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Roadburn Festival 2018 – Live Review, Part 1 [19/20Apr] “This time he is close to her, he speaks to her. She welcomes him without surprise. They are without memories, without plans. Time builds itself painlessly around them. Their only landmarks are the flavour of the moment they are living and the markings on the walls.” - La Jetée by Chris Marker

Unfortunately, for the most unlucky of us, day 1 was nowhere to be seen. Such a huge and stupid error like only noticing that a citizen’s card is out of date while embarking at the airport gate, could cost you so much money, time and sadly, the first day of Roadburn? Shit happens. A day later, with a new plane ticket and an I.D. card for travelling, the destination remained Tilburg. Upon arrival, there was no way one could’ve gotten to the O13 in time for the last band. Let’s make the most of it though. Roadburn is undoubtedly a special place. Every year it becomes bigger, better and more diverse. Survive, adapt, find yourself a very abstract, diverse and interesting aesthetic, good curators, beautiful venues with even greater sound acoustic, and in the end just make better festivals. That’s Roadburn’s ambition.

With that being said, seeing Jacob Bannon curating a festival like this one, is something that makes a lot of sense nowadays. Great line-up, promising venue circuit, and awesome summer weather. Almost feels like a summer festival this year, but the unique Tilburgian aura remains intact and stronger than ever. Day 2 is beginning, with so much to choose from, The Ruins Of Beverast Exuvia set was deemed unmissable by a packed Green Room, at the O13 venue. The opener, was more than enough to put the crowd completely defenseless to these german ritual masters, but the following tracks “Surtur Barbaar Maritime” and “Maere (On a Stillbirth’s Tomb) were the ones who rendered the crowd to absolute madness. A highlight so early on could only raise the spark even higher at such an early hour of the day. Catapult such a small crowd to the Crowbar Odd Fellows Rest set and one could not see a single unsatisfied face in the midst of all the heaviness.Seeing them play track after track without botching anything, furthermore putting even more emphasis on the breakdowns and chorus sections, just underlines how great musicians these guys are.

Crowbar © Niels Vinck

This time around, we gave a chance to the idea that maybe the bigger band isn’t the one you’re supposed to be watching, and seeing we do have such a decent band like Furia playing at the same time as the Converge You Fail Me set, we decided to give in to that mindset for a while. Furia, even though not very technical, is known to deliver passionate, emotional and intense shows, which isn’t quite rare when it comes to black metal, but there’s still something quite unique about this polish act. Be it their language or the unorthodox songwriting, Furia’s rage and raw dislike for existence reflects perfectly in a sentiment, that remains as universal and primal as their sound. Furia’s true language lies in the emotion, and not the words. That’s one of the reasons why people should definitely give them a listen. Either that, or a packed Koepelhal speechless from this band’s performance.

Furia © Paul Verhagen

Even though the Godflesh Selfless set was one of the biggest references we had in this day’s line-up, it was impossible to ignore the uninspired, flat and sterile performance and sound of Justin K. Broadrick. Luckily, the underground cult doom/death project from Bavaria, Germany, Worship were just prepping to play at the Cul de sac. With such a quick introduction to the smallest of all the venues at Roadburn, one understands all it’s bad aspects with just the attempt of reaching the stage at the end of the room. A twenty-minute wait beforehand is the most necessary evil in order to have the best view possible, unless you’re okay with crowded small rooms and not much air to breathe. Don’t worry, Worship was still as heavy and emotive as one could imagine.

Evidently, Godflesh wasn’t the only name that divided some crowds. It just so happens that Grave Pleasures, to our surprise, didn’t seem to convince the entirety of the O13 main stage. To us, they seemed impeccable from start to finish. Either with songs off one our favorite albums of 2017, Motherblood, or frequently flashbacking to the older Climax songs, there was no way this set would be forgotten for those who were nearest to the stage. Be it the aesthetic, sound and general style and charm, these finnish deathrockers have everything to put on a strong and solid show.

Grave Pleasures © Neils Vinck

It’s immensely overwhelming how quick the second day of Roadburn passed by. Most of the shows were untouchable, always regaining some sort of unspeakable aura or vibration, that keeps everyone on the edge of every chair while simultaneously feeling so relaxed and spontaneous. Nowhere in Europe do you see a festival where so many great bands are playing, without a single person rushing in all directions. The venues are easily the main contributor to all of this. Let the magic do it’s purpose, let it all come to fruition and let it all sink in. If there’s one thing that Roadburn does so well, is make you feel at home. Welcome.

Por João "Mislow" Almeida / 4 Maio, 2018

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