Stacked: Five Unmissable Bands on the Northwest Terror Fest 2019 Lineup
As the malaise of seasonal depression beings its migration back up north for another year, we can begin to look forward to the rite of festival season. After months of scrolling through various lineups and weighing ticket options while bedridden in a sea of UberEats shrapnel, we inch closer to seeing the light of day while hearing the chords of gripping darkness.
For Northwest Terror Fest, which will be taking place May 29th to June 1st in Seattle, the countdown is especially on. In its third year, the event will be spanning the Neumos-Barboza-Highline venue trifecta again to grace the Northwest with the best of heavy music (marking the return of the region’s long-awaited sunny season too). Bringing a bout of warmth along with it, NWTF presents a consistent mission: providing a well-balanced lineup to underground metal fans.
While the bill is worthy of being consumed in its entirety, a closer look is also in order for some of the key players. In addition to Bongripper, Bongzilla, and Pig Destroyer, to name a few, here are some highlights from this year’s lineup.
Tickets for NWTF can be arranged and purchased through their website here.
Having performed Appalachian black metal before such a moniker was in vogue, one-man artist Austin Lunn of Panopticon has made his mark with a distinctly Americana take on a European-dominated scene. By integrating atmospheric folk elements that can practically be heard echoing off the Blue Ridge Mountains, Panopticon’s live sets prove captivating. When the over-consumption of, say, death metal might lead to an inability to distinguish one riff from the next, Lunn’s unique work steps in to serve as a refreshing and important palate-cleanser. Hopefully we hear contributions from January’s surprise EP The Crescendo of Dusk whose blast beats and banjos hold up from a hefty hike to a contemplative campfire.
Bonus: Check out our full review of Panopticon's latest full-length The Scars of Man on the Once Nameless Wilderness.
Moving from the East to the West, Denver’s Wayfarer offers another distinct take on blackened folk metal that has earned them a trip across the Oregon Trail. While the four-piece should stay on their toes for rubella and tetanus due to the Northwest’s epidemic of unvaccinated youth, the fearlessly enduring attitude exuded by the shadowy horseman on the cover of last year’s World’s Blood is one suited for any traveler falling weary. With three full-lengths already in tow since their inception in 2011, there will be no shortage of supplies on stage. Impossibly fast drumming, operatic samples, and relentless riffage make it easy to close your eyes during a performance and recall a time long since lost.
Dead to a Dying World
Joining the festivities from the Lone Star State is Dallas’s Dead to a Dying World. The staggering seven-piece has spent the past decade cultivating their sound through a unique mix of traditional metal instrumentation, dual vocalists, viola, and a litany of other folk instruments as needed. The secret recipe has made for a striking stage presence that has been receiving increasing attention and acclaim from the sludge/crust/doom community. Dead to Dying World’s upcoming release Elegy takes on the peaks and ridges explored by the final human left under the world’s impending ecological shift. To learn more about their new record, check out a talk we recently had with the band, as well as the premiere of a new single “Empty Hands, Hollow Hymns.”
One if by land, two if by swamp: Thou (the toast of Baton Rouge) will be bringing the sticky sludge of the South to Seattle. The quintet provides plenty of their signature static suffering in last year’s full-length Magus. The vinyl edition’s artwork is also noteworthy as two subtly seductive angels linger somewhere between life and death, embodying the mystery of their home state’s infamous cemeteries. Such aesthetic considerations are also coupled with a refreshing sense of humor, which lives on in their 2018 live cassette No One Bores Me Quite Like Thou Bores Me and single “Eyehatethou.” Together, Thou gives “here for a good time, not a long time” a whole new meaning.
Nothing says fun and fresh summer fun like the depths of darkness barreling at you at 100 miles per hour. That is precisely why hooded trio Thantifaxath will be making the trek from the Great White North to grace us unworthy Americans with their concealed presence. The blackened noise troop, who remains strictly anonymous, presents a hypnotic take on blackened noise that reads like a rollercoaster through haunted industrial wasteland. Thantifaxath’s sole full-length is 2014’s aptly-named Sacred White Noise, which earned a cosign from none other than everyone’s fickle friend, Anthony Fantano of The Needle Drop, who applauded the quality of its writing and recording. Surely, a chance to capture a glimpse of this shadowy threesome is not to be missed.
Full line-up (as of today's date):
Cirith Ungol (!!!)
Dead to a Dying World
Dorothea Cottrell (Windhand)
Our Place of Worship is Silence
Shrine of the Serpent
Year of the Cobra
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