Monarque, Csejthe, Pagan Ritual @ Annex Wreck Room, Toronto ON


By Melissa Andrews

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The warmest weekend of 2009 so far may not have been an appropriate backdrop for an evening of Canadian black metal featuring Monarque and Csejthe at the Annex Wreck Room. The good weather and early show may have been the reason for the low turnout, because judging from the quality of music Toronto should have had this venue as packed as it was at the bands’ recent show in Montreal.

Local band Pagan Ritual opened the evening. They are definitely one of the better openers I have seen in a while. The group provided great sound and energy to the small assembled group. Without even enough time to finish a drink, Quebec’s Csejthe was next up with a beautifully melodic set. They traded in the corpse paint for some mood enhancing candelabra. Sadly, their attempts at doing some harmonizing vocals came out as barely audible. Anyone who gets a chance should be checking this band out.

Somehow black metal sounds prettier when growled in French. Headliners Monarque took the stage before 9 pm so they could make it out by the 10 pm curfew. I was one of the few adversely affected by the smoke streaming off the stage throughout the entire set, which also included a Judas Priest cover. Monarque is set to return to Toronto in the coming months; this time more people should get their butts out and attend.

(Monarque photo by Fred Laroche. Taken without permission from the Monarche myspace page.)

Sean is the founder/publisher of; he has also written about metal for Exclaim!, Metal Maniacs, Roadburn, Unrestrained! and Vice.