I had the time of my life at the recent Migration Fest, held in Olympia, Washington. Musically the festival was a stunning success, I mean just check the lineup. It was superbly organized and run. Also Migration Fest simply oozed good atmosphere, more than any festival I can remember; three days of friendship and metal.
For a good full roundup of Migration Fest check out this three-parter by our friends at No, Clean, Singing. What you have here is simply Metal Archives reviews on two of my takeaways from the fest: Dead to a Dying World, who I reconnected with, and Yautja, who I had not heard before. Both played fantastic sets; go check them out live if you get the chance.
|Artwork by Sera Timms|
Considering "atmospheric" has been essentially reduced to another genre tag, it doesn't capture what Dead to a Dying World have achieved here. Litany feels carefully crafted in a way extreme metal rarely does, and perfect balance every song strikes between doom and classical elements captures the mournful spirit that bands that label themselves "atmospheric" wish they could emulate. Dead to a Dying World call their music "apocalyptic," and the musical nihilism that implies perhaps comes closest to conveying the terrible beauty of Litany's six movements. (read ThuribleOfDarkness's full review here).
|Artwork by Caleb Gregory|
Sure, there's grind here but there's a lot of other stuff like mathcore, death metal, experimental and a big dose of sludge. It's almost like a southern appropriation of the US East Coast's hipsterism. In some ways, they're Tennessee's chaotic answer to Krallice or to early Mastodon, they have those odd rhythms while keeping the heaviness as an integral part of their identity. While there's an interesting variety of tempos, all of supreme quality, you never get lost with Yautja. They're taking you places that you wasn't quite sure were real. From the grind might of "Blinders" to the weird epic sludge of "Faith Resigned" (a song that sounds like Crowbar who suddenly became a forward thinking band), it's as a varied as you'll get for a grindcore band. (read Metantoine's full review here).