Serpent Venom will finally bring proper doom metal to Roadburn 2017

Roadburn is a wild mix, isn’t it? Our extended family is a profoundly heterogeneous bunch, a seemingly dysfunctional collection of music people who, during those days of almost magical communion, all come together and become musical brothers and sisters, united by the unstoppable power of music.

There are 60 year old and 20 year old musicians, there are bands with 40 years of existence and bands put together months ago, bands with millions of followers and bands with mere dozens of fans.

Between old passions and recent infatuations, and because the festival (unfortunately!) doesn’t last two weeks spread across twenty venues so that we can accommodate everyone we’d like to, sometimes we get them when they’ve just shown up, and sometimes things just take a little while more to happen. More than they should, perhaps, and such is the case with Serpent Venom.

The London band’s presence at Roadburn is a long, long overdue one – to be honest, we already knew in our guts they would one day be treading the boards in Tilburg as soon as we heard that three-track self-titled demo in 2010.

The amazing first album, Carnal Altar, followed shortly the next year, and it only confirmed our suspicions. Its follow-up Of Things Seen & Unseen, from 2014, further refined the band’s traditional yet unmistakable approach to doom and made it even more urgent to have them on a Roadburn bill, especially when some of the band members were coming to Roadburn as fans of the festival themselves throughout the years, as we’re sure they don’t mind that we reveal.

It’s a marriage destined to happen from the very beginning, and 2017 is finally the year it happens, a year in which we’re told by little birdies that a third album is being written too. Whatever happens on that front, however, there are riffs aplenty to be dropped upon an adoring audience, lulled into headbanging heaven by the ominous yet warmly soothing bellow of Gary Ricketts, by Roland Scriver’s thick riffing or the titanium-strong, groove-laden rhythm section of Nick Davies and Paul Sutherland.

Nick Davies commented: “Serpent Venom are extremely honoured to announce that we will be part of the Roadburn Festival in 2017.

“It is very exciting to say the least, as the festival is pretty much the ‘Mecca’ for heavy and diverse music, and it holds such a strong place in the hearts of all who attend. It is a real privilege and extremely humbling to be considered and play alongside such legendary acts!

“We cannot wait to perform for you all and debut some newer material from our upcoming third album.”

Serpent Venom are one of the few bands that can boast a true spiritual connection to the sound of the true doom classics – from Black Sabbath to Pentagram, from Saint Vitus to early Candlemass, all those old ghosts haunt these songs – and yet still maintain a healthy individuality and a decidedly non-retro approach to their songwriting.

They’re trippy, they’re heavy, they have Roadburn written all over them, and when they unleash all their massive doom power on Saturday, April 22, they will finally reach their promised land.

Roadburn Festival 2017 will take place April 20-23 at the 013 venue, Tilburg, The Netherlands. Tickets are now on sale!

José Carlos Santos , December 2016

Date: April 22

Time: 22:50

Stage: Extase