Hellfest 2014 Southwest Terror Fest – Day 1. Tucson, AZ (10/19/12) |

Southwest Terror Fest – Day 1. Tucson, AZ (10/19/12)

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Southwest Terror Fest. Also known as that thing we’ve been promoting all these weeks. Well, we covered the first day of it. Many of these bands I’m happy to have finally seen after Dawkins knows how long I’ve heard of them in the scene. Anyway, on to the review, shall we?

To begin, the festival was separated into two rooms: the larger Earsplit PR stage and the smaller, almost homely feel of the Metalifestyle.com stage – that is, if you live in a dive. I must say that I enjoyed the sound much better in the smaller room. It didn’t feel like the sound was going to destroy my eardrums, though the bands in there were equally as heavy as the bands in the main room.

We made it there prior to Thorncaster and that’s where the fun begins.

Thorncaster – You know, they weren’t bad live. I wish I could muster more than a shrug, and musically, they’re solid. However, They certainly were worth seeing. Also, the stage banter was pretty funny. They fucked up their guitar pretty bad, with all of the strings gone by set’s end.

Powdered Wig Machine – Some good old stoner rock and roll for the metal crowd. With the way their stage presence was as well as the look of the band, I halfway expected someone to give the band blowjobs mid-set. It’s that kind of rock and roll. However, encores in a 30 minute set? That’s slightly too rockstar for me. Absolutely confusing. That time should be spent playing another song, particularly for a different crowd, which the fest definitely served. Don’t get me wrong: they were great. But that was a confusing decision in my opinion.

Enirva – By this time, I think I had a little too much stoner music. They weren’t bad either. Maybe it was the stoner overdose getting to me by this point.

Methra – Ah, this is more my speed. They were so rad live. Definitely a cocktail of stoner, sludge and post metal. However, I must wonder how the vocalist doesn’t kill his voice. More power to him, that’s for sure. But otherwise, they were one of the most unique bands of Friday (next to TOAD, more on them in a bit).

Cave Dweller – Biggest surprise of the whole fest. Wow. Just wow. Something with a swift kick in the balls. This band plays some real man’s death metal. Incredibly nuanced as well, with the melodic parts coming out and being noticed. Also, this band brought a lot of attitude that’s only present in this genre of metal, something that helped boost this day up by quite a bit. All of the songs were rippers, and in a death metal setting, I can imagine pits going on all over the place, so here’s to hoping they get a major boost in popularity after this show.

Territory – Now when they said there’s something for everyone, this is the band that proved that. Nothing like a hardcore band in a metal show. Territory should have been on the Within These Walls fest held earlier this year. Anyway, yeah they were rad. Angry hardcore for angry people. Just the way I like it. Not too much to add to that.

Twingiant – Great dudes. Jarrod, the frontman, is an imposing frontman of the “If you touch me my beard and I will fuck you up” variety. They threw out so much free Pabst Blue Ribbon swag. As for the music, definitely solid. They had a lot more musicality than all of the other stoner bands that played Friday. Pale Blue Dot is still a great sing along song.

Anakim – Not bad, but still not something that was memorable for me personally for the fest.

TOAD – OH FUCK YES. I’ve heard a lot about this band prior to the fest and I’d wanted to see them live for quite some time. They fucking kicked everyone’s ass. Black metal mixed with some good old rock and roll. It may sound weird, but listen to it. It makes so much sense. Even the keyboardist was into it, lifting his keyboard when appropriate. I was so happy seeing this band.

Diseased Reason – I’ve been going to shows for years. Not only was this band the most bizarre thing I’d seen at the fest; they were probably one of the most bizarre sets I’ve ever seen from any band ever. The frontman gave so little fucks that when he tried to untangle his microphone from the mic stand, the mic stand went flying (still attached to the microphone by the way) and hit a lady in the front row pretty hard. He did not give a fuck. Oh grindcore, you’re a bizarre genre.

Anyway, I’m glad I could come out to support the fest. We only stayed for Friday, but the two-hour trip was well worth it. I think this stands as a testament to what this great state can offer. Sure, the politicians are shitty, but the music provided is just ridiculous. I can’t wait to go next year (and stay for both days).

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