Thursday, May 4, 2023

Northwest Terror Fest at Neumos & Barboza: May 25 - 27

The Northwest Terror Fest returns to Neumos and Barboza for its fifth installment at the end of May. As with many festivals and arts events, the 2020 edition was postponed with the intent on returning when the global pandemic abated. This year's edition arrives after its successful return in summer of 2022, showcasing some of the most potent sounds from the heavier end of the 21st century issuing from the mutating offshoots of black metal. An all-things-metal festival with a previous Southwest iteration, Terror Fest's three days 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", and in a 2019 interview, the festival's co-organizer Joseph Schafer describing how "The Third Time (Is Still) the Charm". This year's lineup encompasses everything from gloaming atmospheric ambiance and doom riffs, blistering thrash and hardcore, and heavy psychedelic and stoner rock explorations. Making for a cross-genre spectrum of metal sounds and weighty atmospheres to be heard in sets from almost forty acts, in six showcases, spanning three nights. This year's lineup includes the highlights of metal pioneers Autopsy, the massive durational epics of Bell Witch, psych, stoner and doom from YOB, the theatrics of Ghoul, death metal revivalists Necrot, Misery Index, and classics like Impaled. Truly heavy doom from Conan, a rare appearance from Singapore grindcore band Wormrot, and grinding death metal from acts like Fetid and Horrendous, can also be found on the bill. Attending Northwest Terror Fest is to witness an annual summation of the global scene's ongoing and burgeoning development. These sounds have now come to encompass melodicism and atmospheres lifted from shoegaze and spacerock, eruptions of heavy psych rock, industrial drumming, synth exploration and electronic atmospheres, and pure experimental noise. The expansiveness of this sound is further detailed in Brad Sanders' essential overview, "Untrue And International: Living in a Post-Black Metal World". Beyond this primer, deeper reading and curation from this sphere can be found in the past decade of excellent selections in The Quietus' Columnus Metallicus column, covering releases dominantly sourced from labels like, Hydrahead, Neurot, Ipecac, Deathwish, 20 Buck Spin, Dark Descent, Sargent House, Profound Lore, Season of Mist, Roadburn, The Flenser, and Relapse.