Hey dudes and ladies, sorry I haven’t been posting much this month. I’ve been travelingeven more than usual, and haven’t had much time to sit down and write down much of anything besides flight confirmation numbers and directions to wherever I happen to be sleeping any given evening. Cheers once again to those of you who went out and soaked up the riff-tastic metal circus that was Metalliance (especially those wonderful souls who came up to hang out or bought me a drink!), and mad love to everyone who survived that tour, especially the eternal road dogs in The Atlas Moth and Howl and my tour family on the Saint Vitus/Crowbar bus.

As soon as that madness ended, I flew over to Ireland to stay with my boyfriend J. for a couple days and get ready for my next adventure: reprising my now-yearly pilgrimage to the mighty Roadburn festival in Tilburg, Netherlands. He and I met there last year (he was playing, I was covering, the rest is history) so it was due to be special for more than the usual reasons, which are pretty fucking good reasons in and of themselves!

Roadburn is the best heavy music festival in the world, hands down. A bold statement, sure, but anyone who’s ever played, worked, or attended the event will agree with me. Yeah, the lineups are always amazing, and yes, the venues – the 013, which is separated into the Main Room, Green Room, and Bat Cave, and the Midi Theatre — are killer. The separate building for merchandise, vinyl distros, and movie screenings doesn’t hurt, nor does the charming ambiance of Tilburg itself.

The real heart and soul of this festival comes from outside, though; from the big-hearted organizers Walter and Jurgen, from the efforts of Roadburn public relations guru Yvonne (without whom the whole damn thing would have fallen apart), and from the thousands of fans and bands that have come together, united by an overwhelming sense of community and goodwill. Everyone at Roadburn is absolutely 100% thrilled to be exactly where they are. There is a reason that this year’s edition sold out – sold OUT – in fifteen minutes, and it’s not just because Swans, Godflesh, Winter, and Sunn 0))) were playing (though that can’t have hurt, either). I made it to my first Roadburn in 2009, and have made it a point to come backevery year since – I’ve heard the same pledge from a lot of first-timers, and I know a few people that are already saving pennies for next year!

This year’s lineup was insane (as always). To give you an idea, I wanted to be sure to catch Alcest, Year of No Light, Acid King, Winterfylleth, Zoroaster, Wovenhand, Naam, Blood Ceremony, Pentagram, Today is the Day, Cough, Godflesh, In Solitude, Wardruna, Soilent Green, Count Raven, Earth, Place of Skulls, Winter, Trap Them, Sabbath Assembly, Summon the Crows, Corrosion of Conformity, Menace Ruine, Sunn 0))), Hooded Menace, Grave Miasma, Scorn, Candlemass (performing Epicus Doomicus Metallicus in its entirety!), Black Math Horseman, Master Musicians of Bukkake, Weedeater, Rwake, Ludicra, Evoken, Ramesses, Shrinebuilder, Yakuza, The Gates of Slumber, Swans, Ufomammut, Blood Farmers, Coffins, Dead Meadow, and Sourvein … and that’s just me. There were plenty of other bands that I either had seen many times, was unfamiliar with, or just didn’t want to see (which is rare at Roadburn, but there’s a first time for everything).

Of course, since it’s a massive festival full of people from all over the world, a lot of whom I love dearly, I managed to miss tons of bands, but I’m okay with it. I’ll see most of them again, and Roadburn isn’t totally about the music. It’s about the experience, man.

Here are a few highlights from this year; third time’s the charm!


Acid King


Blood Ceremony



Today is the Day


*Getting to the festival after a near-miss (missing flights is a bitch, but thank god for credit cards and incredible stubbornness!)

*Watching my friends in Cough, Today is the Day, and Winterfylleth play to packed rooms and get killer responses from the crowd

*Standing next to Gaahl during Pentagram (I was petrified)



Sabbath Assembly


Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter

Hooded Menace

Grave Miasma

*Jex Thoth’s voice soaring above the heinous mix that the Midi Theatre’s sound guy had seen fit to bestow upon poor Sabbath Assembly


*Braving the clouds of incense that enshrouded the front of the Bat Cave stage in order tocatch every minute of my London mates Grave Miasma’s bestial death metal ritual

*The now traditional after-after party at the Incubate office, which we didn’t manage to leave ‘til about 6am…









The Gates of Slumber


*Rolling out of bed at 6pm and hauling ass down to the venue to see Weedeater

*Every word Dixie Dave uttered onstage

*And the flawless backflip he somehow managed to execute backstage

*Seeing Wino play guitar with Shrinebuilder – totally different vibe from the Vitus shows

*Sneaking into a packed-out Midi Theatre to soak in the cosmic doom rays of Ufomammut

*Loitering outside the Cul de Sac café with a bunch of errant NYC friends and drinking whiskey with Winter




Dead Meadow

Black Pyramid


*Waking up after a good night’s sleep (a goddamn novelty in my world) and having tons of energy all day


*The hairy space-monster that came out and doom-danced around the stage during Dead Meadow’s set

*Black Muntain playing for-fucking-EVER, which gave me ample time to socialize and check out merch (Electric Wizard on vinyl, check)

*Hopping into Sourvein’s van and directing them to the Little Devil bar, where we, Coffins, and a host of other festival refugees proceeded to get wasted and sing KISS songs ‘til the small hours of the morning.

See you next year, Tilburg!


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