Migration Fest Pre-Show

Migration Fest Pre-Show

My personal journey to Migration Fest was a relatively simple one. I spent two hours on a Greyhound bus and arrived in Olympia with approximately seven hours to kill before the first night’s festivities. After spending some time getting acquainted with the area surrounding the first night’s venue, Obsidian, I grabbed an Americano and headed over to my hotel to meet with Jacob, my roommate for the weekend. We purchased some beers for our own personal enrichment and consumed a farmhouse ale before heading down to the venue for the night’s festivities.

The first act of the night was Ēōs, a local act from Olympia. Their unique brand of doom is funereal without falling entirely into a genre pigeonhole. Keys accented some of their eeriest moments, which were equally trudging and sparse. It felt like the perfect bookend for a festival featuring Mournful Congregation as its final act. It was a set of heavy and somber, yet ultimately triumphant music that had me clenching my fist more than once. I snagged a copy of each demo they had on hand, as I was thoroughly impressed. You will be too. Check out their bandcamp.

Cavernlight with Sarah Green

Following Ēōs was Wisconsin-based experimental metal act Cavernlight, whose drummer Adam is one of the organizers of Migration Fest. Regardless of association, their set was a phenomenally miserable segue in the night. While Adam and guitarist Scott traded shouts for much of the set, a couple guest vocalists added to the intensity of their atmosphere. Cavernlight was joined by False’s singer Rachel for added ferocity early on, and by Sarah Green for haunting, ethereal clean vocals during the latter portion of their set. Vocal nuances aside, the rumbling peaks and valleys of Cavernlight’s sound paid homage to genre greats without aping or imitating. It felt like frustration and exhaustion embodied, with very little relief or release. Cavernlight recently finished tracking a new album, so keep an eye out for more. It’s going to be amazing.

False as Emperor

Closing the night was False, performing a set of four Emperor covers. It’s been nearly five years since the first time I saw False. I remember going home and telling all my friends that I felt like I’d witnessed the second coming of Emperor. To witness one of my favorite active bands covering one of the bands that helped me fall in love with this genre was amazing. Also, they sounded damn close to the real deal. For those who missed it, you may live a normal and acceptable life from this point on, but you’ll never know the majesty of what you could have experienced.

The first official day of Migration Fest is nearly upon us. Expect a similar, longer update tomorrow.