CVLT Nation Captures: Eternal Warfare Fest. 2016
Text and Photos: Colton Bills
The fact that a DIY label can put together an event so powerful and do it so well will never cease to amaze me, and it makes me proud to be a part of the heavy music scene. It makes me feel less alone in this fucked up world. Alright so not being 21 sucks that is the reason I missed day 1, however days two and three of Eternal Warfare fest were awesome! Put on by Eternal Warfare records, I believe this was the second year of this fest. The lineup was curated perfectly, kicking things off on day two was Vilkacis.
The war music of Vilkacis was silenced and replaced by the sound of the carnage fields after the battle. No one said a word, the only time you heard people was after the end of each song when the clapped or said how good it was. This is one of the few bands where I can approve of a third guitar being used, it added, whereas I find it usually detracts.
Next up was Aelter, droning, hypnotic, noisey, the music put me on edge, waiting for the release that each song built up to. The whole ambiance of the room changed.
I don’t even know how to describe this band, brutal, primal, pummeling, these words now don’t do them justice, raw aggression being purged by the whole band at once. The power and force with which they play is truly awesome, this was the first heavy show I had been to in quite some time and these guys were the perfect way to remind me of why I love this music so damn much.
R.I.P. played third, these guys were not what I expected at all, in the best way possible!
These guys ruled. They made me want to rock out with my cock out, these guys weren’t trying to make you upset or make you stand frowning, with your arms crossed, they were here to drink hard liquor and smoke reefer while blasting Sabbath in the background. Killer. PS I think they’ve got a few dates left so if you can, check ‘em out.
I love HELL. The one man project is a joy to see live. This was one of the first live bands I saw in my weird tiny beach town on their west coast tour, playing a show with FOLIVORE a few years back. The crushing atmosphere HELL creates is truly worthy of its name. The lights lowered to the point that the band is just barely lit. Crackling, distorted guitar droning, dragging you down, through the nine layers of Dante’s Inferno. Doom. I can’t do it justice here, you’ll have to see the band live to experience it. All I can say is the name is an understatement, they totally live up to it. They make you lower your head. They had to cut their set short due to some technical difficulties so they played one of their older songs at 3 times the speed, it still sounds rad.
Blood Incantation was described to me as, “derivative but not copying, aware of their influences but paying homage to them as opposed to worshipping them.” I thought this would be a lot to live up to. I had seen Spectral Voices a few weeks back on their tour with Undergang and knew that they shared some of the same members. Their shredding death metal is at the top of its game, they are the new, they tore me down, and then left me. It was awesome.
Second to last was Volahn, I missed a decent chunk of their set because I needed to sit and eat some pizza next door at Sizzle Pie. What I saw I loved, I can say that. Awesome guitar work, vocals that fit the music, they played a pummeling set that laid waste to the crowd and made me sad I missed the rest of their set. Do yourself a favor, DON’T miss them if you get the chance.
I had seen Ash Borer once before and was stoked on the chance to see them again. I know it had been a while since they had played, but man, they rule. I’m having trouble finding new adjectives to describe their dark, pummeling metal – it sounds like a violent windstorm, chaotic, shit breaking and falling, trees snapping. Seeing them rounded out my love for PNW metal. It was everything I wanted their set to be.
Italy’s Phobonoid was awesome, a one man full band. Ambient, heavy, a true live experience. The abstract visuals incorporated into the set seemed as if they were made to sync right up to the music (I wouldn’t be surprised if he had made them). The music and Atmosphere was crushing and intense, it set the tone for the rest of the day.
Black Fucking Cancer
Next Black Fucking Cancer played. This was a band that I had been waiting to see for so long. Their music is evil, vile and reeks of death and hatred. Their sound is a pure chaotic torture of the senses. They also had a steel symbol on stage that looked like it weighed a few hundred pounds, pretty fucking evil. I loved it.
Predatory Light played next. They sounded like the musical equivalent of being chased by the ringwraiths through the night. The suffocating atmosphere of only green light and incredibly loud, distorted blackened death metal was more than enough to shut you up. Alternating between playing fast and almost painfully, it was a roller coaster in and of itself, one of my favorite performances throughout the weekend.
Vorde was another surprise. This seemed more like a ritual than a performance. The singer wore nail bracelets, and a leather jacket along with a black cloth wrapped over the face and chains around his wrists. The drummer was unreal, I’m pretty sure at one point he was playing with such force and vigor that he broke a cymbal (maybe he just caused it to fall over, but I’m pretty sure it broke.) Their moments of ambience and the sometimes droning, other times screaming of their singer complemented the distorted, eardrum shattering black metal riffs. The purple light was a nice change and made for some great photos IMO.
I think Arizmenda might have been the standout performance of the weekend, just in terms of intensity. This was one of those sets that I will simply say was fucking crazy. Batshit insane, absolutely nuts, totally off the wall. I loved it. At one point, the singer fell of the stage, tried to eat someone’s shoe, rolled on the floor, got his blood all over the floor, bled on himself/the stage; pretty sure he lost a tooth at one point. The guitars had no problem screeching and squealing. I thought my ears were going to be done for after. I don’t even know how to describe it, it was crazy.
Dispirit had to cut their set short due to technical difficulties as well, however they blew the roof off. One red light at the front of the stage, and *almost* enough fog to make Sunn O))) a little bit jealous. They only got to play two or three songs, but each song was awesome. The red light and fog was something out of a bad dream.
Mortuary Drape killed it. Their old school black metal killed and crushed and demons arise. Each member was clad in a robe and had similar face paint to each other. Good old fashioned black metal. They were the crowning jewel of the weekend – they were ripping faces and holding a black mass in the venue. If you missed them, I’m sorry, maybe a trip to Italy would be pretty worth it.