Gravetemple

“Guitarist Stephen O’Malley conjures distorted chords, controlled by a bank of effects pedals; vocalist Attila Csihar, famous for his time as singer for notorious and controversial black metal band Mayhem, ritualistically intones invented syllables that echo monastic chants; experimental musician Oren Ambarchi extracts strange sounds from his own looped guitar before moving to a drumkit to propel a scattered, urgent rhythm. Momentum overtaking him, a drumstick slips from Ambarchi’s hand, he breaks free of the drum kit, grabs for a beater, turns, and smashes the gong at the centre of the stage. For two long seconds the all-encompassing rumble that has amassed throughout the performance drones on with a kind of relentless inertia, still without a sonic acknowledgement of the visual climax. Finally, the pulsating wave from the heavily amplified gong reverberates through the corporate body of the audience, felt in physical vibration more than heard as sound. The musicians leave the stage, their abandoned instruments still expelling squalling sounds which gradually begin to dissipate. Listeners breathe out, perhaps open their eyes, raise their heads, shift their feet and awaken enough to clap and shout appreciation, before turning to friends or strangers, reaching for phrases and gestures, often in a vocabulary of ritual, mysticism and transcendence, which might become touchstones for recollection and communication of their individual and shared experience.”