When self-proclaimed “nautik funeral doom” legends Ahab first surfaced with their 2005 demo The Oath, the heavy metal community quickly became aware. Despite anticipation, few of us expected something as massive as their 2006 debut LP, The Call of the Wretched Sea.
From the universally familiar subject matter of Melville’s classic novel Moby Dick to the endlessly crushing, haunting doom the band crafted over the course of the album’s hour-plus span, it grabbed attention in every way. With ten years between the album’s release and the present day, we’re honored to announce that the album will be performed in full at the 013 venue as part of Roadburn 2017.
From its chilling, crawling synthesizer intro on, The Call of the Wretched Sea is an album that bores its way into the consciousness and memory of the listener with cavernous sparseness and vocals that sound like the awakening of a great ancient beast. While the funeral doom tradition was long established and rooted by the time Ahab came to the forefront, they revitalized and imagined new territories that few had dared to explore. With lyrics culled almost exclusively from Melville’s writing, the band took its inspiration seriously, evoking the timeless horror and wonder of the ocean’s unknown depths.
While Ahab has progressed and shifted beautifully over the years, with 2015’s The Boats of the “Glen Carrig” showcasing a lush sense of melody and subtlety, the band is eager to share this essential album with audiences at Roadburn, acknowledging the impact it’s had on the community and in their own development as musicians.
When Aluk Todolo step on stage, the whole universe around them seems to reduce itself to that one point of singularity – the light bulb. You know? The light bulb they have pending over themselves, which flickers, dims and flashes to the rhythm of the French trio’s bizarre mix of black metal and krautrock and the noise that ghosts make when they die and other stuff.
You’ve seen it, you were probably there in 2011 when Sunn O))) invited them to Roadburn as part of their curation, a year before they dropped their career-defining effort, Occult Rock. That surreal album became their light bulb release – just like, in those live shows, all you can focus on while the punchy, manic darkness beats and slithers all around you is that damn hypnotic light bulb, it seemed that the crazy appeal of Occult Rock would hang off Aluk Todolo like a stalking shadow forever. It will, in a way, in a good way, mind you, but this year they have proved the source of this ill-lit energy is still very much brimming with stuff to pour out.
Voix is the name of the beast that has been haunting us since February this year, and it’s been slowly sinking in and revealing itself as a worthy successor to its famous big brother of 2012. Rock-solid and uncompromising, it gives very little to the listener as first introductions go – a massive single piece, divided into six movements titled only by their length, that’s all you have to hang on to. But that’s what Aluk Todolo do best, casting you away to the elements only to recover you straight away by force of their obsessively repetitive, oddly groovy – in an angular, jazzy way – rhythms, of their harsh but vague riffs, of their screechy, uncomfortable nature, their pitch black psychedelia. And that light bulb, that damn light bulb.
Carpenter Brut take the essence of metal that you like, the parts of techno that you used to like and the atmospheric film music of Carpenter / Argento /Goblin that you love, to create a heady, melodic and intense genre. This French outfit is taking the synthwave to new and exciting places.
Carpenter Brut has made a big splash with his Trilogy, which is a collection of his first three EPs. Those of you that might be tempted to dismiss electro-based acts, are recommended to check them out as there’s plenty to enjoy in this heavy and refreshingly different music.
In its eternal search for new inspiration in all that’s heavy, Roadburn is proud to introduce Carpenter Brut to the stage. Let the 1980s energy and horror movie fun transport you away, and maybe even make shake that booty a little!
Akin to blending the sonic freak outs of legendary krautrock pioneers Ash Ra Tempel with 90’s Japanese noise mongers Up-Tight or Ohkami No Jikan, London’s Casual Nun deliver some downright heavy psych – a blown out slab of distorted, hypnotic guitar buzz, heady, effect-laden vocals, and plodding drums, everything bleary eyed, garage-y, intense and drugged out!
Anyone who has been diggin’ the aforementioned greats, GNOD, The Heads or Loop will definitely fall in love with Casual Nun – at least, we did immediately upon hearing Super Fancy Skeleton, Casual Nun’s debut release, and promptly invited the band to unleash their tripped out, kraut-infused noise bliss on Saturday, April 22 at the 013 venue in Tilburg, The Netherlands.
To put it plain and simple: To love heavy psych is to love Casual Nun!
Erik Wunder, an amazing multi-instrumentalist who also leads the darkened folk blues of Man’s Gin and is a part of Jarboe‘s live band, is a man of many talents, and mostly all of them converge on his main band, the explosive Cobalt.
Having appeared near the beginning of the century, the duo’s atypical excursions through black metal captivated the eager ears of the underground from very early on, and the two first records War Metal and Eater Of Birds were already enthusiastically hailed by their intensity, their exceptional approach that twisted black metal into something grittier, far outside the typical boundaries but still recognisable and eerily familiar.
Neurosis-like apocalyptic tribalism, old Americana, a sort of doom-laden, ritualistic atmosphere, all these elements explored from those early beginnings gave Cobalt a distinct and fiery personality – crystallized intensely on what was arguably their breakthrough record, the enormous 2009 masterpiece that was Gin. A bombastic 80-minute tour de force that went from Hemingway to crusty primitivism, from African American chain gang songs to viscous cacophony with savage, gleeful abandon.
The aptly titled Slow Forever (a concept we can identify with!) is one of 2016‘s best albums, a double-album beast that is by far the longest sonic sacrifice Cobalt have ever put us through, and it feels like a record that got inside the head of its illustrious predecessor and blew everything apart with a shotgun blast, and now all the nuances and insidious influences of yore are wide open for everyone to listen to.
An aggressive record, vicious even, yet hook-laden to a maddening extent, full of repeated mantra-like phrases that will ring in your mind for months after and riffs that seem like slithering snakes spinning out of control but kept in check at the last second by Erik‘s expert guitar-wielding skills, it cuts through genres like a warm knife through a cold vein.
On top of everything, Cobalt were not a live band for most of those years of activity. Now, they are headed for Europe for the very first time, so how could we not have them at Roadburn? No fucking way, that’s how. Erik told us: “We are extremely excited to bring Cobalt over for such an amazing festival as Roadburn, and we cannot wait to unleash the live Cobalt show on European soil!”
Innovation and atmosphere have long reigned supreme at Roadburn, regardless of genre. This mindset of allowing art to take its creator to new territory is shared among many of the musicians, artists, and attendees at the festival and is directly embodied in the haunting sounds of enigmatic group (D O L C H). The buzz of guitars fills each song like a fog, invading the corners of the mind and luring the listener into a trance.
It’s a shame that the concept shoegaze has become so maligned in extreme music, as the near-suffocating blanket of sound that (D O L C H) creates embodies the heavy, dense aesthetic from which the genre took root and grew and marries it with the sullen weight of black metal and the tension of post-punk’s darkest corners.
Pounding drums and droning ambiance often set the backdrop for vocals that flutter between tragically human and densely ethereal, always maintaining just enough presence in the greyscale universe in which (D O L C H) and its music reside. From their collected demos to their recent split with King Dude, the music is consistent only in its ability to shapeshift and mystify while upholding an atmosphere that is heavy with emotion and sonic texture.
For all Roadburn 2017 attendees eager to become blissfully hypnotized by the immensity of (D O L C H), the opportunity will present itself on Saturday, April 22 at 013 Venue in Tilburg, The Netherlands.
Each year, Roadburn Festival selects an Artist In Residence to perform multiple times over the course of the weekend. Following in the footsteps of Misþyrming, The Heads and Circle, this year, GNOD will bring their own brand of eclectic lunacy to Roadburn. Performing four times in different guises (including a collaboration with Holland’s own Radar Men From The Moon, known as Temple ov BBV), the full scope of GNOD‘s psychedelic capabilities will be be explored in full at Roadburn 2017.
GNOD‘s Paddy Shine commented: “Gnod live at Roadburn at Het Patronaat in 2012 is definitely one of the biggest highlights of our ten years of constant flux. To be invited back at all is a big big deal for us; to be invited back as ‘Artist in Residence’ in 2017, on what will be the tenth anniversary of the birth of Gnod, is an absolute honour. Gnod Bless.”
Honestly, we cannot really express in full what it means to us to finally have such a pillar of doom metal gracing a Roadburn stage. And we know you understand – after all, My Dying Bride mean a hell of a lot to all of us, staff, audience and bands.
As one of the leading lights (at the end of the world? Yeah, that was irresistible, sorry) of metal during the 90s, where they helped to further define what doom metal really was and where it could still go, this West Yorkshire bunch earned a place not just in metal history, but in our hearts as well, and on top of that, unlike so many bands who reach a certain point of longevity, they have known how to age gracefully, how to keep being both relevant and true to their identity without slumping into self-indulgence, laurel-resting or jaded auto-pilot.
No, Aaron Stainthorpe‘s flair and onstage pathos still feels as genuine as it did in the early 90s, the mournful laments and diabolical dramas on their latest record Feel The Misery are still as emotionally affecting and as physically engaging as they were on ultra-classic Turn Loose The Swans, for instance. Even their “weird” album, the often maligned 34.788%… Complete, is a remarkable left-field attempt at reinvention full of frequently unsung bleak gems that any other band of this genre would kill to have as their own main masterpiece.
They’ve done it all, My Dying Bride, and somehow have managed to remain fresh and inventive. Nowadays, with the return of guitarist Calvin Robertshaw to the fold, reuniting the legendary axe partnership of yore with mainstay Andrew Craighan, it even seems they’re enjoying an extra lease of life, and so it is the perfect time to celebrate everything they mean to doom metal and to the entire underground as a whole with, finally, a Roadburn appearance.
In a way, it is also the missing piece of a very British puzzle. Yes, we know the “Peaceville three” is largely a media construction and that there was no real scene or intentional interaction between the three bands, but tell that to the thousands of young minds who were deeply, deeply influenced by Anathema, Paradise Lost and My Dying Bride throughout the 90s, who picked up instruments to recite their own tales of woe and misfortune and now have their own bands braving new terrains – for them, the Peaceville three is a very real thing, and just as there were several sneaky tears being shed during Anathema‘s Roadburn show in 2015 and during Paradise Lost‘s show this year, so 2017 will have more than a few shiny eyes during what we expect to be a tragically majestic display of proper My Dying Bride-style doom.
My Dying Bride commented: “The set has been deliberately tailored to include all of the Metal songs from Turn Loose The Swans.
There will be a few other older songs too from As The Flower Withers and The Angel and The Dark River, stuff they have not played in a long time so this is going to be special.
The Songless Bird
The Snow in My Hand
The Crown Of Sympathy
Turn Loose The Swans
Special backdrop lighting will help deliver a unique visual experience too, lovingly guided by the hand of Renowned Romanian artist Costin Chioreanu who is part of the Roadburn team.
If this all wasn’t enough on the drum throne will be tub thumper of all things dark, dismal and downright gloomy Shaun Winter Taylor Steels Esquire.”
Mysticum will invade our minds and tear our souls apart at Roadburn 2017.
You read that right. We didn’t make up that title, that’s exactly what’s going to happen. We asked the dreaded triple-headed entity of Mysticum to give us a few words about their appearance at Roadburn 2017 and that’s exactly what they told us, not less, not more. “We shall invade your minds and tear your souls apart.” We don’t know if they did a mic drop after that because we ran out of the room in less than a second. Yikes.
That’s Mysticum in a nutshell. Short, brutal and to the point. Few records have imprinted themselves so naturally in the collective mind-hive of extreme music, and black metal in particular, as their legendary 1996 debut In The Streams Of Inferno. It wrote the rulebook, and torched it too, for what industrial black metal should be – no disrespect to any other band that might fit that category, but if ever a genre could be reduced to one band and pratically fused with it, it’s industrial black metal with Mysticum. The buzzing swarms of guitars are punctuated by the relentless cold pounding of the programmed drums, while our minds are obliterated by the harsh electronic effects and the inhuman vocals.
On that record, there is a mention already to its successor, the infamous Planet Satan, and it only took… 18 years for it to surface. Which makes perfect sense, you see. Mysticum were sitting on their throne for almost two decades expecting a real challenger to appear and we presume they just got bored of waiting, and also, 18 is 3 times 6, so there you go.
Any record with an almost two decade period of anticipation preceding it is bound to be a disappointment, but this is Mysticum we’re talking about. Planet Satan turned out to be everything everyone fervently expected it to be, and while we hope the next record will come out before 2032, there is plenty of Mysticum to ruin your days with for now. And ruin your day they will, when they step onto the stage at Roadburn to terrorise anyone brave enough to stand before them at the moment of unleashing hell.
We were anticipating great things from ORANSSI PAZZU at this year’s Roadburn, but even so we were overwhelmed about every single aspect of their appearance. From the passionate performance of the band, to the amount of Roadburners that got caught up in the positivity and the incredible vibe of the show; it was a truly unique moment of bonding between artist, audience and staff.
Equally overwhelming, but in a slightly less happy way, was bearing witness to the long line of people that couldn’t get in the Het Patronaat – it took us by surprise. Our memory of the sheer anticipation on display on this occasion and our thoughts for those who were extemely saddened by missing out on such a momentous event resonated with us for a long time after the festival, and led us to taking the decision to give everyone another shot – hence, ORANSSI PAZUZU will return to conquer the Main Stage.
Roadburn is a wild mix, isn’t it? Our extended family is a profoundly heterogeneous bunch, a seemingly dysfunctional collection of music people who, during those days of almost magical communion, all come together and become musical brothers and sisters, united by the unstoppable power of music.
There are 60 year old and 20 year old musicians, there are bands with 40 years of existence and bands put together months ago, bands with millions of followers and bands with mere dozens of fans.
Between old passions and recent infatuations, and because the festival (unfortunately!) doesn’t last two weeks spread across twenty venues so that we can accommodate everyone we’d like to, sometimes we get them when they’ve just shown up, and sometimes things just take a little while more to happen. More than they should, perhaps, and such is the case with Serpent Venom.
The London band’s presence at Roadburn is a long, long overdue one – to be honest, we already knew in our guts they would one day be treading the boards in Tilburg as soon as we heard that three-track self-titled demo in 2010.
The amazing first album, Carnal Altar, followed shortly the next year, and it only confirmed our suspicions. Its follow-up Of Things Seen & Unseen, from 2014, further refined the band’s traditional yet unmistakable approach to doom and made it even more urgent to have them on a Roadburn bill, especially when some of the band members were coming to Roadburn as fans of the festival themselves throughout the years, as we’re sure they don’t mind that we reveal.
It’s a marriage destined to happen from the very beginning, and 2017 is finally the year it happens, a year in which we’re told by little birdies that a third album is being written too. Whatever happens on that front, however, there are riffs aplenty to be dropped upon an adoring audience, lulled into headbanging heaven by the ominous yet warmly soothing bellow of Gary Ricketts, by Roland Scriver’s thick riffing or the titanium-strong, groove-laden rhythm section of Nick Davies and Paul Sutherland.
Nick Davies commented: “Serpent Venom are extremely honoured to announce that we will be part of the Roadburn Festival in 2017.
“It is very exciting to say the least, as the festival is pretty much the ‘Mecca’ for heavy and diverse music, and it holds such a strong place in the hearts of all who attend. It is a real privilege and extremely humbling to be considered and play alongside such legendary acts!
“We cannot wait to perform for you all and debut some newer material from our upcoming third album.”
Serpent Venom are one of the few bands that can boast a true spiritual connection to the sound of the true doom classics – from Black Sabbath to Pentagram, from Saint Vitus to early Candlemass, all those old ghosts haunt these songs – and yet still maintain a healthy individuality and a decidedly non-retro approach to their songwriting.
They’re trippy, they’re heavy, they have Roadburn written all over them, and when they unleash all their massive doom power on Saturday, April 22, they will finally reach their promised land.
With a plunder of riff few can hope to touch, Belfast’s Slomatics unveiled their finest work to-date, Future Echo Returns, on Black Bow Records in Sept. 2016. It’s an album filled with tones so thick you have to wonder how they can move at all, as well as soaring melodies, bone-crunching rhythms, and an overbearing lurch that positively smashes listeners over the head.
But, recorded by Conan’s Chris Fielding at Skyhammer Studio, it’s also an album of atmosphere and memorable songs, and we knew when we heard tracks like ‘Electric Breath’, ‘Rat Chariot’ and ‘Supernothing’ that the Northern Irish trio were a must for Roadburn 2017.
With Majury and Chris Couzens on guitar and drummer / vocalist Marty Harvey also handling synth, Slomatics defy logic with their sheer amount of low-end output. As the follow-up to 2014’s Estron and 2012’s A Hocht, Future Echo Returns is the third in a trilogy of albums, rounding out an extended story that the band purposefully leaves open for interpretation.
If this was boxing, it could well be a title fight, the prize being not a belt, but the title of most feverishly creative individual in experimental music. Fortunately, although their collaboration signifies a certain amount of clashing between disparate and often totally separate genres, this is not a fight or a contest, but a remarkable collaboration between great minds.
Great minds think alike, the saying goes, but sometimes they think differently too, and these two can make a case for both sides of the argument. Even if they come from disparate sonic universes, The Bug (electronic music wizard Kevin Martin) and Dylan Carlson (mastermind of the massively influential Earth, who have graced Roadburn with their presence in 2009 and 2011) are nevertheless two of the more revered names in experimental music as a whole.
Their paths crossed in 2014, when they surprisingly teamed up on a Record Store Day exclusive release which featured two amazing collaborative tracks, ‘Boa’ and ‘Cold’. There was such dread and dark menace in those two cuts that we’ve dreamed (with a few nightmares in between, but hey) ever since to see these two giants of sound trading audio blows under the mind-bending effect of the magical wonderland that is Roadburn, and in 2017 finally our wishes will come through.
Dylan Carlson (and Earth) should need no introduction, and we would be surprised if he isn’t already held in a demigod-like status by most of our beloved Roadburners. He is one of the leading lights of the most creative, forward-thinking music that’s been made in the past couple of decades and his work has been crucially influential to a significant number of all the bands that have ever passed through Roadburn.
However, it’s high time that Kevin Martin steps into our fold as well. His long musical path includes a decisive role in the early 90s pioneering acts that defined a lot of what industrial music, especially the most experimental kind, would become – he was a decisive part of GOD, Techno Animal, Ice and Curse Of The Golden Vampire (all of which included Martin‘s frequent cohort at that time and frequent Roadburn visitor, the mighty Justin Broadrick, in their line-up as well), and since “becoming” The Bug, he has revolutionised the darker, more avant-garde fronts of dancehall, grime, hip-hop and dubstep-influenced music.
Americana meets industrial, minimalism meets pulsating dance beats, metal meets electronics… who knows what can happen when The Bug meets Dylan Carlson of Earth? One thing is for sure, the walls will shake, and so will our chest cavities.
German black metal act Ultha may be relative newcomers in the metal community, but the weight of their sound rivals that of established titans. Since forming in 2014, Ultha has pummeled the underground with a slew of releases, including 2015’s massive Pain Cleanses Every Doubt, which is a feat of atmospheric brilliance and primal fury spread over the course of four massive tracks. With gut-churning vocals and unpredictable pacing that ranges from feral speed to crushing doom, their Roadburn debut is sure to be one of the heaviest sets of the day.
While the almighty riff reigns supreme in Ultha’s compositions, their sound is augmented with electronic ambiance that tempers the harshest moments with subtle cushions of warmth. Just when the band might seem potentially straightfroward, the group is just as likely to surprise by reworking Mighty Sphincter’s ‘Ghost Walking’, a relatively unknown death rock gem. It’s this balance between worlds that makes them worth keeping an eye on. They aim to prove, as fellow German peers Sun Worship did at 2015’s Roadburn, that black metal need not be confined to worshiping at the altar of the Scandinavian classics.
As the stage is filled with fog and eerie red light, the crowd will be treated to some of the most harrowing experiences one can have at a heavy metal show. With confidence and competence that stretch well beyond their few short years of existence, we can only expect the most gripping of performances from Ultha.
Some records stay with us in a way that we even remember the very first time we listened to them, no matter how many years ago it was, we remember the impact they had and the way they might have changed us as listeners. Watching from a Distance is such a record. Almost a decade since its release in December 2006, those of us who have been touched by it – and we are a numerous bunch, given the extent of its subsequent influence over the doom scene – probably still hold dear those moments of stunned silence, giddy excitement or placid contemplation which followed that first spin of the disc.
While still clearly a doom album, it wasn’t really comparable to any doom we knew, not even the Warning‘s own earlier works. There was a kind of deep-seated melancholy to the heavy yet tranquil atmospheres, and most of all in frontman Patrick Walker‘s earnestly emotional singing, which trasmitted a peaceful longing all of its own. It’s far from a joyful collection of songs, but it’s not crushingly depressive either. “Remember being happy in our silence?”, Patrick asks at one point during the heart-wrenching 11:30 minutes of Bridges, which also features “Can someone feel too much?” as one of its last sentences, and these examples illustrate the peculiar moods of this album more than any explanation would.
Ominously, this would turn out to be Warning‘s last album, the British trio disbanding a couple of years later, leaving behind as rememberance the wonderful shows they played following its release. Nevertheless, the importance of the band, and of Watching from a Distance in particular, has steadily been more and more recognised throughout the doom metal community and beyond, and it has grown to be considered one of the iconic releases of this century.
Patrick Walker has followed up Warning with the amazing 40 Watt Sun, whose remarkable second album, Wider than the Sky, will soon be released. While it has been wonderful to see that band follow its own path and find its own true voice, it’s undeniable that it has also helped to fill a little bit of the void left in our hearts by Warning‘s disappearance.
Now, however, it’s time to look back in time for a moment, and return to that time that all of us Warning fans have set in stone in our memories – Warning will get back together on stage for a unique occasion, performing Watching from a Distance at Roadburn 2017 on Saturday, April 22 at the 013 venue in Tilburg, The Netherlands. It will be the very first time the band will perform this classic in its entirety on stage – the last song in particular, Echoes, has never been played live before.
Joining Patrick on stage will be Marcus Hatfield on bass guitar and Christian Leitch on drums, completing Warning’s final line-up, and also guitarist Wayne Taylor, who has played bass for the band for some time almost twenty years back, between the demos and the first album, The Strength to Dream. Wayne was drafted in to help more faithfully reproduce the arrangements of the album. We are in for a definite treat, and rest assured, it’s not just us in the audience who will be feeling it deeply.
It’s been nearly four years since Brooklyn black metal act Woe has surfaced with new material or a live performance since the release of 2013’s massive offering, Withdrawal. In 2017, they’ll be making their Roadburn debut to celebrate new material and the reissue of their now classic debut LP, A Spell for the Death of Man. The band is returning at its sharpest and most focused, ready to unleash a creative energy that has only grown over the years of absence.
What originally began as the pet project of founding member Chris Grigg has grown into a full band, even more daunting in the live setting than on record. Known for crafting some of the most passionate and potent American black metal of the last decade, Woe is poised to deliver an astonishing set of music that is painfully human yet explores some of the darkest parts of the soul.
As part of their first European tour, Woe will be gracing the Green Room at 013 venue with their uniquely vicious attitude. We’re thrilled to see them impress old fans who’ve been waiting for a European performance and win over new ones as they lay waste to this year. With such competent musicianship pairing with raw emotion, it’s bound to be a transformative black metal experience.
Comprised of Kirby Michel (La Muerte), Corvus von Burtle (Cult Of Erinyes) and Marc De Backer (Mongolito), along with John Marx (Temple Of Nothing), Shazzula (known for her experimental movie, Black Mass Rising) and Jason Van Gullick, Belgium’s Wolvennest or WLVNNST is the sound of 70s krautrock paired with blackened rituals, reminiscent of early 90s Norwegian black metal.
Churning up some utterly hypnotic, sonik soundscapery, where guitar loops, repetitive beats, synthesizers, and darkened, hypnotic ambient vocal-sounds are smeared into a creepy yet cinematic drone-scape (or should we actually say, dronemusick?), Wolvennest proves that Belgium is still a hotbed of musikal creativity. Their debut album, featuring Der Blutharsch and The Infinite Church Of The Leading Hand members Albin Julius and Marthynna as guests and co-writers, unfolds as such an obscure, swirling movie score – it’s like a celluloid screening of disturbed rituals, heralding nothing but the great olde ones!
As there has always been a cinematic air to our proceedings, we’re really looking forward to Wolvennest luring us into their spiralling-netherworld on Saturday, April 22 at the 013 venue in Tilburg, The Netherlands. Welcome to Roadburn 2017 – let Wolvennest tranform the festival into an altar of hauntingly tense worshipping.
Roadburn Festival 2017 Curated By John Dyer Baizley
“Disfear are playing Roadbrun 2017. They are beginning a new chapter for their band, starting with this performance on April 22nd. I’m humbled by the fact that they see Roadburn as a suitable place to accomplish this. Prior to speaking with them a few months back regarding this show, I had become nervous that their ferocious brand of d-beat fury was forever silenced. I don’t know exactly what to expect from this re-emergence, but I’m sure it won’t be a gentle one. This should be a no-hold-barred, fists-in-the-air, mandatory-circle-pit set, and you better believe I’m not missing a minute of it. ‘Nuff said.”
“My next announcement for Roadburn 2017 is a band who thoroughly blew me away when I toured with them early this year in the UK: No Spill Blood. I have always sought to keep the bands I tour with as diverse as possible, owing primarily to the fact that many of the greatest musical discoveries I’ve made as a show-goer have been a result of watching those supporting bands, opening for larger acts, who exist well outside the perceived musical realm of the headliners.”
“Those artists who subvert the notion that more-popular bands must tour with similar sounding support acts. In fact, often these surprise discoveries eclipse the potency of the headliner, because we, as ticket buyers, generally know what we’re getting ourselves into with bands whose catalogues we are already familiar with. Enter No Spill Blood, who I discovered based on an incredible live performance video I discovered while researching UK-based acts. The music was not only played incredibly well, with all the gusto, bravura and density of more typical “heavy” bands, but most noticeably it was done WITHOUT the traditional setup.”
“In lieu of guitars, this trio used synthesizers, which were not only competitive against the more standard template, but in some ways allowed extrapolation, evolution, and improvement on the familiar sound. In less capable hands, the notion of a three-piece synth-driven heavy-rock/hardcore band could have led to a huge misstep in execution and presentation; but No Spill Blood had found a format that worked so well, the specifics of their setup are rendered irrelevant.”
“We don’t need to critique instrumentation, if the sound is as glorious and powerful as this, nor do we care if the songs are well made and played with an earnest passion. The simple truth is, they’ve written great songs, and I can emphatically vouch for their live show, as I am fortunate enough to have been their tour-mate for a week or two. Trust me, guitars alone do not a heavy band make. Get your earplugs ready.”
“I am especially excited to announce that Trans Am will be playing at the Patronaat stage next year at Roadburn. Not only have I been fortunate enough to have had the immense rhythmic skills of Sebastian Thomson in Baroness since 2013; but I have always been a massive Trans Am fan, and I think their performance at Roadburn will be an incredible moment during next year’s festival. They were one of those quintessentially influential bands on Baroness during our formative years (though I’m sure they’re unaware), and its impossible not to be astounded by the consistency of their output over the years.
“Trans Am are a true testament to the potency, creativity and longevity that’s possible within the DIY music scene, and I believe their particular brand of anti-mope-post-rock will be an exciting addition to the Patronaat stage. I’m entirely unaware of any current bands that play anything remotely similar to Trans Am, so I’m proud to be bringing such a unique sound along with me. I’m sure Sebastian will have his work cut out for him, playing two very intense and completely different sets, with both Baroness and Trans Am (Friday and Saturday, respectively). Do not miss this show, it will be a truly incomparable experience during Roadburn 2017.”
“It is a great honor to bring Wear Your Wounds to Europe for their first ever shows with 2017’s Roadburn. I have always considered myself extremely lucky to have spent the majority of my life involved with DIY music. One of the many wonderful things it has given me are the many friendships I’ve made on the great variety of tours Baroness has done. I met Jake Bannon (Wear Your Wounds) when I toured with Converge in 2008. Since that time, we have remained friends, we have collaborated on several projects together, and have, at times, given each other early insight into our various musical and visual projects. I was lucky enough to have heard a preview of Wear Your Wounds a few years ago while Jake was assembling the nascent, yet vast tapestry of sounds and songs he will be releasing April 7, 2017, two weeks prior to Roadburn.
“With this upcoming release we will gain further insight to Jake’s ever-evolving sense of artistry through sound, along with a huge list of incredible collaborators. Throw any and all assumptions aside; this is an expectation-destroying album, one which just so happens to be right up my alley, musically speaking. I’ve never seen them perform (who has, really?) so it goes without saying that I will be front and center for this moment. The lineup for Wear Your Wounds will include the following, in addition to Jake Bannon himself: Chris Maggio (Sleigh Bells, Trap Them, Coliseum), Mike Mckenzie (The Red Chord, Stomach Earth, Unraveller) Adam McGrath (Cave In, Zozobra, Nomad Stones), and Sean Martin (Hatebreed, Twitching Tongues, Kid Cudi, Cage). Don’t let that list fool you, THIS IS NOT A SUPERGROUP, but its hard to deny the talent and power within those musicians and collaborators. Please don’t miss the opportunity to witness their first-ever performance.”
“It should come as little surprise that I’ve asked my dear friends in Youth Code to come join the Roadburn 2017 lineup as part of the Patronaat stage. Sara (vocals) is one of my oldest and closest friends from touring, and I’m excited to bring the hardcore electronics to the Roadburn audience. A large part of my philosophy in curating this event is to bring a diverse cross-section of musicians and artists that have become more like family to me over the course of my lifetime as a musician and artist. I can think of no one who better exemplifies this idea than Youth Code.”
“I’ve know them longer than they have been a band; in fact I believe I was present the night that Sara and Ryan first met. The fact that after that night, they created such an incredible group with such intense and energetic live shows is purely the icing on the cake of my relationship with them, and more than reason enough for my full endorsement and invitation for them to take part. Furthermore, they will offer very nice complimentary sound to an already diverse lineup of Roadburn bands. Their mentality, outlook, and work-ethic very closely mirrors my own, though they have drafted a sound that is entirely their own; bringing the sound of abrasive harsh electronics into the context of more traditionally guitar driven hardcore / extreme music.”
“The truly exceptional thing that Roadburn offers us, as an audience, is to present a singular location where we can bear witness to a full spectrum of artists in a realm of music we often marginalize by simply calling “heavy.” The relative “weight” of these bands, on all Roadburn stages cannot be summed up using simple terms; and it is often hindered by our own tendency to try and categorize music that, by its very nature, rejects categorization. Youth Code have been recording and touring relentlessly since they began, and are proving that our genre-centric categorizations are inadequate when trying to understand the richness and diversity within our own scene. I’ll see you at their set on the 22nd.”
Roadburn Festival 2017 will take place April 20-23 at the 013 venue, Tilburg, The Netherlands. Tickets are on sale!