Gilead Media Festival II: Day Three

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The final day of the second Gilead Media Festival. It should not be a surprise that I was anticipating this day of the festival the most. If it was going to be anything like 2012, it would be unforgettable. And without spoiling too much too soon, it was a very special occasion, no doubt for everyone. Once again, Adam would contribute in unexpected ways and Thou’s presence would be inarguably marvelous.

Again starting earlier than the previous day, with Northless opening not long after doors. The line up for the final day:

NORTHLESS
ALRAUNE
SEIDR
FALSE
GENERATION OF VIPERS
LOSS
UZALA
BARGHEST
THOU
. . . . . .

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. . . . . .

NORTHLESS

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Northless really turned my head in 2012 at the first festival, and I did some backtracking to their record Clandestine Abuse. That record is wicked. Outside of their split with Light Bearer, nothing they’ve done has smashed me to the shocking degree Clandestine Abuse did, with a few songs on their newest LP World Keeps Sinking being the exception. However their live performances are apparently heavier and louder than I remembered.

They had a short time on stage unfortunately, but everything they played I did enjoy, specifically opener from Clandestine Abuse “Flesh & Ghost”. You can see that and another song below.

. . . . . .

ALRAUNE

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Tennessee’s black metal group Alraune was another anticipated band of the night. Their new record The Process of Self Immolation has brought a lot of buzz around them following their short demo, and with a drummer like Tyler (Yautja) you have to know the hype will be grounded in grueling, sharp musicianship. And live that’s the case as well. Alraune performed their new work with great fervor.

. . . . . .

SEIDR

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Colossal doom bringers Seidr were a surprise when they were announced on the fest line up for me. I’ve known about and loosely followed them for a time, but never thought I’d see them. Like Sea of Bones and Wolvserpent the previous days, their style of doom is noticeably different, with an enormous amount of passion behind it.

. . . . . .

FALSE

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FALSE were a big moment during the festival in 2012, one of the few moments where the crowd was unrestrained when they unveiled “Heavy as a Church Tower” for the first time. It was less like that this year, but the performance was unaffected. They have a great stage presence, their songs are powerful, I’m just waiting on some new stuff from them.

. . . . . .

GENERATION OF VIPERS

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Following FALSE was Generation of Vipers, and like Alraune from Tenessee, these guys have been around spreading their sludgy chaos in different flavors since 2004, with members contributing to other heavy projects. There’s still not a lot like Generation Vipers though. They’ve been on my periphery for a long time while being quiet since 2011. It was a heavy forty minutes rising to Kowloon Walled City’s energy the previous day where they showed off some newer sounds as well as old. Do check them out if you’re able to.

. . . . . .

LOSS

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Like 2012’s festival, Loss drew a crowd and entranced them for their entire time on stage. Like their Tennessee brothers before them they did it big. I left for water and air halfway through their set, and could hear them clearly on the sidewalk outside. Huge oceanic sorrow washed over that part of Oshkosh for their set.

. . . . . .

UZALA

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The doom didn’t stop with Loss. Uzala followed up with a more psychedelic slant and a cleaner vocal approach. This was my first exposure to Uzala, but they threw down some groove-laden tracks I enjoyed in their time on stage. Fuzz, bass, death treading on darkness.

. . . . . .

BARGHEST

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Like the first festival, Barghest were to play directly before Thou. This year, though, they had a new record to work with and it’s a great one, still obscuring death and black metal in their raw, anti-human approach. They played a lot from The Virtuous Purge and ended with one of their older reworked songs for their split with False “Shifting Sands”.

. . . . . .

THOU

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Last time I saw Thou play, they performed Tyrant in its entirety, which is still one of a few favorite live shows I’ve attended. Thou don’t play Canada often (once in my memory), so I’m happy to see anything they play on tour, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say it would be difficult for anything to surpass that show. This year, Thou was touring with The Body and Cloud Rat, and for the finale of Gilead Fest 2014 they played a lot from new releases like their latest monument Heathen.

Here’s some footage from near the end of their time on stage:

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After their set proper, Bryan got off stage first while everyone was cheering for an encore, and went to their merch table. After a minute or so, Adam got on stage with the rest of the band and they proceeded to blow minds with a special version of their classic “Smoke Pigs”. Unexpected and improvised, it was a special moment outside of the already heavy nature of the song. This was also a rare moment where the crowd went pretty crazy, stage diving and moshing more than in other performances.

. . . . . .

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To view video and footage of this and other events visit the galleries and playlists of The Plow Behind You on Flickr and Youtube.

Coverage of day one and two can be read here and here.

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The Author

Sanakan

Sanakan

Scullery master, student of political science, and lover of underground metal/hardcore. Residing on Vancouver Island, whenever possible I photograph and record live/local shows and write about music I enjoy. From 2009-2013 I contributed to the blog Equivoke. I currently curate a new page The Plow Behind You. I play guitar too.