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Having witnessed several live appearances of the Queen of Doom and her instrumental entourage, both in dark, smoke-filled clubs and in brought daylight on festival stages, it is easy to say that JEX HelveteITHOTH is a band one best enjoys in an overcrowded hall with lacking oxygen, arguable sound and something of a colourful arrangement the venue owner might even pay a light engineer for. Almost a year to the day has passed since the pale, yet radiant mistress has proven her honours to the city of Oberhausen, playing a show at Kult Tempel with its sacral seeming interior and just shortly after entering the 2012 edition of Rock Hard Festival. Back than, the “Purify With Pyra”-show was fairly visited, giving the audience much room for a pleasurable live event. At present, the new setting at one of the Ruhrareas’ most popular venues, Helvete, a most uncommon sight awaits the entering guests as the night not only holds room for rocking and rolling, but also for one of the countries’ favourite sports: Soccer. With a live broadcast, many a metalhead in the upper bar room is as quite as they won’t be for the rest of the year, at least in public.

HelveteIIFront row view towards the sound creation

Downstairs one leaves the lifelessness far behind to your usual saturday night metal club, which is filling up fast after the soccer match has ended. For one, the choice of support acts of this show is beyond me, featuring two local Power-Metal acts that open up for the leading lady of the Occult Scene…well, whatever caused this match made in hell – or wherever and for whatever reason – both AXOLOTL and GLORYFUL are not unknown to the residential spectator. Suspicions that some of the, specially younger concert guests are only around to watch those two, won’t be far from the truth. Nevertheless, with the upcoming and for quite a number of people, including myself, long-awaited JEX THOTH encounter right ahead, the space before the stage gets literally invaded – memories of my first time at a ritual of THE DEVIL’S BLOOD come to mind: It was the same place, herbal fumes made everyone a bit more relaxed and the entire world turns into slow-motion. With their latest record “Blood Moon Rise” not even officially released – but tonight available on a special white vinyl tour edition – vocalist Jessica Thoth, guitarists Brandon Newhouse and Matt Jacobs, drummer Nick Ray Johnson and bassplayer Daniel Gonzalez clearly feed off previous publications, specially the self-titled debut from 2008.

HelveteIIIGuys, bend down as the mistress kindles the flames!

Those who saw last years’ show and / or have the advantage of owning a promotional copy, have heard at least some of the new material, which appears very sophisticated. Within a year the musicians obviously merged together as a band, acting in a noticeable union. In addition “Blood Moon Rise” has a continues concept and its songs are well-received tonight. The evening starts with the gloomy album intro “To Bury” and my current new favourite “The Places Your Walk”. True sparks between the five apparitions on stage and the countless eyes in front of it do spray with the intonation of indispensable hits, such as “Warrior Woman”, “Nothing Left To Die” and of course “Seperated At Birth”. Weather its their tunes or the magic of their redheaded vocalist and emcee, illuminating a bit of the present darkness with burning some Palo Santo wood, the enchantment of JEX THOTH is ever present and bequeath a sweat soaked and fully bewitched audience.

HelveteVIAll pictures courtesy of Daniel Kühne