Briqueville & Ashtoreth @ De Casino, Sint-Niklaas, BE

Written by: Zaph
Published: 27.07.2017

On a rainy Friday evening in Belgium, one could pick from over a hundred concerts by local acts in Flanders and Brussels. It was the 28th of April, 2017, and the day was dedicated to our "Lokale Helden" (translation: local heroes.) However, there were two local heroes playing that day that were not among the vast amount of "suggestions." And yet their music was much more suitable for the dreary weather that was present at the time. Their names: Briqueville andAshtoreth. De Casino in Sint-Niklaas was the place to be for everyone interested in dark and ritualistic styles of music.

First, as the crowd steadily grew, we were treated to the meditative experience that is Ashtoreth. For those unfamiliar with the name, Ashtoreth is a one-man drone/ambient project by Peter Verwimp, who might be familiar to some Emptiness fans, as he recently joined the band as guitarist.

With a set-up of only a guitar, a microphone, and a pedal board, Verwimp created some deeply entrancing ambient music by simply layering effects-heavy guitar and vocal loops. The result was impressive to say the least. It's really no surprise that this man was invited to play with a band like Emptiness, given the rich soundscapes he can create all on his own.

During this entrancing ritual, our shaman was seated amongst the crowd, in front of the stage, to make the journey all the more personal. Time stopped and while the music was slow the show was over before we knew it. Nonetheless it was a transcendental experience that could rival the likes of Phurpa or Sunn O))), albeit a lot more intimate.

After a short break the souls of most of the audience members had found their way back to their bodies and the smell of incense had subsided. It was time for the evening's main act: Briqueville, presenting their second album, appropriately titled II.

Acoustic guitar melodies and masked figures in cloaks announced the darkness that would envelop us throughout the coming hour. With the sound of a kick drum the band subsequently introduced us to their huge live sound. At times it was hard to tell how many people were responsible for the sonic madness, which, combined with the foggy background, succeeded in creating a mysterious and disorienting atmosphere.

Briqueville's music is slow and heavy, at times requiring a lot of patience. However, the build-up and pay-off are equally rewarding in this case. The band manages to flow seamlessly from heavy sludgy riffs to more adventurous and genre-bending passages that will leave you wondering how they incorporated that into their suffocating doom metal sound. It didn't stop at the hypnotizing Eastern melodies in their drony moments. Sometimes the songs took us somewhere we never expected to go, at one point entering an almost tribal-like sequence (with tambourines and maracas) that incited some people in the crowd (read: me) to bring out their best dance moves and shake their behinds. And yet, somehow it made perfect sense that we ended up there. All sorts of vastly different influences came together to create one cohesive, often very headbangeable, whole. Here's a band that can hypnotize the audience, but then five minutes later have them headbanging or even dancing.

All in all, the combination of Ashtoreth and Briqueville was a successful one. Both shows felt like rituals to some extent and both were capable of taking the audience to weird, sometimes unexpected places. Whether it's through meditation and trance or through suffocating riffs and headbanging-inducing madness, both bands guided us through their dark worlds, and the journey was one not soon to be forgotten.


Guest article disclaimer:
This is a guest article, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.


Comments: 1   Visited by: 13 users
27.07.2017 - 09:28
The Nothingth
I'd actually completely forgotten that I wrote this, but someone finally proofread it so I might as well still publish it.
The road is long, and the road is hard, and many fall by the side.

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