If ever there was a test case proving that hard work, tenacity, a healthy amount suffering and word of mouth pays off, BLACKGUARD is it.
Formed in 2001 as a genuine black metal outfit, the heavy metal sextet began as lesser known “PROFUGUS MORTIS”, made popular in their hometown of Montréal. Hungry for bigger stages, they fought a pitched battle to stand out amongst their international metal brethren, going through numerous line-up changes along the way.
Over a decade later, BLACKGUARD stands strong, remaining the pride and joy of the French-Canadian death metal scene. In late 2004, the band welcomed gritty vocalist Paul Zinay, bassist Étienne Mailloux, and began working on a cleaner, more definitive sound. Committed to their Northern roots, the band zeroed in on their own unique blend of Scandinavian folk-metal and melodic black metal.
“This comes to us naturally," says Zinay "and we’re definitely the sum of our parts. What’s going on around us influences us to a certain degree, of course, but in the end we’re putting our own spin on it and giving the band its own defining characteristics.
Before we came in the band’s sound was a lot more progressive black metal; there were a lot of riffs and tempo changes, but we’ve gone in a much more straightforward direction since then. I guess we took on a power metal and a straight up folk metal influence along the way." Releasing a self-produced demo in 2005, BLACKGUARD (still PROFUGUS MORTIS at the time), hopped on the Xtreme Distortion Festival in Montreal with KATAKLYSM.
Blowing the crowds away with their epic guitar riffing and synth infused power; they easily won the title Best Unsigned Band at the event, gaining hundreds of loyal followers. With metal supporters behind them, “PROFUGUS MORTIS” released …So It Begins, their first professional recording in 2007.
Receiving rave reviews, critics were shocked and amazed to discover the band’s dynamic, heavy-hitting backbone was Justine Éthier, Montreal’s premiere female drummer. In the next two years, the band had redubbed themselves BLACKGUARD and released album Profugus Mortis, in 2009 as a tribute to their past.
Top of the line production quality, controlled vocals and killer keyboard solos eventually got the attention of Victory Records, who added BLACKGUARD to their metal roster in 2010. With a lineup of vocalist Zinay, Mailloux on bass, Terry Deschenes and Louis Jacques on guitar and Justine on drums, BLACKGUARD has been keeping busy churning out epic-metal for the masses. Playing what can only be described as “warrior metal”, fans are transported to an immense battle field, getting hit by heavy chugging bass lines and intricate guitar riffs along the way.
Under their new label, BLACKGUARD perfected their epic death-power metal sound, releasing their most successful album to date, Firefight, on March 29, 2011. Flooring metal fans by their speed, the band had become known for their exact technical work and hauntingly explosive keyboard melodies. Before long, BLACKGUARD had recruited an army of thousands, performing sold out shows all over the world.
Currently on tour with KAMELOT, XANDRIA, and TRIOSPHERE, fans all over Europe are flocking the stage to witness the metal journey they have created. Committed to achieving metal excellence, their tour-hard sensibilities have them consistently traveling, letting their culture-soaked darkness sweep over the hardcore scene.
After returning home from their European trek, they will begin recording their second Victory Records’ release STORM for a 2013 release. Featured on Todd And The Book Of Pure Evil, SpaceNet’s most successful show, BLACKGUARD’s death metal had finally made its way into the homes of millions. In March BLACKGUARD will be joining SOILWORK, JEFF LOOMIS, THE BROWNING and label-brothers WRETCHED, finally making their long-awaited return to the US on a two month, fifty-plus date run through North America.
Dedicated, talented, and pissed off, BLACKGUARD plans to continue their epic quest to convert non-believers – Scandinavian death metal is here to stay. .
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