Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Live Video Review: MATIANAK Touch of Silence by Dave Wolff

Touch of Silence - live Red Line Tap 5-12-2017
Filmed by Frank Garcia at Heartland Cafe Red Line Tap, Rogers Park, Chicago, Illinois USA
Chicago’s Matianak profess to be “bringing black metal to a whole new level.” Citing Gorgoroth, Carpathian Forest, Ulver and Old Man’s Child as their influences, they set ancient folklore about ghosts and witches, serial killer accounts and real life murders to music carrying that dark instruction from the bands listed above (also Mayhem, Enslaved, Death and Dissection). Their performance is a ritual consecrated to all things gruesome, hair raising and ghoulish with animal bones, animal skulls, candles, inverted crosses, occult decorations and horrific stage gear designed and built by Arelys their frontwoman, lyricist and manager. Reading their Facebook biography and background information while watching this capture of a show they played in their hometown last May gives me the feeling their stage presence, costumes and prop arrangements are kindred to their perceptibility. It seemed I watched something less of a show and more of a melodrama of unified pageant and personality. It was by chance I came across the band on Frank (Arte Mortifica) Garcia’s Youtube and I must have immediately perceived something nonstandard about them but I was engrossed with the band and particularly Arelys whose demeanor mingled attributes of zombies, vampires and the cannibal tribe of Eli Roth’s The Green Inferno. She is an imposing frontwoman as she creeps and saunters around the stage, glaring at the audience with barely concealed malevolence. The musicians backing her resemble a cult fresh out of the Necronomicon. Their music is a throwback to mid 90s black metal with death metal crunch added in a brief refrain. The video was filmed in black and white with professional equipment which captured the band and their song with clarity so sharp it could be included in a documentary about extreme metal in Chicago if Garcia ever decided to produce such a film (he certainly has enough live footage to start with). Touch of Silence is one of two clips from this show (Bolthorn and Discarnate were also on the bill); the other is a song called Hypnotic Torture which is likewise attention grabbing. Matianak have an interview for Pitts of Metal Chaos posted to Youtube if you’re interested in checking it out. -Dave Wolff

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