THE BLACK HEART, LONDON
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.