The Northwest metal scene is rife with stoner, doom and black metal stereotypes thick enough to choke out the sun. Still there are a precious few acts that transcend, escaping the mire to unfurl like wildflowers springing from the thorniest of thickets. Amongst these are local favorites Agalloch and Yob, in many ways kindred spirits, though vastly dissimilar in sound.
Forming here in Eugene in 1996, Yob draws from such disparate influences as the subtle, soft prog of Pink Floyd and the genre-defying metal alchemy of Neurosis. Led by guitarist and vocalist Mike Scheidt, the trio of hometown heroes has crafted a unique and epic brand of doom that has taken them around the globe, influencing a whole new era of metalheads, opening for the likes of Tool and landing atop Rolling Stone’s “20 Best Metal Albums of 2014” with their seventh full-length LP, Clearing the Path to Ascend.
Portland’s Agalloch possesses an expansive network of roots, drawing creative sustenance from black metal, folk, prog and post-rock in nearly equal proportions. Utilizing a keen understanding of dynamics and a willingness to allow an album to unfold slowly, the four piece paints a sonic landscape with such breadth that it appeals not only connoisseurs of heavy music but to listeners of many other stylistic bents as well.
It is no coincidence that these two Northwest metal giants are sharing a stage. It’s not the first time. “We played our first gig opening for [Yob] and have a lot of respect for them and certainly share an artistic camaraderie with them,” Agalloch frontman John Haughm says. The two bands have been planning to converge at WOW Hall since 2012, but schedules were consistently an issue. “We really made a point to finally make it happen for this tour.”
Somehow, despite mercurial retrograde, the stars have finally aligned in the correct unholy formation to bring these two monolithic acts together, resulting in a night we’ll not soon forget. Throw up some horns, Eugene.
Catch Agalloch, Yob and Italian psych-metal band Ufomammut at 8:30 pm Friday, June 5, at WOW Hall; $13 adv., $15 door. All Ages.