[sic] Magazine

The Cult Of Dom Keller – Paradiso Is On Fire (Live)

A collection of sound-board captures at shows at Het Bos in Antwerp and Paradiso in Amsterdam, Paradiso Is On Fire is the intimate sound of Nottingham band The Cult Of Dom Keller taking their three killer LPs on the road last year. Originally released earlier this year on cassette via the Eggs In Aspic label, the ever-reliable Cardinal Fuzz are now doing the honours with a vinyl release and – a more truthful representation of the four-piece’s brand of heavy, post-punk indebted psych-rock than their regular albums – it’s one you won’t want to miss under any circumstances.

Arguably their best in the same way that the live Space Ritual platter is perhaps the best Hawkwind album, Paradiso Is On Fire just sounds so irresistible and thrilling throughout, a mid-tempo atom-collider of all your favourite bands while still sounding only like TCODK themselves. Over ten tracks dragged out past their usual length, riffs are duly borrowed from The Cult, white-hot guitar slicing through metal and masonry like alien weaponry. The heavy organs from The HorrorsPrimary Colours are thoroughly and utterly mined out to exhaustion too by way of Killing Joke-style post-punk, monotone dual-vocals periodically dovetailing so closely with that direction to the point of outright Faris Badwan impersonation on tracks like the doomed “Broken Arm Of God” and “Nowhere To Land”, cuts as blown-out and raw as would be expected of their live takes.

There’s still room for Jesus & Mary Chain-type shoegaze-noise to flirt with out-and-proud Goth-rock, melodies given an acid-bath of scree like Grave Babies so successfully did a few years back. Half of a 2015 7” split with desert-psych rockers The Myrrors, fuzz-monster “Behind All Evil Is A Black Hole” is a trippy nine minutes of atmospheric cymbal shimmer that crashes into a distorted groove, coruscating chug carving out a glacial valley of gloomy menace as it goes. Later, and resolutely all power and pedals, the industrial-edged “Astrum Argenteum” eventually breaks like sun rays through the clouds, “Dead Seas” creeping out of synapse-frying prop-drone and feedback in turn to deliver another minimal dose of sheet-metal-infused and syrupy space-walking.

TCODK are certainly no necro cult and yet the thrum of generators and arcing electricity are somehow rendered life-affirming in their hands amidst the otherwise general death and decay of the nihilistic “Nothing Left To Stay For”, surging drones pulsing like grid after grid overloading in sequence. Black or white, dark or light, Paradiso Is On Fire is pure celebration from a band so skillful at picking out just enough of a melody to seem essential.

Best track: “Shambala Is On Fire”

~Paradiso Is On Fire is released May 22nd on double vinyl (gatefold sleeve) via Cardinal Fuzz.~