Vodun made a name for themselves thanks to their unique blend of heavy rock sounds, soul singing and futuristic afro imagery. After teasing their fans with the single for “Spirits Past” and its video, as well as some album artwork and details, the new album “Ascend” has finally been released into the wild and with it came a show at Oslo Hackney in London to make it a memorable release party. To help the party, Vodun were joined by Bruxa Maria and The Hyena Kill.
Shortly after the doors opened, people started to flow in and The Hyena Kill opened the stage to a slowly but steadily growing crowd. The duo from Manchester have been known for their high energy shows and this one was no different. Despite there only being two people on stage, the band manages to create a sound that feels full and deserves respect. From start to finish their performance was a perfect display of pure rock fury, with sweat flying as heads banged and drumsticks shredded to bits as well as a broken snare drum skin. The Hyena Kill have quickly become one of my favorite British bands, not just because of their music but also because of their shows, and this one was yet another great show.
The moment Bruxa Maria got on stage was like a sudden descent into madness. Out of nowhere, loud becomes louder and the dials go all the way to 11. Distortion itself is used not only as a guitar effect but also as an actual instrument to create some interesting layering of textures to create what I would call “art noise punk”, it’s a unique sound that is hard to accurately describe. Between frantic songs and other songs where you hear a more artsy and demented side, every single moment was a beating to your eardrums that was greatly appreciated. It might not be a sound that is as “user-friendly” as the other two bands but Bruxa Maria is definitely a band to watch out for and at least give a go.
Without much delay the big stars of the night came on stage. Vodun were celebrating the release of their new album and they made a point of it being known that this show was indeed a celebration. The band pulled all the tricks possible to make it a memorable show by inviting all guests in the album to perform on stage with them as well. There were backup singers, a percussionist, African dances, and a saxophonist. Jake Harding of the doom band Grave Lines also made an appearance for the song “New Doom” which was originally recorded with guest vocals by Chris Georgiadis of the band Turbowolf. Throughout the show there was a constant good vibe, and towards the end the band handed out different musical instruments to members of the audience to bring them even more into the experience, keeping in tune with the message of harmony present in their songs. The night ended on a high note with the song “Spirits Past” which was the first single of their new album and was already well known by the audience. The band is originally a 3-piece and now that they are taking the album on the road and even touring Europe, it will be interesting to see what their show is like without the extra elements present on this one.