“Thanks for being Metal – Portland, didn’t used to be” settled host Nate Carson (Witch Mountain) with a metallic grin closing out an amazing night for the 2nd annual Portland Winter Metal Olympics held at the White Owl in Portland Oregon. I couldn’t agree more with Nate as the venue was packed with music fans from wall to wall excited to see and hear two month’s of blood, sweat, and beers’ worth of local Metal. The venue owned and run by music industry and Heavy Metal professionals combined with Medalists Satyress, Zirakzigil, and Disenchanter thrashing for Portland Metal supremacy, made it was no surprise this night lived up to anything the Sochi Olympics in Russia could have possibly offered and more.
Leading off the night of champions was Satyress lead by front woman vocalist Jamie LaRose setting the bar high from the very first hit. One of the monumental tasks of the Portland Winter Metal Olympics was judging and after hearing Satyress it became obvious this job should be left to the professionals. Donating their time and music dexterity was Matt Jacobsen (Relapse Records), Laura Claar (Vagrant Records), and Scott Flaster (Seventh Rule Records) judging everything from song craft, energy, appearance, and what seemed to be the favorite category of the Olympics “Pizazz or Zazzz”! Between all the killer bands, beer, and nachos, this was by far the toughest tasks and the judges were up for the session.
Next up was Zirakzigil, a three piece shredtastic, fireball of Nitro with glazing timely vocals and heavy doomful moments of fury. When you’re up on stage playing to a crowd for fun or competition there should be basically one rule and that’s “Bring it”! It seems Zirakzigil got the message loud and clear and agreed with this rule 420%, by sets end the place was blazed and roaring. Next up, Disenchanter a three piece Heavy Rock band delivering blends of Stoner Rock with a heavy Doom elements and groove. Strong bass overtones of Heavy lead by Joey DeMartini, reached the mark set before by the earlier two bands giving the judges, one heck of a decision to come up with.
When doing a event with a time scale, prizes and many diverse bands, it couldn’t be done without the help of sponsors. Cravedog Manufacturing, Hovercraft Amps, Solid Cables, Celestion Speakers, and (ahem) Nanotear Booking are just a few who sponsored or worked, played, and volunteered to make the Portland Winter Metal Olympics an extreme success. I don’t have the complete prize list available but some of the donated prizes for the medaling bands included Hovercraft amplifier gift package, fully booked West Coast tour from Nanotear Booking, Cravedog Inc. included merchandise packages as well. Great job by all and I’m sure the bands loved their winnings and the experience.
Winners! Yes, let’s get to the deserved winners of the night. A huge congratulations to this year’s Gold Medal winners Zirakzigil who could not have brought any more heavy and steel than they did with average scores around 9.0. All three bands were great, but Zirakzigil’s energy level could not be matched on this night and that’s basically what it came down too! Closing it out was Disenchanter winning the Silver Medal and Satyress winning the Bronze with respected average scores around 8.5 and 8.0. I wouldn’t be surprised if twenty plus bands started the Portland Winter Metal Olympics in January and to be in the final three is a huge endeavor. Congratulations to all involved on a spectacular night and I will definitely be there next year. Bands, you better start practicing now, January is already getting close in Portland. \m/
Disenchanter photos from their Semi-final win can be seen here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.722811701073713.1073741859.436838749671011&type=1