Enveloping darkness engulfed the upper half of Dillon last night as Svartidauði cast their bestial bloodlust upon a full crowd, eager to have their ears inexorably maimed by four demons sent upwards through the crusts of hell to act as Satan’s median to the anthems of torment. Svartidauði have the charm of a maggot pile feasting upon the festering flesh of an aborted piglet fetus – with an equal penchant to repulse its viewers – but the assemblage at Dillon seemed to bask under the black sun, banging their heads to and fro in stalwart fashion, like good little peons of hell.
The soundscapes filling the barn-like stature of upper Dillon were thickly draped in whirring guitar tones, discordant and heavily laden in delay and reverb lending to the sometimes hypnotizing quality of Svartidauði’s songs, but any trance-like state is often shaken back to reality with cacophonous howls by the bassist or by the knee-jerk shift in drumming by Magnús, who I’m pretty sure has four arms. I think.
Svartidauði have established themselves as one of Iceland’s most ferociously intense bands, and the sardined off-venue gig at Dillon gives a nod of confirmation to this notion, and also confirms that these particular festivalgoers aren’t scared of the dark. The boogie man don’t mean shit here at Airwaves, our dopamine levels are too high.
This show served as a reminder that, whether or not your wrist is beautifully adorned in the colourful Airwaves bracelet, you, myself, and anyone in the city center can find themselves surrounded by angelic voices, soothing acoustic licks, enticing electro beats, or as in my case caught in the middle of an aphotic ritual conjured from the pits of hell… and this is all thanks to the off-venue gigs. Ergo, snap out of the hangover and place yourself in the midst of one of these shows, the bands always rise to the occasion and so shall you! You can sleep when you’re dead.
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