Day of the Equinox The Opera House, Toronto ON - October 14, 2005

Day of the Equinox The Opera House, Toronto ON - October 14, 2005
Photo: Mark Coatsworth
A celebratory atmosphere began to develop around Day of the Equinox long before the actual event - a one-off deal where you'd find Green Carnation, Agalloch, Deceased, Novembers Doom, Unexpect, Woods of Ypres together, in addition to Green Carnation's North American debut - took place. Add to that special merch released just for or debuting at the show, tables stocked by the End and CDN Records, and the guarantee to draw people from cities hours away and the festival spirit reigned strong. The night's schedule didn't leave much breathing room however, with performances running for nearly seven hours straight with only the briefest of breaks, but it ensured that the momentum never faltered. Local sensation Woods of Ypres delivered an intense half-hour of well-loved and new material, as well as a remarkably fitting Katatonia cover. Quebec's Unexpect laid down the same kind of brain-cell bursting performance they brought to Toronto on their last visit, but the larger stage suited them well, making room for the overwhelming vitality of their sound and spectacle. Novembers Doom also failed to disappoint, somehow managing to be brutal and morose, dark and elevating, and the tracks from their latest album were particularly intoxicating. Deceased offered the high-octane content of the night, their energy, speed and aggression injecting a well-timed caffeine jolt. In contrast, Agalloch's set was, unsurprisingly, thick with atmosphere, but they were more dynamic than hypnotic and they said farewell with guitar-smashing ferocity. But as excellent as all this had been, Green Carnation had no trouble stealing back the show with 60 minutes of recent songs, even more powerful than on record, and an electrifying and stultifying presentation of the Light of Day, Day of Darkness album in its entirety, complete with numerous solos and a Theremin/saxophone duet. To be fair, I'm a huge Green Carnation fan and predisposed to appreciate their performance, but they blew away all my expectations, bringing the night to a breath-taking and (literally) show-stopping close.