The darkness is not done with us and Sunday starts early with Fear Falls Burning playing the Patronaat. But today will also show a number of black metal bands playing sets and even closing down the legendary Roadburn venue tonight. Not all of them are part of the Maalstroom project, but all do connect to the blackened sound that slithers through the day.
Editor: Guido Segers
In that same venue, Fear Falls Burning starts with a set dedicated to Michiel Eikenaar. The singer worked with Dirk Serries on this project and therefore it is a fitting tributary do deliver some destructive and maddening blackened jazz tunes in the afternoon. The music is, at times, free falling saxophone jams, and at other times almost of industrial, crushing force. It works well and drives some kick into your ears as we get properly underway. A bit later on the same stage, a different type of animal is working through their set. Mord’A’Stigmata is one of those odd bands on the Pagan Records label and their avantgardistic take on black metal feels cold and clinical. The delivery is perfect but bloodless and so air-tight it chokes itself. Amid the emotionally heavy sounds, it takes the listener aback for a moment, but plenty stick to hear tunes from 2019’s ‘Dreams of Quiet Places’.
Grey Aura is a different beast, relying on literature, jazz/blues and a storyline that is complex and deep. It works for them, but not for all of the crowd who are keenly leaving hall of fame. What remains is a group of intrigued listeners with a passion for the strange sounding band. Never really knowing what to think of Grey Aura, I let myself float away on their sound and feel the mystery. Rough awakening follows, as Crowhurst joins forces with Gnaw their Tongues to create live torture sounds. Mories screams and creates horrendous soundscapes as the band shapes songs that are equally unpleasant. Hall of Fame is very dark right now. Very, very dark and a Britney Spears cover fits right in there.
Nusquama is the new kid on the Dutch black metal block and part of the Maalstroom collective. The group features members of Turia, Laster and Fluisteraars and plays an atmospheric type of black metal. The performance is solid, steady and takes listeners on the journey to ‘nowhere’, which is what the name translates as. It feels like this is connected in more ways than just the name to the bigger project, but it doesn’t pack the same punch today. We’re all tired, so that’s ok. We cue up for one more time Patronaat. Some people may still not be aware that Imperial Triumphant is going to be the final one in this venue. The masked trio does just what it is required to do; play a destructive set of black metal with full force. But no matter how good the American band is, it is in a way, just a gig. No grand finale, no final word of farewell. Only the DJ playing a fitting final track as the building is vacated for a different use.
The skies clear. The air is a bit warmer, as spring is slowly arriving in the Netherlands. Roadburn is over.