The view that Scene Point Blank has been afforded for tonight’s performance is beautiful, and the sea of heads below on the floor is all the more astonishing seen from the balcony area of the iconic Kentish Town Forum in London. Neurosis make a much welcomed and desperately sensual appearance as part of the All Tomorrow’s Parties series of events that are now held throughout the year and this time around they are joined by the industrially crushing tones of the mighty Godflesh.
Neurosis appear on the back of the slowly fired sounds of Honor Found In Decay, a record that saw them bring to the table a somewhat gentler side to the Neurosis palette whilst simultaneously overwhelming their audience with true and clear concepts of desolation. Godflesh are here to engulf those present with majestic beats and cries of pure disaster and Justin Broadrick shouts his way through a set list of wild and imposing pulses of sound and clamouring wails of guitar and drum machine.
Godflesh (8) suffer some regrettable sound issues at the beginning of “Love is a Dog from Hell” and those problems seem to continue and follow the duo through most of their layered set. Broadrick never sounds quite loud enough, although even from way up here, it looks as though he is savouring every tortured second. The screen behind Broadrick and bassist G.C.Green flits from disturbing and uncomfortable religious imagery to stark images of breakdown and Godflesh tailor their monumental rhythms to fit the disquieting atmosphere that curls around the Forum in shadows and throbs of motion. “Like Rats” is a massive and obvious fan-favourite and the band drop it into their set early which serves to heighten the tension as to what may come next. Godflesh are far from disappointing, which is made evident due to their time being cut short by their own hand as many attendees are still waiting to even get into the venue at the time Godflesh were billed to start. It’s a noticeable delay but “Streetcleaner” is as delightfully huge as “Crush My Soul” is wonderfully frenetic. “Christbait Rising” rages, “Weak Flesh” destroys and Godflesh dominate.
Neurosis (10) take to a stripped back stage, the band shrouded in darkness for much of the time having recently parted ways with their visual artist Josh Graham. Steve Von Till and Scott Kelly twist their words around harsh and often beautiful lines of guitar, their voices rough and edged with a distinct and powerful knowledge and the newer songs from Honor Found In Decay weave their way around older classics with a deadly and bittersweet melody. The vast sounds of “Times of Grace” punctuate the deep and affecting aura surrounding the band, their audience moving as one entity, completely entranced by the moments of pure and brilliant catharsis emanating from the stage. “At The Well” is gorgeously rendered and swirls with a heart-breaking melancholy, the lamentations falling from great height with sadness and utter hopelessness until it becomes almost too painful to continue. Neurosis are desperately heavy tonight and the repetitive passages of noise soon dig deeply into the subconscious. “We All rage in Gold” melts whilst “Given to the Rising” closes the evening on disgustingly drawn out screams of feedback. Neurosis leave the stage to cries of total agony – at their departure and at the dreadfully overpowering noise that flows from the instruments left to their own devices. Neurosis are supremely commanding tonight and prove once again that they are masters of their doomed destiny. Extraordinary.