When: September 3, 2011
Where: Pawn Shop, Edmonton, Alberta
When presented with the opportunity to go to see the Black Path of America Tour with Vreid, Kampfar, and Necronomicon, I was honestly at first not really excited. I’ve been burnt out on live shows to some extent, but I decided to go anyway because I hadn’t heard either Vreid or Kampfar, despite getting the opportunity to get promos for review. Mrs. Blaspheme was also a little on the pensive side, mostly because it was going to be an early show (5 PM) and that meant she had to get off work early and screw around that way.
But we do our thing, go to the venue, wait a little with tanks for both of us, and the show begins with Civil Savage, a local black/death group I’d never heard. But they looked familiar. Most of the members I’ve seen attending shows before, with their bassist very familiar: he’s also the bassist for Sonorous Odium. These guys were pretty fucking good, too! A good mix of black and death, with an original sound (meaning not hypersymphonic or Behemoth clones). Definitely one of my favorite metal bands from Edmonton, I hope to see them again soon.
After a nice and short wait after Civil Savage, Necronomicon hit the stage. Quebec’s blackened death old schoolers are finally back in Edmonton to show us what they’ve got. And for those that are not true believers, see these guys live. And yes, I mostly mean Typhon and anyone else who think Necronomicon are Behemoth wannabes. Fuck do these guys kick ass, and they were much loved by Mrs. Blaspheme as well. For whatever reason they all reminded her of cats, with Rob the Witch and Rick reminding her of lions while Armaros seemed to be more like an ocelot. So black metal dudes that seem to be cats that are from Quebec and beyond happy to be in Edmonton again make my wife happy. The same goes for me. Playing tracks from their entire catalog, Necronomicon really amped up the crowd, playing like they were the headliner rather than an opener. They better be back soon!
Again, a wonderfully short wait later and Kampfar take the stage, using Necronomicon’s drum kit. And holy fuck was this the kind of black metal I needed to hear. True fucking Norwegian black metal with a hell of a lot of folk leanings. Blasting their way through a ton of songs, after their set I bought two of their CDs (Mare, the newest album, and Heimganng, the last one) and Vreid’s V and Necronomicon’s The Return of the Witch. The set itself was full of old and new songs apparently, and many people were screaming along with Dolk the entire time. Dolk himself was on fire, and a very gracious man, constantly thanking us for being the fans we are, as well as the rest of the band. Quite frankly, between their performance and the way the crowd responded, this could have been the end of the night. They played like absolute headliners, it was pure enjoyment for everyone involved.
After the set, when grabbing the CDs, Kampfar’s guitarist (who’s name eludes me, I feel horrible!) was hanging out. I got him to sign my copy of Mare, and he warned me he was not on the album. I asked if he minded signing anyway, if it bothered him to sign CDs he’s not on, and he said he’d be happy to sign. So he did!
Between Kampfar and Vreid there was about ten minutes, at the max. These people are so fucking professional, it’s insane.
Vreid, who I hadn’t heard before remember, got up and ready and turned the night up from ten to eleven. Norwegian black ‘n’ roll FOR THE WIN! You’d think this was the first night of the tour, not the tenth, they performed so hard so fast so awesome, it was unreal. Wicked riffs, killer solos, and a vice-tight rhythm section were paired with performers who were putting everything they had into the show, and at the end of it they were sweaty and smiling. Mrs. Blaspheme and I, up front and stage right, were right in the heart of the storm that Vreid were throwing around; a storm that the crowd responded to with a hunger for more, and Vreid responded by providing more.
I can honestly say I haven’t had that much pure FUN at a metal show before. All of the bands on the bill were awesome, and all of them said they can’t wait to get back to Canada. I know I’ll be at the front when that happens.
In all, it was a perfect night. Not only was it an early show, but and early end on a massively high point. Thanks to Civil Savage, Necronomicon, Kampfar and Vreid for coming. See you all again soon hopefully. You’ve made me love live music again!