Desertfest UK: Various Venues, Camden, London UK

desertfest london-camden

These days the London borough Camden is mostly just a tourist trap; full of tourists, and overpriced beer. It is, however, still home to some quality venues, and is the perfect place to let Desertfest UK take over for a weekend of stoner rock in all its forms. Special thanks go out to Jessica Lotti Photography for sharing her images of the weekend with our readers.

Saturday:

Opening the proceedings over at the Electric Ballroom is Icelandic trio The Vintage Caravan. Boasting some decent rock star shapes on stage, front man/guitarist Óskar Logi Ágústsson clearly has an affinity for the late 60s/early 70s, delivering a boogie-filled set full of riffs and jams Jimi Hendrix and Cream would be proud of. A nearly full Ballroom is bouncing long before their set is over.

Over at the Jazz Café’s Prog stage, London five-piece Sumer aren’t afraid to show off their love of Tool. Clearly a talented bunch with a talent for combining thick riffs, vocal melodies and subtle dynamics all into one crunching ball. Unfortunately, while they fill the stage with numbers there’s not a lot of stage presence. But their debut album, The Animal You Are, is well worth checking out if you like your post/progressive metal.

The Black Heart boasts not only the best range of beers and ales Desertfest has to offer, but also the sweatiest venue. A tightly packed and perspiration–drenched throng squeeze in for the excellently-named Jeremy Irons & The Ratgang Malibus. The Swedish quartet deal in retro-psychedelic stoner and deliver an enjoyable set of classic rock, but their secret weapon is the wailing vocals of Karl Apelmo. Not a million miles away from the Scorpion Child’s Aryn Jonathan Black, he lifts decent music to something a lot more impressive.

Next up are Ten Foot Wizard, who deliver one the best sets of the weekend. Sporting some glorious Hawaiian shirts, the Mancunians take an already hot and sweaty venue into even wetter territory with their blend of dirty, fuzzy riffs and good time rock’n’roll. The band clearly know how to have fun on stage and that translates into one of the liveliest crowds of the entire festival. Mixing riffs of Clutch and early Queens of the Stone Age with a dirty groove of Alabama ThunderPussy, chuck in some megaphones, Theremin solos and songs about tits, and you’ve got a winning combo. TFW are a hoot and far better than their (fairly decent) debut record Return to the Infinite suggests.

Brant Bjork And The Low Desert Punk Band, by Jessica Lotti Photography

Brant Bjork And The Low Desert Punk Band, by Jessica Lotti Photography

After such a party, returning to the cool and spacious Ballroom for Brant Bjork is something of a comedown. The set is full of quality tunes drawn mainly from his latest album, Black Power Flower, but the chilled out desert rock vibe, combined with a fairly static performance from Bjork – with his Low Desert Punk Band in tow – is kind of underwhelming. Bjork’s solo material is severely under-rated, but the former Kyuss drummer’s laid back style fails to really the get juices flowing.

Brant Bjork And The Low Desert Punk Band, by Jessica Lotti Photography

Brant Bjork And The Low Desert Punk Band, by Jessica Lotti Photography

 

Sunday

Opening Sunday is Belgian psychedelic rockers Moaning Cities at The Purple Turtle. Sporting funky dance moves and the only sitar of the weekend, this Belgian outfit combine hypnotic atmospheres with 60s psychedelic pop and still manage to make a lot of noise. Trippy, intense, loud, and not a bad way to start the Sabbath.

Over at Koko, we’re treated with back-to-back instrumental bands with Karma in their name, but very different approaches. German four piece My Sleeping Karma do their best to create an atmosphere; employing eerie visuals [which unfortunately didn’t seem to be working right for much of the set] with soundscapes that create a nice audio-visual experience that’s easy to get lost in. It’s almost the opposite of Karma to Burn’s approach. The US power trio only deal in thunderous noise, punching their way through sonically crushing set that pounds your eardrums repeatedly for 60 minutes. There’s no subtly, but it is invigorating and gets and keeps the crowd’s attention throughout. This is how instrumentals bands should be done; Guitarist William Mecum is a one man riff machine that’s few on words but has stage swagger that makes up for the lack of verbatim, while drummer Evan Devine is an absolute powerhouse.

Karma To Burn,

Karma To Burn, by Jessica Lotti Photography

 

It’s not all quality however. Despite hailing from Hampshire, XII Boar really, really wish they were from the deep south of the US. The trio’s bland brand of cowboy metal is a concoction of groove, whiskey-soaked “YEAAAH!”s and unsubtly-recycled Pantera riffs. The kind of racket you’d expect at a keg party in a Bam Margera video, it’s really, really, really dumb fun at best, and a poor man’s Hellyeah at worst. The Underworld, meanwhile, has been wasted as stage dedicated to originally NWOBHM bands such as Quartz and Angel Witch along with a bunch of thinly-veiled tribute acts. Londoners Amulet fall unashamedly into the latter category. Sporting tight denim, bad moustaches and the Iron Maiden riff-book, Amulet definitely aren’t cool, but they clearly don’t care. An over-abundance of enthusiasm and a decent selection of riffs & solos ripped off from the likes of Maiden, Diamond Head and Angel Witch means by the end of the set it’s hard to dislike them. Painfully original, but harmless fun.

Back at the Purple Turtle, there’s a double bill of Doom. Despite some initial sound troubles, Sweden’s The Order of Israfel combine classic Black Sabbath-esque 70s doom with an almost Thin Lizzy-like appreciation of twin leads and guitar solos to create something evilly epic on a medieval scale. The Wounded Kings, by contrast are a bit of a let-down. Despite being chronically heavy on riffs, they’re surprisingly light on songs. They might be able to rattle the foundations of the building with the same kind of Earth shattering reverb as Electric Wizard, but vocalist George Birch is lost in the mix and things never really go as far as entertaining.

Sleep, by Jessica Lotti Photography

Sleep, by Jessica Lotti Photography

 

It wouldn’t be a proper stoner festival without the riffs of the mighty Matt Pike, and with Sleep he delivers spades of them. The stoner legends were under-appreciated during their original run but a rammed Koko goes crazy for ‘Dragonaut’, while new song ‘The Clarity’ get a rapturous response. More involved in their own playing than the audience, the band stomp through barely ten songs with no encore in an hour and a half set, but there no complaints. The likes of ‘DopeSmoker’ and ‘Holy Mountain’; manage to be both crushingly heavy, yet at the same time hypnotizing. An appropriate ending for a weekend of Black Sabbath-and-bong worshipping.

Sleep, by Jessica Lotti Photography

Sleep, by Jessica Lotti Photography

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WORDS BY DAN SWINHOE

PHOTOS BY JESSICA LOTTI PHOTOGRAPHY

FESTIVAL PREVIEW: Desertfest UK

desertfest uk flyer

With Roadburn having just ended last weekend, the season for European music festivals is here Joining the ranks of it’s better known sister festival in Germany, Desertfest UK is fast becoming one of the best events in the world. The event will take place from April 24th-26th at stellar venues in London such as: The Electric Ballroom, Koko, The Underworld, The Black Heart, The Jazz Cafe and the Purple Turtle Especially if you pray to at the altar of the riff almighty, the subsonic tones of sludge and just a rocking good time in general, this fest is for you. The weekend passes are already sold-out, further proving the attraction these line-ups will bring.

Friday kicks things off in the early afternoon with up and comers Torpor leading off. Likely the best afternoon band of any day of the fest will be Floor at the Electric Ballroom. Following them will be The Atomic Bitchwax, and headliners Electric Wizard and the mighty Red Fang. The Underworld is host to grimmer acts such as Dopethrone, Agrimonia, Black Cobra, Minsk, and Noothgrush. Also not to be missed on Friday are comeback kings End of Level Boss. They are always super fun live!

Saturday has a super doom and sludge infection in the form of Vintage Caravan, Sex Swing, Pale Horse, Black Pyramid, Lo Pan, Anthromorph, Obake, Ten Foot Wizard, Hang the Bastard plus Brant Bjork And Low Desert Punks. EyeHateGod continues their return to Europe, promising another brutal set.

Adding to the awesomeness of Saturday is the fests first prog stage, led by Amplifier, Sweet Billy Pilgrim, I am The Morning, Landskap and others. This is really momentous for the fest and hopefully it becomes a regular thing in years to come.

Sunday will bring things to a boil with more underground bands Amulet, Quartz Cancer, Sallie, Witch Hazel, SSS, The Wounded Kings, and Angel Witch amongst many others. Of course the headliner Sleep might be half the draw for the weekend, as well as Ufomammut, Karma To Burn, and Acid King. With official after show every night of the fest, this promised to be a non-stop jamming party the whole time.

Desertfest UK on Facebook

Desertfest UK on Twitter

 

Floor And Minsk Announce April European Tour

floorminsk

Floor and Minsk are confirmed for an April European tour together. Confirmed dates as as follows:

Apr 09: O13 – Tilburg, NET (‘Roadburn Festival‘) (no Minsk)
Apr 10: Doom over Leipzig Festival – Leipzig, GER
Apr 11: Hafenklang – Hamburg, GER
Apr 12: Cassiopeia – Berlin, GER
Apr 13: Klub Hydrozagadka – Warsaw, POL
Apr 14: 007 – Prague, CZE
Apr 15: p.m.k. – Innsbruck, AUT
Apr 16: Feierwerk – München, GER
Apr 17: Freakout Club – Bologna, ITA
Apr 18: Arci Lo Fi – Milano, ITA (‘SoloMacello Fest‘)
Apr 20: Espace B – Paris, FRA
Apr 21: La Scène Michelet – Nantes, FRA
Apr 22: La Péniche – Lille, FRA
Apr 23: FZW – Dortmund, GER
Apr 24: The Desert Fest – London, UK
Apr 25: Kavka – Antwerp, BEL

floor minsk euro tour 2015

Anathema To Play Special Set At Roadburn Festival

roadburn 15 image

 

As previously noted by Ghost Cult and hinted at by the band on their recent tour, Anathema is going to play Roadburn 2015. They are going to perform a special set Sunday night, that will likely be an outgrowth of their already announced “Cathedrals Tour” of Europe in next spring.

 

 

Official Press Release:

It is our honour to announce that Anathema will headline the Sunday date of the 20th edition of Roadburn Festival, at the 013 venue on April 12, 2015 in Tilburg, The Netherlands, with a special performance that will span the innovative British band’s 25-year career, and include special guest appearances by former bassist and songwriterDuncan Patterson and original singer Darren White. The Roadburn show will be one of just a few dates that will make up Anathema’s short 2015 ‘Resonance’ tour.

Anathema have steadily built a loyal following worldwide, and their career trajectory is unlike that of any other band in the last quarter century, and will be reflected and celebrated in reverse chronological order at Roadburn 2015. Starting with the anthemic progressive rock of their recent work (2012’s classic Weather Systems and 2010’sWe’re Here Because We’re Here), the performance will gradually move back in time through the more gothic-oriented material of 1998’s Alternative 4 and 1996’s Eternity, all the way back to the pioneering work of 1995’s The Silent Enigma and the 1993debut Serenades, with Patterson and White joining the band onstage for an historic reunion.

“Roadburn festival [is] a hugely respected institution and has to be the most fitting launch for the Anathema ‘Resonance’ tour, [It will be] a celebration of the band’s entire history, and to be joined by our old friends and comrades Duncan Patterson and Darren White for these exclusive shows will be a very special, potent and positive event for all of us. We hope you can join in this once in a lifetime celebration”Danny Cavanagh.

This will be one of Roadburn 2015’s absolute highlights, and we can’t express how happy we are that the band has chosen Roadburn for such a once in a lifetime performance. Anathema‘s early albums – the lineups with Duncan Patterson andDarren White – as well as the Judgement album have been a huge influence on many bands that have played Roadburn over the years, and they they are a blueprint for the festival itself as well. We’ve been in love with this band since the beginning, and their headlining performance on Sunday is Roadburn’s own tribute to Anathema, a unique opportunity for fans to see the band perform with two crucial early members.

Distan_Satellites

The 20th edition of Roadburn Festival runs from April 9 to 12, 2015 in Tilburg, The Netherlands.

Tickets are still available: http://www.ticketmaster.nl/artist/roadburn-festival-tickets/875833


Curated by
Ivar Bjørnson (Enslaved) and Wardruna‘s Einar “Kvitrafn” Selvik, Roadburn Festival 2015 (including Fields of the Nephilim, Anathema, Skuggsjá, Enslaved, Wardruna, Claudio Simonetti’s Goblin performing Dawn of The Dead and Susperia in its entirety, Zombi, Sólstafir, White Hills, Bongipper, Floor, Eyehategod and The Heads as Artist In Residence among others) will run for four days from Thursday, April 9 to Sunday, April 12 at the 013 venue in Tilburg, The Netherlands.

Roadburn Festival 2015 Adds More Names

Roadburn Festival 2015 Thou

Sludgey doom titans Thou and Horror tinged metallers Acid Witch are among the latest bands announced for Roadburn Festival 2015. They will join the likes of NOLA sludge icons Eyehategod, Prog metal heavyweights Enslaved and doom titans Bongripper at the event in Tilburg, The Netherlands from the 9th April to the 13th April 2015.

 

Press release:

The Cinematic Feel of Roadburn Festival 2015; Acid Witch and THOU amongst others confirmed

The 20th edition of Roadburn, set for April 9 – 12 at the 013 venue in Tilburg, The Netherlands, is going to be a treat for those who love soundtracks (and screenings). In addition to Sólstafir performing an instrumental soundtrack to Hrafn Gunnlaugsson’sHrafninn Flýgur (When The Raven Flies), and Mugstar playing Ad Marginem in its entirety, Claudio Simonetti’s Goblin will perform their much acclaimed movie scores for George A. Romero’s Dawn Of The Dead and Dario Argento’s Suspiria at the 2015 festival.

Led by Brazilian-born composer Claudio Simonetti, the band will perform the live scores of Dawn of the Dead (Saturday, April 11) and Suspiria (Sunday, April 12) in real time while screening both movies from start to finish. This will offer our beloved attendees the chance to experience these classic soundtracks and films on the main stage, and in an entirely new dimension.

This will be the first time that these soundtracks will be performed live in The Netherlands, and follow the band’s critically acclaimed performance at last year’s festival, when Claudio Simonetti’s Goblin were invited by curator Mikael Åkerfeldt.

Sólstafir will also take to the main stage for their soundtrack performance (Thursday,April 9), whilst Mugstar will grace the stage of Het Patronaat on Saturday, April 11.

Besides these four special performances, Zombi (aka Messrs. Moore and Paterra) will also open up the stargate and herald the zombie dawn on the main stage of the 013 venueon Saturday, April 11.

Since first hitting the general consciousness with their 2004 debut album, Cosmos, on Relapse, and wowing fans and critics alike with 2011’s Escape Velocity, it could be argued that Zombi were the spearhead for the whole resurgence of interest in obscure film soundtracks, and the music of artists such as Goblin and Fabio Frizzi.

We also have exclusive solo performances from Zombi masterminds Steve Moore and A E Paterra – performing under his Majeure identity – both of whom will be playing on the day before, Friday, April 10 at Het Patronaat.

Taking the best parts of 1970s progressive rock – think King Crimson and a bit of early Genesis – 1980s post-punk, horror movie soundtracks, and avant-metal, London’s The Osiris Club have a definite cinematic feel. They are part other worldly mystery, part eccentric urban wizardry, part playful whimsy, and frequent twinges of a John Carpenterfilm score.

Clearly influenced by the Euro Horror underground film scene of the 70s (and maybe a bit of the 80s, too), London based Zoltan manage to tread the line between eerie, spine chilling terror and spooky soundtrack-prog perfectly. Their two albums, beautifully recorded in full analogue glory, stand in testament to their musical prowess.

In related news, having been nourished on a sick, spooky-ooky diet of old school (death) metal, VHS fright flicks and psilocybin, Detroit’s psychedelic doomsters Acid Witch will bring their 80s inspired metal movie marijuana massacre meltdown to the 20th edition of Roadburn Festival on Saturday, April 11 at Het Patronaat.

On the banks of the Mississippi there dwells a ferocious beast with an open third eye that, when you look in it, shows you the parts of yourself you wish you could forget. THOU have been haunting Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and just about everywhere else on tour for the better part of a decade, bringing a consuming, atmospheric brand of sludge that challenges you to experience this moment for everything it can be, to cast off repression in all of its forms and become the complete self of whom you’ve always been most terrified.

Their 2014 album, Heathen, is the latest in a long string of releases (4LPs, many EPs and splits) on Gilead Media through which THOU have preached this vicious gospel in churning riffs and throat-searing screams. Their propulsive force coincides with their philosophical approach to lyrics, and in combination with the depth of their ambience and the all-encompassing volume of their delivery, THOU’s sound gives sludge its most original interpretation in years.

Open your eyes and exalt as THOU take the stage at the 20th Edition of Roadburn Festival on Thursday, April 9 at Het Patronaat in Tilburg, The Netherlands.

Constantly pushing the limits of sound with an arsenal of self-modified instruments,Germany’s The Picturebooks tap into buzzy blues and glorious garage rock territory on Imaginary Horse, their super infectious debut lp for RidingEasy Records. Mirroring their daredevil skateboarding ethos and easy rider antics, The Picturebooks will rev up their howling engines and conjur true fire at Roadburn 2015 on Saturday, April 11 at the 013 venue.

The Golden Grass will bring their sunshiny harmonies and positive vibe the 20th edition of Roadburn Festival on Sunday, April 12 at the 013 venue. The Brooklyn trio released some of the best upbeat psychedelic rock with their self-titled album on Svart Records, and after their first European tour this Fall, we’re happy to welcome The Golden Grass to Roadburn in 2015 as they bring out new material and a classic sound.

Taking the best parts of hardrock, psychedelic rock, caveman boogie, and amplifier worship, Uppsala Sweden’s four-piece The Tower will put forth their heavy 70s loyalism at Roadburn 2015 on Thursday, April 9 at the 013 venue, pushing the outer limits of an already spacious genre.

Ticket sales for Roadburn Festival 2015 are currently in full swing. Ticket options:http://www.ticketmaster.nl/artist/roadburn-festival-tickets/875833

Curated by Ivar Bjørnson (Enslaved) and Wardruna‘s Einar “Kvitrafn” Selvik, Roadburn Festival 2015(including Fields of the Nephilim, Skuggsjá, Enslaved, Wardruna, Claudio Simonetti’s Goblin performing Dawn of The Dead and Susperia in its entirety, Zombi, Sólstafir, White Hills, Bongipper,Floor, Eyehategod and The Heads as Artist In Residence among others) will run for four days from Thursday, April 9 to Sunday, April 12 at the 013 venue in Tilburg, The Netherlands.

Roadburn Festival

Enslaved and Wardruna To Perform Skuggsjá, The Sound of Norway’s Norse History at Roadburn Festival 2015

Roadburn-2015-Skuggsja

More excellent news from our favorite music festival in the world this week. First Enslaved and Wardruna announce they will jointly perform Skuggsjá, an original piece dedicated to the 200th anniversary of Norway’s constitution. The Roadburn performance will be the first outside of Norway.

Then the festival released the original artowrk, by Arik Roper (Sleep, High on Fire, Earth, Weedeater, The Black Crows).

And the festival also announced the addition of more great bands such as Bongripper, Floor, Sólstafir, Virus, White Hills, Messenger, Junius, Skeletonwitch, Svartidaudi, Mortals & more.

Ticket Pre-Sales Start Thursday, Oct 16th 2014 at 21:00 CET; Pre-Sales Party at The 013 Venue (NL)

 

From The Press Release:

Roadburn Festival 2015 Ticket Pre-Sales Start Thursday, Oct 16th 2014 at 21:00 CET; Pre-Sales Party at The 013 Venue (NL)

Bongripper, Floor, Sólstafir, Virus, White Hills, Messenger, Junius, Skeletonwitch, Svartidaudi, Mortals, The Osiris Club and Zoltan also confirmed for the 20th edition of Roadburn Festival.

RB-2015-Artwork-by-Arik-Roper650
We’re elated to announce that
Enslaved and Wardruna will perform Skuggsjá, the sound of Norway’s Norse History at Houses of the Holistic, Ivar Bjørnson‘s and Einar “Kvitrafn” Selvik‘s curated Roadburn event on Friday, April 10 at the 013 venue inTilburg, The Netherlands.

Written by Bjørnson and Selvik for the 200th anniversary of the Norwegian Constitution and premiered this past weekend at the Eidsivablot festival, this will be Skuggsjá‘s first performance outside of Norway, and will certainly be one of the highlights of the 20th edition of Roadburn Festival.

Skuggsjá translates into ‘mirror’ or ‘reflection’ in the Norse language, and the commissioned piece not only contextualizes harder music’s role in the democracy in Norway in 2014, but also joins threads from the country’s ancient musical history and solidifies harder music’s position as Norway`s most important cultural export.

By highlighting ideas, traditions and instruments of their Norse past, Skuggsjá will tell the history of Norway and reflect relevant aspects from the past into the present day. In light of this they will reflect on themselves as a people and nation. In a magnificent tapestry of metal instrumentation, a wide variety of Norway and Scandinavia’s oldest instruments, and poetry in Proto-Scandinavian, Norse and Norwegian, Skuggsjá will be a fusion between past and present, both lyrically and musically.

We simply can’t wait to experience it ourselves, to hear how how Norwegian metal has developed from its rebellious roots into the highly acclaimed artistic expression of a complex music genre, under Norway’s constitutional right to freedom of speech.

In related news, Virus, Junius, Skeletonwitch, Svartidaudi and Icelandic heathensSólstafir, who are currently making huge waves with their latest release, Ótta, are also confirmed for Houses of the Holistic, Ivar Bjørnson‘s and Einar “Kvitrafn” Selvik‘s curated Roadburn event on Friday, April 10 at the 013 venue.

Tickets for the 20th edition of Roadburn Festival, set for April 9 – 12 at the 013 venue inTilburg, The Netherlands, will go on sale on Thursday, October 16, 2014. Set your alarm and get ready to score your tickets at 21:00 CET!

The majority of Roadburners live outside The Netherlands, which is why ticket pre-sales will start at 21:00 CET. This should be convenient for most time zones. Apologies to our friends in Oceania who will have to wake up early (or just stay up late)!

We are pleased to report that there will be NO price increase this year. Three-day tickets will be available for 165 Euros (excl. servicefees); four-day tickets will cost 185 Euros (excl. service fees). Afterburner-only tickets will cost 32.50 Euros (excl. service fees). Please note that one-day tickets are not available for the Thursday, Friday or Saturday Roadburn dates. Online buyers can order a maximum of four tickets.

For everyone in the Netherlands and Belgium: we are aware that your local ticket outlets will not be open when pre-sales start, which is why we are throwing another pre-sales party at the 013 venue in Tilburg (NL). From 19:00 CET20:30 CET you will be able to purchase a maximum of four paper tickets for Roadburn Festival 2015. Guaranteed!

In addition to making it easy to get tickets, the pre-sales party is going to be a blast! This year, we have invited The Machine and Radar Men From The Moon to provide the soundtrack.

The live music part of the evening starts at 20:30 CET. Roadburn’s artistic director/promoter Walter Hoeijmakers will be on hand to share the latest festival updates, too.

Chicago instrumental band Bongripper will make a welcome return to the 20th edition of Roadburn Festival with two sets that feature their unique brand of devastating doom. The first will see them play their latest album, Miserable, in its entirety at the main stage onThursday, April 9. The second will be later that weekend (more info about the date to be determined).

If you are a fan of stellar riffs and molasses-thick distorted guitar tone, Floor has everything you want in music. These Floridian sludge/pop pioneers get a lot of comparisons to lead singer/guitarist Steve Brooks other band, Torche — and rightfully so — with his instantly recognizable singing style and guitar tone. Floor, however, is the essence of pure heaviness, with just a nod to the pop melodies that have spurred Torche on to crossover success. Come feel the downtuned thunder of Floor’s bassless power trio attack when Floor plays the main stage of the 013 venue at the 2015 Roadburn Festivalon Thursday, April 9.

Combining many of the essential themes of Roadburn music in their volatile sonic elixir — psych, space rock, stoner rock, kraut rock and noise — have made White Hills one of Roadburn‘s favorite bands. Their bespangled and energetic live shows have a life and chaotic energy of their own that reshapes their music and creates powerful sonic programming driven by pure energy, exactly the kind of thing that Roadburn celebrates, and fans seek. White Hills will make a very welcome return to Roadburn for a main stage performance on Sunday, April 12.

After winning the limelight category for the brightest young rising stars in the progressive sky today at this year’s Progressive Music Awards this past weekend, Messenger will bring their acid folk/prog and psychedelica to the 20th edition of Roadburn on Saturday,April 11.

Mortals, The Osiris Club and Zoltan have also been confirmed for the 20th edition of Roadburn Festival.

Curated by Ivar Bjørnson (Enslaved) and Wardruna‘s Einar “Kvitrafn” Selvik, Roadburn Festival 2015 (including Skuggsjá, Enslaved, Wardruna, Fields of the Nephilim, Claudio Simonetti’s Goblin performing Dawn of The Dead and Susperia in its entirety, Zombi, Sólstafir, White Hills, Bongipper,Floor and The Heads as Artist In Residence among others) will run for four days from Thursday, April 9to Sunday, April 12 at the 013 venue in Tilburg, The Netherlands.

The Roadburn Website

Roadburn on Facebook

Floor – Oblation

floor-oblation

 

Around the turn of the Millennium, Floor occupied a genre of one. A dozen or so years on and the only band capable of emulating Steve Brooks’ old band is his new one, Torche. But after reuniting for a few shows, Floor decided to head back into the studio and the results are enough to make you think you’ve gone back in time a decade.

 

Consisting of Brooks (vocals/guitar), Anthony Vialon (guitar), and Henry Wilson (drums), Oblation (Season of Mist) is the band’s first proper album since 2002’s self-titled debut LP. The template of the songs is much the same as in previous years; leaden-paced doom riffs with Brooks’ grungy, melodic vocals. It’s a winning combination, but the band’s best trick is managing to create an album in line with their history but doesn’t play like a tired rehash.

 

From the lumbering opening of the title track to more upbeat ‘War Party,’ the band manage to mix the heavy with the accessible seamlessly. Huge, droning riffs mix with vocal hooks that wouldn’t be out of place on mainstream chart albums. The fuzz-laden weight of ‘Trick Scene’ could rattle your teeth out, while Brook’s haunting vocals ensure there’s energy hidden within the thick fog of reverb. It’s not as polished or sickly sweet as some of Torche’s recordings – and to many will sound like a more primitive version of that band – but Oblation is all the better for it.

 

Whether it’s the hypnotising ‘New Man,’ the eeriness of ‘Homegoings and Transitions’ or the pure catchiness of ‘Sister Sophia,’ Floor fans will find plenty like about the band in 2014. The songs are tighter, generally more cohesive and the overall impact of the record is genuinely satisfying. It’s bursting with massive, crushing riffs, yet feels remarkably upbeat. The seven-minute ‘Sign Of Aeth’ is probably the album reaching its zenith; epic, snail paced guitars compliment the melancholic vocals before ending on a euphoric high.

 

The only real criticism you can throw at Floor is the lack of variety of songs means the 45 minute run time can seem excessive, especially when previous releases have barely scraped the half hour mark. But it’s a small niggle. Oblation (Season of Mist) is a remarkable album; it will shake you to your bones but leave with a smile on your face. Fans of Torche should get it, fans of anyone who likes their metal heavy should get it.

 

9/10

Floor on Facebook

 

DAN SWINHOE

Swamp Metal Sounds Good – An Interview With Black Tusk

Black Tusk 1Black Tusk are a busy band. Between relentless touring, a new split 7’’ with Dead Yet? and an upcoming EP on Relapse, down time is hard to come by. Black Tusk guitarist/co-vocalist Andrew Fidler managed to squeeze in a call from Ghost Cult’s Matt Hinch to discuss just sich things and more. Continue reading