Durbuy Rock Festival, April 2018 (day 1)

What nicer way can there be for spending the first ‘over 20-degree Celsius’ weekend of the year than at a rock festival with a varied line up, cold drinks and lovely metalheads? Having taken place in the picturesque village of Bomal-sur-Ourthe, Durbuy Rock Festival was the perfect festival season opener.

Durbuy Rock Festival – Day 1

Friday, 6 April 2018


Although my first points of interest on Friday were Alestorm & Therion, turned out it was a day when I discovered a lot of bands that I will definitely check out in the coming weeks. The outdoor stage of the festival hosted brilliant thrash, death and symphonic metal bands, each showcasing a unique perspective on metal music to the delight of the audience. Among my favorites were the show openers, the Belgians from Coalition, a powerful death metal band, and the French band Galderia, a relatively mature heavy metal band delivering the standard stuff of the genre with twin guitar harmony, generous melody, gallop and groove in the rhythm section, clean vocals, and thrilling guitar solos yet still standing out. The surprise of the day for me was the German band Null Positive. With one single album Koma released last year in March, the band has its own style, a cool harmony between metal-industrial and nu metal. They performed a very energetic show and the public responded likewise.

My personal next favorite act was Therion, a band whose progress I have been witnessed since the ‘death metal’ times. They have come a long way from their old roots and share little with those times. Their main setlist was focused on their latest album Beloved Antichrist, which is more than a masterpiece – it is a life-long work of guitarist and founder Christofer Johnsson. Part melodic metal, part opera, part neoclassical extravaganza, Johnsson and company present a 46-track release. “The Rise of Sodom and Gomorrah”, a personal favorite, took me back in time and made my night a blast.

The second stage of the festival was more focused on storytelling. With this in mind, the indoor stage had a great variety of symphonic death metal, pagan folk, folk core and pirate metal. The shows were all very animated and fulfilling its purpose to take the public in the medieval times. The journey started with three Belgian bands, exceptional in lyrics and content of the show, Anwynn, Acus Vacuum and Ithilien. Alestorm got the pirate party started with huge sounding riffs and crowd sing along chorus setlisted acts from both new and older albums like “No Grave but the Sea”, “Back Through Time”, “Captain Morgan’s Revenge”, “Sunset at the Golden Age ” and “Black Sails at Midnight”.

Night was ended by the French satirical heavy metal band Ultra Vomit. Was not really my cup of tea but the band seemed to have touched some energy chords of all youngsters in the hall as they went all insane and enjoyed the show to the maximum.


Check back tomorrow for Bianca’s review of Durbuy Rock, day two.