by Monika Deviat, JP and the Thrashmaster
Over the last few years, the Noctis Valkyries metal festival has become one of the more well-known and respected metal festivals and conferences in North America. The unique blend of bands with the conference portion has established Noctis as a destination for many discerning metal fans. A week before the festival the Friday night had sold-out to the disappointment of many, and Saturday night sold out within minutes of doors opening.
Metal-Rules.com was lucky enough to attend and even in some cases be a part of Noctis. JP for example is on the advisory committee for Noctis and was a moderator and speaker for some of the conference portions. It was interesting balancing our various roles at Noctis and still being journalists at the event – and remember we are fans first and foremost. With the three of us working together, we hope to bring you a professional summation of the weekend.
You can check out our where we spoke with the festival’s founder, Terese Fleming and the bands, Anciients, Scythia and Grand Magus before they traveled to the fest. Read on for the full coverage of Noctis V- Baphomiss.
DAY ONE: Thursday, Sept 27th
THE OPENING NIGHT GIG
The Distillery Club was the site of the opening festivities for Noctis. The unique multi-tiered bar has good sightlines and several beer stations along with great sound. The venue was an excellent choice as it is metal’s home away from home in Calgary. There were many merchandise tables, not only from bands but also from local record stores hawking rare vinyl and CD’s. It was hot and crowded and many of the out of town band members could be seen milling around checking out the action.
Before the doors opened, a line-up had already formed outside the venue, a good indication that the first night would be well attended. Starting off the evening – and the festival – was Deviant Aerial’s, with an aerial pole performance to Slayer’s “Dead Skin Mask”. Three-piece Hoopsnake from Squamish B.C. had a packed floor for their dirty sludge set. Calgary thrashers Epi-Demic! shredded through their politically charged hardcore. Denver’s Speedwolf was one of the favorites of the night and they had the wildest pit. They treated their Canadian fans well, giving them two brand new songs as well as special version of “Denver 666” which was changed to “Canada 666”. Blood Ceremony from Toronto was the other favorite of the night. The occult rockers were powerful and atmospheric, pulling in fans and enrapturing them in the sounds of the psychedelic occult. Prog-metal alchemists The Contortionist closed the first evening with some very technical progressive metal that had a solid group of fans amped but the majority of people started to trickle out at this point.