NOCTIS DAY TWO: Friday, Sept 28th
Day 2 – THE CONFERENCE
The Conference began with registration in the lobby. The Noctis staff and volunteers again demonstrated how well organized they were with quick and easy registration for conference attendees. Next to the registration table, renowned metal author and journalist Martin Popoff had a large number of books on display. Just inside the main room was a welcome “Beer and Cheese” which included a free drink for every registered conference attendee. This nice touch set the mood for the rest of the evening as people settled in to enjoy the introductory phase that ran from 4:30pm to 7:00pm.
First up, were some formal introductions by Kevin Woron, host of the University of Calgary radio show Megawatt Mayhem, one of the world’s longest running Heavy Metal radio shows. Joining Woron was his radio co-host JP Wood. Terese Fleming gave a few welcoming remarks to the attendees. Woods gave a brief presentation about the nature of extreme metal which was the overall theme of the weekend’s event. The audience enjoyed the comedic look at extreme metal though the ages. Keeping with the theme of the presentation, the first panel debate was titled “The Future of Extreme Metal”. The first live interview was between two authors and metal experts – Martin Popoff interviewing Joel McIvor. McIvor gave a lot of good advice on how to be a successful writer. And off course the most anticipated interview of the weekend was when McIvor interviewed Cronos for “Advanced Venomology”. Cronos was very well spoken and his stories had the crowd roaring. His easy going and engaging manner made him relatable to the audience. His comments that metal heads and metal musicians seem to constantly be perusing new knowledge were insightful and the discussion of his history in Venom enlightening.
After a few fan questions the session was wrapped and people headed to the Distillery to see the evening’s bands.
Day 2 – THE CONCERT
As mentioned previously, the Friday night show was sold out and the venue was packed to the 600 person capacity. It was extremely hot and sweaty but the energy was brilliant.
Another Western Canadian band, Anciients kicked things off with a crushing set. Next was a triple hit of technical prowess. Vancouver’s Archspire gave a tight execution while being simultaneously frantic. Calgary’s Phantom Limb were on the progressive side the spectrum and played with mind blowing proficiency. Another local band, Kataplexis gave the raucous crowd a grind filled death metal set.
It seemed that leading up to the event many people weren’t sure how to take the jokesters from Arizona, Psychostick. And from what we hear, the band wasn’t too sure how they would go over either. However, their first ever international show went over very well and they won over many new fans. Some highlights of the bands shenanigans included a Sombrero mosh pit (where you attack the guy in the pit wearing a Sombrero and then subsequently attack anyone holding a piece of Sombrero) and a giant moose head hat.
Midnight’s third time at Noctis was a little bit tamer in that nothing was set on fire, but it seemed harder and meaner – could b due to the fact that they were playing the same festival as one of their inspirations, Venom. They opened with the title track of Satanic Royalty [Hells Headbangers Records, 2011] and the mayhem did not stop for their entire set. Along with many tunes from Satanic Royalty they threw in favorites like “All Hail Hell” and “Violence on Violence”.
For their first ever appearance in Canada, Manilla Road were given the longest set of the night. The band from Kansas took the 75 minutes they were given and packed in as much epic heavy metal from their extensive sixteen album catalogue as they could. Mark “The Shark” Shelton, the only original member, lead with his flawless shredding through songs like “Road of Kings”, “Open the Gates” and “Crystal Logic”. Singer Bryan Patrick had everyone singing along with him as he towered out over the pit.
Grinder’s Pig Destroyer were the last band for the Friday night. Their set was aggressive and destructive. A lot of the crowd stayed to see the Distillery ripped apart by Pig Destroyer but unfortunately we all left early to prepare ourselves for a Saturday packed with conference activities and the final musical acts of festival at MacHall.