Roadburn 2018 – 013 Tilburg Holland

Spread the metal:

Roadburn is definitely the leading indoor festival on the  European festival map. All in all, 4,300 visitors per day from different corners of the world attended the festival.  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.  This year the event was curated by the frontman of Converge who had selected several artists. Therefore the line-up offered a few interesting hardcore acts and of course the Canadian band called Godspeed You Black Emperor. Once again was at present at Roadburn to witness the unique performances and gigs by many musicians and bands. Here is the brief article on the fest.


Waste of Space Orchestra turned out to be an interesting act being the first opening band on the main stage. The act could be described as one sort of project featuring members of Dark Buddha Rising with Oranssi Pazuzu. The stuff presented by Waste Of Space Orchestra sounded quite apocalyptic and chaotic. On the other hand the material was on purpose to be real extreme and barbaric outburst with some blackish metal elements tied.

Earthless being three piece an instrumental psychedelic group from San Diego hit the mainstage of the Club 013. The psychedelic term definitely describes the band’s approach more than well. The guitarist Isaiah Mitchell’s work and playing was fantastic. Even though Earthless is said to be a more instrumental compo, however Mitchell took over the vocals quite a few times. The catchy riffs and phenomenal playing made everyone listen to the band and enjoy the music floating around the venue, Listening to this sort of stuff demands one certain concentrating feeling.

Årabrot hailing from Norway was another interesting name on the roster.  After the gig the frontman of Årabrot was interviewed regarding a document made of him and his recovery from the throat cancer. The guy turned out to be very humble and down-the-earth type of person.  As far as their live performance is concerned, the singer and his huge hat definitely stole the whole show. Årabrot music is a strange mix of rock and even post-rock with the relentless rhythm changes and time-to-time aggressive in-your-face riffs. After all Årabrot’s is such a melting pot of different kinds of influences that it sounded unique and even a little bit raw, yet melodic. The singer appeared to be a real charismatic singer as he and Årabrot would deserve the more attention and even breakthrough.

Converge did an outstanding raging set at Roadburn a few years back. Therefore seeing them again at Roadburn wasn’t surprise. Besides the relentless frontman Jacob Bannon is a great performer for sure. Converge did two sets at Roadburn. The first one consisted of the album titled “The Dusk In Us” as it was played as whole. The band hammered each song with the intensive grip. The set had a few previously never-played songs such as “ Wildlive” and Cannibals. Once again Jacon Bannon proved to be one hell of a great frontman.

Hällas hailing from Sweden has reached for one sort of hype as they seem to have been booked by several festival and gig promoters. Hällas draws influences from the 70’s rock and mix it with the modern day rock approaches. Somehow the band plays with the occultism and magic and ties the music perfectly together by creating the old school 70’s feeling.  Mentioning the 70’s era is kind of eccentric cos most of concert attendances were in the 80’s for sure. However Hällas must be checked out if they happen play nearby.

Hooded Menace should have played at the Netherland Deathfest as well, cos the five piece’s death metal is so murderous brutal as well as catchy. As for Roadburn   Hooded Menace’s purpose was to play the entire “FulFill The Curse” album as it celebrates it’s tenth anniversary. Hooded Menace’s death/doom metal echoed in the hall of the Het Patronaat venue. The band pulled the set with the deadly grip thru. The Het Patronaat venue was an excellent place for this sort of the death/doom. Hooded Menace played another gig, which was kind of secret one in an obscure bar. That would have been fantastic to see them there as these kinds of small obscure places have always offered great live experiences.

Weedeater’s frontman and bassist definitely lives up to his band’s name for sure. Dave Dixie Collins enjoyed several drinks of Jack Daniels and his live performance was full of crazy passion. Of course Weedeater brings some remeincents of the hillbilly culture as it would be cool to sit at the bench and enjoy the weed.  Weedeater definitely culminates around Collins’ stage manners and his performance. His funny jumps and way of kicking his bass looked hilarious. Weedeater did a good set of their sludge tunes.


The Tribulation guitarist Jonathan Hulten did the acoustic set of his own. His way of catching the attention by having such eccentric custom was definitely interesting and obviously it was the part of his music. The music is quite mellow and peaceful.

Thaw hailing from Poland can be described as a mix of industrial, ambient and black metal. Well the four piece definitely had these black metal elements in the sounds. When the band started the set, the stuff sounded extremely heavy doom with a little bit sludge influences. Apparently they have more avant-garde elements in the sounds and the approaches. At least judging by their stage appearance, it was quite challenge to perceive an extreme whatever metal band, cos members looked like they would have been dragged some office to the stage.

Crowbar is definetly Kurt Windstein’s own dear brainchild. Even though members have and gone and Crowbar has been on hiatus once or a while, but Windstein with Crowbar enjoys the loyal following and still highly participated. Crowbar mostly concentrated on the  ODE FELLOWS REST album by doing the entire album and a couple of songs off BROKEN GLASS and finally the Led Zeppelin cover. Crowbar sounded heavy with the obvious sludge elements, which have been part of the Crowbar sounds since the early days. All the songs of ODE FELLLOWS REST got the prestigious handling.  When playing the whole album, some songs got their premiers such as Behind the “Black Horizon” “New Born Man”.

The Polish black metal outfit Furia hit the stage of Koepelhal and had got the huge crowd. As a matter of fact the Koepelhal  venue turned out to be a great place to witness bands as the sounds were great and the stage was incredible massive. As for Furia’s gig,  the four piece ‘s blackish metal was a weird of mix of experimental as well as straightforward raw black metal approach. Even though the stage was huge, but the band mostly concentrated on creating the apocalyptic hymns and riff. To be honest, the stuff sounded so interesting and even a little bit weird in a positive way, that definitely woke a listener’s interest up to check out them.

The British industrial pioneers Godflesh has been seen on the stae at Roadburn a few times before. A few years ago Godflesh played the whole Streetcleaner album thru at the Roadburn fest a few years ago. Despite Streetcleaner is hailed as a milestone of the industrial metal, the other Godflesh albums have been more obscure, as the larger audience haven’t been that much aware of them. However “Selfless” came out in 1994 gained the good respond back then. The duet did the entire album as expected. Godflesh’s industrial monger is definitely merciless and brutal. The programmed beats made the heart pump and have a few extra jumps.


Grave Pleasures formerly known as BeastMilk has gained the fanatical cult following all around Europe. The band’s greatness is not that well appreciated in their domestic Finland yet. Playing at the main stage was definitely a right and justified place for Grave Pleasures. The band’s Joy Division influenced stuff sounded totally spellbounding and catching. The singer’s, Mat McNerney,  hypnotic voice fitted sounded splendid. The band did all in all 14 songs from both the albums of Grave Pleasures and BeastMilk. Even though members have come and gone and the name got changes, however Mat McNerney has successfully guided the band to the level of the success that other bands can only dream about. It was great to witness how the audience danced and enjoyed the tunes of Grave Pleasures.


The Seattle funeral doomester Bell Witch has been witnessed at Roadburn earlier, but obviously playing in a huge indoor venue must be an entire new experience for the two piece doom mongers. Bell Witch is super slow doom and heavy indeed . Despite being heavy, Bell Witch’s doom is also very dominating hypnotic. Especially the drummer’s brutal growling sounded perfect. Somehow Bell Witch had some kind of reminiscent of how the legendary Winter used to sound. Seattle’s doomesters definitely the sound of their own, but this gig was truly heavy as hell.

Hugsja being a brainchild of Einar Selvik and Ivar Bjornsson made its debut live appearance at Roadburn. Both the members are known for works and involments in the Norwegian extreme metal genre for years. Above all Einar Selvik has gained the fame and the glory with Warduna and the band’s music got the extreme heavy boost on the TV series Vikings. Back to Hugsja, the combo is much simplier as consisting five guys. Hugsja’s music is definitely based on the Norse mythology. The music was definitely spellbounding and capturing and even hypnotic.

Boris and Stephen O’Malley have always been regular visitors and artists at Roadburn for years. Both the names are known for creating the real sonic pain and pleasure. Stephen O’Malley’s Sunn O))) is without any doubts a real pioneer in this genre, so is Boris as well. Combining Boris and O’Malley together to perform at Roadburn, it can be expected the real sonic rendezvous of these maestros. It was definitely one hell of sonic assault for sure. The gig was some kind of ritualistic performance included for example the drummer’s performance with the percussion during the Absolutego song.  The gig was kind of mystical and hypnotic, because of their performance and sounds and of course lights.


The hardcore or punk rock group  All Pigs Must Die, feat, Ben Koller of Converge, did the set of the most uncompromising hardcore/punk rock during the whole weekend. The outfits literally blew the stage off by rioting with the intensive performance and extreme short and furious riffs. All Pigs Must Die sounded brutal and performed in the intensive way throughout the whole show. The singer was truly relentless one.


Vanagandr :Sol An Varma is another interesting project consisting of members of the Icelandic black metal bands from Misþyrming, Svartidaudi, Naðra and Wormlust. The project’s approach sounded and looked brutal and barbaric. The stuff was occasionally kind of chaotic and cacophonic, but definitely controlled and enjoyable for sure.

Hell is not the same Hell hailing from England and playing the theatrical old school heavy metal. Instead this Hell was a pure doom sludge sounding outfit. Hell truly offered a deep slow hard stuff of the pure sludge with the obvious doom metal stuff. However some hipsters references could be felt in their stuff.

Wolfbrigade formerly known as WolfPack offered a brutal set of the raw and in-your-face hardcore stuff. The frontarea of the stage was a pure riot territory, when the Swedes literally hammered each song down. The frontman encouraged the crowd go totally apeshit. To say it simply Wolfbrigade was and sounded brutal and raw.

Being the last band on the main stage aint’t the most grateful place for any bands. The Chinese black metal squad Zuriaake was the last one playing on the main stage. Unfortunately the venue wasn’t even full when the Chinese black metallers started spreading the Chinese black metal. The material of Zuriaake can easily be described as the more atmospheric black metal with the Chinese music influences. The squad entered the stage with candelabrums in the hands and did a real cultural trip to China and back. Even though the beginning of the set of Zuriaake was quite rugged, but the sounds and in general playing got better and better.  The Zuriaake definitely stood out when compared to other more hipster blackish bands because of their way of putting more effort into the custom and creating the mythic atmosphere with the Chinese mythology.

GosT shares the same kind of spirithood along with Carpenter Brut and Perturbator. This sort of synthesized with the poppish elements have become quite dominating  and popular. To be honest it was quite to see and testify the crowd going wild and crazy pits for GosT.  GosT consisting of two guys enjoy the following amongst the metal crowd. To be honest this was quite hilarious way to conclude to the Roadburn festival of 2018 by seeing GosT.

All in All the whole experience of Roadburn was nothing, but a pure blast and see good old friends and make new friends. Meeting different people from the different part of the world was great. The line-up of Roadburn 2018 offered a wide range of different genres from the extreme black metal to the synthesized pop and of course the crust hard core punk and everything between. What shall Roadburn offer in 2019 ? Well at least it is sure it is going to be as interesting and exciting as the previous years. See ya there.

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