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