ROADBURN 2018 – The Hell Of An Update!

April 19-22, 2018, Tilburg, Netherlands

After my premiere at the ROADBURN Festival in 2017 I was strongly convinced that it could never become better. But I was wrong. This year`s edition again was a demonstration of the highest quality that music can offer!

First of all, it offered a fantastic lineup featuring a large variety of styles and not only focussing on the extreme side of sonication. Then the addition of a new festival tract that includes the „Koepelhal“ and „Hall Of Fame“ without any doubt brought a refreshing impetus to the venue situation which in the former years sometimes was pretty difficult.. But most of all I`m still almost speakless and completely overwhelmed by the consistently perfect live sound that substantiated the versed craftmanship that ALL artists were offering with their performances. It was noisy. It was thrilling. It was dopy. But above all it was „not only a festival“ – it was „a HAPPENING“. These are the exact words that curator Jacob Bannon used – and I totally agree with that!

I had the pleasure to experience 18 Live Shows in full: YELLOW EYES, CONVERGE (twice – performing „The Dusk In Us“ + „You Fail Me“ in its entirety), WEEDEATER, MOTORPSYCHO, CROWBAR, GODFLESH, BELL WITCH (also twice including a full „Mirror Reaper“ set), WEAR YOUR WOUNDS, MIZMOR, ZOLA JESUS, GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR (another double feature), WIEGEDOOD, HELL (U.S.), BIG/BRAVE and Chinese Black Metal weirdos ZURIAAKE. I didn`t take photos at all of the shows but here are some examples of how I did capture these outstanding spectacles. Hope You like it. Enjoy.

JACOB BANNON of CONVERGE and WEAR YOUR WOUNDS was this year`s curator of the festival. I saw him at all of his shows – and he always appeared as a pure power engine of a man! In terms of intensity and precision there`s hardly anybody who can compete with him.


Morbid Tales by Seattle`s BELL WITCH. Their performance of the album „Mirror Reaper“ in its entirety was a masterful journey through the darkest spheres of Funeral Doom. The screen projections couldn`t have been creepier. Guts. Gore. Lust. „The Roadburn Horror Picture Show“!


THE NEW VENUES: „Koepelhal“ and „Hall Of Fame“ are just a stone`s throw away from the festival center. Here I experienced more than a handful of amazing shows including BELL WITCH, WEAR YOUR WOUNDS, MIZMOR and ZOLA JESUS. Perfect sound. Perfect catering. Perfect music.


Entrance to the „Koepelhal“ and Roadburn`s Merch Stands. An old factory tract that has been transformed into a new paradise for noise lovers.


Rest area and Fish`n`Chips booth at „Koepelhal“. They got the most delicious French Fries at the whole festival. Believe me.


ONE OF THE BEST LIVE PERFORMANCES I´ve seen in years! CONVERGE playing „The Dusk In Us“ in full was a sidereal hour of perfection and energy in its most brutal form. 4 unrivalled masters of their kind!


HEAVY. HEAVIER. CROWBAR! „Odd Fellows Rest“ in its entirety was hammering like a massive monolith. These riffs are doom jewels that will last forever. Another fuckin` awesome mastery!


BELL WITCH by far were the most evil creeps around. Mirror Reapers!


More Guts`n`Gore by BELL WITCH. Second half of the BELL WITCH`s „Mirror Reaper“ featuring Erik Moggridge of AERIAL RUIN on vocals.


See the Witch? 😉


„You Fail Me“! CONVERGE`s masterpiece from 2004 was a devastating riff blast and another live experience that will last forever!


…and „You Fail Me“ again and again!


Jacob Bannon`s side project WEAR YOUR WOUNDS to me was the big surprise of the festival! HEAVY PSYCHADELIA led by 3 guitar players.


WYW stands for WALL YOUR SOUND! Churning. Sweeping. Inspiring.


The climax of a outstanding noisy rollercoaster ride – WEAR YOUR WOUNDS just fuckin`rule!


MIZMOR from Portland, Oregon hardly do any live shows. But doing their album „Yodth“ in its entirety showed that these guys are the elite when its comes to blend technical Black Metal with a trampling Stoner Rock sound. Another Highlight!


MIZMOR in a closer view.


Mezmerizing ZOLA JESUS! With her latest album „Okovi“ Nika Roza Danilova has perfected her hybrid of industrial electronics and gothic power balladry. That is Dark Pop at its best – and another high end performance!


ZOLA JESUS is the goddess of vibrant and gloomy sounds. Love to see her again hopefully soon.


The „normal“ Tilburg and a glance at the center of the city. Tilburg belongs to the province Nordbrabant and domiciles around 214.000 people. A traditional university town mostly famous for its college of music. See the connection?


A Tilburg Sunday in the afternoon. Very nice.


Second BELL WITCH show at Het Patronaat again featuring Erik Moggridge. A mixture of their early albums – heavy burial sounds!


WIEGEDOOD from Belgium were a thunderstorm of Atmospheric BM! A fantastic collaboration of members who are also in OATHBREAKER and AMENRA. Their album trilogy „De Doden Hebben Het Goed“ serves up an acerbic collection of Black Metal ferocity. Live: ditto.


Hellish. Notching. Ultrafast: WIEGEDOOD throughout were offering a thudding double-kick bombast and a swirling assault of guitars!


HELL from Portland, Oregon brought us some of the deepest and most wicked music of the festival. This is Doom from the most sinister angles of the Pandemonium.


Fabulous GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR from Canada did two shows of almost 4 hours in all! A cinematic sound journey that nothing can compete with!


GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR – this is how the word „Brilliance“ actually is spelled!


ZURIAAKE from China were the last band to play the festival. Their sound is a spellbinding mixture of Black Metal and Chinese Folk. They combine a bleak, empty style with traditional instrumentation and a leaning towards natural themes


Conical hats worshipping the devil! ZURIAAKE`s music delivers a brittle, cold atmosphere that permeates every song like a subtle, but ultimately engulfing freezing mist.