Malmo, Sweden based psychedelic/prog outfit Agusa will be releasing their sophomore album Agusa 2 on July 21, 2015 via The Laser’s Edge and on vinyl via Kommun2. Stream a video clip from Roadburn 2015 below.
AGUSA: Tobias Petterson – bass Mikael Ödesjö – guitar Tim Wallander – drums Jonas Berge – organ Jenny Puertas – flute
My impression of Acid Witch is that Heavy Metal has found an answer to drugs, and that answer is “Hell Yes!” This band is majestic mayhem on a stage, and their horror film inspired songs are a true pleasure to behold. Referencing Paul Verhoeven’s Robocop (set in their hometown of Detroit) for Metal Movie Marijuhana Massacre Meltdown, the bass player cheerfully yells out all of the song titles and their meanings. He also dedicates ‘Rabid Werewitch’ to all the ugly ladies. Besides the heavy grunting, the vocalist also has the best manic cackle I have ever heard. Despite having some technical difficulties leaving them occasionally unable to hear each other play, they really rocked their set and seemed to enjoy every moment of their performance. The audience sure enjoyed it, as the Patronaat was filled to the brim with head banging and swaying people.
Fields of the Nephilim, by Susanne A. Maathuis
Saturday saw the return of Fields of the Nephilim to the main stage of the 013, and the hall was almost as crowded as it was at their first set on Friday. With charismatic frontman Carl McCoy, this band is possibly the purest embodiment of Goth in existence. With a career of an astounding thirty years, they had no problem filling out two long sets with their soothing tones and hard edges.
Roadburn Audience, by Susanne A. Maathuis.
Taking the slot of a band who regretfully had to cancel their performance at Roadburn this year, Urfaust were perfectly suitable for Roadburn. Having performed at this festival before, it was no wonder they had the audience trying to cram themselves into the Green Room to witness their spectacular music. Comprised of only a drummer and guitarist/vocalist, Urfaust manage to make a spectacular amount of noise. As usual, you only miss the absence of a bass for about half a song, until you find the bass sound in the guitar. I have heard the vocals described as the cries of a baby seal in the process of being clubbed, and I must admit that this seems, at times, an apt description of the exclamations heard. It was such a shame that the show was cut just a little short by the unfortunate breaking of a guitar string. Since they were close to time anyway, there was no chance to restring the bugger and finish the show in style, and as much as the audience regretted it, the musicians themselves seemed devastated to have to leave us in such a way. Alas, such things do happen, and even the mighty Roadburn is not impervious to technical issues. The upside of the problems is that we have seen truly passionate people work their way around every obstacle, both from the bands dealing with the hurdles as the amazing crew bending over backwards to solve every problem as quickly and effectively as possible.
Sunday, April 12th, the Afterburner.
The afterburner is the final day of Roadburn, and it always has a unique atmosphere due to the composition of the audience, which is either completely mellowed out by the onslaught of the previous three days, or fresh-faced and new looking for a taste of the festival. It is a great day for people who have never been to the festival and want to sample the atmosphere before committing to the entire thing. The only open venues are the Main Stage, Green Room, and Cul de Sac.
While White Hills heated up the Main Stage, I headed over to the Green Room to get my socks rocked thoroughly off by Argus. They play Heavy Power Metal with a touch of Doom, and this blend has a very smooth sound. Their bass player has stunning stage presence, and plays superfast fingered bass that was almost as impressive to watch as it was to hear. The music is heavy and catchy as hell, and is performed with enough power to illuminate a small country. There were a lot of fans and enthusiasts in the audience, happily banging away.
Anathema, by Susanne A. Maathuis.
Possibly the most anticipated show of the Afterburner was the one performed by Anathema, who performed the “Resonance” set that they are currently touring. Resonance is a show that spans their entire oeuvre, named after the compilation albums that appeared in 2001 and 2002. With their ten albums, their music embodies a diverse reach of genres, and has had a number of changes in band composition. Two of the former band members, Darren White and Duncan Patterson, join the current iteration of Anathema on stage tonight in their respective eras.
The show is divided into three sections, and the songs are played in reverse chronological order. This means that it started off with the atmospheric and melodious style that we know today, and ended with the Doom that they started with, fronted by Darren White. In between sets there were a few minutes break to give the band the chance to prepare and make the necessary line-up changes.
It was great to hear so many of their heavier songs performed live, and I really do hope they will play a few of them on their regular shows from now on, as they have an amazing amount of energy.
There is so much to see and discover at Roadburn, that there are likely to have been people at the festival who have seen none of the bands I saw or described here. You have to make hard choices between awesome bands, but no matter what you choose, in the end it is always going to have been worth it, because Roadburn is a festival that gets into your blood.
From April 9th to the 12th it was time for the festival of Stoner, Doom, and all things Alternative: Roadburn. This was the twentieth edition of the festival, and it was, as always, a spectacle. Music lovers from all over the world congregate in Tilburg and fill the streets with black shirts and beards. One of the streets is even re-dubbed “Weirdo Canyon” in honour of all the lovely and strange people who gather here in between shows to eat and drink. This year saw the return of the Weirdo Canyon Dispatch, a daily leaflet detailing the previous day’s highlights, shows recommended by members of the organisation, and other interesting titbits of information.
While it is of course impossible to convey the Roadburn experience in mere words, I will share some of the highlights from the main stages of this year’s festival to explain what makes this festival so special. The pictures are by Susanne Maathuis, who managed to shoot a mindboggling 62 acts this year.
Solstafir, by Susanne A. Maathuis
The first day of Roadburn, and what a day it was! Opening on the main stage was Solstafír, who celebrated the thirty year anniversary of cult-classic Viking movie Hrafninn Flýgur (When The Raven Flies). Solstafír played the instrumental film score while the film itself was projected onto the screen. Unfortunately the balance in the music was just a little off, as the bass was too soft. This show did make me really curious to watch the entire film, which was hard to follow here since the subtitles were at the bottom of the projection, and thus hidden behind the lovely musicians themselves.
Diagonally opposite the 013 sits restaurant Dudok with the club above it, Het Patronaat. This venue holds about 500 people and really brings people together – much in the same way as sardines are very close to each other. This is just another part of the Roadburn experience, as is either leaving another show early to catch a show in this venue, or waiting outside in an orderly queue in the hope that enough people leave so that you can experience the show. One of the bands that filled Het Patronaat to the brim on this first day was SubRosa, an experimental Sludge-Doom band from Salt Lake City. With three female vocalists and two electric violins, this band has a really distinctive sound which is truly delightful to witness live. Their overwhelming stage presence combined with the quality of the music made this show one of my favourites of the festival.
Subrosa, by Susanne A. Maathuis
What I love most about Roadburn is the amazing diversity in musical styles. It doesn’t matter what your favourite style is, you’re bound to encounter it somewhere. This was highlighted by the show that followed SubRosa in Het Patronaat: Spidergawd. This Norwegian Heavy Rock extravaganza encouraged us all to dance to our hearts’ delight with their ‘Post Boogie’ style, characterised by a rumbling saxophone, hard rock vocals, booming basslines, and especially the drumming. Oh gawd, the drumming. Kenneth Kapstad owns his space at the front and centre of the stage, and he gives those drums such a beating that they need to be tightened every few songs or they’ll fall apart.
Another spectacular and genre-bending band to wow the audience in the main stage was Wovenhand, who were as close to a headliner as you can get with a line-up like this Monday. This magnificent dark folk band fronted by David Eugene Edwards sounds as if someone managed to convert the American Gothic painting to music. After their stunning performance in 2011, we didn’t think they could do any better – we have never been quite so happy to be proven wrong. Playing mostly from their latest and heavier albums, the band performed with more energy than ever before, but with the same humility that brings them even closer to our hearts. Edwards may say that they “are out of [their] league,” but we know that there are few bands that can rival the show that Wovenhand gave us.
Wovenhand, by Susanne A. Maathuis
Friday, April 10th
Every year Roadburn has a curator, one person who gets the chance to handpick the Green Room and Stage01 bands for a day, as well as headlining the main stage. The choice of curator is important, because this person always gives a unique flavour to the festival by highlighting a genre. Last year Mikael Åkerfeldt bought the keywords of Swedish and Prog to life, as well as headlining with Opeth, but this year saw a veritable Viking invasion with its double curators: Ivar Bjørnson of Enslaved and Wardruna‘s Einar ‘Kvitrafn’ Selvik. Together they programmed Houses of the Holistic, an incredibly diverse program of bands in wildly varying genres, they all had one thing in common: this was pure and unadulterated music. From the eccentric but oh-so-amazing blues from Pekko Käppi to the onslaught of sound from Black Metal Svartidauði, the intensity and passion burst forth from every single musician and made this day an unforgettable experience for the audience. And these weren’t even the headliners!
For the first time since 2007, Roadburn sold one-day tickets alongside the 3 and 4-day passes and afterburner tickets. And the first day to sell out was Friday. The reason for this is quite clear: headlining the Main Stage were not just Wardruna and Enslaved, but also the amazing combination of the two that is Skuggsjá.
Wardruna, by Susanne A. Maathuis
Wardruna’s unique modern take on old instruments and chants is mind-blowing no matter how you hear it, but there are few bands that can rival the intensity of their live performance. Although Gaahl has decided no longer to perform live, the vocals were not lacking in any way. And how could they, when there are up to 9 musicians singing at once! With such a range of percussion, vocals, and traditional instruments on stage, this was an almost otherworldly experience, and the audience, in so far as I was capable of observing it at that point, was completely entranced.
What a contrast, then, was formed by the black metal attack of Enslaved. This is a whole different brand of Viking, but it is no less effective. Despite their heaviness, there was a certain serenity about the music when performed live that I had not anticipated, but that I very much appreciated. During this show I did have a good vantage over the crowd, and the Main Stage was packed with happy music lovers, all the way up to the furthest reaches of the balcony.
Enslaved, by Susanne A. Maathuis
Then it was finally time for Skuggsjá, the collaboration of Enslaved and Wardruna, and in this they seem to have found an amazing combination. The balance of which band’s style has the overhand shifts with each song, but the sound always comes together in a meaningful way. The chanting just works so well with the metal. Written by Selvik andBjørnson for the 200th anniversary of the Norwegian Constitution, this truly is the best reflection of the diversity of Norwegian musical heritage. It was an absolute honour to witness this performed live at the 20th edition of Roadburn.
Fans partying at Roadburn 2015, by Susanne A. Maathuis
Roadburn 2015 has released the running order for each day, plus other events surrounding the festival. The event is onThursday, April 9 to Sunday, April 12 at the 013 venue in Tilburg, The Netherlands. The schedule is available below.
On Wednesday evening (April 8th), Hard Rock Hideout will be held at Cul de Sac and entry is free. Prematory will have us feverishly thrash-until-we-crash. Their relentless neck-wreckers are nostalgic, yet fresh and energetic! Bark is leading the new pack of Antwerp stray dogs of extreme sound. Infectious, dirty riffs and a voice that will tear you apart – Bark serve their tunes raw, unpolished, gritty and dark!
On Friday (April 10th) we’ll host our Music Industry panel where record label representatives and other key industry figures will be debating exactly what it is that a record label looks for in the bands that they sign these days. Click HERE for more info. Following that, we’ll have a very special Q&A session hosted by Noisey’s Editor-in-Chief, Fred Pessaro, who will be talking to Jimmy and Mike from Eyehategod before a screening of the 2014 Noisey documentary NOLA: Life, Death and Heavy Blues from the Bayou.
Saturday will see the return of Record Collectors Anonymous – an open invitation to join your fellow crate rattlers and bargain hunters as stories are swapped and confessions aired. Click HERE for more info. We will also have a fascinating panel discussion hosted by noted journalist Harald Fossberg who will be joined by Ivar and Grutle from Enslaved as they delve into the origins of Norwegian black metal and the impact it’s had on today’s musical landscape. Click HERE for more info.
Arik Roper will be exhibiting at Project Space Tilburg – Gust van Dijk, presenting Brilliant Shadows: Selected Works by Arik Roper – which will be open throughout the festival and continue into May.
Further artworks will be on display from CAVUM, Kim Holm and William van der Voort throughout the festival.
Chicago’s Lord Mantis has issued a statement in regards to lineup restructuring with the addition of new members and parting ways with several as well. Founding members and drummer Bill Bumbardner and lead guitarist Andrew Markuszewski (Avichi, ex-Nachtmystium) have brought in former Indian members, Will Lindsay (Anatomy Of Habit, Abigail Williams, ex-Indian, ex-Nachtmystium, ex-Wolves In The Throne Room) on bass, Dylan O’Toole (ex-Indian) on vocals, and Scott Shellhamer (American Heritage, ex-Mares Of Thrace) on guitars. Additionally, the band will also collaborate with former Lord Mantis member Greg Gomer who will contribute to the band’s upcoming new recorded works.
Lord Mantis has gone through a purgatory this winter but now steps out into the light again. This is part of the reason why the last tour with TITD had to be cut short and our appearance at Roadburn 2015 was cancelled. Now we have a new lineup in place.
Dylan O’Toole (who has contributed lyrically and also performs vocals in the studio on songs for the past two records Death Mask and Pervertor) is no longer an unofficial 5th member of the band. He is now the vocalist. Will Lindsay (who also played guitar in Indian with Dylan and Bill Bumgardner) is now the bassist. Will also had a guest spot on Death Mask in the studio. To say there hasn’t been a major crossover between the Chicago bands Lord Mantis and Indian over the years would be a ridiculous statement. Indian and Lord Mantis shared the same rehearsal room together at Superior Street Studios in Chicago since the devil knows when. Scott Shellhamer, musician and artist of the band American Heritage, has also joined on guitars. The original founding member of Lord Mantis from 2005 Bill Bumgardner remains along with lead guitarist Andrew Markuszewski who has been in the band since 2008. Greg Gomer (also one of the two founding members along with Bill) hasn’t been in Lord Mantis since Pervertor which is the last record he was a part of. Greg has planned on contributing as a guest spot on the future recording currently in plan. Ken Sorceron and Charlie Fell are no longer members of Lord Mantis.
The ship has righted itself and in a very natural fashion. Even with the new lineup at this time, Lord Mantis will not be appearing at Roadburn and the subsequent tour in Europe.
An EP is being worked on already to be recorded this Spring. There are no shows being booked at this time until further notice. More news on the EP and further plans for 2015 by Lord Mantis is soon to come.
The 2015 Roadburn Festival has announced today that their lineup of musical artists is complete with the Enslaved and Wardruna-curated “Houses of the Holistic” day finalized. In addition to the highly-anticipated performance of Nordic tribute Skuggsjá, added to the bill are Fields of the Nephilim, Virus, Sólstafir; BardSpec (the ambient music side-project of Ivar of Enslaved) as well as performances from Enslaved and Wardruna separately. Ivar Bjørnson and Einar Selvik each commented:
“I’ve got to admit to feeling a streak of melancholy as our ‘Houses of the Holistic’ is completed with so many wonderful bands. It is humbling to have been given the honor of curating the Roadburn Friday, and also it has been a process that has given me a massive boost of belief in, and love for, this music scene that we’re all rambling around in: every invited band has been massively supportive and enthusiastic in accepting our invites. It is also important for me to extend a massive thank you to my two main co-conspirators in this evil planning: Einar Kvitrafn of Wardruna, my co-curator and musical sparring partner par excellence. And then of course Dr. Evil himself: Walter from the Roadburn organization itself – for guiding us through the process and for having faith in our abilities. After all, we are musicians and shouldn’t be trusted with too much grown-up stuff haha! See you all in Tilburg!” — Ivar Bjørnson
“The line-up for our curated Roadburn day is now complete and I personally think it is insanely good! ‘Houses of the Holistic’ will display a broad variety of acts that despite the spectrum of expressions and genres still manage to compliment each other as well as firmly grip to a solid red line. It will also reflect the curators and their past, present and future. A huge thanks goes out to Roadburn, and of course my partner in crime Ivar Bjørnson. It has been a pleasure and honor to work on this so far and the festival haven’t even started!” – Einar Selvik
In addition to Einar hosting a workshop on his creative process, Roadburn 15 features can’t miss events seen nowhere else such as Anathema hosting a career-spanning set, countless other incredible music acts, artists in residence The Heads (Wayne Maskell, Hugo Morgan, Simon Price, and Paul Allen), films, exhibits and much more. Tickets are said to be moving briskly so get yours while they last!
It is our honour to announce that Anathema will headline the Sunday date of the 20th edition of Roadburn Festival, at the 013 venueon 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.
The 20th edition of Roadburn Festival runs from April 9 to 12, 2015 in Tilburg, The Netherlands.
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.