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THE DARK CHURCH @ The Rechabite gets 8/10


The Dark Church @ The Rechabite

ft. Wrath of Fenrir, Giant Dwarf, Dead Jerk, Sonnenmasse, Circus Carnis, Feisty Entertainment
Friday, February 5, 2021

8/10

Friday’s ascension to The Dark Church, the first of two nights of The Darkness at The Rechabite for Perth Festival, was a baptism by fire and brimstone cursed at times by technical difficulties. Curated by Injured Ninja and The Church of Belligerence, the lineup spanned visual performances by boundary-pushing cabaret artists and offerings from some of our city’s more experimental and heavier hitting musos.

As the audience was ushered into The Rechabite’s hallowed hall, Sonnenmasse signalled Black Mass was officially in session, welcoming guests with the Mahamrityunjaya mantra and a soundscape of low frequency grinding bass that both transfixed and set the tone for the evening.

Dead Jerk

The weird and wonderful continued as Dead Jerk conjured a post-rock haunting befitting of the industrial bones of The Rechabite’s beating heart. The four-piece instrumental act were comprised of synth, bass and two (yes, two!) drummers, who appeared right at home at the altar as they rhythmically layed out songs from their debut self-titled EP.

Feisty Entertainment

In between sets, sparks literally flew as a not-so-holy nun wielding a Makita angle grinder danced through and around the crowd. “BBQ burlesque” wasn’t everyone’s jam, but some certainly seemed to appreciate it. At this point, just as one began contemplating The Rechabite’s public liability insurance, those aforementioned technical issues began to rear their head. A rotating platform that rose like a monolith from the centre of the room started to look like it was more work than it was worth.

Giant Dwarf

Heavy-psych outfit Giant Dwarf have built a reputation for serving up their unique brand of Western Australian desert/stoner rock in high energy performances that can have the crowd simultaneously grooving and headbanging along. This time around they valiantly persevered through some very clear sound and tech troubles. Once the venue finally nailed their audio levels, redemption was sought and received through songs such as Black Thumb and Repeat After Defeat.

Giant Dwarf

Anyone who has borne witness to Circus Carnis before would be familiar with the delightfully deranged and divisive spectacle that is their self-proclaimed “freakshow.” Tonight they were let down by a missed cue for music and poor lighting, which despite the ambience it created, only hid the stomach-turning gore and glory of the Reverend Butcher’s self-piercing flesh play. The “Princess of Pain” tested the limits of the human body in a gravity-defying feat of suspension that was elegantly beautiful and grotesque.

Wrath Of Fenrir

The night was well on its way into the witching hour as the Wrath of Fenrir took to the stage. The Viking metal warriors waged a battle of biblical proportions with their instruments, shredding the ears and faces off the audience in an epic, Nordic finale.

PATTI JOHNS

Photos by Anthony Jackson

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