Return to the Burn: Roadburn 2017 Prep Day Five

Ahab Roadburn

With a week to the day before we all join up to drink in Weirdo Canyon at the Hard Rock Hideout, it’s high time we kick things into a serious gear before letting the frenzy of excitement take us. Here’s one deep classic and one band that’s new (to me) who happens to be gearing up to play Roadburn AND the Hard Rock Hideout, a surefire way to get double the destruction. I’m so excited I can practically feel the streets of Tilburg beneath my feet and I hope you’ll say hello if you see me there. Without further fuss, two essential picks, just for you.

Pick Five: Ahab
Do you remember where you were when you first heard funeral doom? I’m aware I’d heard Evoken and Skepticism prior to being introduced to The Call of the Wretched Sea, but neither of those really registered in my memory the way the earth-shaking chords, mildewed synths, and unstable yet haunting melodies of Ahab did. From the low, rumbling vocals, to the uncanny sense of movement that nearly betrayed their genre without fully departing it, Ahab created something that helped pull me out from an addiction to all things fast and ADHD-friendly and into a broader appreciation of the full spectrum and scope of heavy metal. It’s still one of the most important extreme music records I’ve ever heard and I’m thrilled to see that Ahab is playing this landmark piece of music from start to finish at Roadburn. Furthering the excitement I feel is the fact that Ahab’s official Roadburn announcement was the first of many pieces I wrote for the festival’s own website, which served as the beginning to a strong working relationship I’m cultivating with Walter, Becky, and the other lovely folks involved. Join me in being blown to bits by their nautik funeral doom in 013 Venue’s Green Room on Saturday, April 22nd, from 8:10 to 9:20PM, overlapping partially with Memoriam, Casual Nun, and Trans Am, and entirely with Slow Crush. Let’s succumb to the call, shall we?

Discovery Five: Atala
With only a week until the Hard Rock Hideout, Roadburn’s “don’t call it a warmup” mini-gig the night before the fest kicks into full swing, it’s time we examine the band that is headlining. In addition to prominent placement on Wednesday’s heavy, rowdy lineup, Atala will be playing again during the fest, allowing those arriving on Thursday ample opportunity to experience the full thing in full swing. Atala is a Califnorian stoner doom act that is, mercifully, irreverent to both of those titles. It’s got motion and fluidity in places where many bands would be content to lock into repetition, but without forsaking the almighty riff and groove. Why not start things off the right way by getting blown away in the tiniest, most packed venue of them all? If that’s not an option for you, Atala plans on leveling Extase on Friday, April 21st from 2:00-2:50PM, partially overlapping with Schammasch.