Absu + Impiety | Live Review
Moho, Manchester, 10/4/12
Singaporean trio Impiety throw themselves on stage in a maelstrom of baldness and bullet belts, ripping into Christ Fucking Christ with promise and power. Vocalist / bassist Shyaithan gives the crowd back stacks: there’s a fist pumping energy behind the whole performance, dwelling mostly on newer material from Ravage and Conquer.
Tonight’s venue – Moho’s – has a bizarre layout. There’s barely a stage to speak of, and the brave hallions windmilling ‘til dess against the crush bar at the very front risking a machine head to the eye – means everyone else gets to circumnavigate a gigantic staircase in the centre of the floor in search of a viewpoint. It’s not conducive to a great atmosphere and, although Impiety give their all, there’s a blandness to the filth that leaves the set sagging in the middle.
A riotous War Ensemble rip off recovery and some appreciative thank you’s from the visibly pleased mainman allow them to finish joyously on an over-accelerated cover of Bathory’s Sacrifice. It’s a sharp, tight performance; their material doesn’t quite hold the interest however, and by the end the beer taps are more densely populated than the crush bar.
The live ritual so favoured by Absu is perhaps made all the more unholy by a truly invasive combination of blinding strobe lights and utterly hellish BO. It’s a bizarre beginning to a gig; the full on house lights illuminating Proscriptor McGovern sound checking in a muscle top, corpse paint, and a spangly headband with a Britney mic sellotaped to the side of his face.
The miniature rapscallion is, however, entirely committed to his convocations of Summerian deities and demons: specifying to the second how long the set will last, Apzu and Feis Mor Tir na N’Og preface a pummelling rendition of Earth Ripper, setting the template for a phenomenal display of skill throughout – McGovern’s King Diamond impersonation a constant highlight.
Each member of the trio is proficient almost beyond credibility. Paul “Ezezu” Williamson handles the majority of the newer vocals as McGovern rasps through a huge variety of Tara and earlier tracks – Highland Tyrant Attack and The Coming of War particular highlights. The drummer is, unsurprisingly, the star – mixing unique rhythms and fills with screeching vocals and a magnetic stage arrogance.
The balance across the three is perfect; the superb rhythm guitaring of the more recent albums a little light but carried off to perfection. It’s tracks such Mannanan and Never Blow Out the Eastern Candle that truly get the place heaving though; the variety of riffs and moments of sheer fist-throwing exultation demonstrating just how far above their supports Absu truly are.
Engaging in a lengthy conversation and straw poll with the audience, McGovern confirms his earlier numerological exactitude by drawing the ritual to a close with a furious 13 Globes.
The temples of Eridu and Erech duly satisfied, it’s a rare combination of a band committing so gleefully to its own aesthetic with equal measure of seriousness and enjoyment – a combination not lost on the hundred or so seriously impressed punters.
Kev T ::: 14/06/16