You know, I went back and looked. Last year, it wasn’t until May 21 that the first batch of audio streams from Roadburn 2014 surfaced. Here we are, it’s April 30. We’re not even a full month removed from Roadburn 2015, and already eight sets are out from the festival. Kudos to Marcel van de Vondervoort, who no doubt will spend the next few months going deeper into the heart of Roadburn — at least from a musical standpoint — than anyone else as he continues to mix the live recordings and make them ready for streaming. The expediency of the arrival of the first audio is just one more example of how special this fest is. Hell, reviews are still being posted.
I’ve been kind of jealous seeing those reviews, actually. Part of covering the fest in the way I do — writing the review of the show that same night and posting it before the next day starts — sort of robs me of being able to step back and really look at the bigger picture of Roadburn and particularly what it means to me and of being able to express that, whether for fatigue or just being so close to it at the time. It’s a tradeoff, and ultimately I think the point gets across anyway perhaps even with that process as a part of it. Maybe I just feel like it all needs to be said again afterwards.
Part of the Roadburn after-experience is listening to these streams and hearing what you missed. To that end, I’m very much looking forward to digging into Minsk, Eagle Twin and Sun Worship. Whatever you caught or didn’t, I hope you enjoy:
Agusa – Live at Roadburn 2015
Coltsblood – Live at Roadburn 2015
Domo – Live at Roadburn 2015
Eagle Twin – Live at Roadburn 2015
Lazer/Wulf – Live at Roadburn 2015
Minsk – Live at Roadburn 2015
Mortals – Live at Roadburn 2015
Sun Worship – Live at Roadburn 2015
Special thanks to Walter as always for letting me host the streams. To read all of this year’s Roadburn coverage, click here.
Posted in Whathaveyou on October 9th, 2014 by JJ Koczan
We’re now six months out from the kickoff of Roadburn 2015. I’ve been keeping my fingers crossed that I’m lucky enough to get to go over again to see it, but whether I’m there or not, there’s no question that the 20th edition of the Tilburg-based fest is among the most fascinating. Even today, with the seven — count ’em, seven — lineup additions (Sólstafir were already playing, but a second set was added), there’s a huge stylistic swath being covered between the bands, from KENmode‘s unhinged noise to Kayo Dot‘s art-rock atmospherics and Botanist‘s environmentalist black metal.
I have to give special mention to Sólstafir though. I’m streaming their 2014 album, Ótta, for the first time as I write this and, wow, is that good. I’ve known of them before and even checked out some of their stuff, but clearly I’ve been missing out by not digging further. I recommend you do the same.
Here’s the latest from Camp Roadburn, sent down the PR wire:
Sólstafir To Perform Instrumental Soundtrack To Icelandic Cult-Classic Viking Movie Hrafninn Flýgur at Roadburn 2015
SubRosa, Kayo Dot, Lord Mantis, KEN mode, Botanist, and Lazer/Wulf have also been confirmed for the 20th edition of Roadburn Festival
Iceland natives Sólstafir will perform their unique take of the completely instrumental film score, to celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of the cult-classic Viking movie, Hrafninn Flýgur (When The Raven Flies) by director Hrafn Gunnlaugsson at Roadburn Festival 2015 on Thursday, April 9 at the 013 venue in Tilburg, The Netherlands.
Premiered at Reykjavik’s International Film Festival last week, this will be the first time that Sólstafir will play their live score, in real time while screening Hrafninn Flýgur from start to finish, outside of Iceland, offering our beloved attendees the chance to experience Gunnlaugsson’s epic tale in an entire new dimension on the main stage.
The 20th edition of Roadburn is going to be a treat for those who love soundtracks, as in addition to Sólstafir performing an instrumental soundtrack to Hrafninn Flýgur, Claudio Simonetti’s Goblin will perform their much acclaimed movie scores for Dawn Of The Dead and Suspiria at the 2015 festival.
On, Friday, April 11, Sólstafir will be part of Houses of the Holistic, Ivar Bjørnson’s (Enslaved) and Wardruna’s Einar “Kvitrafn” Selvik’s curated Roadburn event.
We are also very excited to announce that acclaimed American doom quintet SubRosa will make its Roadburn debut at the 20th edition of the festival on Thursday, April 9, 2015. Based in Salt Lake City, Utah, SubRosa quickly made a name for itself in the wake of 2011’s No Help For The Mighty Ones and 2013’s universally praised More Constant Than The Gods, thanks to the band’s spellbinding blend of pulverizing doom, gothic atmosphere, and touches of Americana.
Led by founding member Toby Driver, Kayo Dot emerged in Boston, MA in 2002 from the ashes of metal group Maudlin of the Well. Since then, Driver has led Kayo Dot through several lineup changes and dramatic stylistic shifts: from traditional metal, to atmospheric, avant-garde metal; and now with their new album Coffins on Io, the bats-in-your-belfry hard rock of Sisters of Mercy meets Peter Gabriel-era Genesis, Scritti Politti and early Roxy Music.
We at Roadburn have long been admirers of Driver and Kayo Dot, and with Coffins On Io imminent and about to blow listeners minds wide open, what better time could there be to announce that Kayo Dot will be joining us at the 20th edition of Roadburn on Saturday, April 11.
Channeling unpleasant emotions and harrowing personal circumstances into bilious black / sludge metal, Lord Mantis will crawl to Tilburg from the back alleys and gutters of Chicago to make a welcome return to the 20th edition of Roadburn Festival on Saturday, April 12.
Lord Mantis’ raging torment, and pulverizing nastiness will make sure that all those at Roadburn 2015 who witness the band will be either glorying in its repellent dross and filth or descending into the bleakest, deepest septic sounds of hell — or for the really lucky, both.
We’re pleased to welcome Canadian post-hardcore heroes KEN mode to the 20th edition of Roadburn Festival on Thursday, April 9. Formed in 1999, KEN mode won the inaugural Heavy Metal / Hard Music Album of the Year Juno Award in Canada for their 2011 album Venerable which re-examines abrasive post- hardcore and noise rock in every, blistering sense! After releasing their newest masterpiece of musical hostility, Entrench, in 2013 through Season of Mist, KEN mode are prepared to go for the throat at Roadburn 2015.
Roadburn Festival is always on the lookout for the most innovative, original bands it can find, and there’s absolutely no doubt that Botanist’s performance at the 013 venue on Saturday, April 11, 2015 will rank as one of the most unique sets of the festival’s 20th edition. After all, it’s not every day you come across a black metal band playing songs about the destruction of mankind at the bands of plants, using hammered dulcimer and harmonium as its central instruments.
The mighty Kylesa thought enough of fellow Atlantan tech-metal power trio Lazer/Wulf to want to release their debut album, The Beast Of Left And Right, on their Retro Futurist label and we here at Roadburn can’t say as we blame ’em.
It’s a fiery, mostly instrumental, head-wrecking blend of finger-mangling impossible guitar riffs, busily burbling bass molestation and dizzyingly dexterous drum battery that manages to be fiercely progressive and insanely technical without falling into the trap of directionless shredding and we just love it. We loved it so much that we invited Lazer/Wulf to bring their insane musicality to the 20th edition of Roadburn Festival, and you can experience the on Thursday, April 9, but please remember to take the proper precautions or your head may explode.
In related news: Tickets for the 20th edition of Roadburn Festival, set for April 9 – 12 at the 013 venue in Tilburg, The Netherlands, will go on sale on Thursday, October 16, 2014. Set your alarm and get ready to score your tickets at 21:00 CET!
For everyone in the Netherlands and Belgium: we are aware that your local ticket outlets will not be open when pre-sales start, which is why we are throwing another pre-sales party at the 013 venue in Tilburg (NL). From 19:00 CET – 20:30 CET you will be able to purchase a maximum of four paper tickets for Roadburn Festival 2015. Guaranteed!
In addition to making it easy to get tickets, the pre-sales party is going to be a blast! This year, we have invited The Machine and Radar Men From The Moon to provide the soundtrack. More infoHERE.
Curated by Ivar Bjørnson (Enslaved) and Wardruna‘s Einar “Kvitrafn” Selvik, Roadburn Festival 2015 (including Fields of the Nephilim, Skuggsjá, Enslaved, Wardruna, Claudio Simonetti’s Goblin performing Dawn of The Dead and Susperia in its entirety, Zombi, Sólstafir, White Hills, Bongipper, Floor and The Heads as Artist In Residence among others) will run for four days from Thursday, April 9 to Sunday, April 12 at the 013 venue in Tilburg, The Netherlands.
Posted in Reviews on November 4th, 2013 by JJ Koczan
Odd matchups seemed to be the running theme of the night, whether it was UK doomers Orange Goblin doing a six-week tour with the thrash outfit Holy Grail and Atlanta tech metallers Lazer/Wulf or the show also serving as St. Vitus bar’s Halloween party and more than a handful of patrons arriving in costume throughout the night. For what it’s worth, I didn’t dress up — I mean, at least not any more than the public identities we create for ourselves counts as “dressing up,” anyway. Existentially speaking, we’re all in costume, man. So dig that for your pagan ceremony.
I can only imagine those who did dress up were hot as hell for having made the effort. The show was sold out and more or less packed by the time Polygamyst went on as openers and local support for three touring acts. I had seen them over the summer with Mirror Queen and The Atomic Bitchwax at a boat show, so I knew their wares were metal, but apparently the ensuing months had vocalist George Souleidis, guitarist Phi Moon (also Mirror Queen) and drummer Chadius Broccolius of their second guitarist and bassist, the latter of whom was replaced by James Corallo, also of Mirror Queen. Hammering out a lineup is inevitable as a band continues to get settled, but Polygamyst were nothing if not in the spirit of the show. Broccolius played most of the set with a mask on, his beard poking through the bottom, Moon had a wig, war paint and bandanna — Uli Jon Roth? — and Souleidis seemed to be a sultan of some sort or other, robes and all.
Their set was no less ready to party, running through classic metal wails enough to justify closing out with a cover of Judas Priest‘s “Breaking the Law,” which got some early moshing going as a sign of things to come. Corallo fit well with Moon‘s amorphous lead style, and though he shed the wig as time wore on, Souleidis seemed even more confident as a frontman than he had just five months prior. That could be an effect of having more shows under his belt, or it could be the fact that St. Vitus wasn’t being tossed around the East River while Polygamyst were playing. Either way. When jazzy quirk-prog trio Lazer/Wulf took the stage, a tone was set for sonic diversity that would only continue as the night wore on.
Guitarist Bryan Aiken had a mic set up mostly to thank the crowd and let out various maniacal laughs, “let’s go!” exclamations and periodic melodic vocal lines, but the crux of Lazer/Wulf‘s approach was instrumental. As one might expect five weeks into a six-week tour, Aiken, bassist Sean Peiffer and drummer Brad Rice were ridiculously tight, and it’s a good thing, since their kind of technical, progressive metal completely falls flat when the situation is otherwise. Theirs didn’t. They were well received by a Vitus crowd that seemed to know little about them, myself included, and they had stretches of thrash-style groove that went along well with what I’m told the kids call “djent” but a decade ago just used to be a Meshuggah influence. Not really my thing, but they won over the room and their enjoyment of what they were doing was infectious, even if it was as different from Polygamyst as Holy Grail would be from them when they took the stage.
Studded armbands, uniform black stage garb, a record each out on Prosthetic and Nuclear Blast, plus Kirk Hammett bangs on vocalist James-Paul Luna, Holy Grail had their thrash credentials well in order. I’ve never been huge on revivalist thrash, and though the band traces their roots back to White Wizzard and Bonded by Blood, they weren’t really going for the hightops and Alcoholica thing. “Call of Valhalla” showed some metalcore influence — a surefire generational tell — and one could hear shades of Shadows Fall in the dual-guitar harmonies, but whatever they were doing, they were obviously doing it right. Fists were pumped, moshing was had, axes were shredded, blahs were blah blahed. Holy Grail didn’t have to win the room; the room was already with them. The title-track from their 2013 outing, Ride the Void, went over particularly well, and one of the other dudes up front sang along so hard to “My Last Attack” that I thought his face was going to explode. Fair enough.
So there you go. Sold out night, three bands deep. Temperature up. Things had been moving at a decent clip up to Holy Grail, who played a long set, and Orange Goblin didn’t wind up going on until after 11:30PM. Didn’t really matter. After driving four hours south from Massachusetts a couple days before, that trip was far enough out of mind for the next day that I wasn’t stressing about it like I had been at Truckfighters last time I was at the Vitus bar; the late night was no threat. All the better for stargazing en route back to the humble river valley I used to call home and where I’d be staying for the evening. In any case, when Orange Goblin stormed their way into “Scorpionica” to open their set, it was well worth being awake to see. They came out to AC/DC‘s “It’s a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock & Roll),” and a more fitting theme for the band — now coming up on their 20th year if you count from their getting together as Our Haunted Kingdom in 1994 — would be hard to find.
Returned guitarist Joe Hoare, who’d sat out a not insignificant amount of road time in Europe on account of an injury to his Achilles tendon, looked to be in good spirits despite what had already been a long slog back on the road alongside bassist Martyn Millard, drummer Chris Turner and vocalist Ben Ward, still supporting the 2012 studio release, A Eulogy for the Damned(review here), and subsequent live album, A Eulogy for the Fans(review here), and Ward — his fists raised in what seems to be a permanent conquest — was as engaging as I’ve seen him. He is a mountainous walking advertisement for whiskey, and among underground metal’s best frontmen, but his performance is also about more than the show. “Acid Trial” from A Eulogy for the Damnedand “Rage of Angels” from 2002’s Coup de Gracefollowed “Scorpionica” in succession and showed how little the foursome’s potency has diminished in the last decade, even though one could argue they’re just getting their due recognition now in the States thanks to tours like this one and their earlier-2013 run with Clutch.
I don’t think they were through “Rage of Angels” before I realized I had brown liquor running down my back. Who threw or spilled what remains a mystery, but yeah. That happened. Hazards of the trade. It was fairly rowdy up front for the duration — I’m not sure I’ll ever get used to seeing people moshing to doom — but I stuck it out for a while before dropping back to the other side of the pit around the time “Shine” from 1998’s sophomore outing, Time Travelling Blues, made its appearance. They’d later include the title cut from that album as well, which was a welcome addition, though I’d hoped for “Blue Snow” as well. Some you win, some you lose.
Speaking of, that song was aired, with Hoare and Millard stepping in for backing vocals in the call and response, and after “Cities of Frost,” Exodus and Generation Kill frontman Rob Dukes joined the band onstage for a raging take on “Your World will Hate This” from Coup de Grace. By then, Orange Goblin could’ve done little to derail their own momentum — following it with “Time Travelling Blues” was a risk, but it paid off — and the guest spot was met with due excitement, as was the Black Sabbath cover “Into the Void,” the rolling groove of which was expertly handled like the precious artifact it is. It should probably say something about Orange Goblin‘s recent surge that more recent songs like “They Come Back (Harvest of Skulls)” from 2007’s Healing through Fireand the Eulogysingle “Red Tide Rising” would appear so late in the set along with the cover and “Quincy the Pigboy,” which like “Scorpionica” comes off 2000’s The Big Black, but the songs stood up, and “Red Tide Rising” made for a riotous closer.
There was karaoke slated for afterwards and the vibe seemed like it was going to stay lively for some time. That’s not my scene, but I can see the appeal. My car, which has a bent rim, 185,000 miles that I’ve put on over the last eight years, and shakes like a massage chair, was around the corner and I drove empty roads back through Jersey to crash out and hit the highway in the morning.