Arts & CultureMusic

Agalloch and YOB’s W.O.W gig June 5 showcases the best of Northwest metal

Next Friday, the W.O.W. Hall will be hosting as good a showcase for Northwest metal as you’re likely to ever get–and with admission only $15, probably the cheapest. Portland folk-metal band Agalloch headlines, with Eugene’s YOB and Italy’s Ufomammut opening with their distinct brands of doom metal.

No discussion of contemporary Northwest metal would be complete without at least a mention of Agalloch. Led by multi-instrumentalist John Haughm, Agalloch has spent two decades honing their blend of neo-folk and black metal, which has garnered endless comparisons to the rainy climes of their hometown. (Pitchfork described them as “the perfect Portland band” for this reason.) A year removed from their latest full-length The Serpent & The Sphere, they’ve decided to hit Eugene for their first W.O.W. show on June 5.

But to Eugenites, Agalloch may not be as familiar a name as the one right under it on the bill. YOB is without question the greatest metal band Eugene has ever produced and a strong contender for the greatest Eugene band overall. Described as “one of the best bands in North America” by the New York Times in 2010, the doom metal trio is currently promoting last year’s four-track, hour-long Clearing The Path To Ascend, which Rolling Stone named the best metal album of last year.

Their touring schedule, which includes regularly playing for adoring fans in Europe, means they don’t come around Eugene much. (Their last hometown gig was in 2013.) Their upcoming W.O.W. show should thus provide a great, rare opportunity to see some of Eugene’s finest play on native soil to an audience that will no doubt comprise some of this town’s most devoted metalheads.

Opening the show is Italian doom metal trio Ufomammut, who share a label (Neurot Recordings) with YOB. They’re fresh off their seventh album, the ridiculously down-tuned Ecate, which dropped March 30 of this year.

If you’re not into metal, this is as good as any to start. Agalloch’s folk influences makes them a good entry point into the metal world for those whose tastes lean more melodic. YOB is simply a really good band, as well as an indispensable part of Eugene’s music history and culture. As for Ufomammut, they’re about as heavy as it gets, so be warned.

Doors at 8 p.m, show at 9 p.m.  $13 advance, $15 door.  All ages.

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Daniel Bromfield

Daniel Bromfield

Daniel Bromfield is a writer for the Arts & Culture desk of the Emerald, specializing in music. He maintained the SF Rebirth blog in San Francisco from 2010-2013, and his work has appeared in the San Francisco Bay Guardian, KWVA, and the Oregon Voice.