Noctis Valkyries Metal Festival (Noctis)
Part II: Verns
Calgary’s Gatekrashör started off the night at Vern’s Tavern. Decked out in leather and chains, Gatekrashör assaulted fans with 80’s style speed metal. Even though they were the first band of the night at Vern’s they had enticed a large and rowdy crowd to show up early for their set.
Black Pestilence is a one man band playing experimental black metal from Calgary. Chris Nelson, the creator of Black Pestilence, has two live members to join him for performances. The music is very intriguing, with industrial samples merged in the midst of chaotic black metal. The band has independently released two full-length albums to date.
Saskatchewan’s LavaGoat played a crushing set at Vern’s. The four-piece show their various influences by blending elements of stoner, doom and death metal. The diversity and heaviness of the set seemed to go over well with the Vern’s crowd.
We only caught a couple songs from Shadowblade’s set. The progressive heavy metal band from Edmonton mixes some folk into their metal and comes up with songs that vary from solemn and atmospheric to heroic and driving. They currently have an independently released album out, Frozen Serenity [Independent, 2010].
Bloated Pig’s set contained a lot of tunes off their latest full length album, Ways to an Early Grave [Independent, 2011]. The dirty blues infused metal is the perfect music to drink to and headband to. The three-piece from Calgary always gets a great reaction from their audience and Noctis was no exception.
Sons of Otis are a doom stoner band from Toronto ON. Unfortunately when we went over to Vern’s after photographing Martyr, we caught the trio in the midst of some technical difficulties; they had blown out their bass head. Luckily the Scarab crew was able to get the band set up with some working equipment fairly quickly. Apparently Sons of Otis had been plagued with issues since they left Toronto, including some broken guitar pedals due to some mishandling by airport staff. We heard good things about their set and the band played on giving their best to the appreciative and supportive audience.
Midnight Malice had Vern’s thrashing hard at the end of the night. The classic heavy metal quartet from Toronto radiate a bad boy attitude and they play as hard as they party (we witnessed a few (okay a lot) of keg stands from these guys over the weekend). Along with some of their more well known tunes from their Pray for Death demo, they rocked a cover of “Detroit Rock City” and invited someone from the crowd to come up and help on vocals. Vocalist Slutfukk from Gatekrashör joined them in the rowdy rendition of the song. At the end of their set the crowd demanded an encore and Midnight Malice gave them “Killed by Death” by Motörhead.
After yet another successful Noctis festival, we are really looking forward to see what bands will play Noctis 5 and what else Fleming will have up her sleeve. On the rumors that Noctis 5 is to be the last Noctis Fleming had the following to say, “I am starting to wind down my work and plan for retirement. [The last Noctis] will be Noctis 5 and I hope doing a Noctis 666 won’t tempt me too hard! The date will likely be the end of September and we are hoping to add a conference but we will change it up again and keep this fresh.” We’ll be sure to post the date announcement and subsequent band announcements for Noctis 5 on metal-rules.com.