With such a great line-up, it’s damn near impossible to give just a few recommendations. So here they (yes: plural!) come:
Be sure to check out Vandal X. These veterans of the Belgian noise rock scene have just released their new album ‘Blood on the Street’. A raw and angry, but very mature sounding album that translates brutally in a live setting. I managed to see them a couple of times in wake of the album release, and I was left pummeled and flabbergasted every time.
Speaking about getting pummeled, be also sure to get in early for Kuar Nhial. This a relatively young band, but it comes with seasoned musicians. They have crafted an impressive cocktail of post-black/doom madness. And speaking of artists that surprise: take a look at Arson! This high energy rock outfit holds members of Atlas and Soul Grip. You’d expect raw viciousness, but Arson brings in a well-crafted fun time. Perfect to get your festive groove on!
And of course Soul Grip has already been mentioned, and just has to be mentioned again. These young Belgian post black metalheads have produced one of the best albums in their genre last year, and they have been bringing it live all over the world. This band is one mean well-oiled machine. Getting bulldozed never felt this good!
And if you’re in for relentless energy, be sure to check out Every Stranger Looks Like You. Their type of (post) hardcore takes no prisoners. Brutal! Also brutal, but from a very different perspective: you will not want to miss Psychonaut. Their latest album ‘Unfold the God Man’ is next level, and quite possible the best album made in contemporary psychedelical stoner/sludge metal. Their musicianship is awe-inspiring, and their live shows are immersive. Let them take you on a trip. You’ll smell awesome colors. Promised.
If you’d like it snarky and gnarly, Mind Rays comes very much recommended. Not sure what label they’re on now, but this has Burger Records and In The Red written all over it. The garage days have never felt so much alive when they play live.
And about that feeling alive: be sure to get kicked in the face by Onmens. This band smacks, jolts, and punches, and really energizes their audience. If you need a sonic shot of caffeine, get your Onmens-fix!
Of course, Raketkanon can also very much do that trick. With their third album securely cemented in the collective memory of the Belgian music history, they are ready to storm the scene. Raketkanon live is a crazy experience, to say the least. They are fully committed to absolute frenzy. And it’s awesome.
Last, but certainly not least, I would highlight Stake. The reincarnation of Steak Number Eight has really piqued my interest. The newly released EP sounds very promising, but I can’t wait to get submerged in the whole shebang. Me wants more Stake. So I can’t wait to dive in head first!
Mike K – Consouling Sounds