NOCTIS DAY THREE-Saturday, Sept 29th
Day 3 – THE CONFERENCE
The day started off right with “Bangers and Mosh”, a free breakfast for all participants that was especially appreciated by those who stayed up until after 1:00am to see Pig Destroyers debut show in Calgary (and Canada) the night before.
We tried to stop in on as many sessions as we could during the day to get a taste of what was happening at each one. Day 2 of the conference had more live interviews, panel debates and some mentor sessions with various members of the metal music industry.
The Convention Center was broken into several rooms, the Autopsy Room, the Strapping Young Room, the Mayhem Room and naturally the bathrooms were labeled “The Cradle Of Filth”. Each session ran about 45-55 minutes, with just enough time to find your next room and/or have a quick break in between them. There were three main themes or streams this year: a fan stream, an industry stream and a musical stream. An attendee could hop between all types of sessions depending on one’s level of interest. Many of the sessions were very causal, with the moderators letting the guests speakers run the show and answer questions from the floor at any given moment.
Topics included record collecting, gear clinics, academics sessions, promotions, publicity, marketing, legal, managing, T-shirts, DIY recording sessions, touring panels and much more. We got the impression that most of the panels could have gone on for hours debating and discussing their various topics. All the panelists were well spoken and gave thoughtful answers or comments to the questions posed to them. There were some definite highlights from the eight hours of the condensed metal information marathon. Martin Atkins’ presentation “Welcome to the Music Biz: You’re Fucked!” gave advice for planning tours, mistakes to avoid, making the most of merch sales and sex & drugs on the road and his style of dry and sarcastic humor had the crowd laughing and making notes on the points that hit home. Metal scholar Dr. Matt Donahue discussed research on why metal heads are so attached to their black t-shirts. Touring climates were discussed by a panel that included Mark Howitt, Susan Bullen and Levithmong. Calgary local Clennon Aranha led, “Tales from the Banzia” with collectors JP Wood, Dan Neild and Adrien Begrand discussing Banzia Records. A live interview of Mark Shelton from Manilla Road had Shelton praising the festival and Terese Fleming.
All in all there were about two-dozen different things to do or see during the course of the conference.
Day 3: THE CONCERT
Hordes of metalheads made the trek from the conference downtown to the University for the final night of music. The merch tables were picked over in the first hour after fans rushed immediately from the doors to get the apparently very limited merchandise. Those that didn’t go for the merch or the beer immediately caught B.C folk-metallers Scythia. Edmonton’s The Order of Chaos had a lot of fans on the barrier headbanging to the bands traditional thrash.
Order of Chaos
Excrementory Grindfuckers from Germany played their first ever show in North America at Noctis. The band was eager to unleash their humor infused grindthrash on their new audience. There were a few covers like “The Final Grinddown” in their set to go along with the other songs that contained “grind” in the title, or were just in German. The band was fun and very dynamic.
The hilarity of the Excrementory Grindfuckers was then sharply contrasted with Black Witchery’s primitive style of black metal. The set was simplistic and evil creating an atmosphere of malevolence enhanced by the harsh stares out to audience from Impurath and Tregenda. The trio from Florida was also joined on stage for a few moments by Canadian black metaller Bestial Savior of Undead Legions (Blasphemy, ex-Necroholocaust, Morbosidad) who added his voice for Black Witchery’s cover of “Ritual” by Blasphemy.
Nunslaughter’s anti-Christian metal was extremely well received by the crowd. On stage the band was very animated and actually quite funny while maintaining their devilish stage presence. The death metal bands morbid lyrical images -including atrocities performed on nuns – created a sadistic air over the stage. Some favorites from the set were “Raid the Convent”, “God” and “I Hate Christians”.
Grand Magus from Sweden was another band that was playing on this continent for the first time. The strong melodies, catchy riffs and overall heavy feel took in the crowd. Janne “JB”Christtoffersson solo’s and deep but soaring vocals were impressive. Highlights from the set were “Valhalla Rising”, “Hammer of the North” and the closer that had everyone singing along, “Iron Will”.
Agalloch was one of the first big names announced for Noctis V and for a lot of people this band was the initial big draw. The four piece put together a set that spanned their discography including “In the Shadow of Our Pale Companion”, “You Were But A Ghost In My Arms” and “Kneel to the Cross”.
And finally it was time for Venom. The ballroom filled up as everyone waiting for the legendary band to take the stage. Venom launched right into “Black Metal” and an unruly explosion from fans greeted the band. Cronos’ growls, snarls and wails sounded perfectly evil. He was constantly engaging the crowd, prompting raised horns and goading an already violently moving mass of fans.
Drummer Dante played aggressively and showed off his drumming prowess, twirling sticks and headbanging behind his kit. Guitarist Rage shredded masterfully with a dominating stage presence. Venom tore through a well selected set, pleasing the crowd with choices like “Bloodlust”, “Countess Bathory” and “At War With Satan”. “Welcome to Hell” was played at a reduced tempo making the already dark song a bit more dirty and intense. The last part of the set and the encore were squeezed in at the end due to a curfew set by the venue. “In League with Satan” and “Witching Hour” were the final songs, two definite favorites of the audience. It was an epic ending but we’re pretty sure everyone could have taken in some more Venom.
Noctis V was packed full of awesome metal bands and excellent conference panelists. It looked like everyone walked away with amazing experiences memories from the weekend and yet again Noctis delivered a line up bands that western Canadians may not have seen otherwise. And Noctis brought Venom back to Canada after 27 years.
We’d like to personally thank Terese Fleming for having metal-rules.com at Noctis again. Fleming and the Scarab Crew do a great job of taking care of everyone from the bands and panelists to the fans (and us!). Here’s hoping for Noctis 666!