Blue Hummingbird on the Left brings the indigenous front to last year’s RRFFest. Courtesy of Richard Ramos

Red River Family Records revives the arcane, cryptic and obscure in second annual festival at Barracuda Austin.

 

Crimson red, nocturnal purple and poisoner’s green lights dim over an unsuspecting audience.

Clad in leather, patches and studs the curious crowd members draw closer to the speaker-laden altar.

Throughout Austin’s Red River District, a different ambience takes over–one that is not for the weak or the plebeian.

The tableau crafted by Red River Family Records is a delicacy for those with a deep appreciation of sonic disharmonies, darker handiwork and esoteric aural offerings.

Throughout the evenings of Sept. 22 and 23, Barracuda Austin will host 25+ artists from around the states for Red River Family Fest – Year 2.

Red River Family, a small label from Austin, TX made international waves with their introduction of the fest in 2016 with the RRFFest Year 1.

Artists from Germany, France, Australia, California and New York took the two stages at Barracuda Austin in 2016. Representation from Texas was in full effect as well, providing a good visual of the local scene.

Among those present last year, Los Angeles’ Black Twilight Circle will be making their second voyage to the 7th Street venue.

Crepusculo Negro, also known as the Black Twilight Circle is a collective of acts that share a vision of reverence for pre-Hispanic ancestry.

Volahn, Arizmenda and Dolorvotre are among the three Black Twilight Circle bands that will be present at Year 2.

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The sounds of pan flutes, chapchas and bone whistles interwoven with the ritual chaos of traditional black metal instrumentation come to life with these acts; for these indigenous impassioned artists the music is not only a means of expressing creativity, but rituals that pay homage to the barbaric pagan honors of pre-Columbian life.

This year’s lineup also brings with it the opportunity to catch many acts who have never plagued the stage in Texas or performed live at all.

Skáphe, asphyxiating ambient black metal from Philadelphia will be taking the stage for the first time with a full lineup despite the music being written entirely by multi-instrumentalist Alex Poole.

New York acts, Yellow Eyes and Sanguine Eagle also make their Texas debut this year, bringing their brand of mercurial arrangements to the stage.

Dissonance and unorthodox vacuums of sound are on the horizon as Portland based Ævangelist also make their premiere in the lone star state at this year’s fest. This outfit comprises members from Portland, Chicago and San Antonio including local artists, Antemia Kavillari of Willow and Bradley Tiffin of Haunter.

“Year 2 has increased the reach to the bands coming to Texas that are a full representation off the current state of U.S. black metal,” mentioned Shane Davis, owner of Red River Family Records.

The inclusion of all sub-genres and classes will be present at RRFFest – year 2.

This is important as so many people’s idea of black metal continues to be Nordic or Scandinavian men donning corpse paint and carrying torches in an icy forest night.

The focus of the genre has moved from visions of church burnings and Satan to a broader, less theologically drive vision while remaining in the underground, kept alive by true fans: no posers.

Unlike many festivals in Austin, San Antonio is well represented at this year’s RRFFest. One-man blackened sludge monolith, Crawl, will be making his final performance in Texas this year. While this fest is not for the average music-lover, this is an open invitation to witness something darker, unique and crafted by people with a passion for art that has no place in the sun’s light.

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