Jex Thoth At The Black Heart: Live Review

By on 13 November 2013

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Last Saturday, the mighty Jex Thoth descended upon London’s Black Heart to bewitch an eraptured audience with their psychedelic, doom laden invocations. Terrorizer’s Avi Pitchon was in attendance, and this is what he thought…

JEX THOTH + THE DEATH LETTER
THE BLACK HEART, LONDON

Upon entering the venue tonight, it takes a few seconds to realise that what one can hear is not muffled background music, but actually support band The Death Letter on stage. What they do can be described as trad doom unplugged; all three members are sitting down, strumming away, playing heartfelt occult, folky blues. Awful stuff.

The sense of anticipation is tangible before Jex Thoth start playing, as the stage is amplified by lit candles and the fact that Jex herself is nowhere to be seen until the band are already hitting the first notes of ‘To Bury’, which also opens their recent album, ‘Blood Moon Rise’. Her presence is instantly captivating, her stage persona falling somewhere between possessed and deranged. In the unofficial ‘Most Witchy Frontwoman in Occult Rock’ competition, she grabs the jackpot compared to Purson’s beautiful, mostly restrained Rosalie Cunningham, and Blood Ceremony’s versatile and sensual Alia O’Brien. Jex manages a flawless vocal delivery and an air of letting go that verges on the threatening, as she burns some mysterious substance and heads right into the crowd holding it. Later on she lights another stick of unknown magical properties and hands it over to a punter for him to pass along throughout the room. This ritual of either cleansing or cursing is completed by a set based mostly on ‘Blood…’, resulting in a general state of awe, submission and shock.

It is nothing short of incredible to be able to create such mesmerising atmosphere in a time that is perhaps less susceptible to such sounds and sensibilities than years gone by, stranded by fate and karma in this cold materialistic era of Kali Yuga. Playing ‘Warrior Woman’ as the final encore is therefore absolutely fitting.

WORDS: Avi Pitchon

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