Roadburn Festival 2019 // In Confrontation // Vol. II

The second part of my Roadburn Festival coverage can be found below (the first part is here). Please forgive the lapses into first person narrative – it’s not something that I do very often at all but Roadburn has been a deeply personal experience each time I’ve attended and I feel that I couldn’t have taken a step back from it while writing something about it.

2018’s edition was a strange time for me; I’d moved country a few months prior and still had many unsettled feelings and that I didn’t really belong anywhere yet. The music I saw that year hit hard and seeing Bell Witch, Worship and Mizmor in one long day really took me to places I had tried not to think about. This year I feel more at home in my new country and the experience of the festival was reflected in that. I felt grief for the person I once was but also hope for what is to come. There is so much relief to be found this year, and this culminated in the Have A Nice Life performance on the main stage on Sunday – I can finally let go of my fears and embrace the future.

Thou performing at Roadburn Festival 2019 – by Cheryl Carter

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Roadburn Festival 2019 // In Confrontation // Vol. I

Beginning a review is always the most difficult part of the writing process. There are many thoughts and feelings that you want to express and so many experiences that you want to put across in the right way and your train of thought moves fluidly from one thing to the next…. but getting that down in a coherent and interesting way is something that often falls short. For a weekend spent at Roadburn Festival that process becomes ten times more difficult as experiences are not exactly in short supply and each person has their own unique take on what the city of Tilburg has given them for the four day festival run. No two people will likely have exactly the same experience of Roadburn and it’s often said by the festival team and those who have attended many times “Roadburn is what you make of it, it’s personal, it’s yours.” And that is such a true statement. This is my third Roadburn and while it’s not a festival I can claim to have been to as many times as another person…it often feels like some bands are being booked directly out of my dreams and for the thousands of other attendees this is most probably true for them. Somehow Walter gets into your mind and pulls out your musical desires and the festival becomes as much a part of you as it is for the organisers.

Thou performing at Roadburn Festival 2019 – by Cheryl Carter

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The Memory Remains. 2015 in review.

2015 is over and 2016 looms, full of promise and optimism but, in all likelihood it’s going to be much the same as the year before it and the year before that and the year before that……etc etc…. Every year I try not to have too many expectations about what the following twelve months will hold and instead try to take one day at a time and hope that through some kind of cosmic circumstance, that things will be OK. That my family will stay well and that they will be happy and that the struggles they face will become less.

2015 was, on the whole, a good year. My day job went well and continues to do so. For the most part my family are doing great and I saw my little brother get married in the summer, which was incredible despite having to sit in a church for that length of time. Writing took a little bit of a back seat and I found myself struggling to get as excited about it as I used to. It turned into a chore and I thought it best to allow myself some time to regain the joy in writing. I still get paid a little for some work and I continued to do that, but this blog and other online outlets suffered as a result.

I found myself not listening to as much music as I could have and usually do. That I wasn’t listening to a record unless I was writing about it (which as you can see from above, I didn’t do too much of) and so my pleasurable listening came from the occasional musical crush – you don’t want to know how many times I’ve listened to Enthrone Darkness Triumphant in the last six weeks.

As well as that, I have a physical ailment (it’s a super gross ganglion on my right wrist) that is preventing typing for extended periods of time and I finally went to see my GP about it. Fingers crossed that during the beginning of this year I get some news on when it can be operated on. The recovery is a month or more, so I’m not sure how things will go from there but it will save a lifetime of pain and medication.

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Bosse-de-Nage – ii

Bosse-de-Nage hail from the Bay Area of San Franciso………and that’s pretty much all I, or anyone else who isn’t actually in Bosse-de-Nage, know about the band. But that’s cool, because Bosse-de-Nage’s newest opus certainly needs no explanation as to the personality’s behind the music. Because this album RULES.

1. Volume II Chapter I

2. Marie In A Cage

3. The Lampless Hours

4. The Death Posture

5. Why Am I So Lovely ? Because My Master Washes Me

 ii is a beautifully realised record, full of the kind of sounds you’d expect in an orthodox black metal band – screeched vocals and intense blastbeats. But Bosse-de-Nage are far from orthodox, pulling their influences from a spectrum most inclusive of a little country called France. They take their name from a character in a novel by French writer Alfred Jarry, with the book in question being “Exploits and Opinions of Dr. Faustroll, pataphysician” and Jarry is well known for being a little bit surreal, a tad absurd and a lot of a drunk. This isn’t the only French (and by no means the last) literary influence, final track “Why Am I So Lovely ? Because My Master Washes Me,” takes it’s title from a line in a Paul Eluard (another absurdist/surrealist poet, and of seemingly significant interest to the group) work.

The lyrical style on this record is hard to describe. The album has a very narrative feel and if you have the lyrics in front of you it’s almost as though you’re reading from a book, and not listening to some of the harshest vocals put to disc screamed at you. Reading the words whilst hearing the enigmatically named “B” shriek his way through some of the most obscure verse you will likely hear is definitely an other-worldly experience.

The words conjure images of despair, a kind of hell, an overwhelming feeling of claustrophobia. “Marie In A Cage” is possibly the most overtly sexual and pornographic piece of writing I’ve seen in black metal. This is not a band conforming to the norm. This is a band unafraid to cross boundaries, unafraid to bring together multiple influences and to present them in such a manner.

Musically Bosse-de-Nage hold true to black metal conventions, but encompass so many different styles that it’d be hard to place them in any one sub-genre. There’s flashes of Cascadian style in some of the guitar progressions, second wave in the vocal delivery and raging drum work and at times there is the evocation of raw and melodic French black metal. It sounds weird, and darn, it is, but it’s done so well and with such attention to detail that you cannot help but be sucked into the swirling vortex created.

The closing seconds of  final track “Why Am I So Lovely ? Because My Master Washes Me” are an education in how to terrify. A huge crashing wall of feedback envelops you, the melody of the track completely loses it’s way and is taken over by this cacophony of noise. It. Is. Glorious.

Take a look at the band’s official website, where you can grab digital downloads of their first two demo recordings.

To pre-order the CD and/or LP, go here: