Live at Blå in Oslo, Norway on October 7th 2015
Photos by Marie Solheim.
Nights of the blind dead.
It’s a chilly October evening in Oslo, and as the days become shorter, the local doom metal gigs begin lining up. Tonight the laid-back riverside venue Blå is host to Southampton slacker-trio Moss, who are touring in support of their recent EP Carmilla. With a late concert start on a Wednesday night, the venue is sparsely populated before local openers, the tactfully christened Cunt Fistula, are set to initiate the show.
Although they seem young enough that they might be sneaking out to play on this school night, Cunt Fistula are a loud bunch. The fresh-faced three-piece have the room quaking under the weight of their sludgy stoner doom, with the bassist and guitarist sharing harsh vocal duties. Borrowing elements from hardcore, the Melvins, and Kyuss, the boys deliver a series of fierce blasts of relentlessly heavy energy. Despite the relatively disappointing turnout, Cunt Fistula get the blood pumping and seem genuinely humbled at the prospect of shredding their hearts out in front of about 50 people.
Whereas the local youngsters are sporting huge smiles as they take their leave, Moss’ frontman Olly Pearson is obviously accustomed to performing in front of a larger audience. Initially looking a bit disheartened by the sparsely populated venue floor, Pearson and his partners in crime seem troublingly fatigued before they begin sowing doom. Looking like a slightly younger Lee Dorrian, Pearson is a professional and gets into the zone without much ado, as the band proceeds to slowly trod through the bulk of their latest album Horrible Night.
Moss commenced a controversial transformation upon the release of Horrible Night, leaving their subterranean origins behind in favor of a more straightforward stoner approach. Fans of the world-devouring drone characterizing Cthonic Rites and Sub Templum are afforded few bones tonight, with closing number “Tombs Of The Blind Drugged” representing the band’s only return to their older mind-bending vibrations. For devotees preferring the laid back psychedelic sounds of latter day Moss, however, the British threesome deliver the goods. The sheer weight of these riffs really come into their own on stage, which is even more impressive considering the lack of a bassist. Details such as Pearson soliciting the crowd for weed twice during the six-song set make it seem like Moss are reveling in genre clichés, but none of that matters when the latter half of “Tombs…” sends bowel-crushing erosion down the spine, bringing the night to a profoundly massive end.