Quite like the 90s Seattle scene, Northwest Terrorfest also specializes in everything grungy. Guitars here are drop D downtuned to the abyss, decibels are off the charts, and all this at a venue which could be mistaken for a dive bar. Such bleak aesthetics would easily surpass the lows of an average Pacific Northwest winter. Mirroring those archetypal lifestyle and geographic signatures, if not accentuating them, this is probably as dark as it can get. Three days with about forty extreme bands will sort of explore the limits of your resilience. Safe to say, it’s probably not for the delicate of heart or health. But, all this translates to pure bliss if you’re one of those hardened metalheads.
Pattern here is similar to other fests, it combines the esoteric and the arcane bands with few well known acts, and then throws in couple of legends, but yet everyone here flies under the radar of most of the civilized world. Basically Northwest Terrorfest caters to an audience who are at least neck deep in metal, if not actually submerged and drowning. Even though spanning more than a few sub-genres, even by normal extreme metal standards, every band here fits exclusively within the grim and grisly end of the spectrum. Imagine cross-over thrash like Cryptic Slaughter being the most cheerful of the lot! Mighty Autopsy being the grisliest, and seeing them live qualifies as one of those unique life moments. Their death/doom imprint is deeply embedded on to a broad range of 90s extreme metal acts. Basically you have heard Autopsy, if you have been exposed to any of the Florida, NY Death or Swedish bands.
In fact, most of the entourage here owes or shares their DNA in varying degrees with Autopsy and Cryptic Slaughter. These two bands combined captures a broad set of extreme metal building blocks. Hardcore punk, guitar melodies, doom, thrash and electric blues. Bands like Necrot, Misery Index, Ghoul, Genocide Pact or Antichrist Siege Machine will basically trace their entire lineage to them. Doom/Stoner like YOB, Conan or Bell Witch shares a subset of influences. Same with post-metal like The Silver. But, there are also some curve-ball folk bands like Serpentent which shares little in terms of musical influences, but still follows similar aesthetics. Seems like Northwest Terrorfest tells a story, and it’s all in shades of melancholy and gloom, but quite memorable if you find beauty in those hues. Honestly, all this sounds a lot like life in Pacific Northwest itself.
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