Desertfest Belgium 2018: High on Fire Headlining, The Devil and the Almighty Blues, The Well, Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell, The Oscillation, Dead Quiet and Frayle Join Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 14th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

The story here is pretty short: ‘Really good lineup gets better.’ The end.

I’m not sure what more one could reasonably as of Desertfest Belgium 2018 that it isn’t already delivering. I mean, seriously. Just look at the names. Festivals happen all the time in Europe — hell, for the last couple years there’s been one through just about each successive week in October, somewhere, in some country, usually with a lot of the same bands. But even with that factored in, how could you look at the names below and not know it’ll be something special?

Even just the circumstances of timing. So many of these bands will have or already have new records out, from High on Fire themselves to YOB, AncestorsThe SkullEagle Twin, CastleSonic WolvesDopethrone, on and on. To have all these groups come together at the same time can only be a win. You know they’ll be fired up, and even those who aren’t directly plying their wares on new records still have stuff recent enough or coming — or, like Acid King, a new lineup — so yeah. It looks absolutely unreal. If you get to go, I’m jealous.

Here’s the latest announcement:

desertfest belgium 2018 poster

HIGH ON FIRE HEADLINES DESERTFEST 2018

The Devil & The Almighty Blues, Oscillation & 4 more

And so the cat’s out of the bag, so to speak… High On Fire is headlining Desertfest 2018 and we couldn’t be more thrilled. In fact, you might call it a fever dream come true! Especially since the band recently announced their new album cum Lemmy tribute ‘Electric Messiah’ to be released just 1 week before the Fest, so we can expect a freshly hot live set.

But of course, the good news doesn’t stop there. We still have a hefty load of names to drop unto you, and we start with The Devil And The Almighty Blues. The Norsemen have made it their mission to follow all the strains of blues that run through the history of rock’n’roll, and we’re totally on board for their killer blues trip.

Replace the blues by the psych, and you could end up with The Oscillation. For ten years Demian Castellanos and his cohorts have made their mark with their unique brand of psychedelic rock that points to everything from krautrock to new wave disco, all drenched in that sweet sweet echo chamber feedback that you love.

Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell are on board once more with their time machine into a mythical past when hardrock was only just turning to doom, and denim bell-bottoms were not frowned upon in society. From that time they bring along The Well, another keeper of the flame that sparked many a toke in the bonehead freak era.

If you can take a slightly more epic take on the genre, Dead Quiet will fit the bill. Their ‘Grand Rites’ album from end of last year was certainly a trip in many exciting directions. And finally, make sure you don’t miss the unique sounds of Frayle, occult blues with a female lead that draws comparison to anything from Sleep to Portishead.

We’re nearing the finishing line, so all you casual Festers screaming for day tickets will soon get their fill. But of course, there’s nothing like getting the full 3-day fix! So if you can make it, there’s still some combi tickets left at a reduced price – although how long they’ll last, we can’t tell for sure!

http://www.desertfest.be/tickets
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High on Fire, “Electric Messiah” lyric video

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Desertfest Belgium 2018 Adds Dead Meadow, Ancestors, Wiegedood, Messa, and Heads.

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 24th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

desertfest belgium 2018 banner

So, uh, there’s a band called Heads. playing Desertfest Belgium 2018. They’re from Germany and not at all to be confused with The Heads from the UK. I guess the punctuation makes some different there, but isn’t it a little like calling your band Beatles. and expecting not to get sued? Question of scale there, I know, but you get my point. Heads. are a different band from The Heads. Okay.

I’m kind of surprised that Dead Meadow, in joining the lineup for Desertfest Belgium 2018, aren’t among the headliner, who are still TBA. I’ve got some names I wouldn’t necessarily be surprised to see signed on to play, but no question the lineup is ridiculously strong in the interim, what with Dead Meadow, Heads., Ancestors, Wiegedood and Messa all newly confirmed. I guess we’ll just have to wait on those headliner announcements.

From the PR wire:

desertfest belgium 2018 dead meadow

DEAD MEADOW PLAYS DF ANTWERP ’18

WIEGEDOOD, ANCESTORS and more

Well, we promised a worthy replacement for John Garcia, and we think this one will delight all you fans of delicious stoner grooves.

With 20 years and 7 records on the counter, Dead Meadow can truly be considered venerable veterans of the scene. With their most recent album ‘The Nothing They Need’, the DC band has made a glorious return 5 years after the previous outing. By now the ingredients might be familiar – heavy proto-metal riffing and long psych workouts – but once again the band proves noone cooks up a stew quite like they do. A rock solid addition to this year’s line-up, we think you’ll agree!

We already have one Belgian heavyweight on the program, so how about another? Wiegedood got its infamy coming up with a disturbing band name that translates to “crib death” in Dutch. But soon we learned that this was no mere gimmick: their peculiar version of black metal is effectively as unsettling and grim as the name suggests.

If the album teasers are anything to go by, the next album by Ancestors is gonna be something truly special. A culmination of everything the band stands for, from the atmospheric post-rock passages to the chugging riffs. Six years is a long wait for a new album in these times, but it seems like this will truly be worth the wait.

Another singular voice at the festival comes from Messa, who merge seemingly disparate genres like doom metal and dark jazz into one sonic stew they describe as ‘Scarlet Doom’. And finally, the German HEADS. adds shades of shoegaze and post-rock in their noiserock, with equally unique results.

There you have it, a selection of new names that truly add a sense of adventure and experiment to the line-up. You know we still have some headliners in store for you, so stay tuned!

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Desertfest Belgium 2018 Adds Enslaved, Lucifer, Blood of the Sun, Child & Sonic Wolves to Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 5th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

desertfest belgium 2018 banner

Desertfest Belgium 2018 is set for Oct. 12-14 in Antwerp, and the bill gets a little more packed with the latest lineup announcements, bringing in Norwegian progressive black metal forerunners Enslaved, as well as Berlin traditionalists Lucifer, Texas rockers Blood of the Sun, Aussie blues specialists Child and Italian doomers Sonic Wolves. Pretty smart batch, if you ask me. Desertfest Belgium has grown — much like the Desertfest brand in general; still waiting for a US one to surface so I can be sad when I’m not at all involved in its making and/or presentation — into one of the most essential European festivals for the autumn season, and this year’s is unquestionably the biggest and most diverse yet. This announcement highlights that without even saying it. All these groups? Yeah, I’d call them a fit. But doesn’t that just show how broad the sphere of Desertfest in general has become? Of course it does. I don’t think Desertfest Belgium could’ve come out of the gate in 2015 with Enslaved taking part, but now it makes sense to the point of not even being a question. Of course Enslaved are playing. Of course Child are coming from Australia to play. I mean, duh.

Here’s what the fest has to say about it:

desertfest belgium 2018 enslaved

DESERTFEST ANTWERP 2018 welcomes ENSLAVED, LUCIFER and more!

We continue the onslaught with another roundup of heaviness, and this one’s top heavy!

Desertfest has always been about expanding the idea of what is truly mindbending heavy music. Some of you may think the progressive black metal of Enslaved is a leftfield choice for the fest, but there you have it – it feels like a natural fit for us.

For those of you who still crave the boogie, don’t fret! The rest of our new additions will give you that heavy blues fix many times over, in all forms and shapes! First up we have the Berlin-based witchery of LUCIFER, paying glorious homage to ’70s hard rock while building on it with some impressive song craftmanship. CHILD is another take on the same era, with a psychedelic heavy blues infusion that belies the band’s Australian origin. They came to shred the ‘Fest in 2015, and they will return to shred once more!

In a more loose caboose vein, Blood Of The Sun will offer up no-frills Texan boogie that is all about ridin’ that muscle car down the desert road, beer and reefer in hand. Oh yeah: and lots of organ, oh that glorious organ! Finally, for those of you who want it nasty and just a little bit dangerous, there’s Sonic Wolves, a sideproject featuring Vita from Ufomammut and the most awesome DoomQueen Kayt Vigil – and that is all you need to know really.

We have been warning you about those Reduced Combi Tickets, right? Well, one day they’re just… there. But the next minute, they may be gone. Don’t stick around until they’re gone. Get them while they are still here. It’s better for everyone.

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Enslaved, “The River’s Mouth” official video

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Desertfest Belgium 2018 Announces Amenra to Headline; Naxatras, Whores., Timestone and Swedish Death Candy Added to Lineup

Posted in Uncategorized on June 19th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Five new lineup additions for Desertfest Belgium 2018 this time around, and with countrymen headliners Amenra as part of it, the festival immediately expands its overall context like the other Desertfests before it. And while Amenra will top the bill — they won’t be the only ones — also joining the roster for the weekend are Greek jam-psych forerunners Naxatras, woefully-monikered noise rockers Whores., as well as Timestone and Swedish Death Candy. It’s a bit all over the place this time around, but with a lineup that already includes the likes of Crowbar and Elder alongside not only each other, but YOB, John Garcia, Acid King and others, the Antwerp-based fest seems to be in the process of putting together its most varied edition yet. I’m not sure how much more they’ll add to what’s already been announced, but even if they called it quits here, it’d still be well worth the trip.

Info came down the PR wire as follows:

desertfest belgium 2018 amenra

DESERTFEST ANTWERP 2018: Amenra, Whores & more confirmed

Although you have all given us much love for the line-up so far, we know that a lot of you have been waiting with bated breath for the announcement of our first headliner…

…and here it is. At Desertfest Belgium, we’ve always taken pride in the best of the heaviest our country has to offer. And so it is with the greatest of pleasures that we finally have the absolute heaviest of heaviest in the land to ravish our stage: AMENRA will headline DF Antwerp 2018.

A band that has pummeled crowds all over Europe and The States, and released on the Neurot label of kindred spirits Neurosis. A band that transcends the genre as none other, a band fit to rule Desertfest!

But let it be known that our other new arrivals broaden the spectrum of sounds at the Fest even further. Naxatras is a Greek band that has grown increasingly more ambitious with each release, now incorporating prog, funk and jazz in their psychedelic jam-based stew. In contrast, Whores is as monolithic as they come, providing the perfect soundtrack to a blunt object repeatedly hitting you hard in the face.

Let’s also not forget the name of our festival, and where it comes from. Timestone may hail from Austria, but their pure brand of desert stoner will transport you to the desert for sure! And finally, we’d like to make a prediction here: sometime very soon, Swedish Death Candy will be a name to be reckoned with. They have it all: insanely fuzzy riffs, smart songwriting, catchy vocal harmonies, and just the right amount of unhinged feedback. Consider this a band to discover at the Fest!

Now about those Reduced Combi Tickets. You know we still have hem on offer at €95 right? We just don’t know how long they will last… so don’t be that guy or gal crying over lost opportunities, get yours today!

http://www.desertfest.be/tickets
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Amenra, Mass VI (2017)

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Desertfest Belgium 2018: Crowbar, The Skull, Castle, Yuri Gargarin, and Sofy Major Join Lineup

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 6th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Who’s going to argue with this? Sludge, doom, psych, noise, and metal? It’s like Desertfest Belgium 2018 decided its third announcement was when it would encompass the scope of underground heavy in one go. It’s got oldschool and newschool vibes, American and European bands next to each other, and fucking Castle, who just never stop touring ever. Never ever. I’m pretty sure they made their new record in the back of their van.

Maybe not, but still.

Seriously, the list of bands says it all, and the roster of acts they join only makes Desertfest Belgium all the more significant in Europe’s massively-crowded Fall festival scene. I’m not going to tell you to buy tickets or travel if you’re not in a financially secure situation or something, but if you have to sell your car and become a curiously aged European street urchin, complete with backpack and dog, this one might be worth it.

Behold:

desertfest belgium 2018 crowbar

Since you all liked our last announcement so much, we’re already back with another one!

And oh boy… Another quintuple hit of doom, rock, metal, psychedelics and whatever strikes your fancy, here we go…

First up, the absolute heavyweights of Southern sludge will grace our stage for the first time. Yes, Crowbar will be charged up fresh from their upcoming Eastern Europe tour in the summer, so expect them to be sharp as a razor and hard as nails at Desertfest Antwerp 2018!

Another scene stalwart, this time in the traditional doom vein, we welcome former Trouble makers The Skull, who reportedly will come loaded with a fresh sophomore album, out on Tee Pee Records in the fall.

For some more traditional doom vibes with a nice dose of occult rock, San Fransiscan trio Castle – Metal Band will be back at our festival after their killer set in 2016. We are also most pleased that the Swedish spacerock shuttle Yuri Gagarin will land at DF Antwerp from whatever outer space voyage they’ve embarked on. They’ve got an interstellar live reputation, so expect this to be a highlight for sure! And finally, we close off this batch of goodness with something French and sleazy. SOFY MAJOR is a noiserock outfit that will hit you in the face like a solid steel beercan.

So rest assured, your precious Reduced Combi Tickets will be well worth… what’s that? You STILL haven’t bought your tickets you say? Even though they’re still a steal at €95 for three days? This will not stand! We’ll give you just a little more time to go get them, but next time we see each other, don’t give us any excuses you hear!

http://www.desertfest.be/tickets
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Crowbar, Live in Flint, Michigan, March 2018

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Desertfest Belgium 2018 Adds Elder, Dopethrone, Sasquatch, Eagle Twin & Black Moth

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 23rd, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Desertfest Belgium 2018 has made its second round of lineup announcements, including a couple North American heavy hitters like Elder, Dopethrone, Sasquatch and Eagle Twin. These, along with UK outfit Black Moth make up the five bands who join the previously announced Acid King, YOB, John Garcia and Wo Fat, making it a thus-far American-leaning lineup to be sure, though I have little doubt that will even out over the coming months. Don’t forget, this fest isn’t until October, and that’s not exactly this weekend or anything like that.

Whatever the geography, anyplace that has YOB, Acid King, Elder and Sasquatch hanging around — let alone playing — is someplace you should want to be. Tickets are on sale, and on sale, now, as the PR wire affirms:

desertfest belgium 2018 elder

DESERTFEST ANTWERP 2018: Elder, Dopethrone & more confirmed

Are you ready for another lethal dose of Desertfestian awesomeness?

Good, ’cause that’s exactly what we’re here to deliver! Here’s five (count’em!) more bands that will absolutely slay come October, with no filler in sight.

We’re delighted to welcome back Elder to the DF stage after their blistering show in 2016. Next up, Dopethrone wants to show you why exactly their upcoming new album is called ‘Transcanadian Anger’. Rocking, pissed off and dope as fuck – exactly how we prefer our sludge.

In a more traditional stoner vein, we have Black Moth from Leeds (UK) and Sasquatch from LA. Both are known to deliver the grooves and riffs as well as the songs and melody, and both have more than a decade of solid live reputation behind them. Two quality picks for the real connoisseurs out there. Finally, from the depths of Salt Lake City comes Eagle Twin, whose new album ‘The Thundering Heard’ reaches new heights of shamanic delirium. A power duo if there ever was one!

All of this, and still no shortage of Reduced Combi Tickets at the price of €95. Are we crazy? Well, yes. So make sure you grab your ticket before we come to our senses – this high won’t last forever, but it’ll last you until the next announcement in a few weeks.

http://www.desertfest.be/tickets
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Elder, Reflections of a Floating World (2017)

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Desertfest Belgium 2018 First Announcement: Acid King, YOB, John Garcia & Wo Fat Added

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 7th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

desertfest belgium 2018 banner

This past weekend the Desertfests in Berlin and London took place. The Spring Desertfests. The timing, then makes perfect sense for Desertfest Belgium 2018 to make its first lineup announcement for this October. One imagines Desertfest Athens 2018 won’t be far behind if it hasn’t already put word out. Either way, the Antwerp lineup is already a doozy, with four acts added any of whom coul serve as a headliner if the fest so desired: YOBAcid KingJohn Garcia and Wo Fat.

Garcia is of particular note here since it seems he’s got a new — or at least re-branded — band backing him. That seems to make it likely he’ll take on tracks from a variety of his projects over the last two-plus decades — HermanoSlo BurnKyussUnida, etc. — but I’m more curious to know if there will be original material as well, if John Garcia an the Band of Gold have been writing. Call me greedy. I like information.

Here’s some from the fest:

Last week we had a resounding start of this year’s event, with the Early Bird tickets selling out in less than 24 hours, and not a single name announced. We hear you loud and clear, people of Desertfest! And this is why we are excited to announce the FIRST NAMES confirmed for this year’s edition.

Few bands embody the spirit of Desertfest more than the mighty Yob: intense and heavy, yet full of love. It is only fitting that we invite them back after the release of their eighth studio album. Another scene legend that surprisingly has never played our fest before is John Garcia – so we decided to fix that. He’ll be playing the fest with his new outfit The Band of Gold.

One more name that needs no introduction is Acid King – who may or may not have new material ready by the time they reach our shores. And finally, we are glad to have Wo Fat returning to the festival, as their last passage was charged with emotion and passion.

So there we are – four names that just ooze awesomeness. And with that, we also start selling the REDUCED COMBI TICKETS, 3 days at the price of €95 which is an absolute steal. If you missed out on the Early Birds, don’t make the same mistake twice! This edition is gonna be red hot. In fact, we’d say it already is!

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YOB, “The Screen”

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Desertfest Belgium 2017 Completes Lineup; High Fighter, King Hiss & More Added

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 8th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

It was bound to happen sooner or later. Certainly by the time Oct. 13 got here and the fest actually started, but Desertfest Belgium 2017 beat that mark considerably in completing its lineup announcements for the year. Stop me if you’ve heard me say so 50 times already, but the lineup is pretty gosh darn staggering this time around, and last-minute additions of High FighterDÿse, Steak Number EightKing Hiss and A Supernaut, while not necessarily packing the star power of Graveyard or the Melvins invariably do as headliners, only make the proceedings that much fuller, giving show-goers even more exposure to some of the finest wares the heavy underground has to offer. I mean, really, look at this fricking bill.

Imagine spending three days doing this? I can’t wait to see how the schedule breaks down. Until then, kudos to the fest on rounding out the following assemblage:

desertfest-belgium-2017-full-lineup

DF Antwerp 2017: The Last of the Line-Up – Dyse, King Hiss & More

Our last update that completes the line-up for Desertfest Antwerp 2017 is more than just a matter of “filling in the gaps”.

We’ve always tried to offer our very international crowd a taste of what’s good and heavy right here in Belgium, so in closing we want to introduce you to three bands that have been making waves in the national scene for years now. Steak Number Eight and King Hiss are both high profile rock bands that are in high demand at the country’s clubs and festivals, yet their sound remains uncompromising and pounding as fuck. A Supernaut from Brussels serves up more of a loud boogie sound, but the influence of the melting pot town they hail from shines through regardless.

And to close off: Dÿse and High Fighter from Germany are two remarkable bands that we feel you must urgently discover, if you haven’t already.

With all the good news that has been coming, there was bound to be some setbacks as well. Luckily, this year we’ve only encountered one – and here it is: due to unforeseen circumstances, White Hills has been forced to cancel their appearance at the fest.

So there you go, we’d say we’re all set for another killer edition of Desertfest Belgium. We have the headliners, we have the scene favorites, we have the undiscovered gems… now all we need is a crowd and that means YOU! Thank you all so much for your continued support, and we’ll see you in Antwerp, just a little over a month from now!

DYSE

As intricate as Dÿse sound on record, the German noise-rock duo really shines on the stage. For almost 15 years now, Jari and André have been honing their skills and perfecting their music, never losing sight of a keen sense of humour and just the right amount of experiment. If you don’t know them yet, get ready to be surprised!

STEAK NUMBER EIGHT

One of the most respected heavy bands in Belgium, Steak Number Eight landed in the spotlight while still in their teenage years, earning first place in the country’s most notorious rock contest. A decade later, and they manage to bring postmetal and noise to a wider audience while still making no compromises on their sound. A spot at Desertfest only serves them right.

KING HISS

Another mainstay of the national underground rock scene, any Belgian who hasn’t yet seen ’em live must be living under a rock. Sold-out clubs? Check! Festivals, both big and small? Check! Features in all the relevant magazines, off- and online? Check! The new album ‘Mastosaurus’ not only revives the idea of the concept album, it is also a marvelous feat that offers no compromises, no pulling punches. Just 10 times TKO causing maximum damage.

A SUPERNAUT

What is A Supernaut? It’s Rock, it’s soul, it’s Psychedelia and it’s pure love. It’s beautiful, it shakes you up, it reminds you of ZZ Top without the beards, or GrandFunk Railroad that’s slightly derailed. But above all, it’s Brussels – city of their untamed rock ‘n roller hearts, and their music serves as a dark and magic homage to their hometown.

HIGH FIGHTER

High Fighter was formed in the summer of 2014 by former band members of A Million Miles, Buffalo Hump and Pyogenesis. They offer a volatile cocktail of heavy as hell riffs fuelled by beer and the mighty weedian riffs. Add a heavy dose of the blues as well as some deadly schizophrenic vocals, and it is clear why the band got thumbs up by John Garcia and Conan!

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High Fighter, Scars and Crosses (2016)

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