Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Northwest Terror Fest at Neumos, Barboza & The Highline: May 30 - Jun 1 | Author & Punisher, Xasthur and Wear Your Wounds at The Highline: May 26


Returning for a third installment after its successful first two years, Northwest Terror Fest arrives in Seattle the final weekend in May. Some of the most potent sounds from the heavier end of the 21st century have been heard issuing from the mutating offshoots of black metal. This global scene's ongoing and burgeoning development have encompassed melodicism and atmospheres lifted from shoegaze and spacerock, eruptions of heavy psych rock, industrial drumming, electronic atmospheres, and pure experimental noise. The expansiveness of this sound detailed in Brad Sanders' overview, "Untrue And International: Living in a Post-Black Metal World". Further showcased in the past half-decade of excellent curation in The Quietus' Columnus Metallicus column, covering releases dominantly sourced from labels like, Hydrahead, Ipecac, Deathwish, Sargent House, Profound Lore, Season of Mist, Roadburn, Flenser, Neurot and Relapse.

Originating from the most far afield end of this spectrum, just days before Terrorfest mechanical engineer Tristan Shone's project under the name Author & Punisher, performs at The Highline with Xasthur and Deathwish artist, Wear Your Wounds. Recently signed to Relapse, Noisey parallels his "Beastland" album as an act of "Creating Metal in His Own Twisted Image". Shone's project utilizes primarily custom fabricated machines, midi controlling devices and custom monitor speakers to manifest an explicitly 21st century industrial noise. In performance, his interaction with the devices draws heavily on aspects of industrial automation, robotics, and human interface, "focusing on the eroticism of the interaction with machine". The constructs and Shone's engagement with their mechanical forms find points of reference in the work of early industrial culture mavens, Survival Research Laboratories. As well as drawing inspiration from the Dystopian Modernity that describes J.G. Ballard's work, and its occupations with "eros, thanatos, mass media and emergent technologies".

A all-things-metal festival with a previous Southwest iteration, Terror Fest's three days and nights host a lineup featuring no small quantity of metal issuing from this particular low-lit landscape of black and doom metal mutations. Initially launched under the opportunity to, "Bring Warning to America: An Interview with Terrorfest founder David Rodgers", Rodger's wider curatorial vision for the festival, was detailed in Decibel's, "It's Good to Have Goals and Dreams Can Come True". Hosted at Neumos, Barboza and The Highline over the course of the last weekend in May, the three night lineup encompasses everything from gloaming atmospheric ambiance and doom riffs, blistering thrash and hardcore, and heavy psych rock, dark pagan and neofolk explorations. Making for a cross-genre spectrum of metal sounds and weighty atmospheres as heard in sets from, classic 80s rockers Cirith Ungol, Dorthia Cottrell of Windhand, Acid Witch, Addaura, Vastum, Thou, Our Place Of Worship Is Silence, Panopticon, Sutekh Hexen, Vouna, Thou, and synth-horror themes from Slasher Dave.