GOLD at The Black HeartSupport: Necro Deathmort| Threshold Entities
March 15, 2018 at The Black Heart
Promoter: Old Empire
Threshold Entities begin with a sprawling, roving drone noise set, comprising various bits of abrasive textured distortion. It feels like a scrapyard fence, made of different sections of chainlink welded to crumpled rust sheets and bits of twisted leftover metal. Then when a fierce beat materialises, we’re running along next to the fence clanging a stick on the side, which ends up a bit of an industrial stomp. The show started with, I think, some saxophone blasts, with now the various musicians huddled like mysterious frog-creatures in the luminous blue gloom, over their various cables and switches and dials. The experiment ends up in moaning zombie distortion turbulence. . . and the single decipherable word, goodnighheerttt. . .
Soon enough Necro Deathmort are set up and open their performance with some 70s’ sci-fi tentative stabs, the sonic figure for weird alien tension, before the volume erupts in a giant version of one of those springs behind doors that go sprOOOOooouingggg! when you flick them and when you do that repeatedly at your grandparents house when you were a kid and get told to stop. After a period of just sheets of electronic noise there’s suddenly some straight up-beats with synths swooping over the top like creepy vampires at a disco. Something about it evokes a sort of wondrous, intense halloween kitsch which gives way to just pulsing slabs of gothy techno, pleasingly in mind of Skinny Puppy’s extreme-metal-plus-rave soup.
Next up there’s a slower ssstmp. . . sssSStmp. . . ssSSStmp with more floating veils, like the horror nervous search round the spaceship for the alien, before the slow realisation that the ship itself is the alien, and you’re reverberating with it’s stmp. . . ssssstmp. . . sssstmp space-machine heartbeat. The noise raw materials are then put on the gas hob of a classic motorik beat which sets it all burbling nicely, the electro blobs and synth layers all melting into psychedelic goop, fumes beginning to fizz off into clouds of noise that smell like thick narcotic danger. The beat collapses and there’s long sections of scratchy, swampy malignant thundering to make the doors of the beer fridge rattle like chattering teeth, and then a clickety rhythm plays over the dystopian Gotham tones like the bat signal, while you can feel each knob-twiddle effect send a ripple of sound through the ceiling and the walls; then, suddenly, wrrfffsskurrrrrrzp! and they’re done.
Another brief wait, during which obscure Dutch black metal band Turia make a surprising appearance over the PA. . . then GOLD begin the set proper with a long a cappella Nina Simone sample. It’s an eerie start, with the solo voice holding everyone in a spell which is suddenly obliterated with the hammering klang of ‘Summer Thunder’. An instant stop, then an instant start to the disorienting elastic band snap of ‘Old Habits’, followed by the great retro-feel scuzzrock of ‘And I Know Now’, also from the previous record.
The tight six-piece band are in a dynamic arrowhead formation on the small stage, the crowd surprisingly sparse but intent on this great mixture of post rock, pop hooks and gothy trappings. Singer Milena Eva appears as if with puppet strings pulled from another dimension – an uncanny marionette, hands and eyes drifting with an otherworldly automatism, which has the effect of evoking something of the Victorian occult about the stage presence of the band. The songs, in addition to some great heavy post-metal dringing chords, are often a balance of a skewed declamatory lines and then crystal shards of melody. . . this is in evidence on ‘I Do My Own Stunts’ with the intense glaring refrain of “YOU DO NOT. . . REPEAT A LIE YOU DO NOT. . .” before the lilting drift of the song title; and also a few songs later on ‘White Noise’ with the querying, querulous “are you willing to survive?” dropping out for the piercing notes of “white sky, black sea”, the voice a glancing shard of light while the thunderous clouds redouble underneath. Between those two tracks we hear ‘Shapeless’ and the fantastic album-opener ‘You Too Must Die’, a legend which amusingly appears on a football scarf at their merch stand. ‘White Noise’ and ‘You Too Must Die’ back to back are two of the stand-out tracks, and it’s these two which appear on the band’s limited Oaken Palace 7-inch raising money for the White-backed Vulture, with the first of those tracks remixed by tour-mates Necro Deathmort in their inimitable style, the other versioned by Bestial Mouths.
Through ‘No Shadow’ and ‘Servant’ the whole six-piece is now moving intently – a single organism powered by the drummer keeping a constant wind-at-the-shutters beat, and then raising it to a more fiendish clatter in response to the shapes of the vocal lines and the sometimes dour changling, sometimes rhythmic swelling, of the riff waves. Then suddenly, a massive break with the audacity of Boris’ epic-rock moments in ‘Don’t’, and finally the peak combination of energetic lurching post-black-metal tremolo with a catlike, stalking vocal on last track ‘Tear’. An Odetta sample segues out, and, as with the opening snippet of Nina, it’s an apt combination of the fragile and the fierce.