At the smallest venue of Roadburn, the aptly named Cul De Sac (the stage is situated at the end of a narrow corridor), there is always a huge “risk” of getting to attend a show by a band you might not know, but that will completely blow you away.

Below is a rundown of the bands playing on Thursday the 19th (apart from the bands below, Une Misère is scheduled to play an extra set on this day)

Insect Ark

Doom (like it’s dark cousin black metal) moves in many different, exciting ways these years, so much so, that we as music fans must sometimes seem to burst with excitement from all the unexpected paths visionary musicians take, when they set out from that common core to explore the world.

Insect Ark are among those visionary artists – and to boot, one of quite a few doomy duos to surface in recent years.

Adding both noisey electronics and a sort of garage-sounding pop (at times reminding me of early Garbage) into the mix, while still maintaining a solid, doomy grip around your intestines, along the way creating an atmospheric, frightening web of an almost surrealistic quality.

And while hanging suspended from that web, assaulted by the vision of Insect Ark, what attains to be a more clear view of the world seems to pass before your eyes, in beautiful, yet disturbing, slow-moving vistas. Beauty, just beneath the surface, there to be seen and felt by simply scratching away the upper layer of existence. At the same time, there is something delicate, frail even hidden inside these impressive compositions.

Entangle yourself and watch in helpless fascination when Insect Ark turns their eyes upon the Cul De Sac

INSECT ARK live at Saint Vitus Bar, July 2nd, 2015 (FULL SET)

Pit Full of Shit Contact:

Liveset, Saint Vitus Bar, New York, July 2015

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RoadburnFacebookBandcampDiscogsOfficial Page

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Collapsar / PiledriverSingle (2012)BandCamp
Long ArmsEP (2013)BandCamp
Portal / WellAlbum (2015)spotifyBandCamp
WindlessSingle (2015)BandCamp
Marrow HymnsAlbum (2018)spotifyBandCamp

Sum Of R

Starting out creating abstract and complex ambient soundworks, Swiss experimentalists Sum Of R have gradually moved towards a louder and more dramatic sound, with tendrils extending into more post rock structures.

Along the way, they have kept both the abstract complexity and the artful soundscapes, and they are definitely not averse to still delving into the droney depths of ambiance, but their music has attained a more focused, sharp presence on the last couple of albums.

And there is not much of the dreamy, laid-back capabilities often seen in post rock landscapes – unless this could be seen as the soundtrack to some real-life nightmare. And again, that’s only part of the explanation. Because all descriptive qualities aside, there is still something about Sum Of R that seems to open up the mind for further exploration along the pathways their music follows.

And there might be murky, dark things lurking in the forests along the way – but I still get the feeling, that travelling with Sum Of R is largely a safe endeavour, and the real dangers stem from the surrounding society not willing to acknowledge the neural pathways to further understanding, the music seems to open.

Experience how life is and how it really could be when Sum Of R takes the stage at the Cul De Sac.

Alter Ego vzw presents Sum of R live at Atmosphaera – Ghent

Uploaded by Alter Ego vzw on 2015-03-30.

Liveset, Atmosphaera, Ghent, 2015

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RoadburnFacebookBandcampDiscogsOfficial Page

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Sum Of RAlbum (2008)BandCamp
Ride Out The WavesEP (2012)BandCamp
Lights On WaterAlbum (2013)spotifyBandCamp
OrgaAlbum (2017)spotifyBandCamp


I don’t believe I’ve ever encountered a drone metal band quite like Galg.

While they drone along just fine, they add some fierce, brutal, completely unhinged black metal into the cauldron, and thereby the drone gets a foundation and focus on which it really thrives.

Like a maniacal rollercoaster ride through the deepest darkest abysses of hell, this is not the kind of music that lets you off easily. Once you’re sucked in, only the bones will be spit out in the end.

Completely insane and immensely satisfying.

I very much doubt Cul De Sac will be fit for further performances following this onslaught.

Galg live @Soulcrusher II, Doornroosje/ Nijmegen, 7th of October

Uploaded by iljahhh on 2017-10-08.

Liveclip, Soulcrusher II, Nijmegen, October 2017

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MonochromEP (2014)BandCamp
RPM SessionEP (2014)BandCamp
AfsichtAlbum (2014)BandCamp

Black Decades

Imagine if you will, the pure eye-opening power of Voivod‘s War And Pain album, temporally transmogriphied into the 21st century and dumped into a seething cauldron filled to the brim with remnants of tortured black metal, hardcore and doom.

Got that? If so, you’ve got somewhat of an feeling as to what Dutch demented extremists Black Decades are about.

Drawing literally on decades of black muck, these dudes seem set for wilful, wanton destruction of all around them.

Reason enough to be there when they destroy Cul De Sac.

Black Decades – Live 26/092/2017 DB’s Utrecht

Uploaded by Lijdensweg on 2017-03-14.

Liveclip, DBs, Utrecht, February 2017

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Hideous LifeAlbum (2016)BandCamp

Mirror Queen

Mirror Queen are like a fresh breath of air amongst all the stale fumes and industrial waste.

A band that seems to genuinely (and intuitively) understand what made up the classic heavy metal of the 70’s/early 80’s (remember, the part that wasn’t obsessed with hair-do or instrumental equillibrism above all) – and the influences that made up that golden age.

Letting emotion speak louder than any need to show off, Mirror Queen brings in the sounds of say a Santana or a Cream (at times a Floyd, even) and embeds these thoroughly into that crispy metal/hard rock sound.

It’s enough to make the universe vibrate in color – and Cul De Sac will vibrate too when Mirror Queen bring out their magic

Mirror Queen live at the Knitting Factory – Excerpts from Poignard and Curse The Night

The last show of Mirror Queens latest tour with The Atomic Bitchwax at the Knitting Factory in their hometown of Brooklyn, New York. Here is a quick tasting of what new tunes they have ready for the newest release…. Buckle up, strap in or hang on for dear life.

Liveclip, The Knitting Factory, New York, 2017

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From Earth BelowAlbum (2011)spotify
Scaffolds Of The SkyAlbum (2015)spotifyBandCamp
Starliner b/w Career Of EvilSingle (2016)BandCamp
VerdigrisAlbum (2017)spotify