Return to the Burn: Roadburn 2017 Prep (Pt. 1)

Folteraar Roadburn
With Roadburn 2017 just under two weeks away, I’m faced with a challenge on how to cover this festival. Last year, I was an outsider in every sense and simply tried to document things in a personal way. While many approach from a journalistic approach, I used Black Metal & Brews as a personal diary of sorts. I know it’s a polarizing approach and frowned upon to put oneself into it, yet how could I handle it any other way? This year, I’m a bit more involved with the festival. I was lucky enough to write the announcements for the festival’s actual website, detailing performances by old favorites like Ahab and Ash Borer alongside exciting new acts like Ultha. In addition to the work on the website, I’ll be assisting with managing the festival’s social media presence while things are in full swing, so I feel as though I’ve become part of the first musical event that truly felt like I was in my place, whatever that means. With this in mind, save for this bizarre introductory paragraph, I’ll be covering Roadburn from an equally enthusiastic yet less personal slant. We’re starting the 2017 coverage with ten days of posts highlighting two bands a day. One band is a personal pick that I think attendees must see. The other will be a band I hadn’t heard prior to the lineup announcements yet found to be fascinating. The beauty of Roadburn is just that: one can curate an experience entirely to their own tastes, yet half the magic is in the thrill of discovery. I hope you’ll enjoy joining me on the road back to the festival that seriously changed my perspective on my role as a writer and human last year. Now, it’s time to get ready to Return to the Burn.

First Pick: Folteraar
The last band announced for inclusion as part of the Roadburn 2017 lineup is the first band that we’re going to explore and recommend. Curious minds with more of a set agenda will be glad to know that the only overlap of any real sort Folteraar has will be with French sludge act Fange. With a mere half-hour set lined up at Cul de Sac on Friday, the 21st, from 11:40PM to 12:10AM, attendees should expect to have faces torn clean off in the tiny venue. Folteraar has been high on the underground radar for quite some time with a number of releases on cult Dutch label The Throat, but finally rose to a greater level of notoriety with last year’s Iron Bonehead released LP, Vertellingen van een donkere eeuw. Their brand of mysterious, murky black metal is equally vicious and atmospheric, conjuring a horrific and eerie feeling. As with last year’s appearance from Belgian creeps Lugubrum, this is one of those highly rare and captivating experiences from an act that isn’t known for gigging regularly even in their native region, so serious metal fans would be wise to pop in and check this out.


First Discovery: Kuro
Kuro is one of many bands on Rocket Recordings making an appearance at this year’s Roadburn. While the label and its artists are well respected within some of the more psychedelic and heavy rock communities that Roadburn has long loved and supported, many readers of a site like this may be unfamiliar for now. Kuro is a duo from the UK performing an intriguing and hypnotic fusion of drone and experimental sound featuring prominent, tasteful use of the violin. Rather than yet another act filling space with pure volume or shimmering monotone beauty, Kuro works with such a sense of flow and motion that it’s an imaginative and engaging soundtrack to moments lost in thought. With tension and passion burrowing to deep dark places and shining just enough light to allow for contrast, especially on standout piece “The Hierophant,” which buzzes with static like the chirping of birds, Kuro manages to tread familiar territory in new ways. For those of us peering into the experimental community from the metal side of things, Kuro is a thrilling new discovery that is sure to turn heads. They’ll be performing at Cul de Sac on Friday, April 21st, from 5:40 to 6:30PM. This partially overlaps with sets by Oathbreaker and Big Business but intrigued minds will be able to catch fair portions of all acts in question if they plan properly. Such is the beauty (and sometimes frustration) of Roadburn. Stream Kuro’s self-titled album below and gear up for another post of this nature tomorrow.