Monster Magnet / Seventh Void
26 November 2010
Electric Ballroom, London
It’s been a tough year for Kenny Hickey and Johnny Kelly.The death of their Type O Negative band mate Pete Steele in April left them mourning the loss of not only a friend but also their band.Seventh Void, initially conceived in 2003 to fill Type O Negative downtime, has now become their main concern and its back down to the bottom rung to start again with smaller crowds and support slots.
Hickey has also had to step up to the plate as a frontman, something he has admitted he has found difficult.Not that you would have noticed tonight with amusing quips about the band being “Broke, tired and horny” and apologies to Monster Magnet for assaulting a chicken in their dressing room whilst drunk.Of course Hickey did provide vocals with Type O Negative, and that provides a familiar feel to the Seventh Void sound.Neither as ponderous, nor quirky as their former band, Seventh Void take the Sabbath like doom blueprint and mix in hints of Soundgarden and even Janes' Addiction to compose more compact songs.
Whilst the band’s 2009 debut album Heaven Is Gone has it’s moments, songs such as Heaven Is Gone and Broken Sky have an added warmth to them in the live environment and as Seventh Void get more experience as a fully fledged unit, it will be interesting to hear what come next.Tonight was a welcome reacquaintance with two familiar faces and a promising new band.
Seventh Void setlist:
Killing You Slow / Heaven Is Gone / The End Of All Time / Shadow On Me / Closing In / Fools & Dogs / Drown Inside / Descent / Broken Sky
Following an eighteen year stint with Monster Magnet, the announcement prior to this tour that lead guitarist Ed Mundell had left the band came as a surprise.This was particularly the case given this year’s Mastermind is one of the strongest Monster Magnet releases for some time and after a period of indifferent releases and mainman Dave Wyndorf’s issues with prescription drugs, the band seemed to finally be on an upward trajectory again.
Stepping into Mundell’s shoes for this tour was Garrett Sweeny, who plays with Monster Magnet’s rhythm section in Riotgod.Fear’s of a Mundell sized hole were quickly vanquished by Sweeny who teamed up well with fellow guitarist Phil Caivano and Wyndorf and we were soon sucked into Monster Magnet’s world.
Wyndorf’s previous “Rock God” posturing has long since gone with the frontman taking a more cool approach. He’s a man of few words between the songs which often bleed into each other with a drone of feedback.The hazy effect is amplified by background projections making the band look like they are in a lava lamp.
With the exception of The Right Stuff, which is any case a Robert Calvert cover, it was as if the albums between Powertrip and Mastermind hadn’t happened.Monster Magnet do tend to vary their setlists and tonight’s is well balanced, sucking us in with the sprawling creep of NOD Scene before rocking out with Tractor. The set continues in similar waves of pace blending the trippy with the rock outs.
Due to the Friday night club in this venue a tight 10.30 curfew meant an very early start which wasn’t ideal for the Monster Magnet experience.Annoyingly it also allowed for no leeway, hence a delay due to technical issues meant both Crop Circle and Bored With Sorcery had to be axed from the set. Regardless, this was a highly enjoyable performance and it’s to be hoped Monster Magnet head back for the summer festival season.
Monster Magnet setlist:
NOD Scene / Tractor / Dopes To Infinity / Hallucination Bomb / Dig That Hole / Medicine / Look To Your Orb For The Warning / Dinosaur Vacuum / The Right Stuff / Space Lord / Gods & Punks / Powertrip