metal scene in Michigan. It’s not often you hear a crying toddler at a metal show. Yet as the first band on the bill began their set, a family of four moved closer to the stage. Two little boys with headphones watched on proving an all-ages show really does mean all ages. It was heartening to see parents raise their kids to have good taste in music. The young Tech Death Metal act, Equipoise from Pittsburgh really began to heat things up. They ignited a furious fire of sound and presence. They had a gracious vibe and proved they really wanted to be on that stage. Vocalist Stevie Boiser said it had been a great tour and ‘hated to see it go’.

The Californian Death Metal band, Arkaik had their turn next. This budding band released an uninhibited fury that instantly gripped the crowd. They performed with an innovative finesse and care that shook the room. Their latest single, ‘Supernal Flame’ had the audience standing on tiptoes as the quintet roared with a special sparkle. Vocalist Jared Christianson carried the entire band with his range, projection, and fearlessness. An outstanding act and one of the best performances of the evening. Fallujah, a modern metal act from the Bay Area, was the fifth band of the night to hit the stage. This group had a couple of new things to share with their fans; like their latest member, vocalist Anthony Palermo and their recently released record, Undying Light (Nuclear Blast). The band declared their sound with confidence, yet owned the stage with only moderate aggression. Their tired faces and constant mention of how happy they were the tour was ending let us all know how they felt. Yet their lukewarm performance didn’t throw off the crowd’s excitement for the headliners.

Beyond Creation strode onto the dimly lit stage with an inviting nonchalance. The band roared into their set with distinguished agility and enticing vibrancy. Everyone was getting educated by the band’s majestic musical phrasing, transitions, and complexities. Their maturity in tone and presentation took the show to another level. Founder and fearless leader Simon Girard harnessed the hectic and profoundly proclaimed the band’s skillful extremes. His ability to move and persuade the band’s devotees with his variant vocals gave a real emotion to the set. The explosive piece, ‘The Invention’, their first official single off of Algorythm, created a frenzy and a well-structured circle pit. Their raw humility and approachability dazzled everyone in the room. The heart and intelligence carried in each song was delivered with deliberate weight. The last song of the evening, ‘Fundamental Process’ was an epic, anthem-like piece that fed the hungry crowd and entranced them with the gorgeous sweeping sounds that are Beyond Creation. As the lights went up, they revealed many exhausted, but happy faces. They delivered a masterful performance making it a memorable Metal Monday indeed.