OHHMS and SVAL­BARD team up to lay waste to Glas­gow

Kerrang! (UK) - - Lives -

If you’re ever feel­ing unin­spired by heavy mu­sic, nights like this dou­ble-header be­tween Can­ter­bury post-doomers Ohhms and fu­ri­ous Bris­tol metal crew Sval­bard will sort you right out. Sec­onds into Ohhms’ as­phyx­i­at­ing, an­gu­lar opener The World tonight, their per­plex­ingly-named bassist Chainy Chainy wheels him­self too quickly across the stage, re­sult­ing in a stray ca­ble drag­ging down his whole amp­stack. Pro­ceed­ings aren’t de­railed, though. As the livewire lad grabs a mic and launches him­self head­first into the front rows, chaos is em­braced, and the whole room is in­vig­o­rated. Bril­liant Bris­to­lians Sval­bard wield that vis­ceral ex­hil­a­ra­tion as well. Fol­low­ing on from the doomy clas­sic rock of Ayr­shire open­ers Dead­eyes and the sludgy ex­cel­lence of Ed­in­burgh tech-met­allers Sapien, their sprawl­ing sound­scapes and wild-eyed anger are like pour­ing petrol on an al­ready scorch­ing fire. At the cen­tre of it all, vo­cal­ist/gui­tarist Ser­ena Cherry is the cru­cible around which the fury of songs from their awe­some new It’s Hard To Have Hope al­bum pivot. Even strug­gling through a sketchy mix, songs such as Un­paid In­tern and Fem­i­nazi?! fill this con­fined space with an ocean of noise, rage and atomic en­ergy.

Ohhms front­man Paul Waller is a dif­fer­ent breed, though. Work­ing him­self into a bare­foot frenzy, he in­jects a sense of retro swag­ger and in­di­vid­u­al­ist mis­chief. The Ma­gi­cian shapeshifts with re­mark­able sleight of hand be­tween charg­ing fe­roc­ity and pon­der­ous ex­panse, while Bad Seeds (cheek­ily ded­i­cated to “big pharma”) dif­fuses its hope­less­ness in a hal­lu­cino­genic haze. Even The Hanged Man – which packs a God­flesh-meets-sab­bath blud­geon to close out the set – can’t snap us out of his hyp­not­i­cally un­hinged, lurch­ing, happy-clap­ping grip.

It’s a killer show­ing from two bands cur­rently set­ting the Bri­tish rock un­der­ground ablaze. Be grate­ful to live in such ex­cit­ing times. SAM LAW

Sval­bard: This is ‘Bard­core

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