Yes, the 11th edition of the mighty Dunk! festival in Zottegem-Belgium, is a wrap. Here’s a review + lots of live media by amazing bands like Caspian, Mono, Jakob, Celestial :: Eyes, Maybeshewill, Solkyri, The End of the Ocean and Year of no Light!
Dunk! festival is the best example of a no-frills festival with great atmosphere, good food, super friendly staff, a beast of a sound-setup and dito lighting. A great initiative by a hard working family + lots of volunteers. The bands enjoy a perfect stage and the visitors….. well, it won’t get any better for them.
Below, you’ll read mini-reviews of a lot of performances, including some self-made video’s. Enjoy!
Here’s the link to the Dunk!2015 festival Playlist
Thursday, May 14
1. Cecilia :: Eyes
Shoegaze is a genre that’s truly related to Postrock, maybe Postrock exists due to Shoegaze. Cecilia :: Eyes definitely has a shoegaze vibe with lots of soothing tunes that you expect to develop in shredding moments, but most of the time: it doesn’t work that way. It’s refreshing for a band to stay in the emotional state at the beginning and end of a tune. The soft padden drumsticks do a good job for a transcending experience.
2. Wang Wen
My surprise of the day! Excellent melancholic but positive Postrock from China with epic tunes and a good variation of wind instruments, without overusing them. Decent and introvert band with sometimes epic proportions. Beautiful classical.
These Veterans from New Zealand know how to give the audience a tight, tight set. Masters in their instruments, this threepiece creates a Wall of sound you’ve never heard before. Some intense drumming is the icing on the cake. After a radio-silence, they’re back. Get the album “Solace” it’s fantastic!
First time Mono for me and holy sh*t……. their songs really come alive on the stage and the intensity of this band gives the already fantastic tracks an extra layer of awe. They wrap you up in their story and take you away to a hypnotic state of mind. No vocals, so I wasn’t lost in Translation, but damn…. was I lost in word afterwards. Best show of Dunk! 2015 edition, I can already tell you. I recorded two beasts of 12+ minutes and will have a special place in my heart for this excellent performance. This show was almost on par with the live performance of Mogwai playing Fear Satan at Incubate 2012.
Friday, May 15
What a wake up call. Like Years of no Light, a doomy atmosphere with grand compositions of +20 minutes. Some cool visuals and excellent guitars at 13.00u.
From the ever friendly country of Australia, here’s Solkyri. A show with an enthusiastic and positive attitude. Lot of tempo-changes during their tracks and a cool vibe. I think this band surprised a lot of Dunk people.
7. The Ocean
In a festival with minimalist vocals, here’s a screaming band called the Ocean. I was eager to see how this band fits in the Dunk line-up. Well, no worries there. A face-melting show with surprisingly melodic tunes accompanying the aggressive but fantastic vocals of their front-man. Some technical difficulties with the lightning aside, a great performance of a damn energetic band and a big crowd pleaser.
I can’t even begin to explain the live set of Caspian. From the first moment of the song “Hunter”, I was shellshocked at the intensity and the beauty of this performance. Fantastic atmosphere in the crowd and a thankful band that head-banged their way through the setlist. You gotta love the hailstone-like guitars and intense drumming. Sycamore was the obvious closure of the set and it’s great to see the toughest and most manly people in the audience, connecting to the emotional tunes of that song and wobble their head with their eyes closed. Amazing stuff.
9. The Afterparty
Ok, the Afterparty by the Fries-baking staff was the best. Balkan beats, Go-go-Bordello style folk music and we went nuts, epic stuff! 🙂
Saturday, May 16
A band that I just discovered and was eager to hear live. Lots of Postrock bands play some loud stuff live and the tracks with long quiet sections are skipped. Astralia, a three-piece form Spain, don’t fall into that category. It’s refreshing to see and hear a band that creates room for the quieter segments. luckily, the crowd understanded the atmosphere, so we all could enjoy the quieter parts and get ready for the explosive stuff, because Astralia has that in spades. An excellent set with a lot of merchandise-selling stuff. Well deserved!
11. The End of the Ocean
A big collective group form America with their first ever abroad-show. What a way to start for them. Well: you guys played at Dunk, so you can go back now 😉 Grand crescendos, heavy with synthesizer sounds. This band knows how to build up a tune. The female synth-player looked a bit shy in the beginning, but after 15 minutes she totally got into the atmosphere of their own set and headbanged her way out of it, an awesome sight. Great tunes that left a big impression on the crowd.
12. Year of no Light
Wow. A couple of hours before their show, I bought “Ausserwelt”, finally! Lucky me, because they began their set with Perséphone“, in my regard one of the best Post-metal tracks ever. It was the beginning of a grand show that toppled their last year performance, which was more “doom”. A mesmerizing show with heavy guitars and drums, but surprisingly melodic and regularly uptempo tunes for maximum neck-strain effect. Ear bleeding stuff that got me mesmerized. Bought 2 extra LP’s after the show 🙂
I’m losing count in the amount of times I’ve seen them live, but every time it’s a great experience. They were truly impressed by the sheer recognition from the crowd and they received a lot of cheers. Even the “Church of Ra” followers nodded in appreciation. He films the Clouds pt2 as a finisher, is something they can’t escape. It was met by hundreds of visitors chanting the lyrics and the band was in awe.
Another great edition that lived up to my first visit last year. As a visitor, I took it a lot slower than last year and didn’t view and record every available band. As a result, I had a great and relaxing festival with good people and beer. Let’s hope the organization keeps Dunk small and cosy. The current vibe in combination with the music, are the best unique selling points and you won’t want to change that! I can’t even imagine the line up for next year…although, I would be willing to advice them some bands 🙂 See you next year guys and gals!