Roadburn Festival 2014 - Day 2: Jewels Among Mud
|Event:||Roadburn Festival 2014|
|Written by:||Apothecary, Mr. Doctor|
Roadburn 2014, Afterburner by Apothecary (39)
Roadburn 2014, Day 3 by Apothecary (41)
Roadburn 2014, Day 2 by Apothecary (39)
Roadburn 2014, Day 1 by Apothecary (46)
After the devastating barrage that was Day 1 of Roadburn, and becoming accustomed to the festival grounds and what's what, it was time for Day 2, Mikael Åkerfeldt's curated day. This was (and I'm sure I speak for many) actually the day of the festival I was least interested in, as it was ripe with boring prog bands, but there were still a few great ones that made the day more than worth it, hence the "jewels among mud"
After making the usual journey of Marcel's house > Utrecht Central Station > Tilburg Station > De Frietboetik (amazing fries!) > festival grounds, it was time to get the slaughter going yet again.
Rod: With the first day gone, we were slowly getting used to "the Roadburn feeling." Being my fourth year in a row I taught my brah Che some simple tricks to survive. Cheap food outside the venue is one of them and nothing is as cheap as it is delicious than those goddamn motherfucking french fries from De Frietboetiek, just a 2 minute walk from the venue. I'm not getting paid to say this… I just think that after four years I kind of need to thank them. This is basically the only thing I eat during those 4 days and each year I look forward to it almost as much as the music itself. In any case, the MS crew was back and hungry for more music. Friday is the curator's day, and this year Mikael Åkerfeldt (from some band called Opeth) got the title and that means that he got free reign for choosing all the bands playing for 3 out of the 4 stages. I'm gonna be honest with you: while you could see tons of positive reviews about those bands elsewhere, I'm one of those who hated them all. BORING prog. Sorry, I had to let it out.
Che: The day began with some absolutely evil funeral doom. These haunting Finns were another big "must see" on my checklist, and Rod and I made sure we were front and center in the Het Patronaat early to see them. When they all came out dressed in black robes, and Lauri Lindqvist slammed down his interesting upright bass (which he told me later he calls the "doom stick"), I knew shit was about to go down. We were immediately plunged into a world of doomy darkness, eerie keyboard effects, and vocals sounding like the surreal speech from an Elder Thing, with some great lighting to accentuate. An hour of this music was totally hypnotizing, and it all seemed to blend together into one giant, monolithic whole, leaving me with a feeling of "is it really over?" when they finished. The only issue here was that they should have played in the evening. It would have perfectly matched the aesthetic of the music, and shame on whoever decided these vampires should play during the sunlight hours with the mortals!
Rod: In case you have no clue of extreme doom (shame on you), you should understand why I was so damn excited to see these legendary Finns. Let's not even mention the fact that the stage they played in used to be the annex of a beautiful church. I still remember with close detail the moment they started: they slowly came in, wearing fitting robes. The vocalist then lifted his impressive bass and hit the ground with it while the other members hit the first note, making a wave of heaviness that made our chests explode. The ceremonial atmosphere was almost overwhelming as the drums and heavier-than-all-your-moms riffs crushed our ears along with the piercing and mournful lead guitars. My only complaint was that they played during the day, which took away a bit of the feeling.
Rod saw these guys while I was just hanging out doing god-knows-what (probably checking out all the delicious eye candy at the venue), so I'll pass the mic to him.
I had no idea what to expect from these Americans. They've been around for a while and dirty sludge has been one of my favorite things for a long time now. My first contact with the duo left me very intrigued and hungry for more. First of all, they are unbelievably noisy. Everything combines into a massive wave made of ugliness with the high-pitched howls of the vocalist on top. Thankfully I was sitting in the balcony, enjoying the view from above. The harshness of it all slowly turned hypnotic, giving yours truly a trip with vivid dreams.
Che: 3 out of 4 of the bands I wanted to see for the day were in the Het Patronaat, so I more or less stayed around there so as not to get shoved out of my front stage spot by any sneaky bastards. Rod, who had an especially sweet spot for these Chileans/Swedes who shared both of his nationalities, was more than excited, and he joined me for some true excellence. These guys were a nice contrast after Tyranny: doom as well, but more so in a classic sort of delivery. It was everything good music from this style should be: crunchy riffs, wailing vocals, and a great, audible bassist with a scruffy beard who looks somewhat like Geezer Butler and plays right in your face for nearly the entire set. They played mostly from the recent To Reap Heavens Apart album (get it if you haven't already), and though they might not have been as annihilating as some of the other bands, the music was definitely catchy and left me satisfied.
Rod: Having seen Correction House the previous day and with all the other current bands being some sort of boring prog, I decided to chill out with some beer, snacks and the nice company of other metalheads. From Chile but currently located in Sweden, it's no wonder Procession has a special place in my metal heart. Their brand of doom metal is just so classic, epic and "FUCK YEAH METAL!" It was just what I needed to recharge my batteries. I just can't stress enough the fact that their riffs are awesome and catchy beyond belief! The vocals were powerful and clear. Unfortunately the band had a problem with the bass being cut off for a few minutes, but as soon as they got it fixed, all was forgiven.
Che: Now it was time for some truly coma-inducing stuff. Having extremely enjoyed their recent Black Death Horizon (seriously, who didn't?) I was fully ready to get pummeled beyond belief by these Norwegians, and they delivered in spades. What makes Obliteration just so damn sexy is their manipulation of tempo. There was some neckbreaking stuff of course, that'd make Chuck proud, and Rod and I headbanged together a few times, thankfully not passing out in the process. But the band also flirts around with a lot of slower, groovier riffs as well, somewhat similar to Cause Of Death-era Obituary, that go over equally as well. Around 25 or so minutes into the set, some red-haired guy with a long beard shoved his way up to the front of the stage, who I learned later was Okoi Jones, frontman for Bölzer. Rod and I had to leave early for a good spot in the Patronaat for Terra Tenebrosa, but as it turned out, that came with some issues.
Rod: Since Mikael isn't completely tasteless, he announced ONE good band for his day and that band was without a doubt Obliteration. Many necks were seriously injured after their set which was nothing short of vicious. The bludgeoning riffs and the savage vocals evoked a morbid and dark atmosphere that was infectious to everyone. They are definitely more of a live band as their brand of old school death metal hit me much harder than on album.
Che: Here it finally was, time for the band that was probably the one I was most excited about seeing out of all others at the festival. I love their music, love The Cuckoo's artistic vision and philosophy, and I was stoked. Unfortunately, it was clear that things weren't going well as the band's 11:30 time slot neared and they hadn't gone on. Techies were still fucking around with cables and instruments, and by 11:50, people were starting to get pissed. The band finally went on as midnight neared, and they made up for it. Members dressed in robes and masks, with The Cukoo front and center, we were plunged into a surreal, ritual aesthetic of Avantgarde sludge and eerie ambience. It really must be said that part of what makes these guys so great live is The Cuckoo's ability to just stand like a statue while he's not singing. With most bands, this would provoke a fan reaction of "what the fuck are you doing?" but because of his clothing and mask, it just works, making him look like some all powerful, fiendish prophet. However, the band didn't compensate for time, still ending around 12:30, and they thus only played for about 30-40 minutes. Not enough of a good thing!
Rod: Together with Tyranny, Terra Tenebrosa were the band that I was most curious about from the lineup of the second day. I got seriously pissed at the band and probably the same holds for most of the people who attended, as they started 20 minutes late. They weren't the last band on that stage, so they couldn't play a bit more to compensate. This resulted in a set of around half an hour. Terra Tenebrosa: Get your shit together!!! Having said all this… these guys destroyed live. They are definitely a must see for everybody who enjoy them on album. They were exceptionally creepy the whole time, and not only because of their fantastic costumes. The music was droning, dark and hard hitting, sometimes extremely catchy during the faster tracks. A great performance, that's for sure, which only makes it more painful to me that I only got to see them for half an hour.
Che: I considered seeing Opeth after Terra Tenebrosa, as they still had a good half hour left, but decided not to. I already had before, and the main stage was probably packed anyway. Instead I just hung out, got another batch of Roadburn fries, and bought Sunn O)))'s Black One and the Domovoyd debut on vinyl. Unfortunately, getting back to Marcel's place turned into a nightmare on this night. We missed our first bus, had to wait for another one, and didn't get back until around 4 in the morning. Suffice it to say we were all wiped, even the big guy himself!
Highlights: Tyranny, even though they should've played at night, drinking with Rod and other friends while waiting for Procession, Obliteration bringing the carnage in the Green Room, and Terra Tenebrosa's brief, yet amazing set.
Rod's Highlights: The solemn ceremony that was Tyranny's set, exchanging some classic Chilean slang with Procession's bassist in the middle of their set, headbanging during Obliteration's set like there's no tomorrow with my brah Che and discovering that the bearded dude right next to us was the guitarist/vocalist of Bölzer, and finally Terra Tenebrosa's fantastic performace despite the fucked up problems with time.
Day 3 will be up in a day or two, and feast your eyes on some Day 2 Gallery candy in the meantime
||Written on 03.05.2014 by Comforting the disturbed and disturbing the comfortable since 2013.|
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