Now the last day, or the Afterburner as it is monickered, is usually a somewhat more mellow affair to ease people’s heads back into something resembling normality after the exertions and exhaustions of the preceding days. Hence I’m usually on my way back to Schipol and home but this year the organisers have thrown caution to the wind and a paint can full of diesel on the embers with a day of no rest and an unmissable second Neurosis set to finish, entirely different to yesterday’s aural feast.
mirrors of psychic warfare
As they are in town for the weekend yet another offshoot of the headliners starts our day, Mirrors of Psychic Warfare, featuring Scott Kelly plus producer/soundforger Sanford Parker (who I think I last saw here a few years back happy raging up front of the chaos of a Doom set over at Patronaat, replete with a broken arm like I’m sporting for this one). Its harsh experimental noise, drones and vibes, stripped down and claustrophobic. While there is some interest it is also maybe too hard going for those weakened by the weekend so I go and have a sit in on the stepped rear of the main hall to experience Green Carnation. Now I wouldn’t have though this was at all for me in prior listening but it is far more enjoyable and uplifting to my mood at this point, strident and powerful symphonic doom with ultimately great tunes and performers who all contribute to the whole. Apparently they were playing a one song album for an hour but for fresh ears it was good.
Back to the Green Room for Blind Idiot God, someone else held in some esteem for their experimentalism but in the cramped conditions for all there was to enjoy in their almost Kong-like instrumental heavy angular riff work-outs there was also a bit too much disjointed jazz for my mind to handle so again its chill out back at the main stage for Jakob, all the way from New Zealand. This three piece turned out to be a bit of a revelation for me and many others (judging by the rush to the merch after) as their driven post metal has a supreme bass tone reminiscent of Godflesh/Loop and their instrumental set is just a hypnotic captivation of emotional stimulation. The shifts through from light to heavy sounds of moods is enhanced by the evocative backdrop films and they really let the music do the talking for them.
I leave before the end to have one more visit to Cul de Sac for Chaos Echoes, but find the place still packed as ever. I am afforded a view down the length of the bar to see one guitarist in the distance but the music is enough to keep me drawn in anyway, a curious mix of raw black metal eruptions mixed with extended Lovecraftian disturbing ambience that their name would indeed suggest. Back at the main stage we are presented with our final impending and inevitable doom at the hands of the gods of noise, a triple treat of terror/pleasure. First off Amenra come to give us the full fury of their potential, the huge contrast of some of their lighter passages as delicate as their acoustic session yesterday, their almost signature “dink-dink” guitar stabs keying into the ominous lulling beats, vocalist Colin with his back to us as he whispers plaintive laments, before it all is unleashed into humungous, perfectly synchronised , pummelling riffs and howling vocal ferocity. They are absolute masters of the chug, it is a riptide that sweeps us away, as our heads spin in the bleak and beautiful landscapes of their backdrop between the blinding white lights bathing the stage. On top of their game.
buried at sea
And now are we ready for more Neurosis? Jeez… OK! A little less full today means an easier spot closer to the front. Yet again pretty much all you could ask for in terms of a back catalogue trawl, the early hiccup of some technical difficulties being marvellously resolved by the coruscating “Locust Star”. Once again, fanboy is loving Dave’s performance, and his venomous power in the old school punk of “Life on your Knees” has me beaming and marvelling, we are treated to the rumbling thunder of “Burning flesh in the year of pig” which I think was a special just for here, before a final one-two combo of extended versions of “The Tide” and “The Doorway “which reach such levels of indescribable joyous/nihilistic devastation that I’m just floored. But happy. Very happy. Drained, it is to the steps at the back that we rest our souls now, but if we expected Buried at Sea to provide us with any soothing nightcap we were much mistaken as a further earthquake of filth-ridden distorted doom with raw vocals reminds us were hear to take our punishment and like it. By the gods, I do. Cheers Roadburn!