PLACE OF SKULLS
CORROSION OF CONFORMITY
As everybody expected, the biggest event was the CANDLEMASS show. It was divided in 4 parts :
1st part with Robert Lowe (about 30 minutes)
2nd part with Johan Lanquist playing “epicus….” in its entirety (about 45 minutes), the best and more memorable moments !
Lanquist is very very charismatic, his voice still rules hard even if he can’t do anymore real highpitched vox
3rd part with Robert Lowe again (15 minutes)
and the final part with both singers covering “don’t fear the reaper” from BÖC and playing a song from “ancient dreams”
the audience has been very enthusiastic, including the singer of Dark Tranquillity who was just closed to me during the whole gig, happy like a child at Christmas !!!
Other highlights of the 3 days :
- BLOOD CEREMONY : the singer impressed me, nothing artificial, she’s at 200% in the trip, really credible. They played mostly songs from the new album (which needs time to really assimilate the many rich 70’s nuances) but also 1 song from “living with..” and the mighty “children of the future”… Very good show
- COUNT RAVEN : just like me, all people present were apparently very impatient to see them and there’s been no deception… they mixed their show with songs from “mammons war” and “high on infinity” (particularly a fantastic version from “children of the holocaust”), they also played the songs “destruction of the void”… Playing live so rarely, especially in front of a large crowd, the guys were a bit stressed at the beginning but little by little the show gained in intensity and ended in an “overwhelming” ambiance, everybody had the right impression to have lived a very special moment !
- PLACE OF SKULLS : Victor Griffin is much more well-adjusted than in Pentagram, normal that’s his own band, his baby; but this is very obvious. The show is topless with mostly songs from “as a dog returns” but also from the just re-issued ep “love through blood” and the godly cover from “don’t let be misunderstood”…
- THE GATES OF SLUMBER : I ended with them… and honestly I couldn’t expect something better to close the fest ! the new songs played were outstanding, especially “coven of cain” and “the wretch”…great presence of Karl Simon, not speaking too much but still more than many others, the guy is very impressive … total DOOM at its best ! the new album is an absolute masterpiece !!!
-WINTER : no real surprise as they played “eternal frost” in its entirety, the surprise was more when the organization announced their incredible return ! one could have thought it would be long and boring after 2 or 3 songs… not at all, the intensity and heaviness are so catchy that it seemed very short in fact ! hope there’ll be a 2nd album…
- BLOOD FARMERS : shit I missed the first part of the show but Blood Ceremony were so fuckin good that I couldn’t leave their show before the end… anyway to see about 30 minutes of B.F. was still an incredible dream that came true !!! they played an excellent new song and ended by the cultish “bullet in my head”
Great shows :
-HOODED MENACE : despite the fact that the singer is just average (at least on stage), I liked it very much, Lasse knows how to deliver massive and catchy riffs and it was perfect time for listening more brutal stuff (after just doom during the whole first day)
- GRAVE MIASMA : I had to leave H.M. (2 songs before the end) to go watch the English evil metallers of G.M. and I didn’t regret it at all ! such a fucking blast, those guys were incredibly evil and brutal ; I hope they’ll soon finally get soon the great deal they deserve for a while.
- CORROSION OF CONFORMITY : cool to see them after such a long time, they play mostly old song during a very energic set; good response for them…
- WEEDEATER : sick, insane, brutal, full of dirty hate… just like at the Hellfest, the singer has surprised many people by his arrogant and provocative attitude, I like a lot this kind of “skinned alive” guy , but this is mostly their incredible intensity which impressed me again.
- WARDRUNA : I didn’t know them but it’s been a very very good surprise… this is the band founded by an ex-Gorgoroth guy, they play some kind of ambient stuff, with folk/black metal/pagan elements; no harsh guitars or evil vocals, just flutes, natural sound (water, storm…), percussions and clear (sometimes whispered) vocals (from one to five different vocals sung simultaneously with a catchy harmony).
- IN SOLITUDE : ouah the guys seem and are certainly very very young ! but what a performance, full of hundreds heavy yet always melodic riffs… their talent is rather impressive, the new album should be a killer.
-VOIVOD : I could have included them in the highlights too, but it was the 12 ou 13th times I saw them, maybe I'm a bit "tired" with that, so that was just two great moments !!! (I saw the 1st show in its entirety and a half of the second)…the coming of Daniel Mongrain gave them a new energy I think; this was globally very thrashy performances. Cool to have old songs like “ripping headaches” or “voivod” and a new song too !
- EVOKEN : don’t know why but I’ve not listened much to this band during the few past years but I really enjoyed their set…slow, deep, extremely dark, depressive; I thought that would be more funeral, more monolithic but all in all it was very agreeable. I’ll have to check out their recent stuff to confirm that…
- PENTAGRAM : not much to say about them, still worth to see but not memorable…
SHRINEBUILDER : all the conditions for a memorable gig, but there’s absolutely no unite, everyone plays for himself and as a result the sound was awful, incredibly too loud… the fault of Al Cisneros (acting like THE boss here) which killed Wino’s performance with his mamooth-bass, indeed both guitar and vocally wise, he was almost unlistenable and seemed particularly irritated by that….Scott Kelly was a bit more preserved from that and it was cool to see him playing heavy and aggressive stuff, something Neurosis forgot for a long time ! A big deception anyway…
I also saw a few moments from other bands like GODFLESH, SUNN O))) just by curiosity cause I definitely don’t like their style, also ACID KING (15 short minutes… excellent ! hopefully I saw their whole gig 10 days before in Rennes).
The organization of the fest is almost perfect; all bands I saw started in time and had generally a very correct sound; I also enjoyed the quality of the lights (in good quantities and often well adapted to dark atmospheres) and the visual animations on back screens. The price of alcohol and food are ok (25% cheaper than at the hellfest for drinks) and the fact that the audience is limited is extremely cool to live, wherever you go and whatever you want , you never have to wait !!!
Sure it depends of the future bills, but I’m seriously thinking about making the Roadburn a necessary yearly pilgrimage… hope to meet some of you there next year !