Roadburn Festival 2017 Introduces: Laster

In collaboration with Never Mind The Hype – an independent Dutch music platform for everything heavy, alternative and deviant – we’re excited to announce the eighth instalment of Roadburn Festival Introduces. The idea is to present very promising Dutch or Belgian bands that have their own vibe, while at the same time possessing that certain Roadburn flair.

You know what we mean – that malicious, darkened feel, an unconventional slant on black metal, the insatiable need to throw people off, or even developing a cult of their own. Anything that darkens the musical landscape just a bit more with its own brand of thick shadows gets our attention.

Last year, DOOL’s performance stunned press, industry folks and fans alike, and we feel that Laster, hailing from Utrecht, The Netherlands, will do the very same at Roadburn 2017. One of the most exciting bands to spearhead what can already be justly called a New Wave of Dutch Black Metal, their schizophrenic yet emotional approach will certainly heavily connect with the international Roadburn community during an intimate show at the Cul de Sac on Saturday, April 22 in Tilburg, The Netherlands. Laster starts at 1.45 pm.

Here at Roadburn we like to maintain a bird’s eye view of the musical landscape, scouring the continents and countries for hotspots of activity within the genres that make our hearts beat faster, and sometimes it’s clear that some places just catch fire in what feels like less than the time it takes to snap your fingers. Of course there are years of work, collaboration, inspiration and just a little bit of right-place-at-the-right-time behind all this, scenes and movements do now appear and grow out of thin air, but for the music listener it’s one of the most exciting feelings to suddenly zoom in on a certain region and feel that awesome bands are being spat out of there like a geyser of talent just sprung on the ground.

Last year, we tried our best to spread the word about what was happening in the Icelandic black metal scene and the Finnish black / psychedelic scene, just to pick up on two of the most recent and successful examples, and while our eyes and ears fixated on far horizons, right under our noses something foul was already bubbling and waiting to explode. Now is the moment where it seems the Dutch black metal underground will finally spill over, with a wave of talent ready to wash over the ears and souls of Roadburners and beyond.

The likes of Urfaust or the many projects of Maurice “Mories” De Jong have shown throughout the years that some of us really are mad here, as well as madly talented, but a new generation of people like Lubbert Das, Nihill, Terzij De Horde, Turia, Dodecahedron, Fluisteraars or White Oak are rising and conquering all in their path.

As well as Laster – one of the most uniquely gifted acts of this far from exhaustive list, the trio from Utrecht has the ability to stun every first-time listener into a terrified silence with the utter violence of their initial impact. Unapologetically harsh, particularly in the inhuman throat-destruction department, nevertheless its gruff and deceptively crude exterior soon peels away to reveal many layers of complexity underneath. It’s black metal alright, but not as we know it, and how many times can you say that about a recent band?

Their new album Ons Vrije Fatum, out since January on Dunkelheit Produktionen, is ample proof of all this. Building on 2014’s disconcerting De Verste Verte Is Hier, it expands that record’s already ambitious sights even more. Firmly rooted in the putrid mud, its gaze is set on the far horizon, as a terribly deformed being reaching out to find beauty and hope in the only way it can – through ugliness, violence and brutality.

Laster are both repulsive and warmly welcoming. The push and pull of their music is something that you will feel instinctively as it washes over you, and Roadburn gives you the chance to do it at a special, intimate setting, where each howl, each beat and each piercing, spiralling riff will be thrown towards you with just a bit more rage than usual. We’re terrified, but we can’t wait. Join us and let us surrender to Laster on Saturday, April 22 at 1.45pm.

José Carlos Santos / February, 2017

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