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ROADBURN Festival 2015 • DAY ONE : Hardrock Hideout / Wednesday, April 8th

Week one after Roadburn:

My mind is still hanging out in front of the stages of 013 and Het Patronaat in Tilburg where I witnessed roughly about thirty shows, my feet probably too (still doesn't feel normal down there). And on the other hand there's the reality of work crushing down with twice its weight, leaving me pretty exhausted in my free time. There was also a lot of catching up with the world and the web, since I didn't have any mobile device with me - and I can tell you: almost one week without any news, cute kittens and morons on facebook is really refreshing!
And of course there's a big bunch of freshly purchased music on CD, DVD, 7", 12" and even 10" which I am still digging through...

But enough of all those excuses now - it's time to finally start my six-part diary of this year's Roadburn Festival!

I had done my YouTube research on personally unbeknown artists to fill my running order, so I knew that I didn't want to risk to miss some fantastic bands on Thursday afternoon and booked one extra night in my hotel.
Now travelling on Wednesday I would not only attend the festival from the very beginning, but I could also visit the warm up concert in the Cul de Sac, a small music bar in the almost immediate neighbourhood of the 013. Though its small stage had already been part of last year's festival I had't seen a show there yet.

The all-female black thrash inferno Mortals was on my schedule for Saturday night, but that [Spoiler alert!] would not happen, so the Roadburn Hardrock Hideout (as the admission free event was called) would remain my only encounter here.

Without doing my homework the term "hardrock" may have been a little misleading this night, because the two bands, both underground acts from Belgium, played a few beats faster than the  average AC/DC or Nazareth song...  tonight's theme was 100% old school Thrash Metal.


Bark started with a very direct take on the subject matter, honouring Sodom and relying mainly on the open brutality and headbangibility of their riffs without too much distractions. In the mid-tempo parts there were some grooves of the Pantera/Exhorder kind and the frontman's shouting - taking the band's name literally - was clearly hardcore-infused and always right in the face.
Straight brutal thrash, performed flawlessly. No reason for a five-to-six-hour-drive in itself, but a very welcome, energetic start for the musical marathon to come.



Where Bark's show had mostly embraced the ass-kicking simplicity and darkness of european old school thrash, Prematory added more versatility to the mix with a very prominent wiry bass and more room for leads and harmonies, but never forgetting to push it forward. Musically you could probably namedrop half of the 80s/90s Bay Area and some more, but that could lead you to think of Prematory as a nostalgic tribute act, where in fact they do sound very fresh.
The singer tries a lot of things and sometimes he fails, but all in all this band is definitely a treat for any friend of the genre.

Good night, Tilburg!

After this fine thrash metal attack I wished Tilburg a good night and drove to my hotel in Oisterwijk with a smile on my face. Not only because I had already attended a high quality club concert, but also because I knew very well, that all the real magic was still about to happen...

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