It’s that time of the year to prepare for the Roadburn festival in Tilburg. Things have changed in 2016; first of all 013 has expanded its main hall & the green stage to a capacity of 3000 and 700 people. Also the smallest room (the Batcave) is gone. This implies it will be much more relaxing to shift between stages and the merch area. Cul-de-Sac and Patronaat stayed as venues and included now is Extase; a cozy venue around the corner of 013 that fills up for the disappeared Batcave. What has Roadburn to offer this year? Be prepared for heavy stuff. Metalrage picked three heavy outfits per day you should not miss. Dig into the rest of the program yourself and discover what you want to add to the list.
One of the inventors of Post-Metal is back at the festival to play the classic album ‘Somewhere Along the Highway’ in its entirety. On this record Cult of Luna made the bridge between Neurosis and Mogwai and songs like ‘Dark City Dead Man’ will echo in your mind forever after you have seen these masters in the main hall.
It took me ten years to finally understand the massive milestone ‘Jane Doe’. The record will be played by Converge on Thursday. On Saturday they play another special set with guests from Cave In, Neurosis and Chelsea Wolfe. The hardcore band is the most important genre expander of the last twenty years and borderless heaviness need to be part of this year’s festival. Expect chaos and heaviness.
Hell really sounds if you have arrived in hell. The claustrophobic doom feels like if you are run over by a train while in the meantime being choked by Satan. Hell has made a new meaning on the word HEAVY and you should be happy to have them for the first time in Europe.
Roadburn is always hosting super groups. 2016 is the year where they invited With the Dead; a group of members from Cathedral and Electric Wizard. Rise Above main man Lee Dorian has spread out his vocals over evil psychedelic stoner doom riffs. When you listened to works of the members other bands you will know. Their debut album was hailed in the scene by lots of fanatics; let’s see if With the Dead can fill in the high expectations.
Lee Dorrian invited Repulsion on the Roadburn Friday. The dirty old fast Grindcore from these oldies is a welcome change in between the slow and long doom mongers. The band still sounds if we are all stuck in the eighties and that’s a good thing with all these technical perfect sounding grindcore bands nowadays.
Sometimes you have to endure a difficult band to get your rewards. Greg Chandler from funeral doomers Esoteric has started the baroque styled black metal band Lychgate and they have created two albums that take some sessions to understand. On stage you have to use your patience but when you understand their whirlwind directions the energy you receive is enormous.
Finnish masters Skepticism perform Funeral Doom as no one else. The main instrument is an old-fashioned organ that makes the sound even more funeral. Slowly you are immersed in dreary hymns that are selected by the fans so expect your favorite songs to be played on Roadburn’s biggest stage.
The last time Amenra played Roadburn there was something in the air and the catharsis they brought in the Patronaat was one of the best I have endured. Today they perform an acoustic set based on the ‘Afterlife’ album. No heaviness this time, but fragile and etheric hymns to dream away on. On Sunday they are back with a normal heavy set.
It’s a bit obvious and no surprise to name Neurosis as a must see. To not name them is also silly so please see the originators and inspirers of all the heavy Post-Sludge, avant-garde metal bands and celebrate their thirtieth anniversary. They have promised to play some old stuff too, so expect oldies like ‘Grey’ and the Joy Division cover ‘Day of our Lords’.
New-Zealand post rockers Jakob returned last year with a new album. They have the ability to spread out their songs to long hymns but never will they lose the focus. In the sea of Post-rock bands they keep the genre urgent. Live on stage (for the first time in the Netherlands) they deliver pure quality. Their dreamy tunes are a perfect match to relax at the afterburner.
The guitarist of Amenra, Mathieu Vandekerckhove has his solo project running for a couple of years. Syndrome is all based on soundscapes, loops and black & white visuals. Especially when you are exhausted after three days Roadburn just chill out on a chair in the Cul De Sac and mesmerize on the tunes of Syndrome.
To go out in style (and I mean go out HEAVY) please don’t miss the brutal monster Buried at Sea. Producer and musician Sanford Parker’s infamous project has been on a hiatus for years. Their monstrous underground sound inspired a thousand bands. Finally he has picked up the amps where he has left them and will destroy you at the last moments of Roadburn 2016.