Dissonant Catharsis: Oathbreaker, King Woman, Jaye Jayle
Photography: Bryan Yalta
March 22nd at Three Links sensitized a pack crowd's ears as a gang of anomalous screams and distorted harmonies coming from Jaye Jayle, King Woman, and Oathbreaker intruded the venue. The acts collectively displayed a dingy array of somber themes and expression throughout that Wednesday evening, in the shape of controlled noise.
If, for some reason, a blues bar was ever built inside a cave, Jaye Jayle would probably be the perfect fit as its house band. Their gritty style is rooted in bluesy riffs, heavy pounds of percussion and Nick Cave-like vocals. The four-piece depended much on quiet trances formed by an ominous bass rhythm only to ascend into fuzzy, slow chords moodily strummed yet stressed with power. Dynamics used to a dramatic effect successfully.
Discordant chords and haunting vocals paint an eerie picture and King Woman knows how to take on this with force. The percussion behind the band especially drove each note to a heavy peak. Most of the band's songs seemed to focus on distorted guitar chords whose individual notes were strummed one after the other, which complemented the pumping rhythm section and the lead singer's reverberated words. Their songs felt like the right transition towards Oathbreaker's dynamic sound.
Lead singer Caro Tanghe's soft voice enhanced the tender parts of Oathbreaker's songs, creating something close to an emotive lullaby only to self-destruct into a scurrying screech from hell as the drums and guitars quickened their pace and tone into an exertion of anger and pain.
The Belgian band released their latest album Rheia--named after the Greek goddess--last year via label Deathwish, Inc. and has overall been well-received by critics. Inputting most of the songs from the album into their setlist, their performance revealed the maturity of their technicality and craft. One could sense a more veracious approach taken in the live rendition of Rheia's songs. It's common for one to think of foggy forests when listening to black metal or similar genres, but in seeing Oathbreaker live, it almost feels like it's there with you. Plus, Tanghe's outfit and gestures, akin to that of hunchbacked witch, fit the imaginary landscape even more so. The crowd was taken to a foreign, darker place, if only for an hour.
Oathbreaker is currently on a U.S tour. with Jaye Jayle as supporting act until April. Check out more photos from the show below.