I’ve reached the final part of this preview series (and I’m aware there’s an afterparty at the marvelous Lygtens Kro Sunday – but I’m unfortunately not able to make it – and making this preview series of the main-festival was a bit of a stretch as it is, only deciding to do this 5 days ago, and determined to listen to everything I could get my hands (digital ones) on by every band in order to do them the most justice – so I’m truly sorry, I’m certain the afterparty bands deserve some recognition too… I just don’t have the time ;-)

Anyway – let me just say I’m very positively surprised by the line-up for this festival – and the care that seems to have been put into structuring things in a way that fits fantastically together to lay the foundations for a great festival-experience. The next mention of this festival from here will probably be on Saturday, with a roundup of day 1 (or – perhaps some short live-streams of the action :-) )

Thanks for reading!

[thrive_headline_focus title=”Alaric (USA)” orientation=”left”]

Discography

The crusty postpunk of Alaric is a great experience no matter what, but on yesteryears End Of Mirrors they did weave an amazing fabric of synth-pop, ambient noise, postpunk and crust in a way that made the whole a lot more than the sum of the ingrediemts.

The bleak future underscored by the warm tone of the bass, the subdued desperation of the vocals heightened by the carefully interjected guitar-fills, drums delivering a haunting, tribalistic foundation.

Alaric might seem the odd one out when looking at the line-up, but I’m quite certain they will fiit right in with the rest of the despair-filled program.

Shrinking World, by Alaric

Shrinking World by Alaric, released 06 May 2016

[thrive_headline_focus title=”MDME SPKR (England)” orientation=”left”]

Discography

Fuzz-heavy and guitar-driven, London’s MDME SPKR is a damn lot more pleasant experience than anything coming out of Whitehall or any other hotbeds of political nonsense and intrigue.

But intriguing they are, MDME SPKR, intermixing their grungy fuzz with post-punked rhythms that reminds me of something like Unknown Gender, giving the music an urgency, an outcry for action. Neither grunge nor postpunk has sounded this immediate and urgent for quite some time.

Rearview Mirror, by MDME SPKR

Rearview Mirror by MDME SPKR, released 01 October 2015

[thrive_headline_focus title=”Cult Of Occult (France)” orientation=”left”]

Discography

French sludge-meisters Cult Of Occult were one (of many) acts I didn’t get to see on last year’s Roadburn. So this is a very welcome opportunity to catch a band that seems to be one of the most tight sludge bands around.

From their debut-album onwards, they have mastered those repetitive, crushing, obliterating riffs to the fullest, and have only seemed to add to their heaviness and gloom with every new release. At the same time they have increased the length of their compositions to mostly exceed the 12 minute mark – something they use very well to their advantage, as their annihilating visions come much better to its own right in these prolonged agonies, catapulting them into a more post-like territory.

Satanic, by Cult Of Occult

Satanic by Cult Of Occult, released 15 October 2015 I DECLARE WAR TO JESUS CHRIST. I DECLARE WAR TO GOD. I DECLARE WAR TO EVERY CHRISTIAN AND THEIR DREADFUL BELIEFS. I, IN THE NAME OF MY FATHER SATAN, ORDER YOU TO FORM THE STRONGEST ARMY AND GIVE BATTLE TO OUR ENEMIES.

[thrive_headline_focus title=”Pinkish Black (USA)” orientation=”left”]

Discography

Well, if The Young Gods had decided to go with a more synthpop cum postpunk sound, they might have sounded something like in the vicinity of Pinkish Black – and then again, I kinda doubt that…

Pinkish Black are so much all over the board (in the best of all senses), that every comparison seem to invalidate itself a few tracks on. Suffice it to say then, that they’ve got a truly unique vision of heavy music, and every time you think you’ve sussed them out, they throw you another curveball.

Cinematic, heavy, weird, dark exploration at its very finest.

Everything Must Go, by Pinkish Black

Everything Must Go by Pinkish Black, released 30 October 2015

[thrive_headline_focus title=”Toner Low (The Netherlands)” orientation=”left”]

Discography
  • Aqui [demo, 1998]
  • X-Mas Downer Sessions [Demo, 1999]
  • Low Life [Demo, 2000]
  • Motorwolf Volume [Single, 2001] – Listen on YouTube
  • 3 Track Promo CD [Demo, 2002]
  • Demo [Demo, 2002]
  • Toner Low / Fal-Tor-Voh [Split, 2002]
  • Demo [demo, 2003]
  • Toner Low [Album, 2005] – Listen on Bandcamp
  • Toner Low / Abe Diddy & The Krautboys [Split, 2006]
  • One Stoned Decade [Compilation, 2008]
  • II [Album, 2008] – Listen on Bandcamp
  • Live At Haus Manusch 12.05.2010 [EP, 2011] – Listen on YouTube
  • Low @ Dynamo [Album, 2012] – Listen on Bandcamp
  • III [Album, 2013] – Listen on Bandcamp
  • Devilbot 12″ [Single, 2015]

Aptly named of course, one of the mainstays of the stoner metal scene. Toner Low have a genuine knack for turning those slow, slow riffs into something that’s more than simply a collection of chords and progressions.

They’re bone-jarringly heavy and like the great blues-artists they’ve found a way to tap into the futility of life and channel it into something that’s both descriptive of the damnation of mankind and at the same time liberating.

Heavier and slower than a lot of drone, yet not afraid to psych out now and again – Toner Low is the perfect note on which to end the festival.

Three, by Toner Low

Three by Toner Low, released 28 November 2008