The third iteration of a fest shrouded in shadowy fury is more eclectic than ever.
Six years ago in a florescent lit American Legion hall in the rain-soaked, oft-forgot whistle stop of Salem, Oregon, a couple dozen black, doom, death and neo-folk bands converged for two days of unholy sermonic rites. Among their ranks LLuvia, Hell, and Barghest delivered crushing blows to the apostles of perdition in reward for their pilgrimage to the altar of putrescence. After two years and a move to Portland the sanguine summit delivered yet again counting Blood Incantation, Arizmenda, and Mortuary Drape among the masses of sodden disciples.
Now in the year of our tortured prophet 2019, Eternal Warfare Fest MMXIX is set to dissuade any remaining skeptic with its most multifarious lineup yet. On May 16th, three days of humanity’s unparalleled practitioners of abominable heathenism will descend in Portland for yet another iniquitous ceremony, chastising the eardrums of infidels the world over. Refreshingly, there’s quite a diverse cast this time around which provokes us to explore a unique cross-section of groups from parallel worlds.
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New Jersey’s Evoken, have been providing fans of creeping, clamorous riffs for almost three decades. Their anomalous position as one of the few remaining original American funeral doom bands is no small coincidence. After six albums and countless tours, they’ve earned their lot as legends of their genre. Last year’s prodigious release Hypnagogia saw the rejuvenating edition of cello to help illustrate the lyrical narrative of a soldier slowly dying in the Great War. Soaring atmospheric passages alongside immersive and melodic death metal segments have furnished these veterans with their own personalized sound, recognizable even to laymen.
Hailing from the backyard hardcore scene of South/East Los Angeles and repping both the Black Twilight Circle and Silenzio Satico Collective, Zoloa kicks the fuckin door down and hijacks your stereo, demanding to blare Japanese hardcore and pound Modelos until some yuppie comes complaining with a death wish. In their eight years striking terroristic fear into gentrifiers long forgotten, they’ve managed to keep it crucially real, only releasing music on cassette tape. Blending thick reverb growl vocals and furious D-beat concussions has never evoked the image of an Aztlan national as much as now.
In the world of hardcore punk and metal, the edges often blur and an endless nosedive into sub-sub-sub-genre arguing commences. Seattle’s Endorphins Lost are no exception to this symptom falling somewhere in between crust, grind, powerviolence, and d-beat. But who cares about that old hair-splitting bar talk? These dudes have been killing it for years and are absurdly underrated. Featuring members of Catheter and Capitalist Casualties, they’re as unpredictable as talented. There’s no comparison to their style when it comes to furious, complex riffs and melodies followed by blindsiding tempo changes and versatile vocals.
Last but miles away from least, Portland locals Nightfell churn along palatable mid-tempo blackened death metal a la veteran metal drummer Parasitic Tim of Aldebaran and Mournful Congregation, while crust punk legend and nucleus of Tragedy Todd Burdette provides the melodic richness that made post-crust a household name earlier this century. Drawing from their varied influences, the duo has an unseen chemistry, ethereally blending distinct meters with dirge-like hymns, traversing an impressive amount of sonic territory in a relatively short time.
Thurs. May 16
Fri. May 17
Sat. May 18
Shape of Despair
Trapped Within Burning Machinery