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Roadburn 2014
Day 1 Photo Essay

Photos by Gemma Shaw
Words by Luke Bolton

Locrian bring their atmospheric blackened alt noise to Roadburn festival in the Het Patronaat, the second largest stage, a beautiful church converted into a music venue upstairs.

The sound kicks off nicely as people’s ears adjust to Roadburn, Locrian providing more high end – from the sublime to outright disgusting.

LOCRIAN
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There’s a buzz about Samothrace as the room fills to capacity. They bring the low end doom that you come to expect from Roadburn. Cycling through doomy riff after doomy riff, they make the perfect combination with the green haze of the Netherlands. Samothrace pull out all the stops, and their performace was discussed throughout the weekend.

SAMOTHRACE
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Napalm Death playing a set of slow songs on the main stage…Why, I ask? Well, it’s not a bad performance, but you are left feeling bewildered when you haven’t had your faced ripped off by these purveyors of some of the finest grind. I would have like to have seen them do a 50/50 set rather than a complete slow set. They did play their new song ‘Dear Slum Landlord,’ though.

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If Napalm Death’s slow set left you wanting more, then Whitehorse truly give you a full on stomachache with their churning low end assault. Sludge? Doom? More like lead weights smashing your skull slowly, with all the vile intent to kill. All this brutality in a packed-out green room made for a memorable performance.

WHITEHORSE
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It takes me a while for my ears to get used to drum loops, and having never been a fan of industrial, I would have thought Corrections House wouldn’t be something I would enjoy. But this “Super” group bring the goods. From the visceral screams of Mike Williams of Eyehategod, to Scott Kelly of Neurosis’ warm throaty tones, I’m instantly hooked. It’s an odd mix of musicians who each have very strong identities, but like peanut butter and nearly everything, it works. I surely stand corrected (BAD, BAD, BAD PUN!).

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With Roadburn, like other festivals, you’ll have bands you want to see clashing. Thursday sees Crowbar, True Widow, Anciients and The Great Old Ones all playing at the same time. Not everyone will want to see all four of these bands, but I do.

True Widow fill the Het Patronaat with their melancholy downtempo stomp, and they offer something unique to the lineup. Note for note, their music broods and boils under the skin as vocals float in the ether. After leaving to catch Anciients in the green room, which was almost an impossible task, looking as if one more body would cause a massive implosion of bodies to morph into a giant Roadburn monster. Solace is found in the riffery of Crowbar with a beer.

TRUE WIDOW
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Then it’s not long before we’re back in the Het Patornaat for Graves at Sea, which turns out to possibly be one of the performances of the day. Doom/sludge savagery fills the room to the rafters, and you have to think wbout what the old churchgoers would think of Graves at Sea. I’d hope they’d be converted to the dark side, or at least burst into flames.

GRAVES AT SEA
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Written By

Meghan MacRae grew up in Vancouver, Canada, but spent many years living in the remote woods. Living in the shadow of grizzly bears, cougars and the other predators of the wilderness taught her about the dark side of nature, and taught her to accept her place in nature's order as their prey. She is co-founder of CVLT Nation.

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