NIBIRU

THE BLACK HEART, LON­DON

Metal Hammer (UK) - - Live Reviews - JONATHAN SELZER

The idea of the gig as rit­ual has be­come so com­mon­place now – robes, ta­bles be­decked with skulls, gob­lets and in­cense - that it’s easy to find your­self on over-fa­mil­iar ground. There’s not much that will pre­pare you for nIBIRU, how­ever. In part, that’s down to the Ital­ian three-piece’s ten­dency to use im­pro­vi­sa­tion as a gate­way, but it’s more down to their fo­cal point be­ing a dif­fer­ent plane of ex­is­tence to any­thing you’re likely to have en­coun­tered un­less you’re on speak­ing terms with a highly capri­cious ca­bal of an­gels. Nibiru’s lan­guage of choice is Enochian, once used by El­iz­a­bethan physi­cian Sir John Dee to con­tact ce­les­tial be­ings, but used by hulk­ing, sigil-be­decked front­man Ar­dath, it’s a gut­tural in­can­ta­tion that sug­gests mul­ti­ple en­ti­ties nav­i­gat­ing their way through his lar­ynx. The ef­fect is star­tling, but welded to a gui­tar that doesn’t play riffs so much as con­tort fre­quen­cies like North­ern Lights squirm­ing through­out your brain, and a rhythm sec­tion metic­u­lously rab­bit­punch­ing all your pres­sure points, it en­ters the kind of sub­lime, static-in­fested realms only Skullflower have been ca­pa­ble of ac­cess­ing. Tonight, it feels like psy­chic ar­son.

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