Uncle Acid @ Gorilla
“Listen to them, the children of the night. What music they make.” – Bram Stoker
Sometimes, when fear catches you, you cannot move. You just stand there frozen, watching fate unfolding before your very eyes.
Thick smog capes the stage as the even thicker, dense, haunted grooves of Waiting For Blood pour out of the PA. Heads begin to move, smiles broaden and cans are held aloft as people come to terms with the magnitude of heaviness that is currently slapping them across the face. Their sound is at once precipitous and deadly, barfing at you with an intensified gravity like you’ve never experienced before. Time itself seems to slow down and, like some lurid beast in the night who steals its victims for selfish pleasure, they drag you into deep, vast reverie in which you remain trapped, lost and yet blissfully, hypnotically happy for the entirety of their faultlessly constructed performance.
Mind Crawler, with accelerated intent beckons, the venue’s natural, echoic reverb accentuating the mysticism that snakes in their Sabbath worshipping riffs.
Here in support of yet another unyielding release in The Night Creeper, there is a sense of cultism prickling the atmosphere tonight, a sense that this is our band. We are disciples following their every move with a dogged loyalism. Melody Lane and Inside, two choice cuts from that album, are greeted excitedly, the prior sounding an instant classic with its viscous garb and menacing lyrics, the latter a thumping, altruistic party piece.
The Cambridge quartet first stole the hearts of the underground scene with a string of slightly ominous, ghostly releases on Youtube, debut album Vol 1 released in so few numbers people will now happily bargain their soul with Satan to get their grubby paws on a copy. With Lee Dorrian amongst those affixed on the bands horror tinged swagger and towering doom rock aesthetics, which insidiously replicates Nosferatu’s shadow in a moonlit hallway, they soon found themselves penning a deal with Rise Above Records. The sensational, blood-drench tome of Blood Lust and since then their rise has been imperious and mesmerising.
I’ll Cut You Down and Death’s Door sound simply unbelievable; murderous and nasty, yet tinged with a distorted soulfulness that manages to perturb your very soul in an oddly beautiful manner. It’s powerful and devilish before the droning Vampire Circus, with its retro-tinged flavours, helps maintain their vice like grip on your senses all the while.
It’s hard to see the band ever putting a foot out of line, such is the consistency of their brilliance, and if I thought my own fanboyism was erratic and lone standing, then I’m proven resolutely wrong surveying the room during a staggering encore. 13 Candles plunges its sharp, dagger riff work right through the centre of a room in complete awe; it really does seem that everyone is flipping out over this tumult of disgusting yet sweet and supple doom rock band. Withered Hand Of Evil, while vampiric and evil, is teaming with superlative, addictive vocal hooks, providing their dying words alongside Desert Ceremony, words which are which are slow, gorgeous and unforgettable.
This is a band who has since long outgrown its status of champions of the underground. With every UK tour comes more sell out shows and in bigger venues. And for a band as special as this, it’s no surprise.
It’s not easy to execute a set that never, ever lets up, that never leaves you bored or questioning the band’s set list choices. It’s not easy to execute a perfect set, but Uncle Acid look like they could do it in their sleep.
In all, there’s little point in this review. All that needs to be said is that tonight, as ever was unbelievably fucking good.
Words: Phil Weller | Photos: Charlotte Wellings