Desertfest Belgium 2021 Announces Motorpsycho to Headline & More; Second Installment Added

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 1st, 2021 by JJ Koczan

desertfest belgium 2021 banner

Not only something happening again that’s happened before, but also something new! Desertfest Belgium, with all due respect to the delta variant and yet-unforeseen circumstances, will be the first post-pandemic installment of Desertfest to take place, and in addition to announcing the beginnings of its lineup with Motorpsycho, Wolves in the Throne Room, Dool, Blood Incantation and Stygian Bough, they’ve also added a second city. A Ghent date will follow for the first time the three-day event in Antwerp. Desertfest Antwerp is Oct. 15-17, and Desertfest Ghent is Oct. 30. Belgian double-shot, and apparently it’ll be an ongoing thing. Pretty frickin’ cool.

Of course, there’s no guarantee it’s going to happen, but there’s no guarantee it’s not going to happen either, and that’s saying something at this point.

Tickets are available now and there’s more lineup announcements to come. This went to my spam folder for some reason, but rest assured I’ll be looking to sort out any technical kinks in the functioning of the PR wire, rerouting primary EPS conduits through the secondary couplings and so on.

Info:

desertfest belgium 2021 poster

FIRST NAMES FOR DFBE 2021: MOTORPSYCHO, WITTR & MORE

Tickets for Antwerp & Ghent are now available!

We’re back… bigger and better than ever.

Here’s the news you were waiting to hear: We will have a Desertfest Belgium edition at Trix Antwerpen on 15-16-17 October 2021.

BUT THERE’S MORE! We are adding a new festival edition in another esteemed Belgian club venue: Kunstencentrum Vooruit in Ghent. For this year, this event will be limited to one evening on 30/10, but you can expect a full-blown second festival weekend from 2022 onwards. Most of the lineup will be shared, but of course each venue will bring its own personal touch. We are most hyped for this new chapter in the Belgian DF saga!

As of 2pm CET today, the ticket booths for both our Antwerp & Ghent events are active. Just the sweet memories of past Desertfests should be enough to get your ass over there as we speak, but of course you’re also wondering what we have in store for you.

We have a few first names to share, and all of these will perform on both editions, Antwerp as well as Ghent. First up, we finally have the legendary MOTORPSYCHO headlining Desertfest! They definitely need no further introduction, so let’s move on to a killer two-punch of extreme metal favorites: WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM and BLOOD INCANTATION will bring their progressive take on blackened metal to the DF stage this year. On the slow end of the extreme spectrum, we have STYGIAN BOUGH, the moody folk dirge collab between BELL WITCH and AERIAL RUIN. And finally, from Holland we welcome DOOL and their unique blend of heavy psychedelia and gothic vibes.

Get your tickets here:

DESERTFEST ANTWERP (15-17/10): €87,50 ALL-IN (or 2020 VOUCHER): https://www.desertfest.be/antwerp/information/ticketing/
DESERTFEST GHENT (30/10): €52,00 ALL-IN: https://www.desertfest.be/ghent/information/ticketing/

Don’t forget to use your voucher if you have it!

If you have any questions about the tickets, get in touch: tickets@desertfest.be.

Of course, due to COVID still not entirely beaten we have a few restrictions and uncertainties to take into account. The lineup will be somewhat reduced, and we’ll probably have a few more local acts than usual. Still, we’re doing our best to make it worth your while, and we’re confident that you will all bring that precious Desertfest vibe that makes our festival the best in town, anytime and anywhere.

We hope this first batch of names gets you all hot and bothered for what’s to come – spread the word and see y’all in October!

http://www.desertfest.be/
https://www.facebook.com/desertfestbelgium/
https://www.instagram.com/desertfest_belgium/

Motorpsycho, “Little Lucid Moments” live June 12, 2021

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Desertfest Belgium 2020 Canceled; 2021 Announcement Forthcoming

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 14th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

The Belgian incarnation of Desertfest has announced that the October 2020 edition of the festival will not take place as previously planned. If you’re alive and reading this, you know why.

This is a bummer on multiple fronts. Those looking forward to some return to normalcy may have had the autumn months as a target date, and certainly many tours have been thusly rescheduled. But losing the Antwerp fest is particularly hard because it’s the first chip lost of a busy season. October in Europe? What does this mean for Up in Smoke? Keep it Low? Høstsabbat? And that’s before you consider the further implications to touring.

Is any of it ever coming back?

What will it look like when it does?

The announcement came down the PR wire:

Desertfest Belgium 2020 banner

DESERTFEST ANTWERP 2020 IS CANCELLED

Hello all you friends of Desertfest,

Yes, unfortunately we have little to add to the sad subject title of this mail.

With great pain and sorrow we have to let you know that, after serious consideration, we have decided to cancel the October 2020 edition of Desertfest Belgium.

Rest assured that we have not taken this decision lightly. Over the last few months we have devised several scenarios for October in which a gathering of thousands of rock enthusiasts from around the globe are enjoying a three-day international lineup of bands in an intimate setting. In the end we have come to the conclusion that such a scenario for this year is simply not a realistic option. Please take into account that the organisation of an event like this takes many months and a lot of prior engagements from artists and crew, and even at this point there are too many ifs and buts, too many risks, too much uncertainty.

All of you who already supported us by ordering tickets before even one name was communicated: we salute and thank you, and you will shortly receive a mail with detailedinstructions on how to register for your compensation, either a voucher or a refund.

To end on a brighter note: with this decision out of the way, we can now shift our full focus to thepreparation of a 2021 comeback that will make you all forget 2020 ever happened.. because we have plans and we can’t wait to share them with you. Keep an eye on the socials and our newsletter, news will be forthcoming within the next few weeks.

Thank you all for your understanding and your continued support. Stay safe and stay strong out there!

Horns up, Corona down,
The Desertfest Belgium crew

http://www.desertfest.be/
https://www.facebook.com/desertfestbelgium/

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Quarterly Review: We Lost the Sea, Nebula Drag, Nothing is Real, Lotus Thief, Uncle Woe, Cybernetic Witch Cult, Your Highness, Deep Valley Blues, Sky Shadow Obelisk, Minus Green

Posted in Reviews on January 9th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

quarterly review

Yesterday was marked by a decisive lack of productivity. I got there, don’t get me wrong, but it took friggin’ forever to make it happen. I’m obviously hoping for a different result today and tomorrow. You would think 10 records is 10 records, but some days it’s easy flowing, bounce from one to the next without any trouble, and some days you’re me sitting there wondering how many times you can get away with using the word “style” in the same post. Punishing. The saving factor was that the music was good. Amazing how often that serves as the saving factor.

Just today and tomorrow left, so let’s dive in. Lots of different kinds of releases today, so keep your ears and mind open.

Quarterly Review #31-40:

We Lost the Sea, Triumph and Disaster

we lost the sea triumph and disaster

There is plenty of heavy post-rock floating — and I do mean floating — around these days, spreading ethereal and contemplative vibes hither and yon, but none have the emotional weight brought to bear instrumentally by Sydney, Australia’s We Lost the Sea. Across their 65-minute 2LP, Triumph and Disaster (on Translation Loss), the six-piece band recount a wordless narrative of the aftermath of the end of the world through the eyes of a mother and child on their last day. It is a touching and beautiful flow of sentiment, regret and weight that comes through the wash of three guitars and synth, bass and drums, and though 2015’s Departure Songs (review here, discussed here) worked in a similar vein in terms of style if not story, these seven tracks and 65 minutes are wholly distinguished by a willful-seeming progression on the part of the band and a patience and poise of execution as they alternate between longer and shorter pieces that only underscores how special their work truly is. At least the apocalypse is gorgeous.

We Lost the Sea on Thee Facebooks

Translation Loss store

 

Nebula Drag, Blud

nebula drag blud

Nothing against the progenitors of the form, but Nebula Drag seem with Blud to pull off the feat that Helmet never really could, bringing together a noise-rock derived dissonance of riff with a current of melody in the vocals and even moments of patience in the guitar to go along with the crunch of its more aggressive points. This inherently makes the Desert Records offering from the San Diego outfit a less outwardly intense affair than it might otherwise be, but songs like “Always Dying,” “Numb” and the closer “Mental” — as well as the album as a whole — are ultimately richer for it, and there’s still plenty of drive in opener “Dos Lados” and the shorter “Faces” and “What Went Wrong,” which arrive back to back on side B and lend the momentum that carries Nebula Drag through the remainder of the proceedings. It’s easy to hear to Blud superficially and pass it off as noise or heavy rock or this or that, but Nebula Drag earn and reward deeper listens in kind.

Nebula Drag on Thee Facebooks

Desert Records on Bandcamp

 

Nothing is Real, Pain is Joy

nothing is real pain is joy

Los Angeles oppressive and misanthropic noise project Nothing is Real manifested some of the harshest sounds I heard in 2019 on Only the Wicked are Pure (review here), and the just-months-later follow-up, Pain is Joy, reminds of the constant sensory assault under which we all seem to live. Across five extended tracks of increased production value — still raw, just not as raw — the band seems to be forming a coherent philosophical perspective in “Existence is Pain,” the guest-vocalized “Realms of Madness,” “Life is but a Dream,” “Pain is Joy,” and “We Must Break Free,” but if there’s a will to explain the punishment that is living, there’s not much by way of answer forthcoming in the sludgy riffing, grinding onslaught and surprising solo soar of “We Must Break Free,” instrumental as it is. Still, the fact that Pain is Joy allows for the possibility of joy to exist at all, in any form, ever, distinguishes it from its predecessor, and likewise the clearer sound and cogent expressive purpose. A focused attack suits Nothing is Real. I have the feeling it won’t be long before we find out where it takes the band next.

Nothing is Real on Thee Facebooks

Nothing is Real on Bandcamp

 

Lotus Thief, Oresteia

lotus thief Oresteia

If the name Oresteia isn’t immediately familiar, maybe “Agamemnon” will give some hint. San Francisco’s Lotus Thief, with their third full-length and second for Prophecy Productions, not only bring together progressive black metal, post-rock and drama-laced doom, but do so across eight-tracks and 38 minutes summarizing a 5th century Greek tragedy written in three parts. Ambitious? Yes. Successful? I’ll claim zero familiarity with the text itself, but for the eight-minute “Libation Bearers” alone — never mind any of the other immersive, beautiful wash the band emits throughout — I’m sure glad they’re engaging with it. Ambient stretches like “Banishment” and “Woe” and the barely-there “Reverence” add further character to the proceedings, but neither are “The Furies,” “Agamemnon,” “Sister in Silence” or subdued-but-tense closer “The Kindly Ones” lacking for atmosphere. Oresteia is grim, theatrical, stylistically forward-thinking and gorgeous. A perfect, perfect, perfect winter record.

Lotus Thief website

Prophecy Productions on Bandcamp

 

Uncle Woe, Our Unworn Limbs

Uncle Woe Our Unworn Limbs

Chugging, sprawling, and most of all reaching, the late-2019 debut LP, Our Unworn Limbs, from Ontario as-yet-solo-outfit Uncle Woe — composed, performed and recorded by Rain Fice — is one of marked promise, taking elements of modern progressive and cosmic doom from the likes of YOB‘s subtly angular riffing style and unfolding them across an emotionally resonant but still manageable 43-minute span. The stomp in “That’s How They Get You” is duly oppressive in following the opener “Son of the Queen,” but with the one-minute experiment “When the Night Fell Pt. 2” and jagged but harmonized “Mania for Breaking” ahead of 15-minute closer “Push the Blood Back In,” the record’s tumult and triumphs are presented with character and a welcome feeling of exploration. I would expect over time that the melodic basis and vocal presence Fice demonstrates in “Mania for Breaking” will continue to grow, but both are already significant factors in the success of that song and the album surrounding it, the first 20-plus minutes of which is spent mired in “Son of the Queen” and “That’s How They Get You,” as early proof of the sure controlling hand at the helm of the project. May it continue to be so.

Uncle Woe on Thee Facebooks

Uncle Woe on Bandcamp

 

Cybernetic Witch Cult, Absurdum ad Nauseam

cybernetic witch cult absurdam ad nauseam

Guitarist/vocalist Alex Wyld, bassist Doug MacKinnon and drummer Lewis May have processed the world around them and translated it into a riffy course of sci-fi and weirdo semi-prog thematics across Absurdum ad Nauseam. What else to call such a thing? At eight songs and 52 minutes, it stands astride the lines between heavy rock and doom and sludge in lengthier pieces like “The Cetacean,” “The Ivory Tower” and the finale “Hypercomputer Part 2,” yet when it comes to picking out discernible influences, one has to result to generalizations like Black Sabbath and Acrimony, the latter in the rolling largesse of “Spice” and “The Myth of Sisyphus” later on in the outing and the vocal effects there particularly, but neither is enough to give a sense of what Cybernetic Witch Cult are actually about in terms of the modernity of their approach and the it’s-okay-we-know-what-we’re-doing-just-trust-us vibe they bring as they rush through “Cromagnonaut” after the intro and “Hypercomputer Part 1.” I’m inclined to just go with it, which should tell you something in itself about the band’s ability to carry their listener through. They earn that trust.

Cybernetic Witch Cult on Thee Facebooks

Cybernetic Witch Cult on Bandcamp

 

Your Highness, Your Highness

Your Highness Your Highness

Heavy blues meets heavy metal on Your Highness‘ self-titled and self-released third album, collecting eight tracks that divide evenly across two sides of an LP, each half ending with a longer piece, whether it’s “Black Fever” (9:00) on side A or “Kin’s Blood” (14:14) on side B. Through these, in full-throttle movements like opener “Devil’s Delight” and “Rope as a Gift” and in nestled-in groovers like “The Flood” and “To Wood and Stone,” Your Highness don’t shy away from bringing a sense of atmosphere to their material, but maintain a focus on burl, gruffness and tonal weight, an aggressive undercurrent in a song like “Born Anew” — the riff to which is nonetheless particularly bluesy — being emblematic of the perspective on display throughout. It moves too fleetly to ever be considered entirely sludge, but Your Highness‘ 51-minute span is prone to confrontation just the same, and its ferocious aspects come to a head in satisfying fashion as the wash of crash pays off “Kin’s Blood,” shouts cutting through en route to a finish of acoustic guitar that lands as a reminder to release the breath you’ve been holding the whole time. Heavy stuff? Why yes, it is.

Your Highness on Thee Facebooks

Your Highness on Bandcamp

 

Deep Valley Blues, Demonic Sunset

Deep Valley Blues Demonic Sunset

Italy’s fervor for stoner rock is alive and well as represented in Demonic Sunset, the eight-song/34-minute debut full-length from Catanzaro’s Deep Valley Blues. Their sound works out to be more heavy rock than the desert one might imagine given the album cover, but that influence is still there, if beefed up tonally by guitarists Alessandro Morrone and Umberto Arena (the latter also backing vocals), bassist/vocalist Giando Sestito and drummer Giorgio Faini, whose fluid turns between propulsion and swing enable a song like “Dana Skully” to come together in its verse/chorus transitions. The penultimate nine-minute “Tired to Beg For” is an outlier among more straight-ahead songwriting, but they use the time well and close with the acoustic-led “Empire,” an encouraging showcase of sonic breadth to follow up on the start of “Lust Vegas” and a widening of the melodic range that one hopes Deep Valley Blues push further on subsequent releases. Centered around issues of mental health in terms of its lyrics, if somewhat vaguely, Demonic Sunset is a first LP that extends its focus to multiple levels while still keeping its feet on the ground in a way that will be familiar to experienced genre heads.

Deep Valley Blues on Thee Facebooks

Deep Valley Blues on Bandcamp

 

Sky Shadow Obelisk, The Satyr’s Path

sky shadow obelisk the satyrs path

You can toss a coin as to whether Sky Shadow Obelisk are death-doom or doom-death, but as you do, just keep an eye on the bludgeoning doled out by the solo-project of Rhode Island-based composer Peter Scartabello on his latest EP, The Satyr’s Path, because it is equal parts thorough and ferocious. Flourish of keys and melody adds a progressive edge to the proceedings across the five-track release, particularly in its two instrumentals, the centerpiece “Ouroboros” and the first half of closer “Shadow of Spring,” but amid the harnessed madness of “Chain of Hephaestus” — which from its lyrics I can only think of as a work song — and the one-two of “The Serpent’s Egg” and the title-track early on, those moments of letup carry a tension of mood that even the grand finish in “Shadow of Spring” seems to acknowledge. It’s been since 2015 that Scartabello last offered up a Sky Shadow Obelisk full-length. He shows enough scope here to cover an album’s worth of ground, but on the most basic level, I’d take more if it was on offer.

Sky Shadow Obelisk on Thee Facebooks

Yuggoth Records on Bandcamp

 

Minus Green, Equals Zero

Minus Green Equals Zero

Following up on a 2015 self-titled the material on Minus Green‘s sophomore album, Equals Zero, would seem to have at least in part been kicking around for a couple years, as the closer here, “Durial” (11:22) was released in a single version in 2016. Fair enough. If the other three cuts, opener “Primal” (9:58), “00” (11:51) and the penultimate “Kames” (10:08), have also been developed over that span, the extra rumination wouldn’t seem to have harmed them at all — they neither feel overthought to a point of staleness nor lack anything in terms of the natural vibe that their style of progressive instrumentalist heavy psychedelia warrants. The procession unfolds as a cleanly-structured LP with two songs per side arranged shorter-into-longer, and their sound is duly immersive to give an impression of exploration underway without being entirely jam-based in their structure. That is, listening to “00,” one gets the feeling it’s headed somewhere, which, fortunately it is. Where it and the record surrounding go ultimately isn’t revolutionary in aesthetic terms, but it is well performed and more than suitable for repeat visits. Contrary to the impression they might seek to give, it amounts to more than nothing.

Minus Green on Thee Facebooks

Kerberos Records website

 

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Heavy Psych Sounds Fest Announces 2020 Dates in Paris, Antwerp, London & Deventer

Posted in Whathaveyou on September 9th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

mondo generator

At this point, there’s just about no way this is it for Heavy Psych Sounds Fest, the traveling live incarnation of Italian imprint Heavy Psych Sounds that seems to have bands in any town it stops and to pick up headliners wherever it goes as well. Paris, Antwerp, London and Deventer — France, Belgium, the UK and the Netherlands. Well, considering this year saw the first US-based Heavy Psych Sounds Fest run and that there are still dates to play out next month, yeah, it seems likely to me this is just the beginning for Heavy Psych Sounds Fest 2020.

It’s a striking beginning though, with Mondo Generator (seen above) headlining the shows with support from Black Rainbows and Duel each time out and various others coming and going including Dead Witches, Lords of AltamontGorilla, Alunah and Giöbia. No less of a scale than one would expect, and again, it won’t at all be the final announcement of Heavy Psych Sounds Fest 2020. More cities, more tours, more bands, more everything. This is not a label that in recent years has shown even the slightest interest in going anything less than all out, all the time.

The PR wire shows tickets on sale already, because of course. With respect:

heavy psych sounds fest 2020

HEAVY PSYCH SOUNDS FEST announce new London, Paris, Antwerp and Deventer editions in 2020 with Mondo Generator, Black Rainbows, Duel, Lords Of Altamont and more!

Heavy Psych Sounds Records, the unstoppable cult and fuzz rock machine rising from Rome, Italy, has announced to once again conquer London, the Netherlands, Belgium and this time also Paris, with their highly acclaimed mini festival series: HEAVY PSYCH SOUNDS FEST!

Heavy Psych Sounds specializes in presenting the best artists in the global heavy psych, doom, fuzz blues and space rock realms, and their festival-series is no exception, spotlighting the ever-growing label’s dedication to its craft. HPS is not only THE address for all heavy rock record collectors, but it has also become an important live and festival institution; with a brisk participation from heavy music fans all over the world. Each hotspot of the traveling festival tour features diverse line-ups including both genre leaders and fast-rising acts, all ready to prove their place among the world’s best!

In cooperation with Desertscene, Rock in Bourlon, Metadrone and SOZ Concerts, Heavy Psych Sounds has announced the dates and bands to kick off 2020 in style in London, Antwerp, Paris and Deventer. Featuring high class acts such as Nick Oliveri’s MONDO GENERATOR, BLACK RAINBOWS, DUEL, DEAD WITCHES and many more, the HPS FEST series 2020 will be taking place in March. The line-up, dates and locations will look as follows:

HPS Fest Paris (FR) – March 5th @ Glazart
Facebook event
The Lords Of Altamont
Mondo Generator
Black Rainbows
Duel
Giöbia

HPS Fest Antwerp (BE) – March 6th @ Trix
Facebook event
Mondo Generator
Black Rainbows
Duel
The Lords Of Altamont
Dead Witches
Giöbia

HPS Fest London (UK) – March 7th @ The Underworld
Facebook event
Mondo Generator
Black Rainbows
Duel
Dead Witches
Giöbia
Gorilla
Alunah

HPS Fest Deventer (NL) – March 8th @ Burgerwheesuis
Facebook event
Mondo Generator
Black Rainbows
Duel
The Lords Of Altamont
Dead Witches

Better be quick and get your tickets HERE: https://www.heavypsychsounds.com/fests.htm#hps-fests-2020

“Heavy Psych Sounds is happy to announce the second edition of the London, Belgian and Netherlands HPS fest!“, label owner Gabriele Fiori comments. “Last year was such a success, so we also added Paris. We want to thank all the audiences, who make the label and booking so great. Bands, fans and promoters, we want to thank you all for your support and making it happen!“

Earlier this year, Heavy Psych Sounds also announced a bunch of festival dates in Berlin, Dresden (De), Rome (It) and Innsbruck (AT) to take place in the fall of 2019 with headlining acts such as CONAN, MONOLORD, among further heavy as hell bands alike BLACK RAINBOWS, THE SONIC DAWN, ALUNAH, ECSTATIC VISION and many more. Find out all details, tickets and info at this location.

https://www.facebook.com/HEAVYPSYCHSOUNDS/
https://heavypsychsoundsrecords.bandcamp.com/
www.heavypsychsounds.com/
https://www.heavypsychsounds.com/fests.htm

Black Rainbows, Pandaemonium (2018)

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Desertfest Belgium 2019 Completes Lineup; SÂVER, Crowhurst & Bismut Added

Posted in Whathaveyou on August 22nd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

desertfest belgium 2019 banner

From Sleep, Ty Segall and Zeal & Ardor to Swan Valley Heights, Lucy in Blue and Ungraven, the Desertfest Belgium 2019 lineup is now complete. The final three additions are Oslo sludge destroyers SÂVER, a special drone set from Crowhurst and Dutch instrumentalists Bismut, who between them emphasize what would seem to have been the point of Desertfest Belgium 2019 all along, which is that there’s all kinds of heavy out there and it’s all welcome in Antwerp. That a lineup should be so diverse in sound and still universally definable one way or the other as “heavy” is an impressive point to make, frankly, and whether that was a conscious thing on the part of the people putting the festival together or just how it all kind of worked out, seeing Nebula and Inter Arma and Yatra and Fireball Ministry all sharing space is only a boon to those lucky enough to actually do so.

Here’s the last announcement from the fest:

desertfest belgium 2019 final poster

Last Tickets! DFBE 2019 Line-up now complete

As the last Friday tickets are going out the door, you all are probably left wondering what names will complete this year’s festival line-up. So let us fill you in on the final acts:

With an impossibly extensive release catalogue, Jay Gambit has turned his collaborative project Crowhurst into a firm cult favorite. At this year’s Desertfest he will present us with a special drone set. Misanthropic extreme metal at its finest, let’s see if you all have the stomach for this…

On a lighter note, Bismut from Holland have made a name for themselves with energetic instrumental jam workouts. A heavy trio that works tight as a clockwork – a perfect fit for the Desertfest crowd we should think! And last but not least, SÂVER made a splash this year with their debut album ‘They Came With Sunlight’. Hypnotic post-doom veering between melody and brutality.

Like we said: the festival is nearly sold out, and could very well be full by the time you read this. Some day tickets for Friday is all we have left, but that’s still a quality line-up so you might as well consider it! Otherwise, please watch out for ticket scalpers – purchase safely.

And to all of you who already have their ticket in the pocket and nothing left to fear: YES! We are counting the days just as eagerly as you are! This year’s gonna be EPIC…

http://www.desertfest.be/tickets
https://www.facebook.com/desertfestbelgium/
https://www.facebook.com/events/2260579413999993/

SÂVER, They Came with Sunlight (2019)

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Desertfest Belgium 2019: Ruff Majik, Black Moon Circle, Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell & Rrrags Added

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 24th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

desertfest belgium 2019 banner

I like the themed lineup additions. Last time around from Desertfest Belgium 2019, it was the Belgian bands being highlighted. This time, it’s stuff in more of a psychedelic vein, though how much that might apply to the hard-nosed boogie of Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell is debatable. Still, it shows Desertfest Belgium is beginning to think of itself in a different way — not just as a meeting of bands, but a meeting styles as well, and a place where different notions of heavy, whether aesthetic or geographical, can intermingle and hopefully all come out better for it at the end of the weekend. It’s re-framing of the conversation of, “Oh hey, here are some more bands playing, get your tickets,” in a way that makes it more than just that. As somebody who reads his fair share of lineup announcements for various events, I’m hard pressed to think of someone else doing this thing in this way, and as always, I’m curious to see what it leads to.

For now, it’s leading to an increasingly badass lineup. From the PR wire:

desertfest belgium 2019 poster

PSYCH GALORE AT DFBE’19! RUFF MAJIK, BLACK MOON CIRCLE & MORE

This round of names is for all the fuzzheads out there! We have gathered a great selection of crunchy grooves for you, grounded as well as spaced-out – let’s get to it…

First off, we are so glad to have Ruff Majik on board. Hailing from Pretoria, they’re best proof that South-African stoner didn’t end with ‘The Big Heavies’, carrying the torch of bands like Suck and Freedom’s Children. Their recent outing ‘Tårn’ shows the band heavy as ever, and we’re excited to see them blast Desertfest!

We are also happy to see Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell return to our stage. New things are afoot, or so it seems… but whatever they’ve got in store for us you can rest assured it’s gonna be groovy to the max. It’s just how they roll.

Trip into hyperspace and take a hard left – that’s where you’ll find Black Moon Circle. A super freaked-out jam band with ties to the mighty Øresund Space Collective, BMC offers the finest in Nordish psychedelia through an ever expanding catalogue of records and exhilarating live shows.

Finally, get psyched for the appearance of Rrrags at DFBE’19! The unholy alliance of Ron Van Herpen (ex-The Devil’s Blood), Rob Zim (Lords of Altamont) and Rob Martin (former Bliksem) completely channels the spirit of all the mighty Power Trios that came before them. Classic rock and roll done right that has earned them accolades galore.

We’re nearing the finish line, but we’re not quite there yet! Stay tuned for a new update soon, and in the meantime… we already let you know the amount of combi tickets is dwindling fast so be safe not sorry, check the link below!

http://www.desertfest.be/tickets
https://www.facebook.com/desertfestbelgium/
https://www.facebook.com/events/2260579413999993/

Ruff Majik, Tårn (2019)

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Desertfest Belgium 2019 Highlights Belgian Acts; Fire Down Below, The Progerians, Vonnis & More Playing

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 15th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

desertfest belgium 2019 banner

Desertfest Belgium 2019, as noted just the other day, is getting pretty close to its final lineup, and as they do, they’re making sure they support the native Belgian scene with a number of acts being highlighted for the broader audience they’ll draw. Both Fire Down Below and The Progerians might be familiar to some who’ll hit up Antwerp this October, and 30,000 Monkies have been making the rounds of festivals, but VonnisGrotto and Crayon Sun are probably going to be new to most people who show up, and so all the better they’re getting a showcase at an event like Desertfest. Of course, the broader lineup isn’t short on big names, with Sleep and PelicanBongripper and Zeal & Ardor, etc., so there should be plenty of draw to get heads in front of the stage for these bands, and it’s among the most admirable things an international fest can do to shine a light on the local types. You know this already, but it’s worth saying.

The PR wire has it like this:

desertfest belgium 2019 belgians

BELGIAN BANDS AT DESERTFEST BELGIUM 2019!

Each year at DF Antwerp, we present you with a number of upcoming local acts that deserve to shine in front of our esteemed international crowd. Absolute bosses, each and every one of them!

Fire Down Below have been making waves in the worldwide stoner community from day one, drawing comparisons to anything from Kyuss to Red Fang to Soundgarden. Likewise, The Progerians from Brussels have built a steady reputation for their uncompromising yet fiercely exciting mix of punk anthems and sludge stomp.

Some leftfield choices that are bound to raise heads: VONNIS – sheer brutality poured into a Molotov cocktail of hardcore, grind and noise. On the flipside we have Crayon Sun, the new project of Aldo Struyf (Millionnaire, Mark Lanegan Band) and the Antwerp blues singer Big Dave.

We already announced the merry noise pranksters of 30,000 Monkies earlier this year, and we close off this chauvinist list with a fine slab of supreme instrumental spacerock, courtesy of Grotto.

Go forth and check out these great bands!

http://www.desertfest.be/tickets
https://www.facebook.com/desertfestbelgium/
https://www.facebook.com/events/2260579413999993/

Vonnis, Bikini Season (2019)

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Desertfest Belgium 2019: Zeal & Ardor to Headline; Dopelord and Lo-Pan Added

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 10th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

desertfest belgium 2019 banner

Desertfest Belgium 2019 isn’t quite done with its 2019 lineup yet, but as you can see below, that poster is getting awfully packed, so we must be getting close. With the announcement of Zeal and Ardor signing on to play, they’ve now unveiled the last of their headliners, and thereby signaled a reach that not only includes the very kingpins of stoner metal in Sleep, but also a broader range no less able to wrangle indie-cred via Ty Segall and full-spectrum forward-thinking metal from Zeal and Ardor. Backed by no shortage of righteousness in the realms of doom, psych and heavy — Lo-Pan and Dopelord also included here — it’s already a “well duh it’s gonna sell out” kind of lineup. One has to wonder what other tricks the Antwerp-based event might have left up its sleeve.

Guess we’ll find out:

desertfest belgium 2019 latest poster

Zeal & Ardor headlines Desertfest Belgium!

Were you all waiting for that final headliner to push you over the brink? Because that is what you are getting! Zeal & Ardor must count as one of the most exciting and original rock bands to emerge in the past few years, blending gospel with ear-deafening metal to devastating effect. What started out as a one-man project has now grown into a monstrous live band, and it will be the perfect crown on your first day of Desertfest Antwerp 2019.

Hailing from Poland, Dopelord is a mighty strong proponent of traditional doom with all boxes ticked. Some dark and heavy grooves to get your blaze on – every festival needs ’em, right!

Finally, we present you with two bands that come packed with some fresh sounds. Lo-Pan just released ‘Subtle’ which is already hailed as one of the most exciting stoner releases of this year. A band that knows how to push the envelope with each step they take. The same can be said of Elephant Tree, who are working on new material as we speak. We’re pretty sure you’re all anxious to hear what they come up with next!

That’s NOT all folks, we still have some stuff coming before summer’s in full swing! But seriously – what more do you need? Hit that button below!

IMPORTANT NOTE REGARDING TICKETS: the Reduced Combi Tickets are now sold out, and we’ve switched to Regular Combitickets. They can be yours for €115, all costs included! Day tickets remain at the fixed price.

http://www.desertfest.be/tickets
https://www.facebook.com/desertfestbelgium/
https://www.facebook.com/events/2260579413999993/

Zeal and Ardor, Live in London

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