worriedaboutsatan

7 March
Castle Hotel

worriedaboutsatan return to The Caste Hotel with their fourth full-length release, Revenant. The title, referencing someone who has supposedly returned from the dead, is not indicative of the group’s recent output, which has been steady with a string of singles, EPs and their 2016 contribution to Adam Curtis’ dark, political documentary, Hypernormalisation.

Nevertheless, there is already an air of anticipation in the intimate confines of The Castle’s backroom as Manchester’s She The Throne opens proceedings with a set of apocalyptic electronica. The singer, Alison Carney, is mesmerising. She wears an eye veil, looping and mutating her soaring vocals alongside visceral, chest-rattling basslines and intricately layered drum patterns, courtesy of hooded head-banging electronics druid, Philip Bretnall. With one release and gigs supporting Gazelle Twin, it’s exciting to see how this duo will progress.

“This is going to be good,” a very pleased post-show Alison tells me. worriedaboutsatan play the beginning climactic bass tones of ‘Dig Into Your Memory’; as a filled-out room stare in hypnotic abandon at the duo, who are clad in black, play in front of spliced microbes, grainy motorway footage and a man facing his own one-man firing squad. Although a potentially overwhelming experience, worriedaboutsatan do a great job of creating a penetratingly emotive drama, sonically and visually.

Despite the slower material of Revenant, Thomas Ragsdale and Gavin Miller absorb the audience with songs that are crisply replicated through the Castle’s wonderful sound system. A series of satisfied “oofs” emerge from the room as the pulsing bassline of motorik ‘Skylon’ chugs on with hypnotic force, whereas a man bounces feverishly on his tiptoes for the brilliant crescendo of ‘Strax’, a distorted rave sample rising in treble to the footage of a gun’s trigger, squeezed to the point of firing.

Regardless of the energy in the room and the replication of Revenant’s material, it’s hard not to feel underwhelmed. The set lacks a cathartic moment, instead becoming lost in its own pensive nature, hypnotising itself to the point of self-induced drowsiness. However, like the adoring audience that has the spent fervour of a just-finished evangelical ceremony, I will always come back for more.

Josh Coulton