18/01/2020, Ghent, Belgium, 20:00. It’s a cold Saturday evening and with firm strides I’m walking to the ‘sun baked snow cave’, a sort of depot located in an industrial site close to the harbour. The line-up for the tenth edition of ‘Oorpijn’ looks promising and I can’t wait to listen to some brutal riffs and aggressive screams. It’s just what you need to be able to calm down after a long, stressful day. The road is abandoned, it’s dark, there’s no one around: the mood is perfect.
But then I realize I forgot my earplugs at home. Stupid, since the thing is called ‘Oorpijn’ (or Ear Pain in English). Somewhat discouraged, I stumble on.
When I arrive, local band URGE is halfway their set. These youngsters deliver some fine grungy noiserock, and they deliver it with heart – the riffwork is passionate and in the end it leaves you aching for more. The perfect appetizer for an evening full of brain numbing noise, just how we like it at Fuzzy Sun’s. My spirits have lifted considerably, especially since I found earplugs at the bar. This evening is going to turn out great, I think to myself as I buy myself my first couple of beers.
Second up: THE PROGERIANS. Although the band’s name is confusing (I find myself looking closely at one of the vocalists, but after some consideration I decide he does not suffer from this horrible disease, maybe one of his relatives does?), the music is great. They are from Brussels, a place Donald Trump once called ‘a hellhole’. And rightly so, if you hear what these guys blast out of their amps. Riffs like heavy logs, straight from the underworld, interspersed with some devilish uptempo noise and fast solos accompanied by vocals that sound very Slayer-like, but more melodious. What’s not to like? An thank God for those earplugs, because these ‘ketjes’ are clearly not interested in your well-being, they seem to want to murder your ear membranes. I feel great though, and can’t wait for the headliner. But first, some beers.
Finally, sort-of-black-metal-band LUGUBRUM. These guys from Lovendegem are something else. Being a lazy Fuzzy Sun reporter, I didn’t bother with research, so I asked some members of the audience what kind of music I could expect. They talked about ‘Brown Metal’, ‘Carrot Metal’ and ‘Farmer’s Metal’. Please do not ask what that’s supposed to mean, because I don’t know.
By that time, I’d had a lot of beers. So I was somewhat confused when the black metal vocalist started to play a folky, jazzy score on an organ. Had I somehow ended up in the wrong place? A different show next door? It sounded great, but it was not what I expected. My confusion only grew when I spotted a trombone next to the microphone. I was definitely in the wrong place, no doubt about it. Still, the bald bass player wore a black metal ‘marcelleke’, and the drummer looked like he strolled out of a Scandinavian forest after burning a church. Maybe it was them after all. And then I saw some carrots lying about- it was LUGUBRUM alright.
The next hour and a half was a very interesting musical trip. I heard some jazz influences, some rock ‘n roll, some folk, and linking that together some really great black metal riffs and screams. The show was great too. At some point, the drummer left the drumming to a drum machine and started to bang on what I can only describe as the skull of some big animal (it’s true, I’ve got pictures). The trombone was a revelation too. I could see the audience liked it, and after the show there was a line at the merch stand.
I am still not sure if they meant the whole thing as kind of a joke, tongue in cheek if you like, or if they were being serious. But by then, I couldn’t care less. I had a great time, lots of beers, and the music was awesome. With my ears undamaged, I could happily walk home. OORPIJN 10, you were fantastic.