Northwest Terror Fest 2017: Coven and John Haughm Added to Lineup

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

Losing Warning is a bummer, but Northwest Terror Fest 2017 is taking it in stride and taking its game to another level entirely by adding Coven to the bill for their first US show in 27 years. I had the good fortune of watching Coven play at Roadburn in April (review here), and their classic sound has never been more relevant than it is today, and Jinx Dawson remains a mystifying presence as frontwoman, even nearly five decades after the band issued their landmark 1969 outing, Witchcraft Destroys Minds and Reaps Souls, which you can hear in full below. The point of that massive fucking run-on sentence? Go see Coven if you can. There. I made it simple. I hear that’s what you’re supposed to do on the internet.

John Haughm of Pillorian and Agalloch will also play an acoustic set as part of the packed lineup, and as a side note, tomorrow I’ll have a Six Dumb Questions interview posted with David Rodgers of Godhunter, who organizes this fest as well as other Terror Fest incarnations like the Austin Terror Fest at SXSW and Southwest Terror Fest in Arizona. Dude breaks his ass in making these things happen, and you’ll note Godhunter aren’t on this bill, so it’s clearly not about just putting together an event to promote his own doings. Just something to keep an eye out for.

Northwest Terror Fest 2017 runs June 15-17. Here’s the latest from the PR wire, including the full schedule:

northwest-terror-fest-2017-poster

COVEN, JOHN HAUGHM JOIN NORTHWEST TERROR FEST

NORTHWEST TERROR FEST – SEATTLE JUNE 15-17

Due to matters out of control of Northwest Terror Fest, we regret to inform that Warning will no longer be able to perform during this specific weekend. But at the end of the darkness is light as we are proud to announce that the legendary Coven will be playing on the evening of Saturday June 17th in what will be their first stateside show in 27 years!

While its widely disputed that some have cited Coven as the first band to brandish the sign of the horns, their occult laced tunes have laid down an irrefutable influence on the world of metal and doom beginning with their mystic debut album, 1969’s Witchcraft Destroys Minds & Reaps Souls.

John Haughm of Agalloch will be performing an intimate set.

Inspired by Cormac McCarthy, Ennio Morricone, Neil Young’s “Dead Man” soundtrack, and the renegade years of the American old west, John Haughm’s solo performance is a haunting and sonic 30 minute journey through dystopian wastelands of the past. It is a bleak, atmospheric, and powerful droning Western soundscape in steadfast spirit of the years 1865 – 1895.

Northwest Terror Fest Schedule:

THURSDAY 6/15
Neumo’s:
10:10 – END – Wolves In The Throne Room
8:50 – 9:30 – Samothrace
7:35 – 8:10 – King Woman
6:30 – 7:00 – Lycus
5:30 – 6:00 – Uada

Barboza:
9:30 – 10:10 – Graves At Sea
8:10 – 8:50 – Take Over And Destroy
7:00 – 7:35 – Void Omnia
6:00 – 6:30 – Barghest
5:00 – 5:30 – Witch Ripper

THURSDAY AFTER PARTY

Highline:
1:00 – END – John Haughm
11:50 – 12:40 – Aerial Ruin
11:00 – 11:30 – Crowhurst

FRIDAY 6/16

Neumo’s:
10:10 – END – Cephalic Carnage
8:50 – 9:30 – Goatwhore
7:35 – 8:10 – Noisear
6:30 – 7:00 – Nomads
5:30 – 6:00 – Fucked And Bound

Barboza:
9:30 – 10:10 Cult Leader
8:10 – 8:50 – Call Of The Void
7:00 – 7:35 – Transient
6:00 – 6:30 – Endorphin’s Lost
5:00 – 5:30 – Recluse

FRIDAY AFTER PARTY

Highline:
12:40 – END – Usnea
11:50 – 12:20 – Burials
11:00 – 11:30 – Sol

SATURDAY 6/17

Neumo’s:
10:10 – END – Coven (First US Show in 27 years)
8:50 – 9:30 – Yob
7:35 – 8:10 – Marissa Nadler
6:30 – 7:00 – Young And In The Way
5:30 – 6:00 – Infernal Coil

Barboza:
9:30 – 10:10 – Bell Witch featuring Aerial Ruin
8:10 – 8:50 – Forn
7:00 – 7:35 – CHRCH
6:00 – 6:30 – Hands Of Thieves
5:00 – 5:30 – Cliterati

SATURDAY AFTER PARTY

Highline:
12:40 – END – Heiress
11:50 – 12:20 – Rhine
11:00 – 11:30 – Old Iron

www.facebook.com/northwestterrorfest
https://www.facebook.com/events/1741333786182206/
www.neumos.com
www.thebarboza.com
www.highlineseattle.com

Coven, Witchcraft Destroys Minds and Reaps Souls (1969)

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Samothrace Announce US Tour Dates with He Whose Ox is Gored

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 9th, 2017 by JJ Koczan

samothrace

Hard to believe that by the time they finish this upcoming US tour, complete with stops at Maryland Deathfest as well as the 71Grind in Colorado and Northwest Terrorfest in their native Seattle, it will have been almost exactly half a decade since Samothrace released their last album, Reverence to Stone (review here). I’m not trying to tell anyone how to live their life or anything, but I think it might be time for a follow-up. Of course, the megadoomers have toured regularly since that offering landed like a giant-sized concrete slab carrying other concrete slabs — also it landed on a slab of concrete, and from a considerable height — but still, a third album would be welcome, even after they did the Live at Roadburn outing capturing their set from 2014 at the Netherlands-based fest, at which they, naturally, killed (review here).

They go in the good company of prog-sludge rockers He Whose Ox is Gored, and will be joined on select shows by Void Omnia as well. Their announcement went an awful lot like this:

samothrace us tour

It’s been a while since we have done a run in the States. Time to change that!! Headlining dates with appearances at Maryland Death Fest, 71Grind Fest and Northwest Terror Fest

This time being joined by our friends in Hewhoseoxisgored and select dates with our friends in Void Omina!!

See you soon!!

Wed 5/17/17 Great Falls, MT Back Alley Pub
Fri 5/19/17 Fargo, ND The Aqurarium
Sat 5/20/17 Minneapolis, MN The Reverie
Sun 5/21/17 Chicago, IL Reggies Joint
Mon 5/22/17 Cleveland, OH Now Thats Class
Tue 5/23/17 Brooklyn, NY Saint Vitus
Thur 5/25/17 Baltimore, MD Maryland Death Festival
Fri 5/26/17 Atlanta, GA Club 529
Sat 5/27/17 New Orleans, LA Siberia
Sun 5/28/17 Houston, TX Rudyards
Tue 5/30/17 Austin, TX The Lost Well
Wed 5/31/17 Dallas, TX Three Kings
Thur 6/1/17 Oklahoma City, OK 89th St.
Fri 6/2/17 Colorado Springs, CO 71 Grind Festival
Sat 6/3/17 Salt Lake City, UT Loading Dock
Sun 6/4/17 Las Vegas, NV Beauty Bar
Tue 6/6/17 Tempe, AZ Yucca Tap Room
Wed 6/7/17 Tucson, AZ Hotel Congress
Thur 6/8/17 Los Angeles, CA Complex
Fri 6/9/17 San Diego, CA Soda Bar
Sat 6/10/17 Oakland, CA Golden Bull
Thurs 6/15/16 Seattle, WA Northwest Terror Fest

https://www.facebook.com/samothracedoom/
www.samothrace.bandcamp.com
www.20buckspin.com

Samothrace, Reverence to Stone (2012)

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BlowUp Vol. 2 Adds Samothrace, Monolord and Skepticism

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 12th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

blowup vol 2 header

Set for this October in Helsinki, Finland, BlowUp Vol. 2 has added MonolordSkepticism and Samothrace to its lineup. They join the ranks of Bastard NoiseConan and Oranssi Pazuzu for the event, which will also have a film component showing a banned documentary apparently filmed about 10 minutes from where I live about the treatment of patients in a mental hospital. Go figure on that one. That’ll have a live soundtrack with it, naturally.

Not sure as to how many acts will comprise the final lineup for BlowUp Vol. 2, but the six they already have already show a solid international draw, and though Europe is silly with festivals this October — BlowUp Vol. 2 is the same weekend as Desertfest Belgium 2016, albeit 26 hours away by car — the Finnish event is clearly going for establishing its own vibe.

Semi-translated info follows:

blowup vol 2 poster

BlowUp Vol. 2 is taking place 14 -15 October 2016 in Helsinki, Finland. The venue is Korjaamo Culture Factory, one of the largest independent art centres in the Nordic countries. Korjaamo was founded in an old tram depot in Töölö in 2004, and now hosts a concert venue as well as six smaller creative spaces for meetings and seminars plus movie theatre. The Vaunuhalli building is also home to Helsinki City Museum’s Tram Museum.

The new names are Swedish doom band Monolord, despair alleys of the American free-moving genre Samothrace, as well as Finnish Skepticism, whose funeral doom is playing live this year only this time in Helsinki.

Blowup Vol. 2 also offers the cinematic art. Titicut Follies is directed by Frederick Wiseman documentary in 1967, which follows the lives of Massachusetts Bridgewater inmate in a mental hospital. Although the movie was awarded with freshly festivals in Germany and Italy, the United States, it crashed into censorship. Titicut Follies was shown to the public for the first time only in 1992. At Blowup Vol 2 it is presented in the early evening on Friday, 14 October.

Titicut Follies screen will be accompanied by Veli-Matti O. “Heap” Äijälän and Markku Leinonen, duo that made new music for the movie, which will necessarily be heard a second time.

Confirmed bands so far are:
Conan (UK)
Monolord (SWE)
Skepticism (FIN)
Samothrace (US)
Bastard Noise (US)
Oranssi Pazuzu (FIN)

https://www.facebook.com/blowupthatgramophone/
https://www.facebook.com/events/977786362259558/
https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/blowupfestival/
https://www.tiketti.fi/Blowup-Festival-Vol-2-Korjaamo-Helsinki-lippuja/36753

BlowUp Vol. 2 trailer

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Doomed Gatherings III: Crowbar, Elder, Toner Low and Many More Announced

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 23rd, 2016 by JJ Koczan

doomed gatherings iii header

You know how I know Doomed Gatherings III has its shit together? Yeah, they’ve got Elder, Crowbar, Trouble, Monolord, Egypt, Ramesses, Mantar and so on confirmed to play over the course of the three-night event in Paris this May, and that’s super. Not arguing against any of that. But how you really know is that not only are Toner Low playing the thing, but they’re playing a set all three nights. That’s right: a Toner Low residency. I don’t know about you, but from where I sit there’s nothing about that concept that isn’t badass.

Details and ticket links follow for the big to-do, for which there are reportedly more band announcements to come. Makes sense, as May’s still a ways off. The following came down the PR wire:

doomed gatherings iii poster

Crowbar, Ramesses, Trouble and more confirmed to play third DOOMED GATHERINGS festival in Paris!

The third edition of France’s only doom, sludge and filth-oriented festival DOOMED GATHERINGS is taking up residence again at Glazart venue in Paris, for three days of crushing, highly grooving and undoubtedly smoke-filled performances. The lineup is now almost complete with a total of twenty-one bands, among which Crowbar, Ramesses, Trouble, Monolord and Elder. Let there be doom.

DOOMED GATHERINGS III
May 14-16th at Glazart – Paris, France
3-day pass (55€) and day tickets (25€) on sale HERE

The current lineup is as follows, with two more bands remaining to be announced. Hotel deals will come up soon along with next announcement.

DAY 1 ? Saturday 14th May ?
Ramesses (UK) ? Toner Low (NL) ? Mantar ? Egypt (USA) ? Demonic Death Judge (FIN) ? The Lumberjack Feedback (FR) ? NNRA ? Bathsheba (BE)

DAY 2 ? Sunday 15h May ?
Crowbar (USA) ? Trouble (USA) ? Toner Low (NL) ? Samothrace (USA) ? Hang The Bastard (UK) ? Throw Me in the Crater (NL) + 2 more bands TBA

DAY 3 ? Monday 16h May ?
Elder (USA) ? Monolord (SWE) ? Toner Low (NL) ? Electric Moon (DE) ? Chaos E.T. Sexual (FR) ? DDENT (FR) ? Carousel (USA)

Doomed Gatherings is the first festival in France for everything doom, sludge, filthy and psyched out. Taking place for the third year at Glazart in the 19th district of Paris, the festival is powered by national heavy promoters Stoned Gatherings and assembles a fine selection of international headliners and breakthrough acts, for the sheer love of Heavy.

Glazart is an indoor/outdoor club located in the north-east of Paris, near reknown architectural unit of La Villette, a venue that is easily reachable from the underground and tramway lines.

? Getting to Glazart ?
7-15 avenue de La Porte de la Villette, 75019 Paris
? Metro 7 (Porte de la Villette station)
or Tram 3b (Porte de la Villette station)

https://www.facebook.com/events/1717007591852526
https://www.weezevent.com/doomed-gatherings
https://www.facebook.com/doomed.gatherings
https://twitter.com/StonedGathering

The Body, Live at Doomed Gatherings 2014

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Conan’s US Tour Starts Tonight

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 6th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

conan

If you feel the ground shaking for the next couple weeks, don’t sweat it. That’s just Conan on their inaugural US tour. Just hang out and wait for your eventual destruction. They’ll get there sooner or later. Unless you live in Boston. Ha.

The tour starts tonight, which seems like an occasion worthy of note, given just how badly the US is in need of the ass kicking that Conan is about to deliver upon it. Support comes from Mantar and Samothrace, and includes stops at Psycho California and Maryland DeathfestConan are of course supporting last year’s pummeling Blood Eagle (review here), a record the devastation of which is still being tallied. If you haven’t heard it yet, shame on you. Have you learned nothing from all the hyperbole?

Tour dates follow here. One can only hope that when they find the ruined cities left in Conan‘s wake, future archaeologists give credit where its due:

conan us tour

CONAN North American Tour Starts Today – New Dates Added

Support Coming From Samothrace and Mantar

Latest Album Blood Eagle Available Now on Napalm Records

The English CONAN follows the ideals of their namesake and continue their path without compromises. The second album Blood Eagle is a Doom Drone Metal monument filled with monolithic riffs, hypnotic melodies, brutal drumming and an archaic atmosphere. Blood Eagle was released last March in North America via Napalm Records. The album can be ordered iTunes and Amazon.

CONAN will be kick off a North American headline tour tomorrow May 6th in Atlanta, GA and will wrap up May 23rd in Philadelphia, PA. Support on the tour will come from Samothrace and Mantar. Additional dates have been added in so be sure to check out the entire list below. Support on the tour comes from Samothrace and Mantar. Press opportunities are available at all shows!

CONAN
5/6: Atlanta GA @ The Earl #
5/7: New Orleans LA @ Siberia #
5/8: Austin TX @ The Lost Well #
5/10: Ft. Worth, TX @ Lola’s % #
5/11: Denver CO @ Marquis Theater % #
5/12 Salt Lake City UT @ Area 51 % #
5/14: Oakland CA @ Oakland Opera House % #
5/15: Santa Ana CA @ Psycho CA, The Observatory
5/16: Tempe AZ @ 51 West % #
5/18: Oklahoma City OK @ The Conservatory % #
5/19 Memphis TN @ Hi-Tone % #
5/20 Johnson City TN @ The Hideaway % #
5/21: Baltimore MD @ Maryland Deathfest #
5/22: Brooklyn NY @ Saint Vitus Bar #
5/23: Philadelphia PA @ Kung Fu Necktie % #

% with Samothrace as direct support
# with Mantar (direct support on dates without Samothrace, 1st of three on
dates with Samothrace)

For More Info Visit:
http://www.hailconan.com/
https://www.facebook.com/conandoom
http://conan.bigcartel.com/
http://www.napalmrecords.com/

Conan, “Foehammer” official video

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Samothrace and Conan Announce US Tour

Posted in Whathaveyou on April 1st, 2015 by JJ Koczan

I’ve been hearing rumors going around of Conan doing US tour dates between their stops at Psycho CA and Maryland Deathfest, and I think they’d have been hard pressed to find a band as suitable to tour the US for the first time with as Seattle’s Samothrace, whose own tones carry plenty of crush. The difference is Samothrace‘s material on their last album, 2012’s Reverence to Stone (review here), stretched out and unfolded gradually, a full atmospheric soundscape that also happened to be punishing as hell. Good matchup, in other words. I would not expect any venue they played to remain standing.

The PR wire tells it like it is:

samothrace

SAMOTHRACE Confirms May Cross-Country US Tour Dates With Conan and Mantar; New Material In The Works

Seattle’s quintessential, exploratory doom metal quartet, SAMOTHRACE, has broken their live silence with another round of national tour dates for this Spring, today announcing their upcoming cross-country May tour with UK doom/stoner outfit, Conan, and German sludge act, Mantar. On the slow, steady, international tour campaign in support of their 2012-released Reverence To Stone LP, SAMOTHRACE has toured Europe twice since the album’s release — once for Heavy Days in Doomtown III in 2013 and again for Roadburn Festival in 2014, with additional tour dates surrounding both festivals — yet the band has not had an opportunity to tour heavily in their native country for quite some time.

Enticed to get back into stateside touring again, SAMOTHRACE will begin dredging their slow-motion, organic, tonal exodus across the US for the first half of May, beginning as they rendezvous with the then-ongoing cross-country Conan and Mantar tour on May 11th, in Denver, Colorado. From there, the unstoppable caravan will cut a line from the Southwestern Rockies realm out to the West Coast, down through the Southwest and up through the lower Midwestern states to the Northeastern lands, while each band boasts specific and exclusive one-off performances throughout the trek. SAMOTHRACE will then execute a return headlining performance at Brooklyn’s Saint Vitus Bar on May 24th, and then end their portion of the journey with a stop in Colorado Springs to play as part of What’s Left Presents Seven-One-Grind Fest alongside a list of carnage including Capitalist Casualties, Weekend Nachos, Theories, Connoisseur, Destroyer Of Light, Hummingbird Of Death, Primitive Man, and many others. The first round of dates have been released and another batch will follow in the coming days.

SAMOTHRACE Tour Dates:
5/11/2015 Marquis Theater – Denver, CO w/ Conan, Mantar
5/14/2015 Oakland Opera House – Oakland, CA w/ Conan, Mantar
5/16/2015 51 West – Tempe, AZ w/ Conan, Mantar
5/18/2015 The Conservatory – Oklahoma City, OK w/ Conan, Mantar
5/23/2015 Kung Fu Necktie – Philadelphia, PA w/ Conan, Mantar
5/24/2015 Saint Vitus Bar – Brooklyn, NY
5/30/2015 Seven-One-Grind Fest – Colorado Springs, CO w/ Capitalist Casualties, Weekend Nachos, Primitive Man, more

In addition to more tour plans in the works, SAMOTHRACE is writing and prepping for not only a yet-to-be announced split release with some good friends from down South, as well as their next LP to be recorded later this year.

In the meantime, a SAMOTHRACE Live at Roadburn 2014 LP is now available for preorder through Burning World/Roadburn Records, the platter limited to 300 copies. The band will have a limited supply in-hand by the beginning of the tour but they are not expected to last long. The band will also have the repress vinyl editions of Reverence To Stone as well as their debut LP, Life’s Trade, and several new merch items on tour with them, which are also available now on the SAMOTHRACE Bandcamp page HERE, and the vinyl via 20 Buck Spin as well, right HERE.

http://samothrace.bandcamp.com
https://www.facebook.com/samothracedoom
http://www.20buckspin.com
http://www.facebook.com/20buckspin
http://twitter.com/20buckspinlabel

Samothrace, Live at Roadburn 2014

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Roadburn 2014: Sets from Bong, Age of Taurus, Windhand, Samothrace, Noothgrush, Brutus, Whitehorse and Regarde les Hommes Tomber Available to Stream

Posted in audiObelisk on June 18th, 2014 by JJ Koczan

One of the things I enjoy most about these Roadburn streams every year is that not only do they allow the people who were there to relive the awesome (and in many cases, fuzzy) memories of seeing these bands, but they allow everyone, whether they were there or not, to get a glimpse at some of what they didn’t get to see. Because you can try your damnedest to catch everything at Roadburn every year — I know I have on the years I’ve been fortunate enough to go — but it’s just not going to happen. At any point during the three days of the fest-proper, there are at least four stages running simultaneously, and there’s just no way to be everywhere at once. I saw Noothgrush at Roadburn 2014, but I missed Brutus, saw Samothrace and missed Windhand.

With the audio streams — diligently recorded at Roadburn 2014 by Marcel van de Vondervoort and his team, as ever — that doesn’t matter. It would be something if the fest set up a security system for the audio one of these years that you had to be there to hear it (actually it would suck, aside from being a logistical/coding nightmare), but fortunately that’s not the case, and whether you were at the 013 or in the Netherlands or not, you can enjoy the fruits of Roadburn‘s considerable labors. If it sounds utopian, it is.

To listen and enjoy:

Age of Taurus – Live at Roadburn 2014

Bong – Live at Roadburn 2014

Brutus – Live at Roadburn 2014

Noothgrush – Live at Roadburn 2014

Regarde Les Hommes Tomber – Live at Roadburn 2014

Samothrace – Live at Roadburn 2014

Whitehorse – Live at Roadburn 2014

Windhand – Live at Roadburn 2014

Thanks as always to Walter and the Roadburn crew for allowing me to host the streams. The first batch is still available as well, and for all of the Roadburn 2014 coverage, click here.

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Roadburn 2014 Day One: “So Much Still Lingers…”

Posted in Features, Reviews on April 10th, 2014 by JJ Koczan

04.11.14 — 00:08 — Thursday night/Friday morning — Hotel Mercure, Tilburg

This afternoon and this morning both seem like a really, really long time ago. I got asked a few times today when I got into town and I couldn’t seem to remember. 2009 maybe? Breakfast was two double-double espressos. Dinner was a protein bar and two bottles of water, some ibuprofen. No time for anything else. It’s Roadburn. There are places to be.

After much vigorous folding of the Weirdo Canyon Dispatch issues — I was handed one when I walked into the venue this afternoon, which was a cool feeling — I went downstairs from the 013 office to check out Sourvein‘s soundcheck and found their “Dirty South” had gotten a little northern flair thanks to the addition of Halfway to Gone‘s Lou Gorra on bass. When they were done, I went up to Stage01 to watch Hull get their sounds and was treated to a preview of “Fire Vein,” about which I had no complaints. They’d be my first two bands of the day, in that order, so it was like I was getting ahead of myself. Which is fitting for how completely out of time the entire day seemed.

If I’m not mistaken, and I’m pretty sure I’m not, Sourvein is a completely different lineup, Gorra included, than played here in 2011. The one constant, of course, is vocalist T-Roy Medlin. To his credit, no matter who he seems to bring aboard in the band — people come, people go — it always sounds like Sourvein. You’d think after a while a polka player would slip in unnoticed or something, but their Southern sludge has seen no diminishing of its aggressive potency over the years. One imagines if that happened, whoever was responsible wouldn’t be in the band long. They grooved angry and gave the fest a wake up call from which it didn’t look back.

Knowing that Hull were playing Stage01, I made sure to get there early, as in by like half an hour. Say what you want for the practicality, the same thing did me no good later on trying to get up front for Conan at Het Patronaat. Sometimes you need to show up and wait if you want a place up front. Pretty much every time, actually. I was hoping for some new stuff from Hull — who are on tour in Europe with Boston’s Elder, also Roadburn veterans — but cuts from 2011’s Beyond the Lightless Sky (review here) like “False Priest” and “Earth from Water” were hardly time wasted, and both the old-made-new-again “Legend of the Swamp Goat” and “Architect” from 2009’s Sole Lord were right on, as was the extended closer, “Viking Funeral,” which shook the floor with volume that seemed ready for it to be later in the day than it was.

I didn’t hear the Beastmilk album, but I certainly heard a lot about the Beastmilk album, so I thought I’d check out their set, what with Hexvessel‘s Mat McNerney fronting the band. McNerney brought a good deal of Joy Division-style drama to songs like “Void Mother” and “You are Now Under Your Control,” and the music behind him was probably what someone will step up and call neo-goth in a few years if they haven’t yet, mining the moodiness of late ’80s dark rock and presenting it in a we-could-be-playing-black-metal-if-we-wanted-to context. Fair enough, but with Samothrace going on at Het Patronaat across the street, I wasn’t sticking around all that long.

Merch is outside this year, which is different from at least the previous five Roadburns. I stopped myself at a copy of the second Rotor CD and Monster Magnet‘s Love Monster. I didn’t buy the gatefold version of Colour Haze‘s All, or any of this year’s Roadburn exclusives. It was the first money I’ve spent since I got to Europe, and it was 22 of the 70 euro I had in my wallet left over from the 2013 fest. My unemployed ass was as sparing as it could be en route to Het Patronaat.

For Samothrace, I wound up standing in front of one of the house P.A. stacks near the side of the stage, and needless to say, I didn’t stay there long, as the throb of Joe Axler‘s kick drum felt like the pedal was hooked up to my rib cage. I had been looking forward to seeing them, since 2012’s Reverence to Stone was so killer and I missed them on their East Coast tour supporting it, and they justified my anticipation, both in tonal weight and atmosphere, the latter which it’s easy to overlook in their sound because the rest of the time they’re so damn heavy, but which ultimately made both the record and their set stand out from the rest of the day, guitarists Renata Castagna and Brian Spinks taking time to space out in a way that presaged some of what I’d catch later with Mühr at the Cul de Sac, Spinks furthering the dynamic with assorted screams and growls. Was glad to finally see them play and witness their shifts between tumbling lurch and excruciating crawls for myself. It seemed overdue. And oh yeah, then Napalm Death played.

More than several years have passed since the last time I caught a Napalm Death show, and while Roadburn 2014 seems an odd fit for the British grindcore progenitors — vocalist Mark “Barney” Greenway, guitarist Mitch Harris, bassist Shane Embury and drummer Danny Herrera — they tailored their set to the occasion, culling some of their more experimental, less blastbeaten, Swans-y material into something unique for the Main Stage crowd. It must be nice to be in a band for more than 30 years and still have the drive to change things up, and seeing them do so only furthered my opinion that they should tour in art galleries exclusively. Five or six bands formed and started writing songs while Napalm Death were still on stage — that’s how influential they are. They’ll never have the same kind of reputation for experimental rock as for grind, but their lead-in for Corrections House wound up as one of the smoothest transitions of the day, both bands having industrial elements at work.

In the case of Corrections House, those come courtesy of beats delivered via laptop from Sanford Parker, who took the stage first as he did when I saw them in Brooklyn early in 2013 (review here). Whether it’s Parker, who was in Buried at Sea, Yakuza‘s Bruce Lamont, Scott Kelly of Neurosis and Eyehategod vocalist Mike IX Williams, it’s hard separating the members of Corrections House from what they’ve brought to and done in their other bands, though Lamont‘s sax, played to lower end to cover where a bass might otherwise be, definitely had an appeal distinct from that in his main outfit. Their debut album, Last City Zero, came out last year and I didn’t give it enough time. Watching them play was my punishment for not knowing the songs better than I did, and I’d have stayed longer, but Philly’s Nothing were just finished at Het Patronaat and I wasn’t about to miss the start of Conan.

Seemed to me that 25 minutes before their set started would be plenty of time to get front and center. It was not. Not only were there people already up front when I got there, but they were already shouting requests at the UK trio, whose 2014 outing, Blood Eagle (review here), I consider one of the year’s best records, and who had a new bassist in the form of Chris Fielding, known perhaps best as the recording engineer who’s done their studio stuff and worked with Electric Wizard, Undersmile, and many others in the UK’s fertile scene. That was something of a surprise, as I hadn’t known he joined the band with Jon Paul Davis (guitar/vocals) and Paul O’Neil (drums), but he fit in well with the destructive path beaten out by “Crown of Talons,” which made for an ultra-doomed opening statement.

Conan were one of my gotta-see bands for the day, and their set at Het Patronaat with the line of people waiting to get in running most of the way back to the door from the 013 only emphasized how far they’ve come in the two years since they played Stage01 at Roadburn 2012. One expects utter dominance from them and they did not disappoint. Still, they were one of my gotta-see bands, and the other happened to be Amsterdam space-doomers Mühr, whose slot overlapped at Cul de Sac. They were not the highest-profile act on the bill, but I only watched one complete set today, and it was Mühr doing “Messiah” from their 2013 single-song full-length of the same name (review here). With ambience heavier than many bands at their most crushing, seeing Mühr, which seemed unlikely from the start, was a highlight of what was by then a long stretch.

You could almost call what they do post-metal, but for the fact that where a lot post-metal comes across as claustrophobic, Mühr make efforts to sound as expansive as possible. Their psychedelic, cosmic droning was rich in tone and righteously loud, vocals sparse, but a presence, the whole five-piece lit mostly by candles set up in front and to the sides of the stage. It was something I’d probably only ever see at Roadburn, and when they were done and left the stage one at a time after an extended wash of feedback and effects noise, they came back out to take a well-earned bow before still-cheering crowd. I was so into it it was silly, and I know already that the ability to say I saw Mühr live is among the things I’ll be most grateful to carry with me in a few days when I leave Tilburg.

There were so many bands I missed today. There always are. You can’t see everything. I got back to the Main Stage in time to catch Crowbar doing “All I Had I Gave,” “Planets Collide” and “The Cemetery Angels” and had every intent of sticking around to see Freedom Hawk close out in the Green Room, but the weight of needing to write and the thought of getting up for more Weirdo Canyon Dispatch work in the morning got the better of me. Not the first time that’s ever happened, at least as regards the former.

Tomorrow is Mikael Åkerfeldt‘s curated day. Only Day Two which feels odd for how immediately immersed in the vibe of Roadburn I and seemingly everybody else was by when afternoon became evening. If you told me we’d been here two or three days already, I’d believe it, but maybe lack of sleep is a factor there as well. All the more reason to nod.

More pics after the jump. Thanks for reading.

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