VIA2014 Preview: Deafheaven + Liturgy

This year’s VIA festival boasts an impressive lineup, including an event that I have been drooling over since it was announced: Deafheaven, Liturgy, and local act Slices at the Rex Theater on Thursday, October 2nd.  Cinematic post-metal, experimental black metal, and a dash of Pittsburgh’s own punk scene for good measure; apart from the showcase on Saturday, this is the VIA event I am most excited to see.

Deafheaven broke onto the scene last year with the release of Sunbather, which quickly earned them a spot as Pitchfork’s darlings.  If that sounds pejorative, give them a listen anyway—post-rock and black metal fuse into haunting landscapes in Deafheaven’s particular formulation of “heavy,” alternately pummeling and uplifting the listener throughout the course of the often 10+ minute tracks.  I have been waiting since the album’s release to catch this phenomenon live, and I am especially proud of the VIA festival for incorporating this sound into their lineup this year.

2011’s Aesthetica put Liturgy on the map with its blend of black metal and moments of relative simplicity, featuring vocal loops or sounds as breathing room amongst the frenetic pace and tortured vocals of the more traditional material.  Although Liturgy’s transcendental, manifesto-driven aesthetic might not be for everyone, I am very excited for their VIA set.  A band with an experimental bent and a flair for the dramatic is a live music event that I would hate to miss.

Of course, it’s also great to see the local scene getting its due along with these national acts.  Pittsburgh hardcore outfit Slices promise to deliver a blistering opener, setting the stage for the deluge of sound to follow.  I’m planning on showing up early for this late show so as not to miss a second of this wonderfully loud and varied bill.

Tickets to the show are available here: http://www.ticketfly.com/event/668007

Post by Gesina Phillips.