Akitsa is one of the longest running Black Metal bands from Canada, already formed in 1999 they have released a commendably large discography. They have spawned six full-length albums and about a dozen smaller release, including some split releases with other respectable underground acts such as Satanic Warmaster, Prurient and Nocternity. The only thing missing from their extensive discography was a live recording, with ‘Haine Et Vengeance En Concert (Québec 2019)’, they’ve set that record straight.
The band has always been hailed for their minimalist and ultimate raw approach of the Black Metal genre. They have stripped it all down to the utter basics, right down to its punk fuelled Ildjarnian roots. And although the band themselves describes this live-set as a ‘high-quality recording’, my guess is that most people will have a hard time distinguishing this with a cement mixer filled with gravel. Not quite your polished live recording, so to speak. I haven’t been able to catch the band in a live setting myself, but this is exactly how I imagined it to sound like, more punky and even rawer than hitting the streets when falling off your bike at 666 miles per hour. Maybe the best example of their even further stripped down live performance is ‘Chimères’, from their ‘Grands Tyrans’-album from 2015 (Hospital Productions). The album-version had already been a bit of an odd duck in the bands discography, as it already had more of a Punk vibe to it than the band ever had. Mostly due to the raw and pretty much off-tune ‘clean’ singing and the up-beat kind of Punkrock riffs. But in this live-setting this goes way further into the American underground Punk scene of the early 80’s. Furthermore the band goes into all directions throughout their rich history, picking many a fan-favourite. The thing with live-sets is that you cannot please anyone, but they can’t go wrong with playing the title track of the great ‘La Grande Infamie’ with that great epic and victorious vocal part and closing their performance with ‘Affront Final’ (from their cult debut album, ‘Goétie’).
Despite currently being signed to Profound Lore Records, Akitsa will never be a band for the masses. And that is just fine. Yet, with countless of young bands following the examples of Ildjarn, Akitsa and Bone Awl, mixing Primitive Black Metal with the rawness and feedback-driven Punk and Noise(rock), it feels as if the musical climate is getting more receptive for this sort of music. This live tape, aptly titled ‘Hate and Vengeance In Concert’, however, might still only be food for the true underground connoisseur with an unquenchable thirst for the rawest of the raw.