For Glaswegian doom mongers Headless Kross, their annual trips to the island of Ireland have become something of a pilgrimage.
This evening their latest visit is well-rewarded, as, despite the gig’s early hour, Voodoo’s intimate upstairs club is rammed almost to capacity with those who enjoy their rock at the heavier end of the gloom spectrum.
Belfast heft lords Slomatics – who are preparing to release their fifth album next month – set the scene in their own inimitable style, with their deeply down tuned guitar disharmonics.
Their dense, dark sound pulls the ingrained sweat from the venue’s walls, with its strangely, hypnotic vibrations, interrupted by Marty’s malevolent vocal growls, with is cowbell contrasting the immensity of the material’s undertow.
With the running order reversed from the previous evening’s Dublin show, Wild Rocket have travelled north of the border to pleasure those of us who had forsaken the late summer evening sunshine for the sweaty darkened interior of this back street bar with their dark, psyche-infused stoner doom.
The quartet’s dense intensity captivates the audience right from the beginning, and keep everyone entranced with their compelling, spaced out groove.
The driving bass lines are complemented by solid percussion work, while the melodies are dark and enervating, producing a thoughtful and eerily enervating set which is well received by all present.
After a professionally brief turnaround, the headliners deliver a set of doom so encrusted in sludge it would take you a month to clean it off your boots (much in the way your writer’s battered old New Rocks still haven’t recovered from the trenches of the last Bloodstock!).
The Scottish trio’s bottom end is so heavy that it actually shakes the glasses off the limited number of tables scattered around the venue’s outer reaches, as they deliver a groove darker than the darkest of dark stars and huge, sweeping, nihilistic soundscapes which grind your soul into oblivion but lift your heart to the drinking tables of Valhalla (with your horn of mead in hand, of course).
It may have been the last Saturday in July, and the temperatures outside may have been surprisingly warm for a Belfast where we’re more used to torrential rain at this time of year, but for the city’s doomsters it was more appealing to spend at least a substantial part of the evening swaying in unison to some of the densest, gloomiest and darkly uplifting heavy-assed riffs around.
Well done to The Distortion Project on another great night of metal in the sordid heart of this dirty old town.
- Photographs by The Dark Queen.
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