Written by Parisa Eshrati
The 5th annual Southwest Terror Fest is a three day music fest in Tucson, AZ that showcases some of the best metal and punk bands in the country. Check out some of our artist highlights, playlists, and find out how to win a massive merchandise package!
The desert is a brutal, unforgiving place. The vast landscape and abrasive climate lead its inhabitants to bring out the most severe parts of their human nature. So, what better place to host an extreme metal festival than right here in the harshest environment? The 5th annual Southwest Terror Fest held in Tucson, AZ on October 20th - 23rd will showcase one of the most diverse metal lineups in the States. The fest hosts both national and local acts ranging from grindcore, doom, to hardcore punk, and more. The event will be spread out into three downtown venues, including a 21+ venue for the late night after shows.
Previous years included massive headliners such as Neurosis, SunnO))), Red Fang - and this year will continue to draw in audiences with acts like Pig Destroyer, Agoraphobic Nosebleed and Nails. Though the main acts are reason enough to journey out to the desert for this fest, here are some of my favorite groups on the lineup that shouldn’t be missed:
Sometimes, really amazing things can come of out nothing. Like the whole coal and diamond analogy? Well wouldn’t you know that out of the most barren wasteland of a town called Sierra Vista emerged one of the most incredible bands in Arizona history. They formed in 1987 and only put out one LP and two EPs in their career, yet this discography still boasts as some of the most prolific hardcore punk to come out of AZ. Their complex arrangements, fast yet melodic compositions, and unorthodox classical influences (re: the Missa Brevis EP) are just some of the characteristics that make their music timeless and inspiring.
The Body/Full of Hell
When you put two extremes together, they often times end up cancelling each other out. The 2016 collaborative release from Maryland grindcore outfit Full of Hell and apocalyptic doom duo The Body defies this notion and instead enhances each other’s hellish characteristics. This album is not a passive listen. From the first track on One Day You Will Ache Like I Ache, the listener is thrown into a chaotic wall of sound and is left being actively devoured in this sonic torture chamber throughout the rest of the album.
Though Malignus Youth were one of the first bands to put AZ on the map for hardcore music, Gay Kiss is continuing the state’s legacy but with a harsher, more fucked up and distorted tone. Their 2015 release, Preservation Measures, is filled with cacophonous, dissonant noise layered with vocals fueled with a fervent hatred that only living in a desert city can provide. This album made it as one of Maximum Rock n Roll’s Record of the Week selections, and the band is continually getting the recognition they deserve,
You can hear more from these bands and other artists from the Southwest Terror Fest lineup on this Spotify playlist:
We’re giving away some Southwest Terror Fest merch! You could win one of each item at the merch booth as well as some CDs/records from this year’s lineup.. All you have to be entered in the contest is tag us in a Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram post telling us which bands on the SWTF lineup you’re most stoked about (multiple entries will give you a greater chance at winning).
Be sure to set your posts to “public” so we can view them. Winner will be chosen at random and notified via social media. Contest ends August 10th. For any inquiries, please use the Contact form on our website.
We spoke with Richard Johnson of Agoraphobic Nosebleed about the new direction and upcoming releases from the band, which you can read about here.
Stay tuned for more Southwest Terror Fest coverage on our website and a zine in the fall!