ROADBURN FESTIVAL – 013 TILBURG HOLLAND
Roadburn is definitely the leading indoor festival on the massive European festival map. All in all, 4,300 visitors per day from all different corners of the world attended the festival. The whole festival event was sold out. Roadburn is such an eccentric & fascinating festival because it offers a wide range of different kinds of sonic musical pleasure from the electro noise via a dramatic musical journey to the most extreme forms of metal. Metal-Rules.com was at present at Roadburn to witness the unique performances and gigs by many musicians and bands. This year the event was curated by the legendary Lee Dorrian who had invited, for example, Diamanda Galas, whose performance was extremely dominating and rousing. However here is the brief article on Roadburn 2016.
Cult Of Luna seemed to be enjoying the loyal following amongst the Roadburn audience as the whole renewed main club was entirely packed. Cult Of Luna’s bizarre sonic maelstrom was hypnotic and they put on an ear-ripping performance.
Der Blutharsch And The Infinite Church Of The Leading Hand is a previously unknown acquaintance. The music could be described a combination of doom metal meets psychedelic and proge. The most eccentric thing was the female vocalist sitting with the harmonic organs. The stuff was heavy as hell with certain psychedelic influences involved.
The Skull is being the current new band formed by former Trouble front man Eric Wagner. The five piece had scheduled two different sets for Roadburn. The first one was based on their own material from the Skull albums with a couple of expected Trouble tunes thrown in, such as “Touch The Sky”. The front man seems to act a bit mellow on stage and appeared to be a little bit stoned. However, Skull’s own material doesn’t match the classic era of Trouble. Still, Wagner on the mic is always pleasant to listen to. Placing them on the main stage was kind of an eccentric choice, but the band didn’t pull in even half of the full capacity of the place.
Inverloch is kind of the same as the long-running Australian band, Disembowelment. The smaller Green Room had a more intense club atmosphere and was without a doubt suitable for this kind of brutal doom/death metal approach. Inverloch is an obvious continuation of what Disembowelment left, including members. The name of the game was utterly slow death/doom as expected. That kind of approach definitely appeals to the Roadburn crowd for sure. Inverloch truly stands for super doom/death brutality with the certain slowness.
Hexvessel has, after signing a deal with Century Media, become more and more known. Labeling them as an occult rock band isn’t quite fair, but Hexvessel has certain psychedelic aspects in their music, but also playing with the mystique and occultism themes. Hexvessel seemed to have the approval of the audience and received a good response.
Converge is known for intensive and aggressive gigs. Vocalist Jacob Bannon is definitely the ultimate restless front man; it seems like he has a brutal electric shock running through his skinny body. The audience got encouraged by the front man and the band’s tight playing and restless moving and as a result there were quite a few people crowd surfing, making the front row one hell of a melting pot. Converge’s metalcore ain’t a genre we’d listen to every day but on the stage, they rule.
Misbyrming hail from Iceland and have gained some fame during the past few years. Therefore seeing the full over-packed church looking like a club wasn’t an unexpected surprise. The Icelandic black metal squad relies on a more chaotic sonic blackened approach. Despite the chaotic sonic onslaught, the band offered an unique set of uncompromising and fascinating grim blackish maelstrom. Despite their not-so-grim looking image, the five-piece’s music is definitely something magical and has a certain Icelandic mystique.
Paradise Lost’s second album GOTHIC was a real breakthrough in the early ’90s. Every death/doom metaller got totally possessed by that majestically excellent album and tried to copy it in a way or another. Some years have passed by since the album saw the light of day but the band had promised to perform in its entirety. As for Nick Holmes’ voice, he is no longer any death metal growler nowadays. Instead his voice is closer to a creaky-sounding style. Hearing the whole GOTHIC album performed live was amazing indeed. Several nearly forgotten gems got new life. The rest of the set was based on the material such as “Hallowed Land”, “Embers Fire”, “As I Die” and the video song from the latest album, “Beneath Broken Earth” concluded the whole set.
Diamanda Galas has been one big mystery and she’s managed to keep that secrecy during her long career. As far as Diamanda Galas’ performance is concerned it was pure magic, and pretty scary to be honest. The black haired lady with the black clothes sitting at a grand piano, putting on a sonically impressive vocal performance. That was an unique combination and above all a spellbinding show by Diamanda Galas. Her playing and the way she used her voice goes beyond the normal human comprehension. Diamanda Galas must be witnessed live to realize her genius.
Repulsion, playing after Diamanda Galas, was definitely odd and at the same time, one hell of a contrast for sure. Led by Scott Carlson, they played the whole HORRIFIED album, song by song. The fast played thrash with the raw old school grinding death was like a slap in a face and a return to the early days of the DIY underground genre. Repulsion definitely stands for the old school and provided a nostalgia trip to that era. Repulsion has always been a true underground combo, and enjoyed a big cult following at Roadburn. The band proved to be in the furious striking form throughout the whole set.
With The Dead, led by Lee Dorrian, offered one hell of a brutal lesson on what real doom with the death aspects is all about. With The Dead could be compared to the early days of Cathedral, like on the band’s demo and first album but With The Dead is a little bit heavier in certain aspects. Dorrian’s stage manners are basically the same such as in the Cathedral era.
G.I.S.M, hailing from Japan, have never ever played outside their homeland, even though the band was formed in the beginning of the 80’s. G.I.S.M has been on hiatus several times and broke up a couple of times. Lee Dorrian, as curator of Roadburn made a real great cultural choice by inviting this Japanese crust/hardcore combo to Roadburn. As a result, there were a few dozen die hard punks with the ultimate mohawk hair style. As far as G.I.S.M is concerned, underground legends offered a mind blowing set of raw and primitive punk with old school sounds as well as aspects reminding one slightly of Discharge in the heyday of the ’80s punk era. G.I.S.M was primitive, raw, and above all, sounded like what people expect: fuckin’ brutal.
Pentagram is a regular visitor at Roadburn and this time the band had been invited by Lee Dorrian. Well, Pentagram’s core of Griffen and Liebling are the band’s driving force and when Griffin was absent from the line-up it felt like some pieces of the puzzle were missing. Griffin’s riffing and guitar playing create the essential and recognizable sound for Pentagram. Without Griffin’s input the whole legendary band would be badly lost. Liebling was in the zone and in a rocking mood and above all, sober. His voice sounds good and all the Pentagram songs were definitely superb.
The Skull did another set, just playing the old school Trouble stuff: the entire classic debut album. It is a damn shame there are technically two trouble bands, and both are doing the mandatory Trouble classic songs. However, Eric Wagner is the true voice for those tunes. Hopefully some day both camps will bury the hatchet. As for this gig, well, it was basically the same kind as the first one. With a flexible attitude and grip the band handled it.
Skepticism’s set was based on songs picked by the fans. Scepticism’s stuff is slower than normal funeral doom metal in general. Above all, the term “funeral” fits the band’s visual aspects. They arrived on stage with the funeral-looking clothes and placed roses on the monitors. Scepticism is super doomy stuff and playing this metal properly and with dedicated passion demands a real professional fanaticism.
Brothers Of The Sonic Cloth, hailing from Seattle, have roots in the grunge movement of the early ’90s. However, there were no grunge influences in the sounds of the Brothers instead, the stuff could be linked in the same league as Crowbar and other kinds of the heaviest NOLA outfits. Unfortunately, due to a broken guitar string, the giant front man came up with the idea to perform turn up his personal vocal performance to fill up the gap. The man definitely has a deep sound.
Tau Cross feature members from Amebix, Misery, and Voivod. The band relies on a more rock-based approach with some punk influences. The five-piece offered a wide range of the material off of their self-titled album. Some songs were quite punky, where some of them were based on acoustic sounds. The sound was awesome, giving the right atmosphere for Tau Cross’ excellent show. The former Amebix man known as The Baron looked scary on stage and is an awesome front man. Away’s drumming was definitely intense, as his playing was a pleasure to follow. The gig was so convincing and as a result, I had to buy the debut CD right after the show.
BeastMaker, hailing from California, plays a kind of straight forward rock with some stoner influences. The trio seemed to be truly having fun on stage and kept begging the audience to offer them a joint. Beastmaker’s cool sounding rock was refreshing and it looked like the guys hadn’t taken many showers during the past few weeks.
Amenra’s set was totally acoustic. The guys were sitting in a circle and playing nice. Boring. Guys – do not do this kind of acoustic set again. It doesn’t fit your style as you are known for giving an extremely brutal live experience.
Neurosis’ 30th anniversary gig was basically the headlining performance of the whole festival. Neurosis have been unleashing sonic noise terror since 1985 and have earned a huge cult following through the years. Neurosis represents the real ultimate rawness and heaviness. Both Kelly and Von Till are both strong front men, leaving other members behind. For example, the bassist nearly got lost on stage as the duo’s role and charisma are so dominating. The visual side of the show, paired with the sonic assault, was definitely mind blowing and above all, the band didn’t waste time with chit chat between songs. Neurosis’ sludge is brutal and ear-ripping, but also extremely powerful and truly dominating.
Ken Nardi, the former front man of Anacrusis played the smaller club stage, called Green Room. Anacrusis released four albums from 1988-1993 and went on a long hiatus, tried to reunite, but fell apart. For obvious reasons, most of Nardi’s set consisted of the material from Anacrusis. Apparently the band didn’t enjoy tremendous fame and glory and remained a cult name because only a fistful of people that arrived to see Nardi. As for the set in general, the old Anacrusis songs sounded timeless and refreshing indeed.
Roadburn is THE tremendously awesome indoor festival, arranged every year at the prestigious O13 club in Tilburg Holland. The line-up has always been incredibly large, covering a wide range of different types of rock and metal music. But, the occasional experience of lining up and waiting for 30 minues or even more to get in to witness some certain band in action, and then missing other bands playing at the same time, started pissing some people off, for sure. Missing Oranssi Pazuzu was quite annoying. However, the festival is great, and hopefully the organization of the festival will work to improve and get the fest better and better. Looking forward to next year!