THE BLACK HEART, LONDON
Tonight will be chiefly remembered as the last gig for DAMIM bassist Daniel Rumbol, who passed away suddenly and unexpectedly soon after. Our thoughts go out to his colleagues and family, and the complex atmospheric energies at the band’s heart will remain a powerful testimony. Frontman Nathanael Underwood’s rictus grimace personifies the intensity through which tracks can switch from multi-angled, progressive tumbles through space and time – more specifically to Florida 1998 and Death’s
The Sound Of Perseverance – to riffs and grooves that sound like they’re pulling a freight train through sheer act of will. Swedish black metallers grá may be fronted by new-ish Dark Funeral vocalist Heljarmdar, but if anyone’s expecting a similarly brash, route-one approach, tonight proves a far more immersive experience. The all-white corpsepaint gives them the appearance of wax figures, but there’s a genuine emotional resonance to the way the songs gradually unfurl. With the emphasis on heady, high-end texture, the atmosphere that envelops the room feels like an invocation and spiritual barometer that deliriously scrambles our internal maps.