In December the metal scene lost a dedicated and active member in Adrian Bromley, an editor, writer, publicist, collector and enthusiastic fan. On January 17, musicians, colleagues, family and friends from Toronto and much farther afield gathered to celebrate Adrian's life and legacy in a bittersweet but incredibly heartwarming demonstration of metal solidarity.
Despite the seven bands sharing the Opera House stage, the night was only partly about live music. The sounds covered diverse musical ground - revitalized Black Sabbath, thrashy death metal, blackened metal comedy, symphonic black metal, acoustic neofolk, doomy, folk-accented black metal - all by bands who had shared in some way Adrian's friendship or support.
Endorphins, who had been signed to Adrian's Urgent Music, reunited in his honour, and Piledriver and Musk Ox were two of his recent promotional crusades, and each 15-minute set rang tribute to the man's contributions and appreciation for metal performance.
Only Woods of Ypres (who made the cover of Adrian's Unrestrained! Magazine last year) delivered a full set, switched up from their last Toronto appearance, bringing the night to a dramatic close. On the way there, an emotional and often amusing photo and video presentation offered a glimpse of Adrian's hijinks and the good times he shared with so many of those around him - the memories and the turnout powerful signs of his friendship's vast reach. The images passed by to an ideal Green Carnation soundtrack, reliving their Day of the Equinox performance Adrian co-organized in 2005.
Emotional speeches from some of those closest to him interspersed the louder musical tributes. Volunteer labour, by-donation entry, commemorative shirts, magazines and numerous silent auction rarities all went toward fundraising, with proceeds headed for the Canadian Cancer Society.
A remarkable feat of organization and affection from family and good friends, Adrian's memorial proved he is well loved and well remembered.