Then this little thing at Antwerp Music City came up. Ashtoreth invited me and obviously, there was no reason not to go. First of all, it's always nice to see Ashtoreth and Stratosphere perform, both solo and as a cooperative drone-force. Second: I was quite curious about this new Thisquietarmy performance with full band. So off to the legendary AMC we went.
And so we traveled from the dreamy light of Stratosphere to the occult and mystifying darkness of Ashtoreth. Somehow this combination always works. Once Ronald had left the scene, Peter unleashed the chants and the distorted guitar drones. The sound became harsher, more intense and the audience seemed to love it. So did I, but that's not much of a surprise, I guess. Within a few minutes, Antwerp Music City was bathing in these drones and soundscapes, almost levitating perhaps, and then, suddenly, it was over when Ashtoreth swtiched the music off. 'Woos' and 'Yeahs' and applause now filled the air, with good reason too. This was awesome.
Most people in the guitar-drone scene have their own, easily recognizable, sound. Dirk Serries, Aidan Baker, N, and even the two support acts this Tuesday have theirs. So does Thisquietarmy. Over the years I have seen him perform on multiple occasions. Sometimes he simply unleashed his droning demons while on other occasions he added elements from doom and black metal. Yet, it was always Thisquietarmy, spot on. On this Tuesday too, with three guys behind him, playing bass, guitars, drums, Ableton, trombone and trumpet. Yeppers, now dark jazz has been infiltrating the sound of the Canadian.
The result was one of the most explosive gigs I have ever seen this man perform. Eric delivered his well known soundscapes while the band pushed the whole thing forward with a frenzy of doom and sludge metal. Thisquietarmy has become Thisoverwhelmingstampede, a massive sludge doom beast that can put its foot next to acts like Yob, Ufomammut and AmenRa. This was impressive, loud, abrasive and immersive. If 'The Body And The Earth' is as intense as this live gig, it's definitely one for the ages.
The sonic eruption went on for about an hour. Eric and his squad nearly pulverized the Music City (but then again, that building has experienced a lot of musical demolition over the years). I'm not sure if this was the best Thisquietarmy so far. For that, the machine needs a bit more oil and a bit more gigs. Yet, given time this experiment has the potential to convincingly headline Desertfests, Dunk Festivals, Roadburns and whatnot. And so, I'd like to end this review with the most truthful reaction, coming from a member of the audience: "Fucking Hell!!!"