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Saturnalia Temple / Inconcessus Lux Lucis (live at The Black Heart)

London
29 February 2016

Saturnalia Temple live at The Black Heart February 2016Monday is never the best night for gigs in London. There certain left-over feeling in the air from Sunday and for most it’s the first day of the working week. So an evening of dark esoteric music may not be high on most people’s radar. But this being The Black Heart, there is always a regular group of heavy metal freaks to pack out the place and indulge in an evening of dark arts.

Inconcessus Lux Lucis, apart from having one of the most difficult names in rock, play a brand of black metal and doom crossover that fills the air with satanic malevolence. Their songs move from triumphant speedy pieces reminiscent of Emperor and classic era black metal to some of the most wonderful melodic guitar solos I’ve heard. To be honest, I was slightly surprised as I was almost expecting a battery of sound to assault my ears and instead I got some guitar work that Dave Gilmore of Pink Floyd would be proud of.

The songs were powerful and certainly came across well live, all aided by some superb playing. The thing with the metal scene at the moment is that its rather flooded by bands, so I hope that Inconcessus Lux Lucis’ amalgamation of two very distinct styles will see them sneak ahead of some of the other bands on the circuit as their commitment to what they do seems strong.

Saturnalia Temple live at The Black Heart February 2016

Black candles are lit and a heavy waft of incense fills the air and a representation of a human head sits upon the stage; this can only mean that Saturnalia Temple are about to perform. It is on the cramped stage of The Black Heart that they will enact their infernal rites for the evening, dragging their audience into a black mass revelry of bliss. Leaning heavily on their To The Other, album the band grind into a set of sludge hymns to the darkness that gets the crowd’s heads shaking. Although the riffs are smashed-out doom classics, there is a wild element of psychedelia that sneaks into their music that takes them that notch up in to something very different.

After you get over the all-pervading smell of incense and the almost near darkness of presence of the band on stage, you get a sense that what they are trying to achieve is more of a sense of atmosphere rather than just pummelling the eardrums of their audience in to submission. Some of the music is downright eerie, a conjuration of Sixties occult fanatics mixed with the ancient ruins of temples. In some respects the riffs are monumental, tapping into something primal from our long-gone esoteric past and dragging it screaming into the twenty-first century.

Saturnalia Temple live at The Black Heart February 2016

Saturnalia Temple are much more than just another occult doom band with a few riffs lifted from Black Sabbath or Electric Wizard; they stand out as something that has been brought forth from beyond and lies dormant somewhere, awaiting to devour mankind. The guitar hangs onto notes for what, at times, seems an eternity. The bass and drums busy themselves hammering home everything they have as this power trio drag you into their demonic world.

So that was my Monday evening; and I couldn’t imagine a better way to spend it.

-Gary Parsons-

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