Roadburn 2011 Review By Sandrijn van den Oever …   Leave a comment

The ever so lucky member of the Doommantia writing team, Sandrijn van den Oever has sent us what should be the first of several Roadburn 2011 live reports and yes I am still jealous….Ed

In my humble opinion, Roadburn 2011 was THE shit. Why? Tons of awesome bands, friends and a near flawless organization. I remember the 2008 edition being quite crowded: too many people moving around within too little space. 2008 was fun, but 2011 was a whole of a lot better. I went for two days and I’ll write down some words on the bands & performances I loved, starting with Year Of No Light. What’s there to say?

A prima band on record, although you don’t want to listen to them too often, because the music wears out after a couple of listens. Being the first show on Thursday, the little room was overcrowded and after two, maybe three tracks we headed on to The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble, but really to be on time for Ghost. 


Really, I cannot stress enough how much fun Ghost is. I LOVED the record, and I have been relistening Opus Eponymous vehemently the last couple of days. Their performance on Roadburn was perfect. The singer disguised as an evil pope is quite frightening, and his vocal delivery was stellar. Their combined execution of the songs was superb, and I’m still amazed at how fresh, original and good their debut sounds. I tried Repugnant a few times, but it’s definitely not my cup of tea.

Ghost features members of Repugnant, Swedish death metallers. Ghost’s Stand By Him was and is engraved in my ears and every time I woke up in the middle of the night to take a piss, I was accompanied by the sweet tunes of Stand By Him. I didn’t keep any notes, but I think Ghost played close to the whole album. Their visual presentation was on spot, and they didn’t fell out of character. Although funny in a way, it did fit perfectly with what Job called their ‘scooby-doo rock’ (in a positive, affirming way). Brilliant performance! This is the sort of show that leaves you longing for more…

On we went to Blood Ceremony, same stage. Great, great show, although something was missing maybe. They delivered on every level, but alas there was much competition to begin with! Blood Ceremony was plain awesome. I was a little in doubt after listening to Living With The Ancients, because I liked their debut so much. The live presentation on Roadburn won me over though. Surely top 5 material for 2011. Blood Ceremony’s singer looked haunted and a little bit frightening. Not as frightening as the evil pope of Ghost, but she managed to get the feeling across that she was for real. Very for real. The pan flute live was awesome, and in my recollection they didn’t play too much songs from their debut. Correct me if I’m wrong.


After Blood Ceremony we regrouped at Pentagram. Well, I attended an earlier show a couple of years back, and I loved every minute of it. This show sucked however, we left after two of three songs. Victor Griffin wasn’t really into it, and Bobby Liebling, well, what’s there to say. Laughing stock material?

It’s hard to take him serious. I love the new album by the way, but really, it’s an album that may or may not make my end list this year. Cough on the other hand ruled hard. It was slow, it was evil and God saw that is was good. A lot of atmosphere and Cough persuaded me to buy this rad t-shirt. Thank you Cough, great show and I’m already looking forward to whatever comes after Ritual Abuse. 

In Solitude was an eye-opener. Never heard of ‘m before, but right now I’m looking forward to their scheduled May 23 release called The World. The Flesh. The Devil. Tagged with a certain humor as NWOSHM (Swedish instead of British) these okkult metallers gave an excellent performance. Mercyful Fate and Judas Priest come to mind, and for the time being we have to make do with their latest release In Solitude. 

Wardruna was fun to watch, although after fifteen minutes you did get the picture. Folk, ambient & drones nicely mixed into one haunting performance with a lot of visuals, homemade instruments and one scary looking guy with a Rasputin beard. Wardruna concluded our first day of Roadburn. 

Friday started with Earth, which wasn’t any fun to watch really. In terms of presentation there wasn’t a lot to look at. The live performance didn’t add anything to the existing material on record, and their last album is surely one of my favorites this year so far. I left after a couple of songs to go see Place Of Skulls. They did rule. Victor Griffin’s sheer fun factor while playing his mighty guitar added a lot to the powerful riffing of Place Of Skulls. He was totally in his element, and his enthusiasm rubbed clearly off on the audience. What a difference when compared to Pentagram! 


After Place Of Skulls I saw one of the best performances I have seen over the last couple of years. Sabbath Assembly is always a pleasure to watch because of the lovely Jessica Thoth. Unfortunately, being hot isn’t enough to keep the audience captivated, and boy did they deliver. The difference with Blood Ceremony was striking.

Whereas Blood Ceremony stayed really close to the original versions of the songs on their great last album, Sabbath Assembly added some sweet variations to their tunes. I was totally blown away by the live performance of the whole band. They all improvised at some point during their performance, and I hope I will be able to catch them live again soon. I cannot recommend their album enough: go buy it.

Sunn 0))) started really late, and after five minutes I asked myself what all the fuzz was about. Sure, you get tons of drones, but it wasn’t entertaining in the least. One of the reasons was an overkill of smoke. Luckily we saw the remaining last fifteen minutes of their show, and that part at least was stunning.


Grave Miasma was some plain metal, not too good but not too bad either. These blackened death metallers put up a good show in terms of delivery and quality, but this kind of music isn’t my cup of tea really. On we went to The Secret, but the overall performance was a little bit too forced. I don’t know how to put it, but the overall picture they delivered was a little bit too, hip? You decide for yourself.

In conclusion: I’m very very happy to have witnessed Sabbath Assembly, Ghost, In Solitude & Blood Ceremony live in the one habitat for doom, stoner, heavy psychedelics & heavy rock: Roadburn. Thank you Walter!!

Live Review By Sandrijn van den Oever

Check out the Roadburn thread on the forum, another live review and more pics – Read It Here


Posted April 24, 2011 by doommantia in Roadburn

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