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Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Live Review - Electric Wizard + Purson

Electric Wizard + Purson

HMV Forum, Kentish Town, London March 31

Purson and Electric Wizard were but two of the artists on the bill at the HMV Forum though the trad doom sounds of both Age of Taurus and Witchsorrow are probably too far from the Happening sensibility to merit a review. That’s not to say they weren’t entertaining with the latter featuring a bass sound so gargantuan and sonorous it resonated through my very viscera and actually made it hard for me to breathe at some points.

Purson have come a long way in a short time since I last saw them supporting Pentagram at the Garage. Now dressed like a Central-European sex cult, the band has expanded to a five piece with keyboard effects filling out their sound. Their set-list doesn’t appear to have changed much but they seem more confident than before as frontwoman Rosalie Cunningham both haunts and prowls across the stage like a Victoriana lost girl. There’s a real air of delicate songcraft in every corner of their goth-prog material, which makes their forthcoming album all the more drool-inducing. They do, however, look like the most pallid and underweight band ever to hit the Forum stage – hopefully their inevitable future success will help afford a few square meals.

If the members of Purson look like a cult then Electric Wizard take it one stage further – inspiring the kind of blind devotion that turns the Forum into an occult rally rather than a rock gig. Hardcore fans use the cover of a furious moshpit to spark surreptitious herbal cigarettes and soon the venue begins to reek of the sweet leaf. Frontman Jus Oborn revels in this lawlessness, lighting his own joint mid-set to show his disregard for any Kentish Town by-laws that might be in force. Quite frankly he should be allowed to - the band having justifiably earned its place in the doom pantheon. Just check out the long brooding intro to ‘Funeralopolis’, the monumental choruses of newer songs ‘Black Mass’ or ‘Satanic Rites of Drugula’, or the fug of old favourites like ‘Supercoven’ and ‘Return Trip’. Across every song in the 90 minute set Jus casts a spell of woozy seasick psychedelia that’s enhanced by the unseemly lighting and endless reels of exploito footage projected onto giant screens from such lost schlock as Hell’s Chosen Few and The Devil’s Wedding Night. New track ‘Legalise Drugs and Murder’ is debuted and shows the band at another high watermark, mixing the anthemic nature of the Black Masses material with the dense sludge of Dopethrone. These creepy crawlers really have the sound and songs that are slowly making them into a British institution. After all – sex, drugs and murder – could there be a more perfect night out?

Austin Matthews

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