Speaking of influencing bands, Killing Joke are one of those that seem to be in every dark genre. From post-punk and dark wave to industrial, from gothic rock to metal – many bands of these genres have been inspired by British quartet Killing Joke during the past 25 years. Gladly, the band itself still is active and has released a live album in support of their latest studio effort “Absolute Dissent”, capturing their October 16 2010 concert at the Hammersmith Apollo, London.
After the somehow slow start of ‘Tomorrow’s World’ the band finds its pace with ‘Love Like Blood’ and delivers a powerful show with new songs from ‘Absolute Dissent’ as well as the classics. Most of the time it’s a fast run through the songs, especially laden with heavy guitar riffs and raw vocals. Adding even more of the classic feeling are the synthesizers which also take the songs into a certain dark wave field. Highlights of the set are ‘Great Cull’, ‘Raven King’, ‘Depth Charge’ segueing into ‘The Wait’ and a pounding rendition of ‘This World Hell’.
The only downside of the album is the quite dull and reverberant mix. The keyboards are rarely audible, most of the time just through hints in the background – and even the drums aren’t mixed very well. Only the guitars are always present and in full force.
Nevertheless “Live At Hammersmith Apollo” is a good way to get started with Killing Joke. The band’s power is there and the performance is decent as well.