A project originally conceived to celebrate 2014’s bicentenary of the Norwegian Constitution, Skuggsjá – A Piece For Mind and Mirror (Season of Mist) was a collaborative record from Ivar Bjørnson of Enslaved, and Einar Selvik of Wardruna.After the success of that 2016 release, the pair rekindled their partnership and have now written follow-up piece Hugsjá (By Norse Music).
Ivar Bjørnson (Enslaved) and Einar Selvik (Wardruna) are releasing their new collaboration album titled Hugsjá later this weekon 20th April via By Norse Records. The piece will debut at this weeks’ Roadburn Festival. The duo have shared a new video discussing the project and the debut of the title track below. Continue reading
When it comes to talking about the truly great modern day progressive rock bands, both in terms of excellence and in genuine evolutionary steps, Enslaved are arguably one of the most overlooked. Even during their root years in the early 90’s, within the hotbed of ideas and directions that was the second wave of black metal, Enslaved began to stand out from many of their peers, in part due to their, at the time, unusual song structures and their more overt Viking influences. Cut to present day and recent albums such as RIITIR and In Times (Nuclear Blast) showed much greater prog influences, whilst retaining much of their extreme metal heritage (take the blistering ‘Thurisaz Dreaming’ off of the latter, which is arguably the most ‘typical’ black metal song in their canon for many years). Continue reading
BardSpec the avant-garde and ambient project from Ivar Bjørnson (Enslaved, Skuggsjá) recently released its début album Hydrogen on ByNorse Records. Now the project has booked two more live appearances for late this summer.Continue reading
“Ragnarok is not a story about the end of the world. It is about nature. It is about the end of something and the beginning of others. A rebirth.”Continue reading
It has been a banner year in the career of Norwegian band Enslaved. Firstly they released a brilliant new album In Times, (Nuclear Blast), sure to be on many Album of The Year lists. This was followed up by a 2015 full of touring relentlessly. Tours of Europe and USA have been fruitful, seeing the progressive metal band tour with the diverse likes of YOB and Between The Buried And Me, show not just the power of the band, but the versatility. Major concert events for the band include a turn at Roadburn festival, curating part of the fest and performing the original piece Skuggsjá in collaboration with Wardruna. They also appeared at many other big summer fests such as Bloodstock Open Air. Captured here earlier this fall in London by Jessica Lotti Photography, the band encapsulates their entire career arc in every show. While their opening sets have been drawing on their more recent work, they always honor their past. It will surely be an exciting 2016 for this very special band of artists.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
WORDS BY LORRAINE LYSEN
PHOTOGRAPHY BY SUSANNE A. MAATHUIS
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!
Buy Tickets to Roadburn Festival 2015
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.
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.
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.
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 CET – 20:30 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.