As April draws closer, the anxiety levels always reach fever pitch for us here at PA’. The reason is simple: it’s almost time to return to Tilburg and attend Roadburn, to have that stupid smile on our face as we move towards the venue to exchange wristbands and see all those returning familiar faces. If you’re still undecided about joining, then this week might not have started the right way: weekend tickets are sold out. Then again, with the insane line-up of this year’s edition, it was bound to happen sooner or later. With that out of the way, let’s get to the good news: a whole lot of good new bands have been added along with a fifth stage and even more bands. Yes, superpositions are a’coming and we wouldn’t have it any other way. Let’s get to recapping them, shall we?
Yeah, Buried At Sea are rising again. Their last full length dates all the way from 2003, but the truth is that the doom/post metal presented in “Migration” sounds as relevant and vital these days as it did then. The Chicago based quartet will bring their dirges to the Afterburner on Sunday 17 April.
So, Sanford Parker is returning to Roadburn with Buried At Sea. He also recently started Mirrors For Psychic Warfare with Scott Kelly who was already slotted to play the festival thrice, twice with Neurosis and once under his own name. You know where this is going, right? Yes, we’re all lucky bastards and Mirrors For Psychic Warfare will indeed play Roadburn (a slightly bigger stage than that time they played a living room), more precisely the Afterburner.
Speaking of getting two dudes from different bands to play together: how about putting Amenra‘s Collin H. Van Eeckhout on stage with none other than Integrity‘s frontman Dwid Hellion? That’s also happening in Roadburn, as Collin‘s new incarnation CHVE (see the official video of “Rasa” here) will perform on Friday alongside Mr. Hellion‘s Vermapyre guise in what should be a rather unique performance.
There are also good news for those with an inclination towards old school hard rock and psychedelia, as Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell, Beastmaker and Carousel have all been added to the Saturday line-up, with the former two joining Lee Dorrian‘s Ritual For The Blind Dead pt. 2.
Let me share my actual reaction when I got to a certain point of today’s announcements: USNEA and HELL, FUCK YEAH!
If you didn’t hear Usnea‘s “Random Cosmic Violence” back in 2014, do yourself a favour and do so below. Think what would happen had Yob been submerged into a magical cauldron of funeral doom with blackened undertones when they were kids and eventually developed a fascination with Carl Sagan and all that is cosmic.
The Portland quartet will have their doom on display on the Het Patronaat on Thursday, April 14.
On that same day and on the very same church-like venue, Hell will descend over Tilburg and we couldn’t be more thrilled about it. The drone/doom alchemy created by M.S.W. makes good on its own name and you’d be hard pressed to come up with a better venue to witness them.
Speaking of shit that’s heavy as fuck and has just been added to Thursday’s lineup: french sludge/doom outfit Church Of Occult is joining Usnea and Hell on their unholy assault on a former christian building.
However, The Patronaat won’t be the only building in Tilburg to have it’s foundations shaken on that Thursday. Right across the street, the new 013 will undoubtedly suffer at the hands of Inverloch. The Australian death-doom band is essentially the result of d.USK becoming its own thing after being created a few years ago to play Disembowelment songs. Their debut LP titled “Distance | Collapsed” will already be out by then (check the first song above). The other name added to the Thursday lineup of the 013 couldn’t be more contrasting with Inverloch‘s monolithic sounds, as from Texas shall come the country and blues of singer-songwriter Daniel Payne. We don’t know what time he will play, but it will become the absolutely right time for some good old no. 7.
Before today’s announcements there weren’t that many free slots between the Main Stage, Green Room, Het Patronaat and Extase and we’ve already covered quite a few names. Rest assured, we’re not even close to being done and that’s the exclusive responsibility of the usual extra suspect in this matters: the lovely and tiny Cul De Sac, which has just been added as the fifth stage for this year’s edition. The first two days are curated in collaboration with Never Mind The Hype, a Dutch music platform who promises to showcase some of the most intriguing underground acts active in Belgium and The Netherlands.
Our highlight from the Thursday selection is the Nijmegen based duo Dead Neanderthals, whose drone/doom done by way of free jazz promises to crush many a skull. If the set we witnessed last December comprising mostly songs from their upcoming album is anything to go by, Thursday’s performance is must see stuff. They will be joined by Moloken, New Keepers Of The Water Towers, Gomer Pyle, Mantra Machine and Zone Six.
Our highlight prescription for Friday is two-fold. First, there will be Herder and all that you have to know about them is their mantra: HERDER IS HARDER. Their Green Room show back in 2013 was an absolute killer and the smaller Cul De Sac should provide a good playground for their pissed off bile.
Speaking of filthy things, one of our favourite Belgium bands is coming to Roadburn. No, not Blid To Faith, but the mighty Alkerdeel, who will be presenting songs from their upcoming record “Lede”. As if that wasn’t enough, they’ll be joined on stage by Gnaw Their Tongues, who thus return to where they played their first show last year. Not only will their collaboration “Dyodyo Asema” be played , but it turns out that the last song from “Lede” shall bring forth this union of filth once more. This should be fucking good.
Oh, and there will also be performances by Cocaine Piss, Noctum, Concatenatus and Obese.
Wrapping up the partnership with Never Mind The Hype, one more band will play the Cul De Sac on Saturday. Influenced by seminal acts like Sonic Youth or Sisters Of Mercy and featuring members from acclaimed Dutch bands like The Devil’s Blood and Gold, DOOL will serve some of their particular craft dark rock. Later that day, the venue is handed over to RuffStuff Music, who will bring us some of the best that’s being done in Belgium, including Grimmsons, Partisan, The Progerians, We’rewolves and the rough and violent punk of VVOVNDS.
Also hailing from Belgium, also playing Roadburn on Saturday at the Cul De Sac are Hemelbestormer. If you’re a bit tired of overhyped post metal acts and yearn from something fresh and crushing within the genre here goes a motivational two step program: watch the video below for “After Us, The Flood” from the upcoming debut LP “Aether” in full screen and then make the obvious decision of dragging your arse to the Heuvel street and inside the Cul De Sac to witness it live on Saturday (unless Neurosis, Converge, Dead To A Dying World, Misþyrming or Tau Cross are playing at the same time, let’s not get carried away).
Similar to last year’s Afterburner, the festivities only come to an end when there’s no more music on the Cul De Sac. This time around, the last day will feature soothing sounds from Mathieu Vandekerckhove’s Syndrome, dutch trio Menhir (or how to play sludge with two bassists and a drummer), French purveyors of bleakness Chaos Echœs will play “Transient” in its entirety and Witch Trail will bring some black thrash with them.
To wrap it all up with one last trip, dutch rockers Death Alley will play their second set of the edition and bring us to their black magick boogeyland. Want to wrap it up with a proper party? Now you know where to go.
Oh, and if you’re in Tilburg on Wednesday night you also get fucking Jucifer for free. Diggest that: fuckin Jucifer playing the Cul De Sac for free. That should be packed and sweaty.
That’s all for now, folks. Brace yourself from some heartbreaking decisions when the running order is out and then realise just how much of a good problem you’re having. It truly is an embarrassment of riches.