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Ri­tu­al­is­tic rocks ter­raform and trans­fix east Lon­don


head­lin­ers, dirty QOTSA-meets-Nirvana racket would seem oned­i­men­sional if they didn’t have stonk­ing tracks like Still Sick in their locker. VÔDÛN [8] have al­ready hung bright, Africa-in­spired prints from the walls and draped them across the stage mon­i­tors, and the dec­o­ra­tions per­son­ify the band’s mu­sic and live show per­fectly; like watch­ing vi­brant, ever-shift­ing pat­terns fall and re­ar­range through a kalei­do­scope, evok­ing a spir­i­tual con­nec­tion of drums, dance and riffs. Singer Oya, drum­mer Marassa and gui­tarist Ogoun are launch­ing their sec­ond al­bum, As­cend, and al­though they open their set with the Afro-psych crunch of Mawu, a bel­ter from their de­but al­bum, Pos­ses­sion, it’s the new ma­te­rial that holds our at­ten­tion. Bathed in pur­ple light, this is heavy mu­sic steeped in magic and im­bued with fiery cathar­sis. On Elu­sive Free­dom, fat and fizzy grooves un­der­pin Oya’s pow­er­house, gospel vo­cals and Ogoun’s of­ten proggy riffs. Prov­i­dence Of An­ces­tors and New Doom are eas­ily the band’s most metal tracks to date, the former rid­ing in on a thrash riff ac­com­pa­nied by African per­cus­sion, and Started From is fren­zied enough to sum­mon an­ces­tral spir­its. The band have done every­thing to trans­form their show into an ex­pe­ri­ence; a bare­foot dancer writhes on­stage to Blood­stones and Oya’s mother reads spo­ken pas­sages about “cul­ture” and “the alchemy of rit­u­als” be­tween songs. With a unique aes­thetic and sound, there’s no one else like Vôdûn right now.

Vôdûn: Oya in­vokes a host of higher pow­ers

Ogoun’s riffs have bark as well as bite

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