Coincidental Texas tradition continues in Chi-town
Desecrate The Faith to represent the Lone Star State at this year’s Domination
By Ryan A Vasquez
The fourth annual Chicago Domination Fest (CDF) underground death metal festival posted the official line up for this summer’s event on their fb page showing Houston-based brutal death metal band Desecrate The Faith as the honorary Texas band scheduled (day two of three to be exact) who argumentatively will carry on a Chicago Domination “almost-consistent tradition” of being the one Texas band showcased for the year’s event, as it was since the festival’s debut in 2014.
CDF founder and promoter Miguel “Goregrinder” Medina, in conjunction with Eternal Eclipse Productions and several Chicago-driven sponsors, had created what is growing to be the largest underground death metal festival in the Midwest, earning recognition alongside the nation’s top death festivals such as the Maryland, California and Las Vegas Death Fest. “[ ] with each passing edition of CDF, I try to challenge myself to take it to the next level by going to bigger venues, bringing in new bands that haven’t played here and making this more of a memorable experience…,” Medina said in a 2016 interview in damnnationmagazine.com.
Some of the heaviest names in the underground scene from all over the U.S., especially from within the Midwest states, and the world will gather once again the last weekend of July at The Wire in Berwyn, Illinois for what graduated to be a three day event this year. Yet in order to explain the Texas trend that Medina may or may not have conscientiously created, we must go back to the beginning.
The debut festival in 2014 made no mistake in delivering a relentlessly brutal showcase of several well established names in the underground death circuit. The official flyer posted on the CDF fb page included Illinois’ very own Asphxiator, the torturous sex and death-crazed Gorgasm of Indiana, the unmerciful Unmerciful from Kansas and Minnesota’s Incinerate and Human Bashing. As for CDF’s inaugural headliner position, fans would come to notice a single glow of light–a bone-chilling silhouette above the horizon of absolute darkness. A light which could only come from the “Lone Star.” All the way from Dallas, in support of their fourth studio album “Conceived In Sewage,” brutal slamming death metal band Devourment closed this sold-out event. As fate would have it, they were the only Texas band scheduled.
If the invitation got lost in the mail, they called in sick or perhaps they received a red tag in their locker after try-outs, regardless, it was a “no-go” on any Texas-based bands playing Domination the following year. Instead, the official flyer posted on fb revealed more of a “home-field advantage” this time with the addition of three more Illinois-based bands such as Waco Jesus, Disinter and Against The Plagues plus Asphyxiator totaling to four. Ohio gore/horror-style death artists Necrophagia ended the 11 band show that year, but it was not a sell-out success like the first festival (if you recall, the one with a Texas band) according to the 2016 damnnationmagazine.com interview with Medina. Coincidentally, a drop in attendance was recorded.
Then Texas made a glorious comeback in game three, sort of speak, when Medina scheduled ex-former and founding members of Devourment supergroup Kill Everything of Dallas to headline the second day of the third annual CDF 2016. Once again, this Texas-based band is the only Texas band to be showcased for the year’s event.
(Joining Kill Everything for day two were New York gore artists Malignancy and Dehumanized while special guests for day one were the apocalyptic Inherit Disease of California, the lustful and goreish death veterans Lividity of Illinois and the medieval Brodequin of Tennessee as the headliner.)
Yet, is there enough evidence to support a trend at Domination involving a single Texas spot, possibly a headliner position, possibly a factor in the end result success? To recap, CDF 1 had one Texas band scheduled, same band as the headliner and it was a sold-out event. CDF 2 did not have a Texas band scheduled and resulted in a drop in attendance. CDF 3 had one Texas band scheduled, same band as a headliner, but it was still not a sold-out event. Medina, however, was still pleased with the turnout and whether or not Texas is a key factor for success, he explains in the damnnationmagazine.com interview how much of an accomplishment he felt C.D.F. 3 was:
It was by far the best production I’ve ever put together. The main objective so far has been to go against the grain of the typical metal fest formula, which mixes all sorts of metal sub-genres and instead target the brutal death metal crowd which has always been more of my style anyway. –Miguel “Goregrinder” Medina, founder and promoter of the Chicago Domination Fest
Fast forward to the present and we’re back in Berwyn, Illinois at The Wire for the fourth annual CDF three day event where 30 names in the national / international underground death metal scene are scheduled to make history yet again. Some of Medina’s overseas guests include Italian gore artists Indecent Excision of Permeated Records and day two headliner Putridity of Willowtip Records. U.K. / Scottish artists Party Cannon will bring their slam brutality to the variety along with other U.K. slam artists Crepitation plus Egyptian-American extreme death metal artists Nader Sadek scheduled to co-headline day three.
And if you’re keeping score for Texas, you learned at the beginning of this article that Desecrate The Faith, the H-town five-piece death outfit, is scheduled for day two this year in light of their March 2017 sophomore release “Unholy Infestation” out on Comotose Music. They may not be a headliner but they are the only Texas-based band on the lineup which means D.T.F. is the successor to Kill Everything as K.E. was to Devourment in this growing trend at Domination. May they represent our great state of Texas well.
Perhaps having only one Texas band showcased at the biggest death fest in the Midwest just about every year in its existence has all just been coincidental. Considering all factors involved in booking and organizing these events, having to meet standards with both entertainers and paying customers, and financially keeping this event alive for every year to come, it would be absurd to believe Medina would intentionally manipulate the event in such a way where only one Texas band is allowed to participate at Domination. Although, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t curious who Desecrate The Faith’s successor will be next year, or what this festival means for Texas underground metal musicians in the future.
One thing is certain though, and was never an accident–some of the most brutal in the underground death scene can be found at CDF. “Our motto here is all killer, no filler and we intend to live up to that,” Medina said.