WIEGE­DOOD + SHRINES, JØT­NARR BLACK HEART, LON­DON 22/05/2018

Kerrang! (UK) - - Lives - JAMES MACK­IN­NON

Bel­gian black met­allers fill Camden with sound and fury

The primeval mys­tique that ac­com­pa­nies Wiege­dood might sug­gest they only play druidic hol­lows. But in this sweaty at­tic there are no sig­ils made of branches, as on the cover of their new De Do­den Hebben Het Goed al­bum, just pure fire at eye­browsinge­ing prox­im­ity. This in­ti­macy proves to be tonight’s great­est strength – and big­gest weak­ness. Early on, Jøt­narr (from Colch­ester, ob­vi­ously) get murky riffs churn­ing like trea­cle in a ce­ment mixer, and while Shrines do con­struct mono­liths of gui­tar, they strug­gle to reach hy­per-death mode. Wiege­dood’s pres­ence, on the other hand, is an­nounced by the cochlea-skew­er­ing gui­tars of Swane­sang and front­man Levy Sey­naeve’s screams. The aim is not merely to crush, though. Am­bi­ent pas­sages of sepul­chral calm go on long enough to make you lean in closer. And then, when they blast back in, the force could shear faces from skulls. Sadly, dur­ing the calms, loud­mouths suck all ar­cane vibes out of the room. Levy’s re­sponse is sim­ple. “Shut the fuck up,” he growls, be­fore Cataract un­loads fresh hell­fire. Any other night, the ‘Dood would have ruled this place, but thanks to the inane chat­ter, tonight they’re sim­ply good.

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