Long-revered European music festival Roadburn kicks off four days of heavy, avant-garde and challenging music and art experiences in Tilburg, NL. Dutch black metal entity Kjeld has been added to the bill due to Cocatenatus dropping off due to a family situation. In a post, Roadburn founder and creative force Walter Hoeijmakers updated attendees on the last minute changes to the bill. Continue reading
Roadburn 2018 is shaping up to be another incredible festival. In addition to the main lineup of bands, and special programs, Roadburn has announced its Cul de Sac lineup of special bands in Roadburn’s most intimate venue as well as the site of its Pre-Party. The festival takes place, as always, Tilburg, NL between April 19-22 and tickets are expected to sell out as usual. Continue reading
On Saturday October 7th 2017, almost exactly a year after hosting the excellent Mannveira/Wormlust package, Het Bos has another delectable line-up for anyone into the dark and destructive. Opening the night are Eggs of Gomorrah, the Swiss band has a fat and muddy sound, with lower end vocals, and a clear dose of death metal influence and while the performance doesn’t have major mistakes it just fails to capture me as anything inherently special. Visually, while it’s clear the band put their most into the performance, there’s not a clear idea how to present it all. The band is relatively young though, having dropped their début in 2016, so who knows what they will develop into. Continue reading
Inferno Metal Festival, Europe’s longest running and most extreme black and death metal festival arrives again next April in Oslo. The fest has announced a change to their Dark Essence sponsored Stage with Madder Mortem dropping off and Sarkom and Slegest jumping on the bill. Continue reading
With California Deathfest in the rearview, the team behind Maryland Deathfest turns its attention to already completed Netherlands Deathfest event next March, less than six months away. Details below: Continue reading
Oh no, there weren’t just two days of metal mayhem to be had this year at Inferno festival. The first two days were only half of this very professional and modern gathering of global metal fans. What follows is a brief summary of some of what took place during the two last days of the festival, what took place on stage, mind you.
At the Quart festival in 2004 you could witness Enslaved open up for My Dying Bride during a slight drizzle, and with a gentle and warm summer breeze ushering in the salty smell of the sea right next to Odderøya outside Kristiansand. The very same year you could also catch My Dying Bride for the very first time gracing the Inferno mainstage. Fast forward to 2015, and it’s My Dying Bride opening for Enslaved, and this time at Inferno. It feels somewhat full circle-ish. This time, as in 2004, the Brits performed with a somewhat minimal stage show, for the most part letting the music speak for itself. The difference this time around was in the very setlist the band performed . It was comprised mainly of vintage material, and there was even room for an entirety of three songs off of ‘Turn Loose The Swans’: ‘The Songless Bird’, ‘Your River’, and the very title track. In addition they played two classics long out of their setlist, ‘The Thrash Of Naked Limbs’, and ‘The Cry Of Mankind’, which I’m sure many of us remember from the heavy rotation it had on MTV’s Headbanger’s Ball back in the day. The biggest surprise, speaking of old school material, was probably that they for the first time ever performed ‘God Is Alone’ from their first EP, Symphonaire Infernus et Spera Empyrium. ‘When can My Dying Bride be seen again?’ is the question that arose in the wake of this year’s performance at Inferno. The sound was good, Calvin Robertshaw from the original lineup was back on guitar, and although Dan Mullins doesn’t play the china-fills in ‘She Is The Dark’ as recorded by Shaun Taylor-Steels, they still please a dedicated fan. I wonder who I’m speaking of, right? [You’re a dork, lay off the china symbols]
At present there’s hardly a safer hand to play than the one with Enslaved in it. They just recently released a solid new album, they are really tight live, they have a long and well-crafted back catalogue to pick songs from, and they have so much stage experience by now that their performances are usually somewhat seamlessly executed. But I guess that isn’t the biggest news for those of you that have already caught them live on. Still, then you know just how enjoyable it is to be swept away by the norse quintet. The first part of their set was devoted to more recent material, including two songs from the fresh offering In Times (Nuclear Blast). Further into the set we were served nicety nice from most of their career. I mean, they have some thirteen albums under their belts, so an inclusion of material from all of them was a certain impossibility. But no need to complain when one gets ‘Convoys To Nothingness’, ‘Fenris’, and ‘As Fire Swept Clean The Earth’ flawlessly executed. Arve “Ice Dale” Isdahl was as usual shirtless and doing his entire repertoire of guitar hero poses. Ivar Bjørnson assumed his usual stoic stance, all covered by hair, resembling a mixture of his very own Family Guy tattoo and Cousin Itt from The Addams Family. center stage Grutle Kjellson took on full command, also as usual, being almost more at home on stage than anywhere else. The audience seemed more than happy with the state of affairs, and the atmosphere didn’t exactly die down as ‘ISA’ was played as the final song of the night. I’m assuming there were more people than just me who had their fingers crossed for more of the same, yet sadly to no avail.
The last day of the festival showcased a lot of promising acts, although it was all taken to a new level by Kampfar. From the very start of their show, kicking off with ‘Mylder’, there was no doubt of who was in command, as vocalist Dolk, encircled by pyrotechnics on the stage, went into a proper ‘Helvete!’ (translates: hell). If the band completely laid Karmøygeddon 2014 into ruins, this was somewhat raising a phoenix from those ashes, proving even further that Kampfar are a live force to be reckoned with. One could almost feel the after-party from the night before seep out through every pore of the body in the mixture of heat from the flames on stage and musical rapture. Seeing the band in Bergen already later this fall, during Blekkmetal (ten Norwegian bands from the 90’s, and a bunch of tattoo artists celebrating the black metal scene of yore), will surely be something to look forward to.
Up next was Dødheimsgard, and we were not sure what to anticipate from these avantgarde freaks of the black metal scene. Honestly I had never seen them do a single good live performance the times I’ve caught them since my first show seeing them, then as an opening act for Dimmu Borgir back in 1999, actually also at the Rockefeller venue. That show stood out as a great disappointment, especially since they at the time had just released what still stands as one of the best and most innovative black metal records, the mighty 666 International, failing to live up to the expectation set by that album. This time around the band took to the stage with an even more avantgarde, eclectic and chaotic puzzle fresh in their belts, the newly released opus dubbed A Umbra Omega. Did they manage to pull it off? The answer to that is nothing less than a roaring yes, and then some! The returned presence of vocalist Aldrahn together with the somewhat recent addition of drum virtuoso Sekaran, seems to have improved upon the band’s abilities in a live setting. With maestro and primus motor Vicotnik at the helm, the band churned out beautifully executed versions of ‘The Snuff Dreams Are Made Of’, ‘Ion Storm’ from the aforementioned 666 International, and a grand finale in the shape of ‘Traces Of Reality’. For the first time ever Dødheimsgard proved as good on stage as on album. “Touch the devilish one!” does indeed seem fitting, touched by the devilish ones, so to speak.
The highlight of the festival was surely the last band on the mainstage though, the mighty Bloodbath. An all-star band comprised of members from Katatonia, Opeth, and Paradise Lost, but a band that shares very little in common with them in musical expression. It was also Bloodbath’s very first time in Norway, and the very first time showcasing Nick Holmes as their vocalist. Old Nick, as they call him, has been facing up to a lot of criticism from fans for not being on par with the previous vocalists, Mike Åkerfeldt (Opeth) and Peter Tägtgren (Hypocrisy, Pain). Surely the critics have not been actively listening to Grand Morbid Funeral (Peaceville), an album honing old school death metal supreme. His deep growls are perfect for that particular kind of doomy old school death metal, and if one complains about how he sounds on the old songs from the band’s discography: well, what the fuck do you really expect? He’s a different vocalist. He did actually address this himself from the stage, asking the audience if there were anyone out there willing to complain now? That would have to be a really narrow-minded fan in the back, because the band were ripping everyone there a new one, delivering intense versions of classics like ‘Breeding Death’, ‘Cry My Name’, and the internet phenomenon ‘Eaten’. Not to mention that they left no head unbanged with their new pummeling masterpieces ‘Unite In Pain’ and ‘Mental Abortion’, the latter containing one of the most addictive guitar riffs of … Well, I guess it was released in 2014, but let’s just pretend it was this year. It sure as hell still kicks ass all over the place anyways, even if it’s sooo 2014.. The only thing close to an elegy that could be sung after witnessing this death metal onslaught, finally, after waiting for the chance to do so since 2000, would surely be: “I would do anything to be … Eaten! My one desire, my only wish is to be … Eaten!”
See you next year Inferno, you did great! A+, and some nice stickers in the marrow.
WORDS PÅL TEIGLAND LYSTRUP
PHOTOS BY KENNETH BALUBA SPORSHEIM (METAL HAMMER NORWAY)
Established back in 2001 as a one-off event, Inferno festival has since proven itself to attract extreme metal fans from all over the globe on an annual basis. 2015 marked their 15th anniversary, and as you’ll read, they really pulled off an exemplary festival this year. Maybe even one that ran more smoothly than in the early years that I attended, which now counts something like 8. Ghost Cult was also fortunate to have Kenneth Baluba Sporsheim of Metal Hammer Norway on hand to shoot the festivals many acts for us.
The first day of the four-day long festival has in recent years become a sort of label showcase. Spread out between various small club venues, the festival crowd gets a chance to taste a varied selection of different sub-genres and labels. Dark Essence records had four bands playing at Blå, Indie Recordings had three of their own at John Dee, Nidrosian black metal label Terratur Possession showcased three of their Icelandic signings at Pokalen, and so on.
We chose to start the evening checking out the latter trinity. Except for Svartidaudi claiming some attention with their Deathspell Omega-esque black metal, it was all more of a “The emperor’s new clothes” affair. Then again, it takes something special to draw attention to black metal after so many years of it. The emulators simply don’t manage to engage musically, and thus don’t really entertain on a level beyond being a backdrop for socializing and picking up with friends from near and afar.
Taake is something else completely. They demand your and everyone else’s attention.
Although the first songs of their set were spent queuing up outside of Blå, the band completely grabbed my attention when I was finally inside the venue. All of the classics were effortlessly and seamlessly offered to the audience who were packed in the club tight like sardines. ‘Umenneske’, ‘Hordalands Doedskvad 1’, ‘Nordbundet’, ‘Fra Vadested Til Vaandesmed’ … were all part of the performance, and as usual topped by frontman Hoest’s extraordinary stage presence and dark charisma. If you’re able to catch them on their first ever tour of the US this coming June, you’re surely in for a treat.
Thursday ushered in the first day of postponing hangovers. That didn’t keep me from catching Execration, the first band out on the main stage. Fantastic sound production made this 2015 Norwegian Grammy-winning death metal band stand out as one of the festivals better performances. It was actually pretty impressive just how good they sounded and how tight they were playing. Not to mention that those old school death metal riffs beckon for headbanging extravaganza.
After catching the grand and somewhat pompous entity of Septicflesh pleasing all their fans with a stellar performance at the mainstage, the course was set for a smaller neighbouring venue where Virus and Vulture Industries were doing a special performance. The venue, Kulturhuset, was a hipster-ish meeting place more akin to something out of Brooklyn. Then again, Virus is probably one of those bands that could be embraced by connoisseur and hipsters alike. Their avant-garde and eclectic musical output is difficult to pigeonhole, but it builds on what the members once started with Ved Buens Ende in the outer spheres of the 90’s black metal scene. An intimate venue suited the band perfectly, but there wasn’t really a proper stage show put on until Vulture Industries were on. Then it all turned full-on theatrical, as they had collaborated with Romanian artist Costin Chioreanu, and the stage was somewhat turned into a scene from their ‘Lost Among Liars’ video. The band managed the feat of making the audience somewhat a part of an interactive experience too, with frontman Bjørnar at some point during the show running around in the room with lots of people in a line behind him. Although it was hard catching a glimpse of their drummer from where we were situated in the room, a mention of Vulture Industries’s skin thrasher seems relevant and in its place. He has become a solid and skilled backbone of the band.
Back at Rockefeller the stage was set for supersonic black metal in the shape of 1349. They played a set with all the classics, and the pyrotechnics were amazing. Although probably a bit more than planned for, since guesting guitarist Destructhor’s (Myrkskog/Morbid Angel) gear almost was lit aflame by all the explosions and flames.
To finish off the night: Behemoth. And Behemoth is surely a fitting name for the Polish ensemble. As much as their show almost seems periodically well choreographed to be an extreme metal show, it works really well. The move with the two lateral Behemoth logos, and some stairs leading up to them, made for the illusion that when bass player Orion and guitarist Seth ascended said stairs they seemed to have wings on their backs. The set was a tour de force of the bands discography with an emphasis on the albums from 1999’s ‘Satanica’ and onwards. They actually included two songs from said ‘Satanica’, in my personal opinion one of their best albums, if not the best. Further, classics like ‘Christians To The Lions’, ‘As Above So Below’, ‘Demigod’, and ‘Slaves Shall Serve’ were all thrown at the lions in the audience. As an encore the band produced nothing less than an epic in the shape of ‘O Father O Satan O Sun!’, triumphantly marking an end to their performance, probably also leaving the crowd hungry for even more from the well-oiled Polish machine that is Behemoth in 2015.
WORDS PÅL TEIGLAND LYSTRUP
PHOTOS BY KENNETH BALUBA SPORSHEIM (METAL HAMMER NORWAY)
The Inferno Metal Festival Norway 2015 has released the daily schedules, happening April 1-4, 2015 at Rockefeller, John Dee in Oslo, Norway. Band were previously released and now a breakdown of when everyone is playing has been unveiled.
My Dying Bride
Secrets Of The Moon
“Due To Popular demand” long-running black metal occultists Kampfar have been added to the alreadyed loaded lineup up of the 15th Annual Inferno Festival in Norway. The black and death metal heavy lineup already boasts a tremendous bill with the likes of Behemoth, Enslaved, Bloodbath, My Dying Bride, Septicflesh, 1349, Mortuary Drape, Antichrist, Slagmaur, Dødsengel, Skeletonwitch, Svartidauði, Ensiferum, Sinmara, Misþyrming, Secrets Of The Moon, Execration, Arcturus, Naglfar, Solbrud and Goatwhore.
Ghost Cult will be bringing you more news an announcements about the fest as it draws closer:
Official Press Release
KAMPFAR TO INFERNO METAL FESTIVAL 2015
Due to popular demand Norwegian black metallers Kampfar will return to Inferno Metal Festival
in 2015! After a overcrowded amazing gig at our club day in 2014, the band will in 2015 enter the
big stage at Rockefeller! We are proud to have Kampfar back in our line-up and we are sure they
will be delivering the goods again!
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.