The Top 20 of 2016 Year-End Poll — RESULTS!

Posted in Features on January 1st, 2017 by JJ Koczan

top 20 year end poll results

The poll is closed, the results are counted and the top 20 albums of 2016 have been chosen. Hard to argue with the list as it’s shown up over the course of the past month, so I won’t try. Instead, let me just say thanks to incredible amount of participants who contributed this year.

All told, between Dec. 1 and Dec. 31, 612 people added their picks to the proceedings, compared to 388 in last year’s poll. Considering how much that number blew my mind on Jan. 1, 2016, I’m sure you can imagine how I feel about adding another 200-plus lists to the pot. In short, I’m astounded, deeply humbled and so, so, so grateful. I feel like we got enough of a sampling this year to give a genuinely representative showing for where people’s heads have been at, so thank you if you were a part of it.

Thank you as well as always to Slevin for running the poll’s back end and tabulating the results. As ever, the weighting system is one in which a 1-4 ranking is worth five points, 5-8 worth four, 9-12 worth three, 13-16 worth two and 17-20 worth one. You’ll find that list (plus some honorable mentions) below, followed by the raw-vote tally.

And after the jump, as has become the tradition, are the full lists of everyone who submitted, alphabetized by name. I’m in there too. It’s a huge amount to wade through, and even if you thought you heard everything in 2016, it should be more than enough to keep you busy for the next year.

One last note: I’m no statistician. Please allow for these numbers to change over the next couple days on some small level.

Let’s go:

Top 20 of 2016 — Weighted Results

wo fat midnight cometh

1. Wo Fat, Midnight Cometh (375 points)
2. Greenleaf, Rise Above the Meadow (368)
3. Elephant Tree, Elephant Tree (324)
4. Asteroid, III (302)
5. Brant Bjork, Tao of the Devil (295)
6. Gozu, Revival (274)
7. Neurosis, Fires Within Fires (253)
8. King Buffalo, Orion (244)
9. Mars Red Sky, Apex III (Praise for the Burning Soul) (238)
10. Conan, Revengeance (232)
11. Cough, Still They Pray (228)
12. Holy Grove, Holy Grove (218)
13. SubRosa, For this We Fought the Battle of Ages (213)
14. Truckfighters, V (206)
15. Blood Ceremony, Lord of Misrule (200)
16. Khemmis, Hunted (192)
16. Red Fang, Only Ghosts (192)
17. Inter Arma, Paradise Gallows (181)
18. Witchcraft, Nucleus (174)
19. Opeth, Sorceress (173)
20. Church of Misery, And then there Were None (159)

Honorable mention to:
Causa Sui, Return to Sky (157)
Goatess, II: Purgatory Under New Management (157)
Black Mountain, IV (148)
Mos Generator, Abyssinia (144)
Wretch, Wretch (140)

Look at those tallies for number one and two. That race was close all month. Wo Fat kept out front for the most part, but Greenleaf kept it interesting and Elephant Tree’s debut snuck in there at third, which I love to see, both because it’s their first album and because that record was indeed so great. King Buffalo, another debut, also made the top 10, underscoring those two as bands to watch, and though Brant Bjork, Conan, Asteroid, Neurosis, Gozu and Mars Red Sky might be more expected names, they still certainly delivered excellent records, so again, nothing to fight with here. Things flesh out a bit in the 10-20 range, but I don’t think there’s one album on this list you could call is “miss.”

Top 20 of 2016 — Raw Votes

wo fat midnight cometh

1. Wo Fat, Midnight Cometh (109)
2. Greenleaf, Rise Above the Meadow (92)
3. Brant Bjork, Tao of the Devil (87)
4. Elephant Tree, Elephant Tree (82)
5. Asteroid, III (80)
6. Gozu, Revival (76)
7. Conan, Revengeance (73)
8. Cough, Still They Pray (70)
9. Mars Red Sky, Apex III (Praise for the Burning Soul) (68)
10. King Buffalo, Orion (67)
11. Truckfighters, V (62)
12. Red Fang, Only Ghosts (61)
13. Khemmis, Hunted (60)
14. Blood Ceremony, Lord of Misrule (59)
14. SubRosa, For this We Fought the Battle of Ages (59)
15. Holy Grove, Holy Grove (58)
16. Church of Misery, And then there Were None (53)
17. Inter Arma, Paradise Gallows (49)
17. Witchcraft, Nucleus (49)
18. Opeth, Sorceress (47)
19. Mos Generator, Abyssinia (45)
20. Black Mountain, IV (44)
20. Causa Sui, Return to Sky (44)
20. Wretch, Wretch (44)

Honorable mention to:
Goatess, II: Purgatory Under New Management (43)
Mondo Drag, The Occultation of Light (43)
Geezer, Geezer (41)
Crowbar, The Serpent Only Lies (41)
Gojira, Magma (37)
Slomatics, Future Echo Returns (36)
Graves at Sea, The Curse that Is… (35)
Black Rainbows, Stellar Prophecy (33)
Beastmaker, Lusus Naturae (32)
Vokonis, Olde One Ascending (31)

Left a few more honorable mentions in the raw-vote count, just for fun and so you could get more of a feel beyond the top 20 itself, which you’ll notice has a couple ties in it as the raw votes usually do and reorganizes a bit from the weighted results. One and two remain the same, however, and in the same order, and you’ll see Wo Fat was the only album that scored more than 100 votes on its own. As a whole, there were over 2,400 separate entries for albums this year, which is by far the most spread out that the voting has ever been. Frankly, with so many people involved and such a variety of stuff being voted on, I’m amazed anyone managed to agree on anything at all, but of course they did and once again a stellar list is the result.

Well, Happy New Year.

Before I go, thanks again to Slevin for the work put into running the back end of this site and this poll particularly. I show up with the finish lists, but it’s his code that makes it happen, and his efforts are appreciated more than I can say. Dude has never asked me for anything in the nearly eight years I’ve been a constant pain in his ass.

After the jump, you’ll find everybody’s list, alphabetized by name. Please enjoy browsing. I hope you find something awesome, because there’s certainly plenty in there that qualifies, and if you see something that looks like it appears often enough that it should be included in one or both of the counts above, let me know in the comments.

Thanks.

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GIVEAWAY: Win Opeth and Paradise Lost Vinyl from Music for Nations

Posted in Features on July 27th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

[TO ENTER GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment on this post with your email address in the form. You’ll be contacted at that address if you win.]

Get yourself some free vinyl now by entering to win Music for Nations reissues of Opeth‘s Lamentations and Paradise Lost‘s Shades of God. Both releases came out through the reborn imprint on July 22 and are available now to purchase, but if you leave a comment on this post, you can get them both for free. No personal information will be kept, and you sign up for nothing by entering.

I’m going to guess if you’re reading this you’re already familiar with both bands, but here’s more info on these releases from the PR wire:

opeth lamentations

Opeth, Lamentations

Lamentations features a live performance of Opeth’s Damnation album in full, interspersed with songs from the band’s masterpieces Blackwater Park and Deliverance. Conceived and recorded alongside Deliverence, Damnation marked a radical shift in style and tone. The band took the opportunity to move away from their earlier death metal sound and towards a style reminiscent of 1970s progressive rock, taking inspiration from their Blackwater Park collaborator and producer Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree).

Lamentations was recorded live at the prestigious Shepherd’s Bush Empire venue, shortly after both albums were released.

paradise lost shades of god

Paradise Lost, Shades of God

The album, a follow up to 1990’s Gothic album, is seen as the moment where Paradise Lost moved towards a more doom-centric sound, while still encompassing a wide range of other musical genres, showing off the band’s creativity and inventiveness in forging their own distinct take on doom metal, a style that would be continued on 1993’s Icon.

The album also saw the band’s initial transition away from using traditional death metal growls by blending them in with clean vocals, and quieter passages at times throughout the record.

Special thanks to Music for Nations and Atom Splitter PR for letting me host the giveaway. Winners will be chosen one week from today.

[TO ENTER GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment on this post with your email address in the form. You’ll be contacted at that address if you win.]

Opeth on Thee Facebooks

Paradise Lost on Thee Facebooks

Music for Nations

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Opeth and Paradise Lost Sign to Nuclear Blast Records

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 15th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

It’s only been two years since the last Opeth record came out — seems like much longer — but they’ve got a new one coming. It’s called Sorceress. I’m not even going to speculate what it might sound like, but as I was getting ready to post the news that Paradise Lost signed to Nuclear Blast, word came down that Opeth had as well, so it seemed only fair to combine them. Monte Conner killing it once again, as he will.

After four full-length albums, numerous compilations, reissues, live albums and so on, UK doom mainstays Paradise Lost have left Century Media to sign with Nuclear Blast. Entirely possible that whatever the terms of Paradise Lost‘s contract with Century Media were, those terms have been fulfilled — like I said, there have been a lot of releases since 2007’s In Requiem, their debut on the label — but though Century Media and Nuclear Blast at one time shared a building (their US offices), it’s a considerable jump anyway and is a name of considerable import to add to the Nuclear Blast roster, which continues to flourish.

Paradise Lost‘s most recent full-length is 2015’s The Plague Within (review here). They seem to drop hints below of a new release coming in 2017.

From the PR wire:

opeth

paradise-lost

OPETH sign to Nuclear Blast Entertainment; “Sorceress” to be released in late 2016

PARADISE LOST sign to Nuclear Blast

Nuclear Blast Entertainment is very pleased to announce the signing of Swedish progressive legends, OPETH. Always an unstoppable force for uniqueness amid a sea of generic swill, OPETH has been setting the rulebook ablaze, and ploughing a uniquely progressive and exploratory furrow for over 25 years now. Neither conforming nor exhibiting any desire to be restricted to a single genre, OPETH, quite simply, has a time honored tradition of blowing our minds with both class and forward thinking. All these years later, nothing and everything has changed once again with their forthcoming album Sorceress.

“We’re happy to confirm that we have indeed signed a deal with Nuclear Blast Entertainment and will be putting out our 12th studio album Sorceress via our own imprint, Moderbolaget Records,” states Mikael Åkerfeldt. “The decision was made in Markus Staiger’s (Nuclear Blast kingpin) ridiculously potent Porsche going at 150 mph somewhere in the south of Germany. We’re happy to be part of the NB team and look forward to a fruitful relationship.”

Nuclear Blast owner, Markus Staiger, continues:
“I am honored that OPETH has joined the Nuclear Blast family. Mikael Åkerfeldt and his fellow bandmates have demonstrated time and time again that OPETH are a band that never releases an album that sounds the same. You never know what their new music will sound like! Nuclear Blast has been following the musical journey of OPETH from the beginning with Orchid to landmark albums like Still Life, Deliverance, Damnation and Blackwater Park, right up to 2014’s Pale Communion. The band has become one of the most challenging artists in rock music today. It is not often that we get to work with musicians of their caliber and I am thrilled to have such a unique genre-leader on the label. The future for OPETH and Nuclear Blast looks very bright.”

Monte Conner, Nuclear Blast Entertainment president adds:
“OPETH are a band that has continually evolved and moved forward at every stage. Always innovating and always continuing to challenge themselves as players and writers. They are simply fearless. I can’t wait to hear what they come up with next! It’s an amazing feeling to be reunited with one of my favorite bands and I look forward to my colleagues here at Nuclear Blast being able to have their own OPETH experience and role in the band’s continuing journey. I want to thank Mikael Åkerfeldt and OPETH for putting their faith and trust in everyone here at Nuclear Blast.”

OPETH are currently in the studio with Tom Dalgety putting the finishing touches on Sorceress. A release for the album is tentatively scheduled for the fall via Moderbolaget Records / Nuclear Blast Entertainment.

Iconic UK metallers, PARADISE LOST, have signed a worldwide deal with German-based metal powerhouse Nuclear Blast! Formed in Halifax, West Yorkshire in 1988 and still boasting 4 of its 5 original members, the band are widely-credited with co-founding the gothic metal genre with their sophomore album, Gothic (1991). Through the years, PARADISE LOST have changed their style effectively and reinvented themselves again and again. They elbowed their way from their original doom/death metal on their debut, Lost Paradise (1990) to the classic Icon (1993) and more experimental One Second (1997). Finally they went back to the roots with their current release, The Plague Within (2015) and some of the best reviews of their career.

Vocalist Nick Holmes commented:
“PARADISE LOST’s career has run alongside Nuclear Blast Records since the label began in the late 80’s. And as huge fans of original death metal, we still have the majority of the label’s first releases from those very early days. It’s pretty incredible to see how the label has become a real force in metal music over the years, both in Europe and America and now, nearly 30 years later, in a new chapter for the band, it’s exciting for PARADISE LOST to be a part of Nuclear Blast in 2017!”

Nuclear Blast owner Markus Staiger adds:
“As a fan from day one I’ve been following PARADISE LOST ever since their death metal era but also enjoyed watching them grow into something even bigger and so unique. They defined and later on re-defined the gothic genre and always delivered the most dark and memorable songs. It’s with great pleasure to finally welcome the band to the ever-growing Nuclear Blast family! Needless to say that we’re very much looking forward to this cooperation!”

PARADISE LOST live:
18.06. B Dessel – Graspop Metal Meeting
19.06. F Clisson – Hellfest *SOLD OUT*
03.07. D Roitzschjora – With Full Force
09.07. SRB Novi Sad – Exit Festival
17.07. FIN Joensuu – Ilosaarirock
11.08. D Schlotheim – Party.San Open Air
13.08. UK Walton On Trent – Bloodstock Open Air
20.08. D Hamburg – Elb-Riot
27.08. TR Istanbul – %100 Metal Fest Headbangers’ Weekend
15.10. BR Sao Paulo – Epic Metal Fest Brazil

PARADISE LOST are:
Nick Holmes | vocals
Greg Mackintosh | lead guitars
Aaron Aedy | rhythm guitars
Steve Edmondson | bass
Waltteri Väyrynen | drums

www.paradiselost.co.uk
www.facebook.com/paradiselostofficial
www.nuclearblast.de/paradiselost
www.opeth.com
www.facebook.com/opeth
www.twitter.com/officialopeth
www.instagram.com/officialopeth
www.youtube.com/opethofficial

Paradise Lost, “Beneath Broken Earth” official video

Opeth, Live at Motocultor 2015

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Roadburn 2014 Day Two: “Death Means Just Life”

Posted in Features, Reviews on April 11th, 2014 by JJ Koczan

04.12.14 — 01:04 — Friday night/Saturday morning — Hotel Mercure, Tilburg

I must be doing a piss-poor job of not looking beat to hell, because several people asked me throughout the course of the afternoon and night how much I’d slept. Just enough, in combination with coffee, to stay standing. I wasn’t so clever with my answer at the time.

Today’s pacing was completely different from yesterday. When you’re here, you tend to be your own curator — I’m going to see this at the expense of that, I want to catch this band, so I will be here at this time. People pull their schedules out constantly, myself included. It’s important to stay on top of this stuff. Minutes matter at Roadburn.

For me, it was slower. At one point in the evening, I had to sort of stop and remind myself that I didn’t have to rush off somewhere, I could stay put and watch a little longer. That was the case right from the start with French classic prog tale-tellers Magma, who opened Mikael Åkerfeldt of Opeth‘s curated day on the Main Stage. The early portion of the Main Stage bill — three out of the total five bands, all playing at least 70 minutes, and in the case of MagmaClaudio Simonetti’s Goblin and Opeth themselves, a full 90 — was heavy on prog. That had me at something of a disadvantage when it came to giving acts like Magma, Comus and Claudio Simonetti’s Goblin their due reverence, but I made the most of exposing my brain to things it hasn’t encountered 30 times already and saw some acts on other stages as well. There’s always someplace to be if you want to be there. Or you can go to the bar.

Magma‘s tales of future space in made up language set the bar pretty high for texture. Later on, Goblin would inject a little funk and some heavier rock into what they were doing, but with Magma, it was more about expansive and psychedelic jazz, though thinking of their set in the context of Mikael Åkerfeldt picking the lineup, it was easy to see why they were there — Opeth had clearly taken some of their influence. Likewise that for Comus and Goblin. In the Green Room, where I hadn’t been yet, Lenny Kaye and Harsh Toke were getting ready to jam, and I don’t know what it was, but something told me I wanted to be there.

A fellow Jersey boy, Rutgers grad and former publisher of a ‘zine called Obelisk — if only I could play guitar — Lenny Kaye is probably best known for playing in the Patti Smith Group, but he’s here as well celebrating the Nuggets compilation he put together in 1972 that featured the likes of Nazz, 13th Floor Elevators, The Electric Prunes, etc. Paired with San Diego’s Harsh Toke, who are newcomers to the Tee Pee Records roster, Kaye fronted one of the best live heavy psych jams I’ve ever seen. No bullshit. With a steady refrain of “Harsh Toke makes good smoke” from Kaye on mic and improvised-seeming lyrics amid a terrifyingly immersive swirl from his guitar and the two in Harsh Toke — all the while, bass and drums holding down a battery of killer grooves — it had every dynamic you could possibly ask of a close-your-eyes-and-nod jam. I spent the rest of the day telling people how incredible it was and getting blank stares, no doubt because Lenny Kaye & Harsh Toke were on in the Green Room at the same time The Body were on at Het Patronaat, but wow. I had planned to be there for a few minutes and didn’t leave until they were done, an extended cover of Them‘s 1964 hit, “Gloria,” which Kaye referred to as the “national anthem of garage rock.” They jammed on that too.

I had to laugh when, as he introduced the band, Kaye stopped to ask the bassist and drummer of Harsh Toke their names, but however familiar they may or may not have been, I felt like I was seeing something special. They ended a little early, so I got back to the Main Stage in time for the start of Comus, who also played Roadburn back in 2010 at the since-closed Midi Theatre around the block from the 013. They were today largely as I remembered them from then: Mostly seated and playing their cult forest prog, cuts like “Song to Comus” from 1971’s First Utterance once again showcasing an inspiration point for Åkerfeldt. I bought that Comus record four years ago and have listened to it since, but still would hardly call myself an expert, and they had a good crowd going until it was time to head over to Het Patronaat for a second set from Corrections House after yesterday’s. I’d hear about it later, but they brought out YOB guitarist/vocalist Mike Scheidt, who’s been spotted here and there around the fest ahead of YOB‘s two sets tomorrow and Sunday. If you want to make a supergroup more super, that’s a good way to do it.

The day I almost consider split in half, and the 90-minute set from Claudio Simonetti’s Goblin was the dividing point. People were so tight in the Main Stage room you couldn’t get in the door. Claudio Simonetti’s Goblin isn’t to be mistaken for the Goblin that toured in the US — the keyboardist has taken on members of his more metallized outfit Daemonia and made his own version of Goblin from them, while the classic Italian cine-proggers continue on in his absence. It’s confusing until you think of how often it happens. Then it’s just silly. Either way, Simonetti led his band through renditions of the themes to Zombi and Dawn of the Dead in addition to their eponymous song, all the while the audience nodded along. It was maybe a bit much at an hour and a half, but I may have been the only one who thought so. The dancing dude next to me was definitely on board, as most in attendance seemed to be, the Daemonia players injecting a bit of funk and hard rock into Goblin‘s classic scores.

Here’s where I had my moment when I decided to both have and eat my cake. Germany’s Sula Bassana were slated to go on at 21:40 at Het Patronaat. Simple enough. Candlemass were going on at 21:45. It was a very small window between the start of the two sets but I managed to squeeze my ass through it and caught the start of both. Obviously I saw more of Candlemass than Sula Bassana — which actually seemed to be Electric Moon plus another guitarist alongside Dave “Sula Bassana” Schmidt, bassist Komet Lulu and drummer Marcus Schnitzler, but I considered it an achievement all the same. Schmidt got on mic to say it was their first time playing as a full band and then was off to his synths and guitar to lead his outfit through expansive psych jams. I wasn’t there long, but I was glad to have been there at all.

And while I don’t know if anything will ever top seeing Candlemass perform 1986’s Epicus Doomicus Metallicus at Roadburn 2011 with original vocalist Johan Längqvist singing — a set that’s since been released on oh-if-I-had-the-money vinyl — the band sounded awfully vibrant for a group who’s been threatening retirement for the last half-decade. In addition to having Per Wiberg on keys — Wiberg also played the Afterburner last year with Spiritual Beggars and is a former member of Opeth — as they ran through the whole of 1988’s Ancient Dreams, the Swedish doom legends also brought out Primordial/Dread Sovereign frontman Alan “Nemtheanga” Averill to add his flair and stage presence to “Incarnation of Evil.” It seemed an odd fit for his triumph-prone vocal style, but completely worked, and for the rest of their set, Candlemass had Mats Levén of Therion on vocals, who’s also worked with Candlemass founder/bassist Leif Edling in Krux and Abstrakt Algebra. Levén also did well with the parts that once belonged to Messiah Marcolin, though it was Edling himself, wine glass in hand, who took center stage to deliver the album-closing “Epistle No. 81,” a spoken poem in Swedish that came through the 013 Main Stage P.A. to the rhythm of claps from the audience. Very cool moment.

For an encore, they broke out “Bewitched” — some clever band is going to come along and cover both the track and its accompanying video, which if you’ve never seen it is one of the finest ever produced by humanity — and Epicus Doomicus Metallicus opener “Solitude,” which was enough to send a chill up my spine. I fucking love that song, and Levén nailed it, though he like every vocalist I’ve seen with Candlemass, including Längqvist who originally recorded it, stepped back from the high notes in the chorus on the album version. When they were done, it was just a matter of waiting the 45-minute break for Opeth, which I tried to do by watching some of Papir in Stage01 through the doorway. My thinking was the room would be full so at least I’d be able to hear it and see some of the stage, but the fact was that when I got there, the doorway was full too. No place to stand even outside the room. Some you win, some you lose.

It would’ve been nice to stay and see Opeth round out their set with “Deliverance” and “Blackwater Park,” but even before they went on, I was getting that get-back-to-the-hotel-and-get-typing itch, so I stuck around for “The Devil’s Orchard” from 2011’s Heritage, “Ghost of Perdition” from 2005’s Ghost Reveries — which Åkerfeldt, with his expected stage-banter charm, referred to as “an old nugget”; something Lenny Kaye had said about “Gloria” earlier in the day — and the start of “White Cluster,” the closer of 1999’s Still Life, before making my way out. It’s been more than a few years since the last time I saw Opeth, but it was already after midnight and I knew what I had ahead of me.

Tomorrow closes out the fest proper with the first of YOB‘s two sets and Loop‘s headlining slot on the Main Stage, so with morning work on the next issue of the fanzine ahead, I’ll just say thanks for reading and there are more pics after the jump if you’re interested.

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The Heads to be Artist in Residence at Roadburn 2014; Mikael Akerfeldt to Curate

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 27th, 2013 by JJ Koczan

The psychedelia fetish that led to reuniting Loop to play as headliners for Roadburn 2014 now enters its next phase with the announcement that The Heads will act as Artists in Residence, playing three separate sets over the course of the fest. The first will be Kandodo, a solo-project from The HeadsSimon Price, and that’s followed by two sets from The Heads proper, who’ll be joined for both by former Monster Magnet and Wellwater Conspiracy guitarist John McBain and for the second by Carlton Melton for a one-off collaborative freakout. One of those “you’ll only ever see this at Roadburn and be thankful everything is recorded” kind of situations. An endless flow of badassery continues.

In recent days, Conan, Locrian, True Widow and Freedom Hawk have also been added to the fest. For those fortunate enough to attend Roadburn in 2014, here’s who you’ll be relaxing with:

Beginning a new chapter of their ongoing legacy, Bristol’s psych rock band The Heads will follow in the footsteps of Enslaved, Circle, Justin K Broadrick and Neige (Alcest) as Artist In Residence at the 2014 Roadburn Festival.

With Heads’ members recording and releasing solo albums – Simon Price focusing on his solo project Kandodo (roping in Wayne Maskell and H O Morgan to augment the Kandodo live performance) and Paul Allen leaving the fold to focus on his solo venture ANTHROPROPH, it seemed that The Heads might be on a constant hiatus. However, rehearsals for Kandodo’s forthcoming live shows made the remaining trio – Simon, Hugo and Wayne – to reconsider The Heads as a band, and start working out new jams with a view to recording new Heads material purely as a studio project.

The band’s idea was to record some new tracks with various guest lead guitarists and re-connecting via mutual friends (having briefly met in Seattle in 2000 where they all shared the same bill) it was a proverbial lightbulb flash moment: ”Ask John McBain!” – a man who’s work with early Monster Magnet, was a major influence on the Heads in their formative years. Having recorded and toured with Hater and Wellwater Conspiracy and guested on recent Carlton Melton recordings, John McBain, now based in San Francisco, was immediately excited by the proposition and agreed to jump onto the ride.

Roadburn is The Heads’ spiritual home, and they are honoured to be asked to be the Artist in Residence and are excited to have John McBain join them for this and new recordings. As part of the Artist in Residence, Kandodo will perform as a three piece on Friday April 13th at Het Patronaat. The Heads will play a live set for the first time with John McBain on Saturday April 12th at the Main Stage. The Heads (ft. John McBain)’ residency will lead in to a collaboration with fellow psychedelic travellers Carlton Melton in a one-off Roadburn exclusive performance on Sunday April 13th at the Main Stage as well.

Carlton Melton will also be playing their own set at Roadburn (scheduled for Saturday April 12th)

Of course, the fact LOOP are headlining, well, that makes it even more amazing, over three days at Roadburn 2014.

Opeth’s Mikael Åkerfeldt To Curate 2014 Roadburn Festival

We’re elated to announce that Mikael Åkerfeldt has agreed to curate Roadburn Festival 2014 on Friday, April 11th at the 013 venue in Tilburg, The Netherlands. As curator, Mikael will personally select the bands for his special event, and play a headline show with Opeth, too!

Musically, Mikael has consistently pushed the boundaries. Over the last two decades, he guided Opeth‘s evolution, drawing the band out from under the doom-laden shade of occult-infused Scandinavian death metal and into a place in the sun as revered progressive rock / metal innovators, never once sacrificing the authentic spirit of previous artistic endeavours.

Mikael‘s steadfast devotion to aesthetic progression and perfection has proven ground-breaking and highly influential for an entire new generation of musicians practicing the art of progressive rock and psychedelica. At the same time, he has steadfastly honoured the mystical pioneers of late 1960s and early 1970s psychedelic folk, rock and prog — some of Opeth‘s albums are named after obscure psychedelic prog outfits or song titles — all of which is in perfect sync with Roadburn Festival.

Opeth‘s body of work is highly respected by Roadburn audiences, which makes Mikael the ideal choice to carry on the tradition that began in 2008 with David Tibet / Current 93, and continued with Neurosis, Tom G Warrior, Sunn 0))), Voivod and Jus Oborn / Electric Wizard.

“It’s with great honour that I accepted the invitation to be the curator for the 2014 Roadburn festival”, says Mikael Åkerfeldt, “I’m pretty damn far from being a professional booker / promotor, and I’ve never been part in choosing bands for an event apart from bands that Opeth has toured with. So this is a first for me, but I have to say I’m very excited.”

“I’ve reached out to a handful of my favourite bands from the past and present. As of now it looks like it will be an amazing musical event. Still brainstorming about possible bands for this glorious festival but I already know that I’m going to be like a kid at Christmas. It will be amazing! Plain and simple. Obviously Opeth will perform as well, but to be quite honest with you, our own performance doesn’t get me nearly as excited as the thought of experiencing the bands that have shown interest. It will be remarkable and memorable. A celebration, bitches!”

We are so excited and proud to be working with Mikael and to have Opeth headline his curated Roadburn 2014 event. It will truly be a celebration of progressive rock, psychedelic folk, the heavy 70s and beyond. We look forward to this collaboration and cannot wait to see how he will expand Roadburn Festival‘s musical horizons as well as explore more familiar territory from new angles. We will definitely be in for some artistic surprises.

Roadburn Festival 2014 will run for four days from Thursday, April 10th to Sunday, April 13th, 2014 at the 013 venue in Tilburg, The Netherlands.

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