It’s time to redefine a bond that never ceased to ascend. Loosen the valve and let the blood flow!

A little over ten years since The Devil’s Blood made its live debut at Roadburn Festival, something was stirring once again in the souls of many of those involved in pulling that first performance together. Of course, the intervening years contain enough life lived to fill several tomes, much of which is already documented elsewhere, whilst many chapters remain sealed.

The occult Dutch ensemble, with siblings Selim and Farida Lemouchi at its heart, left a deep – and lasting – impression on the heavy music scene. For six years, The Devil’s Blood played out – driven by Selim’s crystal clear vision for the band – a vision powered by chaos and elicited by Satan himself. For six years, where Selim led, others followed. The Devil’s Blood ceased to be in 2013; when ascension to the dizzy heights of the music industry beckoned, Selim and Farida chose to walk away.

Selim’s creativity continued under a new guise; Selim Lemouchi & His Enemies released an EP in 2013 followed by the spellbinding Earth Air Spirit Water Fire album. Shortly after the release of the album, Selim started to cancel shows, rejecting interviews and metaphorically closed the door to the outside world. He died by suicide on March 4, 2014. Six weeks later, Selim Lemouchi & His Enemies played their final show at Roadburn Festival, assembled in a semi-circle with Selim’s spirit palpable at the centre. Those that knew him would have sworn to his presence, those that admired him recognised the imprint of his life’s work.

The last track on Earth Air Spirit Water Fire, titled Molasses has lent its name to a burgeoning project. An ensemble bound together by a unwavering thread, a shared bond and a definitive presence in their lives. The fragmented pieces of The Devil’s Blood are piecing themselves back together, bereft of a very specific physical form but enriched by his spiritual company.

Farida Lemouchi, Oeds Beydals, Job van de Zande, and Ron van Herpen – all former members of The Devil’s Blood – are joined by kindred spirits, Marcel van de Vondervoort of Astrosoniq, Bob Hogenelst (Birth of Joy) and Matthijs Stronks (Donnerwetter) to form Molasses.

Commissioned by Roadburn to create original music for the 2019 edition of the festival, Molasses has reinvigorated the electricity between its component parts, awakening a sleeping beast. Those hoping to hear some tracks from The Devil’s Blood back catalogue will come away empty handed; if you’re keeping an ear out for some Astrosoniq, it won’t come. Molasses may be shot through with the DNA that made those bands tick, but this is very clearly – and definitively – a new beginning.

Oeds Beydals says: “The urge to push this energy into the future was always there. But the feeling everyone had to grow on a lot of levels to be able to take it on was also very present. Although it was always growing in the back of our minds; there were some sleeping dogs to wake.

“Now the path was laid out right in front of us and all we have to do is light the torch and start walking. And we are well on our way. Molasses binds all of us in new ways yet to explore. Creating out of sheer necessity. Letting dogmas dissolve and embracing new life. We are ready for a new chapter, a new vessel. And Walter felt it and showed us the way at the exact right moment. Through the hollow and beyond!”

Artistic director, Walter Hoeijmakers comments: “When we started to commission music for Roadburn, it was a given that I wanted to reconnect Farida, Ron, Oeds and Job, along with Marcel from Astrosoniq, as they are such a gifted musicians, who simply belong on stage together. Plus, I wanted to give them the opportunity to grow into a new space as artists, and really hope that Molasses will help them personally as well, giving them strength to embrace the future – whatever that holds.”

Molasses will be embracing the future on Thursday, April 11.

It reaches out to neverending times
Eats itself to be born again
There is just space but it holds the lines
For an ever growing love and deep affection
To rise and rise and rise and rise

Artwork credit: Max Rovers

Molasses – and Roadburn Festival’s commissioned music series – is possible due to the continued support of Brabant C and The City of Tilburg.

Read the first interview relating to Molasses via the Decibel website here.

Date: April 11

Time: 17.20-18.30

Stage: Main Stage