The Roadburn festival starts tomorrow and whether you have already visited Tilburg for this occasion or will be coming there for the first time, you know to expect the unexpected at this already legendary festival. Since 1999, nearly twenty years, the small town has been welcoming a vast genre of bands across a growing numbers of days for fans of all things heavy, psychedelic and/or experimental. Many names on the line-up are completely unknown to my ears but some are not and this list should help you to check out some of the ones you might have missed.
Ash Borer: Thursday – 15:00-15:50 (Green room)
Returning from a rather long absence from Europe, the American Black metal outfit will come to present their new album, The irrepassable gate, the follow-up to the rather excellent Cold of ages from 2012. Somewhere between the emotive Suicidal Black metal of Leviathan and the tremolo filled soundscapes of Wolves in the Throne Room, Ash Borer are indeed an American Black metal band but a unique one.
Forn: Thursday – 20:00-21:00 (Extase)
Also from the United States, Forn will make here their first trip to Europe where an expecting crowd will be happy to finally hear what their mix of Doom and Sludge sounds like in real life. From their self-titled EP in 2013 and their first full-length in 2014, the Americans have captured the imagination of many fans who will happily welcome their unique brand of dread and gloom.
King Woman: Friday – 15:30-16:20 (Extase)
King Woman are opening for Chelsea Wolfe on her European tour and this alone should be a good enough reason for everyone to check them out. An ever better reason is to let yourself trapped by the awesome compositions on their Relapse debut. Imagine a cross between Blue record era Baroness and Windhand.
Zhrine: Friday – 16:50-17:40 (Het Patronaat)
Hailing from Iceland, Zhrine could be easily associated with the current wave of Icelandic Black metal currently taking over the imagination of fans of the genre. However, their music is far more progressive to be only associated with Svartidauoi or Mayhem. Fans of Gorguts could do worse then to check them out. But don’t expect a copycat, these guys are their own beast.
Integrity: Friday – 00:20-01:20 (Mainstage)
If you are a fan of Doom and Sludge, the name of Integrity might be a mystery to you. As it is one of the only Hardcore band of the line-up (with Disfear), their presence might be a surprise, but any fan of the Cleveland legend will tell you that when you think of Experimental music and Heaviness, Integrity comes to mind rather quickly. With a long career coming from Slayer infused riffs to the dark textures of their later albums, Dwid Helion‘s (vocalist and mastermind of the band) presence should not be questioned.
The Bug VS Dylan Carlson of Earth: Saturday – 15:00-16:10 (Mainstage)
If you are not familiar with The Bug, please check out my two articles on his career. Afterwards, if you are not intrigued enough, let me tell you that their debut show in London had a lot in common with a SunnO))) but with a lot more groove.
Oxbow: Sunday – 15:30-16:30 (Het Patronaat)
The jazz rockers are finally back after a long absence that seemed like a break-up. Instead they just took their time to compose what I suspect will be another oblique and strange album. Oxbow does not sound like anyone and no one sounds like Oxbow. Forget about the stripping frontman and focus on the intensity of the performance. Oxbow‘s shows are never to be missed.
Inter Arma: Sunday – 23:30-00:30
After a forgettable first album, Inter Arma took most people by surprise with The Cavern and followed it with one of the best Doom album of last year, Paradise gallows. Slow and heavy in nature, Inter Arma is a Metal band with a lot to offer to anyone interested in how Metal can sound like when all barriers are broken down.