Roadburn 2019 Adds Commissioned Project Molasses with Members of The Devil’s Blood, Astrosoniq, Birth of Joy and More

Posted in Whathaveyou on November 27th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

roadburn 2019 banner

Roadburn 2019 has announced a second commissioned project for its lineup. Following word that Tom G. Warrior would complete Celtic Frost‘s ‘Requiem’ triptych at the festival to be held next April, as always, in Tilburg, the Netherlands, details of a new project entirely have emerged that seems to have come about at least in part at Roadburn‘s behest. Molasses hits close to home in the native Dutch underground, bringing together members of The Devil’s BloodDeath AlleyBirth of JoyAstrosoniq and Donnerwetter. On vocals is Farida Lemouchi, formerly of The Devil’s Blood and whose brother, Selim, was regarded as a figurehead in the scene around Eindhoven prior to his death in 2014 — one remembers the tribute in his honor at Roadburn 2014 and still feels like an intruder for having watched something so personal, even on such a large stage as it was — and on drums is no less than Marcel van de Vondervoort of Astrosoniq, who’s Roadburn fest-family in that it’s under his watch as engineer that so many sets are recorded, resulting in the glut of live albums that have surfaced over the years.

With Oeds Beydals of the newly-hiatused Death Alley and other The Devil’s Blood alumni Job van de Zande and Ron van Herpen, as well as Birth of Joy‘s Bob Hogenelst and Matthijs Stronks of Donnerwetter in the lineup, it’s bound to be a formidable showcase — their first live date — and it may not be a one-off by any means. You’ll note it says “a new beginning” below.

From the PR wire:

roadburn 2019 molasses

Second commissioned project for 2019 announced; MOLASSES will debut at Roadburn

Roadburn is ecstatic to announce the second commissioned piece of music to be performed at the 2019 edition of the festival. Following the recent announcement of Tom G. Warrior’s Celtic Frost/Triptykon Requiem which will be performed by Triptykon and the Dutch Metropole Orkest in April, and the success of the first commissioned pieces earlier this year – the series continues.

It’s time to redefine a bond that never ceased to ascend. Loosen the valve and let the blood flow!

A little over ten years since The Devil’s Blood made its live debut at Roadburn Festival, something is stirring once again in the souls of many of those involved in pulling that first performance together. The last track on Selim Lemouchi’s post-TDB album, Earth Air Spirit Water Fire, titled Molasses has lent its name to a burgeoning, specially commissioned project. An ensemble bound together by a unwavering thread, a shared bond and a definitive presence in their lives. The fragmented pieces of The Devil’s Blood are piecing themselves back together, bereft of a very specific physical form but enriched by his spiritual company.

Farida Lemouchi, Oeds Beydals, Job van de Zande, and Ron van Herpen – all former members of The Devil’s Blood – are joined by kindred spirits, Marcel Van De Vondervoort of Astrosoniq, Bob Hogenelst (Birth of Joy) and Matthijs Stronks (Donnerwetter) to form Molasses.

Those hoping to hear some tracks from The Devil’s Blood back catalogue will come away empty handed; if you’re keeping an ear out for some Astrosoniq, it won’t come. Molasses may be shot through with the DNA that made those bands tick, but this is very clearly – and definitively – a new beginning.

Artwork by Max Rovers.

Artistic director, Walter Hoeijmakers comments: “When we started to commission music for Roadburn, it was a given that I wanted to reconnect Farida, Ron, Oeds and Job, along with Marcel from Astrosoniq, as they are such a gifted musicians, who simply belong on stage together. Plus, I wanted to give them the opportunity to grow into a new space as artists, and really hope that Molasses will help them personally as well, giving them strength to embrace the future – whatever that holds.”

Molasses will be embracing the future on Thursday, April 11.

It reaches out to neverending times
Eats itself to be born again
There is just space but it holds the lines
For an ever growing love and deep affection
To rise and rise and rise and rise

Single day tickets will go on sale on Thursday, December 13. Weekend tickets are on sale now

Tickets are be priced as follows:
3 days ticket (Thu-Sat) €181 + €4,50 service fee
4 days ticket (Thu-Sun) €204 + €4,50 service fee
Day ticket (Thu, Fri or Sat) €62 + €4,50 service fee
Sunday ticket €55,50 + €4,50 service fee

Click here for more ticketing information.

Selim Lemouchi & His Enemies, “Molasses”

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Selim Lemouchi of The Devil’s Blood Reported Dead at 34

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 5th, 2014 by JJ Koczan

Though as of this post, we’re still waiting on some official word of the cause, it’s been reported today and confirmed by his management that Selim Lemouchi, former guitarist and founder of Dutch cult rockers The Devil’s Blood, has died. Lemouchi, who was 34, disbanded The Devil’s Blood in 2013 just prior to the release of their third and final album, III: Tabula Rasa or Death and the Seven Pillars, and had already issued a full-length from his follow-up project, Selim Lemouchi and His Enemies, who were also slated to play Roadburn this year. As of now, there has been no comment from either Metal Blade, who released the last two The Devil’s Blood records in the US, or Lemouchi‘s European label, Ván Records, which released Earth Air Spirit Water Fire, the 2013 debut from Selim Lemouchi and His Enemies.

That LP showcased a more psychedelic side of the ritual-minded songwriter, but Lemouchi will likely be most remembered for his work in The Devil’s Blood in which, along with his sister, frontwoman Farida Lemouchi, he provided much of of the foundation of the modern cult rock revival. The Devil’s Blood‘s 2008 EP, Come, Reap, and ensuing 2009 full-length debut, The Time of No Time Evermore, were met with massive popular response and have proven influential in the half-decade since, elements of the band’s Satanic devotion and chaos-minded rock showing up in groups from both Europe and the US, as though The Devil’s Blood were the reminder point of the marriage between evil and beauty that once permeated underground rock and folk musics. In delivering that reminder, The Devil’s Blood was a groundbreaking outfit, and their live performances — soaked in blood — quickly became the stuff of legend.

On behalf of this site and myself, I wish to extend condolences to Lemouchi‘s family, friends and acquaintances. I know that when I interviewed him in 2012, I found him to be personable and deeply charismatic, and his loss is significant.

The Devil’s Blood, The Time of No Time Evermore (2009)

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The Devil’s Blood, The Thousandfold Epicentre: Invoke the Devil of 1,000 Faces

Posted in Reviews on January 19th, 2012 by JJ Koczan

Issued in 2011 in Europe via German imprint Ván Records, mysterious Dutch outfit The Devil’s Blood release their second full-length, The Thousandfold Epicentre, via Metal Blade in North America. Their 2010 debut, The Time of No Time Evermore (review here), was put out by Profound Lore, and if anything, the amount of people who’ve gotten behind The Devil’s Blood shows the kind of dedication their cult rock inspires. With a penchant traditional witchy melody – bands like Coven and Black Widow are appropriate points of reference – taken to the Satanic extremes of European black metal (the band has close ties with Swedish outfit Watain, among others), the core brother/sister duo behind The Devil’s Blood, guitarist/songwriter Selim and vocalist Farida Lemouchi, have been able to hammer out a sound that is at once foreboding and unashamedly accessible. In light of the aforementioned early ‘70s cult folkies, this isn’t such a contrast, but given the avenues of heaviness and extremity in which such themes are more prevalent today, The Devil’s Blood stands out. At the same time, they belong to a growing league of bands – Ghost, Sabbath Assembly and even, to a more distinctly doomed extent, the latest incarnation of The Wounded Kings – who’ve been able to successfully blend that school of classic melodic thought with modern Satanic or occult ritualizing. Farida’s vocals, however, along with Selim’s apparently growing fascination with darkened psychedelia, give The Thousandfold Epicentre a strong individual feel even within this burgeoning context. It is a powerful and creative work.

It’s also really, really long. At 74-plus minutes, The Thousandfold Epicentre is beyond what might usually qualify as expansive, but the atmosphere of ritual it creates – one can almost smell the dry-ice fog coming through the speakers – more than accounts for and justifies that expanse. Where The Time of No Time Evermore took the (in hindsight) formative elements of 2008’s Come, Reap EP in a more traditionally metal direction, The Thousandfold Epicentre seems bent in highlighting melodic grandeur. Following the intro “Unending Singularity” that builds to it, “On the Wings of Gloria” is resplendent. Farida’s vocals echo above a rocking riff from Selim and thudding drums. Among the varied approaches The Devil’s Blood take on the album’s 11 tracks, “On the Wings of Gloria” stands among the most effective combinations of the elements that make their sound their own, breaking after a ripping guitar solo into a vocal-led ritualistic invocation that in turn gives way to a wash of chanting and psychedelic noise, all anchored and given structure by drums and an overall forward movement. The duo of cuts that follows, “Die the Death” and “Within the Charnel House of Love,” are shorter and more geared toward highlighting Farida’s prowess as a frontwoman, while “Cruel Lover” takes rhythmic cues from ‘80s metal (as did a decent portion of the last record) and is less pop-based. Talk of possession and “tongues of fire” allures and adds sexualized danger without feeling outwardly exploitative, and the music behind chugs with a clear sense of structure without being as predictable as either “Die the Death” or “Within the Charnel House of Love.” Nonetheless, indulgence prevails.

As well it should for a band like The Devil’s Blood. They move from a long bridge back to the verse in “Cruel Lover” and end with the central riff, moving briskly onto centerpiece “She,” an immediate highlight. Layers of Farida’s vocals weave between each other to make The Thousandfold Epicentre’s most memorable chorus, while the verse singing has more clarity and make use of her range, which has impressed since the band’s beginnings. Sandwiched between “Cruel Lover” and the title-track, “She” is both a worthy single and a deep cut, adding to the atmosphere of the record without sacrificing the quality of songwriting or structural crispness. A final chorus stomps its way into the cerebral cortex and the song gives way to mellotron and keys that set the stage for “The Thousandfold Epicentre,” which tops nine minutes and is the longest song apart from 15-minute closer “Feverdance.” Like the album itself, the title-track does well with the time it’s so purposefully taking. Gone is the immediacy of hook that drove “She,” but instead, The Devil’s Blood begin to immerse the listener in the ambience that will typify the album’s back end and still have room for catchy delivery of the chorus line, “I call your name/Devil of a thousand faces,” though it doesn’t arrive until more than three minutes in. Like the opener and like the closer still to come, though, the build is what makes it work. Selim skillfully incorporates acoustics and gives a fullness to do more than just complement his sister’s vocals, and breaks into one of The Thousandfold Epicentre’s most impressive guitar solos just after 6:30. They named the album after the right song – pretty much every accomplishment of the whole is summed up in some way on the title-track.

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The Devil’s Blood Got the Time

Posted in Reviews on May 26th, 2010 by JJ Koczan

Dutch witch rockers The Devil’s Blood issue a sprawling invitation to buy in with their first Ván Records full-length, The Time of No Time Evermore. Based out of Eindhoven and thoroughly in league with Satan, the as-many-as-six-piece play high-energy classic occult prog with sonic references to Jefferson Airplane, Heart, Coven and Black Widow, most notably showing up in the form of the powerful female vocals that front the band. They’re on a no-name basis, so all you get with The Devil’s Blood is The Devil’s Blood, but we do know that Erik Danielsson of Swedish black metallers Watain co-wrote “The Yonder Beckons” with the band, and that that dude knows the Devil personally, so at most there’s one degree of separation there.

In listening to The Time of No Time Evermore, I was surprised in comparing it to the prior Come, Reap EP that Profound Lore put out last year at how relatively metal it is. The guitars don’t shy away from carrying across an ‘80s metal vibe, as heard in songs like “Christ or Cocaine,” the stomping “Queen of My Burning Heart” and even the soloing on “The Yonder Beckons.” Think Iron Maiden, Scorpions, Vivian Campbell’s work on Dio’s The Last in Line and so on, both tonally and in terms of the riffs, The Devil’s Blood seem to have superimposed ‘70s acid prog and classic metal on top of each other in an offering to their (and, they hope, everyone’s) dark lord.

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The Devil’s Blood, Come, Reap: Why the Crap Wasn’t I Listening to this Before?

Posted in Whathaveyou on March 23rd, 2009 by JJ Koczan

See? Looks like crappy black metal, right? Well, it's not, so there.Actually, the honest answer to that question is that although it arrived some time beforehand, the album got lost in the shuffle when my former place of employment shit the bed. That plus the fact that the artwork makes the record look like generic European black metal (or worse, US black metal trying to sound European) meant it stayed in the pile longer than it otherwise might have. I should have known better. Usually even if I don’t like it, the stuff on Profound Lore is at least interesting.

Not a review, just a simple recommendation from one friend to another: these Dutch Satanic witch rockers get down with some serious early ’70s occult imagery in the context of post-disco prog. When they talk about “wolfsbane,” “eye of newt,” and “devil’s root” in “The Heavens Cry Out,” I sense no irony. This is what they do and they’re way into it. And even if the music doesn’t get you off, the liner notes are full of “hail and “thee” and “verily,” so entertainment abounds one way or another.

The overall vibe of the record is more horror-based than any of the actual music, and if Come, Reap is retro, it’s retro of a period rarely touched in underground rock. And of course you can sample some tracks over at their MySpace page. This may just be a five-song EP, but it’s already got me looking forward to The Devil’s Blood‘s set at Roadburn. I hear tell they do it up all ritual-like and covered in blood. Hell yeah.

Hmm, I don't see any blood on that drummer. Think there some room for growth here.

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