THERE has probably never been a better time to heed Killing Joke – industrial gothic harbingers of doom since the dawning of the post-punk era – than in this year of the Mayan apocalypse.
The mighty four-piece have titled their forthcoming album MMXII in honour of mankind’s impending demise, while fearsome frontman Jaz Coleman even plans to host a Party at the End of the Earth festival in his adopted home of New Zealand.
And what better soundtrack to go out on than the Joke’s foundation-shaking punk metal juggernaut, as taut, thrilling, heavy and carnivorously hungry as the day these four first escaped from the asylum.
This original gang – Coleman, pile-driving drummer “Big” Paul Ferguson, bassist (and renowned producer) Youth and understated yet devastating guitarist Geordie Walker – have been back together for a couple of years now, reaping the benefits of their mercurial chemistry here in the ease with which they slipped from sleek, heat-seeking electronica to bone-rattling tribal incantation, from jackboot-to-the-gonads march to slow, grinding metal sermon to air-punching, nosebleed thrash singalong.
Coleman was as magnificently commanding as ever, looking like one of the demented drones from Metropolis, dropping advice for an independent Scotland between songs (keep the rivers clean, kids) and intoning his predictions for the rest of the planet over such a fierce, merciless display from his bandmates that it blew the sound system and it was game over for the gig, if not the world.