Brooklyn's Dark Night Of The Soul: Aluk Todolo
French black metalists Aluk Todolo closed the evening's set at Saint Vitus on February 3rd as part of Stardust VI: Dark Nights Of The Soul, which happened to be the anniversary of my father's death. I picked up Stephen Mejias on my way to Brooklyn where we met John DeVore and Alex Halberstadt at the delightful Milk And Honey Cafe wherein we shared fine cocktails, conversation, and dinner. Fully sated, Stephen and I bid John and Alex ado as we headed over to St. Vitas, just a few chilly doors down Manhattan Avenue, to meet Ola and his wife, Emily, for a night of black metal.
I wasn't really digging the first few bands, finding greater interest drinking in the sights and long-haired, heavily-bearded, tattooed and black-hoodied drama of St. Vitus during Stardust VI. Then Aluk Todolo happened.
An instrumental three-piece comprised of Antoine Hadjioannou drums, Matthieu Canaguier bass, and Shantidas Riedacker guitar, the band went from 0 to 180 in seconds flat, filling St. Vitus with their sound & fury energizing all with walls of awe.
I hadn't done any preparatory listening and didn't know the music of Aluk Todolo until I heard it, live. Within moments, I felt right at home settling into their manic dark psychedelia. There's no thing I like more than being held in time by a live band, their music never letting go, not even for a split second. Aluk Todolo kept me on their razor's edge throughout, even when Antoine beat part of his drum kit to the floor.
I have to admit I had a vague, cartoon-like idea of what an evening of dark metal would be. I was wrong. Delightfully wrong. There's deep magic in the music of Aluk Todolo, deep black magic, and I continue to reap its rewards through memories and recordings.
What an idea it turned out to be.