blackguard

There’s just a certain joy about new projects, aren’t there? They all possess a certain sense of combinative anticipation and mystery that makes them compelling.

It was a strange night to be in Worcester, Massachusetts. Stranger than usual, that is. At the Palladium, the city’s cardinal music showcase, two very different forces were converging on the city. Finntroll was in town with Blackguard in tow, a powerful double bill of folky heavy metal.

Nine consecutive weeks on tour with only two days off. For those doing the math, that adds up to sixty-one shows in sixty-three days. That’s the type of grueling tour schedule we’re talking about.

Welcome to the annual Bloodygoodhorror.com Heavy Metal Tribute Project! This year, we have the honor of being ushered into our discussion by the esteemed vocalist from Montreal-based metal band Blackguard, Mr.

Dark, cynical roadhouses lke Bogie’s in Albany, New York have been and continue to be the proving grounds or metal. It is here that the crowds deem bands worthy, encouraging their heroes with raised glasses of ale while passing judgment on inferior act with their austere silence.

As a band, Blackguard is a lot of things to a lot of people. Symphonic metal. Power metal. Folk metal. Death metal. A band that knows how to raise the rafters, bring down the house and entertain the multitudes. A band that puts on the same show, gives every effort, for forty or four thousand. The public face of this non-stop touring train is Paul "Ablaze" Zinay, lyricist, vocalist, frontman extraordinaire, who beneath all the intense metal carousing is a man with a gregarious personality and an easy smile. He and I sat down just a couple hours before he and Blackguard would take the stage to talk music, his native Canada, the nature of subgenres, where the band has come from and where they're going next.

When Bonded by Blood is the first band of the evening, each paying individual should be well aware of the night that is to follow.

In 2009, I remember telling people that the cover art for Blackguard's album "Profugus Mortis" was a near perfect representation of the music contained on the album; a flying canoe full of colonial-era drunkards being chased by an apparently clumsy demon.

Okay, with all the recent "best [blank] of the decade" going on, I decided it was high time I got involved.