For a Saturday evening I was very surprised to see a low turnout of attendees to this show, especially considering that the ticket price was $17 to $18 including taxes and services charges, depending on where you bought them. Not only that but Negura Bunget is from Romania, so that ticket price is a steal for an overseas touring band! Some friends and acquaintances informed me that they were “too broke” to attend this show. To them I’d say they missed the boat.
Doors opened at 7:00 PM. I recall arriving around 7:30 PM. I was worried that one of the bands had already started, but at that point no one had played yet. The bands did not start playing until almost 8:30 PM. I don’t blame them either considering that there seemed to be only a dozen or so people in the audience when the first band played.
Saskatchewan’s Desecrate Scripture was first to open. They played black metal with a touch of progressive elements including clean backing vocals and clean guitars. Unfortunately it was very hard to hear their guitars and bass. The drums were quite audible, and I was impressed by their drummer’s single-handed blast beats. The sound on the snare was kind of muddy though–that was likely not the fault of the band though. I have noticed that at the Rickshaw the sound is hit and miss, and often the opening bands get shafted with crappy sound. I really hope that I can see Desecrate Scripture again with better sound.
Next was din Brad, a folk side project from Negura Bunget’s members Negru and Inia. Negru was on drums, and Inia was on vocals and keyboards. The drums used were more of a traditional type than an actual drum kit. I appreciated the simplicity of the vocals, keyboard, and drums in this folk project. I also enjoy the flexibility that these musicians have in playing music that is not necessarily metal which helps to enrich the experience of the listener. Inia sang a mezzo soprano voice in Romanian with only the keyboard as the backing chords, and the drums for rhythm. She did what sounded more like shouting and chanting in some parts which gave a nice contrast.
The second to last band was Eclipse Eternal hailing from Toronto. I was blown away by the musical competence and solid songwriting of this group. There was no doubt that this was an experienced and true band. Their stage presence and performance was amazing too. Lord Abbadon’s guitar lead work was both melodic and technical–as a guitarist myself, that is something I pay great attention to. I bought an Eclipse Eternal t-shirt that evening.
Finally we had the headliners Negura Bunget. I really liked how they incorporated various musical elements from folk to progressive into their black metal. They even had panpipes in one of their songs. Every member had his or her place and contribution to the music which moved fluidly from blast beats to half tempo. I had some trouble hearing one of the flutes that Inia was playing though, and it seemed that when the mic was turned up, it only caused feedback. Chakravartin’s vocals were quite versatile ranging from black metal shrieks and shouts to gutturals and cleans and chanting. I was so glad that they did an encore too. This was Negura Bunget’s first time in North America; I sure hope that it won’t be their last, and next time I hope more people attend the next show. I had only enough money left to buy two patches from them, but next time I will definitely make sure to bring more cash!