UK industrial darkwave legends Attrition like to visit Toronto every so often, and this time it happened at the Rivoli on March 16, 2019. Three opening bands fleshed out the evening’s lineup.
Vancorvid opened the evening. This project is helmed by Sharon Courtney, a classically trained vocalist and musician who originally came from Dublin, Ireland. The music holds a strong Celtic influence which was congruent with at least one other act that evening, but it’s also highly contemporary so it fit with everything. Sharon has recently collaborated with two other bands on the bill, Subterranea and Attrition.
After a brief break for setup purposes, Subterranea sang a vocal set with electronic track accompaniment. Alia Synesthesia is the sole member, and her influences range from black and operatic metal (the Tarja Turunen influence is accessible to most listeners), tribal dark ambient and progressive folk doom music–a blend which may fit her in the dungeon synth genre that can also be used to describe Mortiis.
The third act involved people I don’t get to see often enough, as the previous iteration of this project has apparently not played live since the mid-2000s. Sue Hutton is the vocalist of the band Indarra, and you might remember her prior project Rhea’s Obsession. Sue, seen here in a Bone & Busk dress, commented on Facebook that Indarra is ready to pick up where Rhea’s Obsession left off. This three-piece lineup of Indarra did include Rakesh Tewari (formerly of Rhea’s Obsession) so it certainly felt like a natural evolution of the project rather than an abrupt shift from the previous idea. The music can be compared to Dead Can Dance in terms of its rhythmic multi-lingual world music feel.
The fourth and final act was Attrition, for this evening a three-piece version including Martin Bowes, Alia Synesthesia and Sharon Courtney. Martin is often busy these days producing albums for other bands in The Cage studios, but is happy to continue Attrition in its various lineups and forms. The music is darkwave and industrial and distinctively so, a role model for newer bands that have emerged in these genres.
Further photos by Dylan Madeley can be found in his Flickr album of the show. This show was part of the Ides of March Tour which included Montreal, Ottawa, and two dates in Toronto; Attrition returns to the UK to play dates in London and Birmingham respectively. Read more In Attendance write ups for more glimpses into live events, tours, and shows.