Dark Mental Festival - 2012

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

Third time’s the charm maybe?
In any case, the Danish youngsters in Roarback had the third slot of day two at Dark Mental Festival, and I was hoping they’d be a bit more successful breathing some life into the crowd than the two previous bands, but by this point I wasn’t exactly holding my breath…

The foundation of the band was laid by the two guitarists Andreas Rohde and Andreas Dixø back in 2009 while the two gents were still in school, 2010 saw them recruiting members which they finished in 2011 at the same time as they played their first concert together, and finally in 2012 they released their free to download debut EP Face The Sun. Things do move quickly some times, and by the looks of them, I’d say I’m not even sure they’re out of school yet…

The reason I rant on about age is actually this (in case you thought it was getting to be a bit much); their age was the very reason they took me completely by surprise! Unlike so many, basically all in fact, of their contemporaries who dabble in core this and core that, Roarback was a band which took its inspiration from the 80ies, a decade where I sincerely doubt any of them even lived, or at least weren’t very conscious of the metal wave going on at the time.
On their Facebook page they proclaim to be playing thrash, whereas in my ears the sheer heaviness makes them much more in league with the death metal bands of the time, but let’s not split hairs here; the fact of the matter is that Roarback know what they like, and even though they’re about 30 years late, they still put out some pure undiluted metal they way our grandpa’s liked it!

Another little trick they had which scored points in my book was that they were the first band of the day which looked like they were actually enjoying themselves up there on the stage, and wanted to make a good performance.
Ok, so the actual physical activity wasn’t completely in place here, just as had been the problem with the earlier bands, but the attitude was completely different with Roarback. For starters, they had one. And they were only too happy to show it off.
Not surprisingly, this had an effect on the audience as well, which had not only grown in size by now, but was also willingly moving closer to the stage, some even engaging in some headbanging. Heck, we even got the days first mosh in the company of Roarback; it wasn’t Wacken style exactly, but it was there, and funnily enough it was led by none other than Dennis Ullehus, vocalist of Roarback! This wasn’t the last we saw of him on the floor either...

Being a new band, Roarback didn’t have quite enough material of their own to fill out a set yet, so for the final song they chose to cover a classic; Sepultura’s Territory . Cheap points I know, but damn it, it worked! By now the whole crowd was on its feet and headbanging away, and when it was announced that they after this song still had a bit of stage time left, and they decided to do another classic, Slayer’s Raining Blood, the enthusiasm didn’t exactly end if you catch my drift. The latter was obviously not as well rehearsed as the former, and the musicians had trouble finding each other in the beginning, but by the time they reached the first vocals they were running smoothly, and everyone was happy.

Having caught me by surprise in the beginning by their choice of music, and then gradually kept on climbing the ladder with a well executed show and ending with an all-out headbanging fest with recognisable songs, Roarback easily took the position of best band of the day so far, and finally both band and audience was smiling and having fun.


I Will Find You
Peoples Hate
My World
Wrong Mans Life
Face The Sun
Territory (Sepultura cover)
Raining Blood (Slayer cover)

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