Tuesday, 30 April 2013




After the deranged Lord Mantis exhibition I was in the perfect rabid disposition for another of my elected acts of this Roadburn, Dutch combo HERDER. Led by Jim Dokter (drummer in my favorites Urfaust, whose amazing Roadburn 2012 gig I am also celebrating right below) on bass, they only have a demo/album, a single and two EPs to their credit but, having come across this highly recommended band last December at the Eindhoven Metal Meeting, I was eager to see more of them. They blitzkrieged the stage packed with venomous energy up to their eyeballs, which they fully expressed in the forceful manner that is customary for hardcore bands: in fact this is the background of their new singer, who has definitely brought a different dimension to their music and live impact. Herder is a band that aims at expressing full-on anger by taking their stoner sludge to another level: Roadburn showed them reaching a higher intensity with an impressive physical performance, especially by JD and screamer Ché Snelting. The way the bass player dominated the stage was remarkable, reminding me of great old-school Italian hardcore bands like Raw Power and Negazione, who invented this kind of high-octane performance and took it to the USA. It’s good to see a contemporary version of such testosterone-fuelled spectacle, done in a different context. The first half of Herder’s gig was superb, but it must be said that not all their material is up to scratch yet, so I look forward to new quality songs to even-up their set. I’d also like to see the singer avoiding booting 15-year-old kids: the lad wasn't hurt of course but looked absolutely gutted. An unholy baptism of fire for him hehe!


Monday, 29 April 2013



Thursday 18th April was truly packed with goodies, and Lord Mantis was one of my most awaited for bands of the whole festival. Forgive the rather poor quality of shots but the stage was filled with smoke and dimly lit by red lights throughout the performance. Who cares: those sick bastards delivered more than I could ever expect!


For those who know their British comedy, think Matt Lucas, think Vicky Pollard: well Charlie Fell, vox & bass of Lord Mantis (ex-Nachtmystium drummer) is “her” long lost American brother. I couldn’t stop smiling throughout their entire set at the intriguing thought, but above all because the band was fucking amazing! Rarely have I witnessed something so sick, heavy and devilishly powerful… Their album “Pervertor” was one of my highlights of last year, which made me discover their previous “Spawning the Nephilim”. Their swirling, highly toxic blackened sludge was far more than a window on humanity’s most abject sickness: it seemed to exhale from its deepest, darkest, most disturbingly infested guts. These Chicago-dwellers know perversion first hand, boasting a pedigree that would make most “tough guys” pale, having played in ugly monsters like the already mentioned - and now defunct - Nachmystium, Avichi, and Von. With the iconic “Pervertor” cover by Justin Bartlett as unsettling background, Lord Mantis walked on the murky stage saturated with drug-induced hate and proceeded at creating hell on earth, reveling in morbid depravity with determined sadomasochistic abandon. The suffocating density of their two albums became pure raw energy: the nasty, deviant guitar created a sinister mood and the ultra heavy, distorted bass made the floor tremble from under your feet, urging them to move as if magma were pouring out of the planks… To cap it all, Fell’s squealed screams and sexed-up, lunatic faces were incredible: whatever drug he took, well it was worth it as this band overall impact was utterly devastatingly and infectious. In fact, pure FUN – Hailz Lord Mantis!

Sunday, 28 April 2013


I packed 3 weeks in advance, researched the names I was not familiar with months earlier and designed my daily schedule over and over again, in the undeterred hope of seeing as much as possible during the 4 days of wide-ranging, top quality music bliss: this was how much I looked forward to returning to Tilburg (NL) for Roadburn 2013.

It has been a week already since this year's succesful anD fulfilling edition, but I shall keep my memories alive by focusing on my favorite experiences in short pills, starting from day one, Thursday 18th April 2013.


As part of this year’s “Artist in Residence” series, Alcest’s Neige was going to scream for the Germans. In spite of my well-known incompetence in remembering faces, it was easy to spot Herbst during the band’s brief sound-check, as he is blessed with the cutest face and sweetest smile. The young lads stood out, especially in this type of environment where everybody proudly sports their favorite metal insignia, because they chose to turn out as themselves, short-haired and dressed plainly, looking like your average clean-cut, well-to-do student. They were obviously not interested in dressing up just to fit in. I appreciated the honest attitude, as the quality of the music always prevails even on the most accurate and cool look; besides, the atmospheric lighting helped recreating the intense mood sought by their music. It was quite noticeable that the band is not accustomed to playing live, yet Neige’s relaxed and experienced presence helped them to calm their nerves and the close, warm friendship that ties these musicians was evident and lovely to see. The set flew by all too quickly. Surprisingly, in my imagination I rarely saw cold and pale urban neon lights hovering over Lantlôs’ music, but often flashes of sun rays, and it worked for me. There were more than a few vivid moments when the songwriting talent of Herbst truly stood out, making me wonder whether his music could grow into a superb progressive rock entity (I am thinking King Crimson school), if he ever chose to dedicate his life to music, but somehow it feels as if it is only one aspect of his young lives. I hope Lantlôs enjoyed their Roadburn, and I look forward to the new album, which could bear a few surprises.

Here is a particularly lenghty visual account, starting from the brief sound-check (first two photos): I hope the touching mood will come through...