If the traditional interpretation of hell (darkness, raging fires, everyone wearing black) had a soundtrack it would more than likely start with a distant, repetitive, Gregorian styled chanting which was equally claustrophobic and intimidating. After several minutes, and with growing menacing, the chant would slowly fade to be replaced by an equally hypnotic, heavy metal sound reminiscent of, say, ‘Sabbaths ‘War Pigs’. Building further, the dark, slow, metal would eventually release into a fine death-by-volume Hawkwind styled intensity, spiralling out into cosmic jams and focused structures. Just when you felt you couldn’t take any further intensity, hell would release it’s ultimate conclusion, a mad-eyed, shirtless, keyboard player running wild like something straight out of The Shining.
If only fiction was as strange as reality.
Even with their changed line up, the Cosmic Dead remain, as ever, focused on creating dark, disturbing, environments. Using their live show as a vehicle to search into the darker parts of their minds the band, intense and courageous, produce the type of music which is haunting, meditative, and highly impactful.
Spurred by an intensity to go further into the horrors than most, tonight’s show was a soundtrack to experimentation and exploration. As an audience member this was a fascinating exploration to watch; a trip into the underworld we knew we could come back from when the show ended, but a one you knew would take some time for it’s creators to journey back from. It’s also the sort of exploration you watch which reminds you that for all of your good talk about challenging your comfort zones, there are people who go much, much, further.
The Dead may be figuring out their next moves, and recruiting new crew members, but they’ll carry on going to places not many people can.