Taake and De Profundis at the Exchange, Bristol - live review

Bergen firebrands lay siege to the west

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The mini-epics of DE PROFUNDIS [6] deserve far better than the indifference and periods of silence the crowd affords them, with even the dazzling musicianship and blistering death and black metal peaks of Kult Of The Orthodox falling on deaf ears. The crowd’s apathy has no hope of surviving TAAKE’s [8] all-encompassing intensity. There’s a profound, dangerous presence that harks back to the early Norwegian scene, with frontman Hoest a tightly coiled entity of seething rage liable to explode at any moment. Adorned in a cape, Islam-bating t-shirt and distinctive, sinister corpsepaint that takes true effect as he stares into the faces of onlookers, he stalks and twists himself into all manner of contortions as a dense cacophony of black metal swirls around him. Long-established guitarists Gjermund and Aindiachaí execute the shifting blasts of Hordalands Doedskvad Part 1, while the morbid filth of Norbundet and a potent Umenneske reverberate manically around the room. But for all the bleak abandon each song is attacked with, there’s a primal rock’n’roll vibe lurking below. A liberating euphoria sweeps through the crowd, as moshpits erupt and people are lost in their own ecstatic trance. You forget you’re watching mortal musicians, instead being swept up in the blistering rapture of Taake’s unfettered menace.