Roadburn Festival announces first names for 2018

It’s that time of the year again, when Roadburn casually drops ten-ton-hammer announcements about its forthcoming edition. Of course with line-ups as varied as the ones we’ve grown used to over the years, it’s easy for the first announcement to exclude one’s favourite genre. This rings particularly true for those like us with a tendency for the filthier side of the yearly Tilburg gathering.

Nevertheless, the first major announcement is that post-rock legends Godspeed You! Black Emperor will be the main headliners of the festival. For all the genre’s shortcomings, Godspeed You! Black Emperor have always stood quite apart from the pack with their unique aesthetic and attitude. The Montreal-based band is set to perform on the main stage on both Saturday, April 21, and Sunday, April 22. Until then, we’ll have time to slowly digest the new release of the band, «Luciferian Towers», which was released by Constellation today, Friday September 22.

From artists that have thoroughly deserved the right to be called legends to one that has worked his ass off to reach that very same level, the curator of the 2018 edition of the festival will be none other than Jacob Bannon. Mainly known as the vocalist for Converge, Bannon has produced a myriad of artwork over the years for bands such as Integrity, Goatwhore or Trap Them, not to mention running his label Deathwish Inc. While his picks for performing artists have not yet been announced, they are set to comprise the line-up of the 013 venue (including both the main stage and the green room) on Friday, April 20, and of the Het Patronaat on Saturday, April 21.

This will not be Bannon’s first Tilburg rodeo. In 2016, he took to the main stage twice with Converge, who delivered «Jane Doe» in its entirety and the highly lauded unique theme performance «Blood Moon», in which the metallic hardcore pioneers were joined on stage by a series of collaborators. This time around, they will perform two records in their entirety. On Thursday, April 19, they will perform the upcoming «The Dusk In Us» (about which we talked here), while on Friday, April 20, it will be the fantastic 2004 release «You Fail Me» to receive such honor.

From present curators to previous ones, the last time Enslaved‘s Ivar Bjørnson and Wardruna‘s Einar Selvik performed at Roadburn together, they delivered the enormous «Skuggjá». This time, they are set to bring it’s sequel, inspired by a series of concerts names «Nordvegen» after an ancient shipping route from Norway and entitled «Hugsjá». After its premier in Norway last May, this commissioned piece will be unfolded to the Roadburn crowd, in the main stage, on Saturday, April 21.

Of course it wouldn’t be Roadburn without some crushing doom to properly shake the foundations of a stage through sheer sonic heaviness. Hence, Seattle’s Bell Witch are set to perform twice, once delivering their upcoming full-length «Mirror Reaper», and another featuring Aerial Ruin. The reason for the second set lies in the fact that Aerial Ruin‘s Erik Moggridge has contributed vocals in all of Bell Witch’s full-length records. The set featuring Aerial Ruin, as well as a solo outing by the project, will both take place in the 013 venue on Saturday while on Sunday, April 22, «Mirror Reaper» will descend upon the Het Patronaat.

From the other announcements, none got us quite as worked up as the one of Sangre de Muerdago. The Galician outfit led by Pablo Ursusoon, which features people from acts as illustrious as Ekkaia and Antlers, is known for its performances of beauty, both parts stunning and soothing – the one we witnessed in a re-purposed church in Nijmegen a few years ago was absolutely fantastic. Appropriately, Sangre de Muerdago will perform on the Het Patronaat on Friday, April 20.

The remainder of the batch of confirmations is as follows.

  • The highly regarded atmospheric black metal of Panopticon will happen twice, on Het Patronaat during Friday (performing songs from the upcoming «The Scars of Man on the Once Nameless Wilderness»), and on the 013 venue the following day.

  • Ex Eye, the new project of saxophonist Colin Stetson will perform at the 013 venue on Thursday, April 19.

  • Psychedelic rock legends The Heads are set to return for the fourth time to the festival to perform at the 013 on Saturday.

  • The weirdness overload of Igorrr will be happening somewhere at the 013 venue on Friday.

It was also announced that Richey Beckett will be the official poster artist of this edition of Roadburn – every single picture on this article is therefore authored by him.

Finally, tickets will go on sale on October 19.

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