September 22, 2011


A trio of Scandinavian bands will find their way to Roadburn 2012. We're talking Norway's avant-garde rockers Virus, and two bands from our other neighbour Finland; psych folk act Hexvessel and the drone metal band Dark Buddha Rising. A very welcomed addition.

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Avant-garde rock maestros Virus, led by former Ved Buens Ende mastermind Carl-Michael Eide (a.k.a Czral), are one of the finest, most exquisite musical exports Norway has to offer at this very moment. Its very hard to describe the musical universe of Virus… think a vast spectrum of genres, ranging from psychedelic to krautrock and from rock via jazz to avant-metal, but all weird and trippy in an inexplicably elegant way… and then at the same time it’s really catchy, too!

Virus either smothers your inner demons, or gives them new life, as they pull you in all different directions. Their latest album, The Agent That Shapes The Desert, ranks amongst the very best metal albums of the year. To hell with the term progressive, what Virus does is beyond even futuristic — they are otherworldly, sublime.

Gavin Turner said: “Sometimes you hear an album for the first time and just know instantly that the music contained within is going to stay with you for the rest of your life. Dawnbearer is one of those albums.” Hexvessel released Dawnbearer in March with the cult, underground Finnish vinyl gurus Svart Records and since then it’s been making a fervent buzz in the music underworld, already scoring high on most people’s top ten lists of the year.

A psychedelic, haunting, folk rock band, founded by Englishman Mat “Kvohst” McNerney, known previously as a vocalist for avant black metal bands Dødheimsgard and Code, now living in Helsinki, Finland and joined by a coven of musicians from Tampere that feature members of Galacticka and Dark Buddha Rising. As Aquarius Records quite rightly said “his talents were wasted screeching and shrieking over black buzz,” and now he is deeply embroiled with his death-hippie cohorts in creating a witches brew of acoustic balladry and heavy tripped-out atmospherics that fuses late 1960s and early 1970s English folk and psychedelia with a love for Finnish nature, folklore and pagan mysticism.

Recalling the vibes of brethren like Woven Hand, Comus, Sixteen Horsepower, Burial Hex, Espers, Six Organs Of Admittance and Mellow Candle but also forging their own unique and uncanny own special atmosphere where nature, magic and the wonder of the universe are called forth in a passionate, urgent and gorgeously strange musical spell. They dub their band The Death Magicians, they call their sound “Interior-world-music for secret ceremonies and forest rituals,” and they cite Captain Beefheart and The Magic Band and the Isle of Wight Festival 1970 as some of their biggest influences. Expect a wild trip that embraces the true nature and spirit of the Roadburn Festival.

Shrouded in mystery, with no biographical information available, Dark Buddha Rising are known only by their musical output. Their latest LP, Abyssolute Transfinite is an immense, sprawling dirge of doom metal and myriad cryptic incantations. Their unrelenting riffs underpin a variety of vocal intonements (choral singing, chants, screams, throat singing), luring the listener into a trance of doom-induced sensory depravation.

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