Date: 13th May 2017
Review By: Pete Mutant
Glasgow was the second stop on a three day tour manned by Canterbury’s enigmatic and multi-faceted artisans in OHHMS who were supporting their fellow Kentian atmospheric and cerebral contemporaries in Bossk. OHHMS were back in Glasgow for the first time since 2015 where they supported Slabdragger at the 13th (Note; Bossk where here with Cult Of Luna last year on the ‘Audio Noir’ tour cycle). OHHMS having recently released their first full length album ‘The Fool’ in March were coming up to give Glasgow a taste of some new music and having sat down with Max, Marc and Chainy earlier that day, the band were clear to confirm that they were right up for this show.
The Audio was the venue of choice for tonight, an increase in stature from the 13th Note for OHHMS, but an already conquered venue for Bossk. The lineup was completed by Dundee’s own desert fuzz merchants Isak and Edinburgh’s own quartet of proggy, sludgy post-metallers DVNE who have got some fairly new music of their own-with an impending album release-to sonically distribute to the baying crowd.
First up was Isak [3.5/5] and sadly I missed the first part of their set. However, I caught the set midway through their penultimate track and enjoyed their efforts. I managed at least to get a fair taste of what they are all about. The trio were looking comfortable on stage. The guitarist/vocalist Joseph McGarrity was fairly static with his vocal duties but the music carried all the movement required. The grooves were slowly built through Gregor Malcolm’s potent bass lines whilst the tempered rolling drum patterns would reach a crescendo through the crashing cymbal work of drummer Robert “Twigs” McLean. The vibrations were enough to make the head swim as their brand of fuzzy stoner groove transported you straight to a sun blazed landscape. Good thing as well as it was pissing it down outside earlier. It was a shame that I missed the first bit of their set as they were a more than worthy opening act for the proceeding music.
DVNE [4.0/5] were one I’ve been told to look out for with comparisons of the ‘good early days of both Mastodon and Gojira’, two bands I am rather fond of and have seen several times so I was rather intrigued. DVNE weren’t wasting this opportunity as we got three songs off the yet to be released album ‘Asheran’ which is set to become available from the 28th of July.
It was Victor Vicart on his eight string guitar that led the procession, a dark shadow with a shining yellow aura outlining his frame. His clean vocals were transcendent over the crushing rhythm section. The post-metal touches in the leadwork created space in the music, space that was soon to be filled by their thunderous culminations. It was the other guitarist/vocalist Dan Barter that would provide the majority of the harsher vocals but it was Victor who delivered the call which got the devastating response from Dan.
There was definitely a likeness to ‘Remission’-era Mastodon in their music, especially when when considering ‘Descent Of The Asheran’, but I couldn’t hear the Gojira that some spoke of. Regardless, DVNE were a highly impressive act. We got the solid bludgeoning riffs mixed with much more notier guitar work as the songs went from mode to mode; shift to pulsating shift; break to break in a fluent and well formulated manner. They were an exciting band to behold and one that is worthy of a revisit.
1. The Crimson Path
2. Rise Of Seven Mournings
3. Descent Of The Asheran
OHHMS [4.0/5] were greeted by a larger audience as bodies filtered in. A cheer went out as they took the stage under an emerging cloud of smoke, hanging like mist which caught the blue hue of the lights to create a sombre ambience. Paul went to the mic but whatever he was saying or singing was inaudible at first. Eventually his voice came to life as ‘The Hierophant’ charged onwards. At over 21 minutes, it is a song that goes through a whirlwind of expression both instrumentally and vocally. Marc’s lead work heightened the effect of this emotive mechanism.
Guitarist Daniel and Bassist Chainy surged to the crowd whilst hair flew in all directions. Some audience members swayed, others convulsed as Paul beat his chest as if forcing a bitter pill through his system.
We were treated to a shorter set than what the band would normally play on the night. The second track ‘The World’ is one of their shorter yet more densely compacted tracks as they pack a myriad of musical motions into almost six minutes of music. One that is more direct in its intentions and all the more malevolent. Paul appeared to be channeling the music at times and conducting it at others with the movement of his hands. Chainy was the most animated apart from Max on the drums who had a relentless shift of controlled patterns and switches.
The last track was ‘The Hanged Man’ so, in all, we had a set constructed entirely around ‘The Fool’. Paul kept his back to the audience for a period as the ‘Hanged Man’ swayed in tumultuous movements. There was a real Black Sabbath inspired groove to the song which went down an absolute treat as we were reaching the big finish. Chainy seemed to lose himself and went right into the crowd at the front of the stage. All in all it was an impressive performance and an experience in itself.
1. The Hierophant
2. The World
3. The Hanged Man
Bossk [4.0/5] were destined to be a major crowd pleaser. They carried themselves with an air of confidence as the acoustic and clean instrumental section took the stage and brought ‘Reverie’ to the near packed venue. Soft and spacious at first, the more post-rock influences were a dominant feature at the beginning of the set. Things grew heavier (naturally) and by the time that Sam Marsh took the stage, the force of the music was near deafening.
Bossk brought a wide range of musical influences to the evening. From post-rock to killer sludge and many tinges of stonery groove they swept the crowd before them into a frenzy of varying expression. The fourth track ‘Atom Smasher’ was one of the set’s highlights. Led by Tom Begley’s commanding bass over a rolling drum pattern from Nick Corney. Once the guitars combined with the rhythm there was not a static body at the Audio. All this with the added effect of the strobe was a storm for the senses. The psychedelic calming towards the final section served to cause further imbalance to our sensory systems.
The penultimate track of the night was ‘Truth’ from the ‘.2’ EP. This kept the calm but moody aesthetic ever present before the groove returned, coinciding with the reappearance of Sam Marsh after a short retreat. This track gave us a more diverse display of his vocal range which could have been said to be rather one dimensional to this point. Not that it didn’t suit the music, but it was more of a constant which was screaming over the instrumentation.
The last track of the event was ‘Kobe’, another one off of ‘Audio Noir’ and was another musical journey. This song was made for the big finish and it was a barrage of elemental carnage. The band members were furiously battering their instruments, Tom Begley’s bass went for a wee bit of airtime before hitting the stage floor. The final moments of the evening were dominated by what can only be described as the soundtrack to a multi-dimensional gateway and I had to steady myself or face another journey through a wormhole.
The bill was solid and so aptly constructed to bring enough variety with a core set of values for exploratory and altogether heavy music. Even the calm moments were heavy in terms of the weight in atmosphere that they generated. Another cracking night at Glasgow Audio with a stellar lineup and a whole lot to take home and reflect on.
2. Pick up artist
4. Atom smasher