Old Man Gloom promise a special set at Roadburn 2019

Old Man Gloom have felt omnipresent this last year or four. A real looming behemoth of sludgey, extreme metal. It took us a while to figure out what was going on, why they seemed so pervasive. What was it about Old Man Gloom that infiltrated our every waking moment, plaguing our thoughts with mean riffs and apocalyptic visions? What it essentially boils down to is that drummer, Santos Montano, has real issues with jealousy and cannot stand for his friends to do things without him.

Unfortunately for us, he is friends with some really rather talented folk who we keep on inviting to play Roadburn, and as a result of this, we have had to put up with what basically amounts to daily begging letters from the poor fella. We’d like a moment of peace in the run up to the 2020 edition of Roadburn, so we’ve fallen on our sword and agreed to let him come to Roadburn 2019 as a kind of compromise.

Given that we were going to put him on the guestlist anyway, we figured that if he brought his drumsticks with him we could put him to use, in short – we may as well have Old Man Gloom play Roadburn again. If we didn’t we would run the risk of him tipping poor J.R Conners off his drum stool during Cave In’s set. Would we find Jason Roeder locked in a cupboard moments before Sleep are due to play? The risks were too high, so just play your own set goddamnit, Santos.

Since Old Man Gloom last played Roadburn in 2014, a lot has changed.

Later that year they released The Ape of God, and The Ape of God… a pair of identically named albums which were challenging in all the right ways, and a few of the wrong ways too. The juxtaposition of ambient elements and eviscerating, pummelling extremity was jarring and mind-bending all at once. All par for the course in the world of Old Man Gloom. The band’s predilection for tomfoolery (particularly online, particularly at the expense of each other) lays the foundations for a provocative output, but these twin releases were no joke.

Co-existing alongside members’ other creative outlets has meant that periods of inactivity were somewhat par for the course. However, it has is always starkly obvious that, first and foremost, these guys were friends. A tight-night group of individuals on their own orbits around the mighty, omnipresent centre of Old Man Gloom; when their paths aligned fantastic things were possible.

Following the death of bassist, Caleb Scofield, earlier this year, Old Man Gloom vowed to continue what they had already started. Their individual trajectories may have changed course, but fantastic things are still possible.

The threads that weave between these musicians spread outwards incorporating a wider family of co-conspirators, collaborators and supporters. Stephen Brodsky will be handling bass duties for this performance, and in turn Nate Newton will be taking on the role for Cave In’s set. This collaborative trip across the pond is made by a group of friends united by love and a desire to celebrate the life of Caleb. To that effect, Old Man Gloom promise a special set at Roadburn and more details will be available in due course.

New material, including songs written by Caleb, is due to be recorded later this year. And when it arrives, it’s sure to deliver a suckerpunch right in the gut. We’re expecting something similar when they take to the stage on Sunday, April 14.

Becky Laverty

Date: April 14

Time: 19.20-20.30

Stage: Main Stage