Sludge, EDM and more sludge from a few of the world’s best purveyors of slow ‘n’ heavy.
Though it doesn’t quite match Thou‘s stiflingly humid home of Louisiana (as frontman Bryan Funck points out), it’s a hot sticky in London by UK standards, an extremely apt setting for the sludgy misery fest that the sold out Electrowerkz is about to succumb to.
Manchester’s Primitive Knot are probably the most diverse outfit on the bill. Whilst a one-man project they are present here as a duo, emitting a sonic wall of post-punk, EDM and experimental noise full of compelling textured nuances and relentless industrial beats over screeching, distorted guitars and haunting reverberating vocals.
Next up, Nottingham’s Moloch unleash a straight-up devastating aural assault of merciless torment, with vocalist Chris Braddock bellowing out screams of anguish against a solid backdrop of feedback, droning chugging guitar and weighty basslines. Boasting slow and precise lumbering drums with technical rolls and fills, their set is downright filthy and cumbersome as they drag the growing Electrowerkz audience through a sludgy, cathartic miasma.
Headliners Thou are harrowing and intense to say the least, especially when matched with singer Bryan Funck’s piercing cold blue eyes and intimidating snarling howls. After opening with the slow, heavy and pummelling ‘Ordinary People’ they continue a bleak pounding of the ears over the next hour with monolithic thunderous drumming and booming bass lines behind layered guitar riffs from super low-tuned guitars, which are sometimes dense as fuck and then suddenly full of intricate textures with tremolos and delicate finger-picking. Deadpan jokes from Funck with his Louisiana drawl about Britain’s dry sense of humour break the bleakness, but their set is nevertheless an enrapturing experience and it’s all too easy to get into the threatening rhythm, which comes to a close with the triumphant and poignant ‘By Endurance We Conquer’, and with that the hypnotic ritual of destruction is complete.
Scroll on to experience the mayhem in our photo gallery.
Words and photos: Abi Coulson (Darktones Photography)