The gargantuan 10th annual Roadburn festival in Holland is so close it's almost possible to smell the amplifiers warming up and the beer brewing.
Since 1999 Roadburn has been reknowned for being a gathering place for like-minded bands and fans-the heavy rock underground's annual general meeting. The weekend of April 23rd-26th sees many of our beloved Southern bands take to the Roadburn stages in order to worship at the altar of the mighty riff.
Neurosis are not only playing Roadburn- they've been invited to bring their Beyond The Pale festival from the states, personally inviting bands to play and hosting their own stage at the 013 venue as an event within the event. This honour bestowed by the lords of Roadburn is in recognition of their iconic status stemming from years of toil and graft in the underground scene.
Those bands already included in the line-up for the Beyond The Pale stage are: Earth / Skullflower / Grails / Tribes Of Neurot
Also distorting, droning, dirging and dooming from Southern this year will be: apocalyptic musical manifestations from Wolves In The Throne Room who have been invited back for the second year running,
the sometimes fierce, sometimes haunting (the always hard to categorize) Rose Kemp, avant-Noisemakers Guapo, post-doom dirge with haunting epic overtones brought by Winchester Club, the improvisational, instrumental noise-rock trio Grey Daturas, Akimbo and their menacing, flaming, voluminous rock, the cathartic doom landscapes of Asva, the psychedelic space rock of US Christmas, Southern Lord's drone metal kings Om, Aurora Borealis' blackened electronic alchemist Burial Hex and last but by no means least, Neurosis' Scott Kelly and Steve Von Till.
The underground cult guitar hero Scott "Wino" Weinrich joins the fray not only performing his recent solo album Punctuated Equilibrium, but with a newly reformed and much missed St. Vitus, last seen in 1995 and soon to be seen headlining the Friday at Roadburn.
Further details, full line up and forums are at the Official Roadburn website and the Roadburn Official Myspace.
Last year's Roadburn was my first experience of the festival and a top notch one at that. 2008's festival boasted a fantastic line up though looking at this, I think 2009 will top it as their most successful yet!
Look out on the Southern website for an exclusive Roadburn themed podcast and I will be sure to report back about my experience of the festival soon after. After all, I am already uncontrollably excited at the prospect of going! Until then...