Getting to the Bald Faced Stag tavern always feels like a mission, but very worth it since the staff, including the security guards are extremely helpful if you're not acting like an inbred sausage. The food is also pretty good, and I discovered on that night that the band room has been upgraded in both look and sound (no band sounded bad).
I'm usually notorious for missing the first band, but since my band (BLOODBOMB) was meant to open the band but could not play for professional reasons, I thought I owed it to the first band, HAMMER, to rock up before their set and watch them from start to finish. Their sound reminded me of the classic 90s metal with raw vocals, very groovy, simple but effective riffs and catchy as fuck. The boys from HAMMER released their first album recently entitled "Smoke and Beer", which will take you back to the 90s with a punch in the teeth. It's on the band's bandcamp page for 7 bucks, so go and check it out. For fans of Mastodon and Pantera.
Second band of the evening was MURDERWORLD, another band I was not familiar with. I heard a lot of good about them, and had a quick chat with the drummer in the beer garden, so after a few beverages, back in the band room. At first I thought the sound was bad with a lot of static compared to the first band, but then realised that this was the band's researched sound. They're trash metal if you didn't know (I now know), and despite the fact that I am not a massive trash metal fan, I have to admit that they sold it to us. It was good, fast and catchy, and I am grateful that the guys are funny fuckers that don't take themselves too seriously by joking around on stage. Those are re kind of boys you'd have a drink with after the show if you thought their kicked arse, and on that night, they did. Little cherry on the cake, cover of Slayer's "Raining Blood" at the end, which was just perfect. The band has an EP on bandcamp as well called "A sweet dose of murder". Suss it out, it has that 90s vibe, and if you ask me, the 90s had the best metal to offer.
Third was the Orange based death metal lads (they're lads, deal with it fellas haha) INFESTED ENTRAILS. Usually a four piece, guitar player Lyndon was absent once again. The previous gig they played at the Valve bar was Lyndon free as well since he broke his wrist, but this time it is for medical reasons. Get better man, looking forward to see you on the stage soon enough!
As a three piece, INFESTED ENTRAILS are not to be fucked with, they still manage to have that groovy, chunky sound they are known for and will crush you with their own brand of zombie/ sexual torture death metal. The singer always seems to get heavier the more I see them play, and good stage presence too. The lads have released a CD with Grindhead Records in 2012 called "Defiling a Piece of the Deceased", so if you like Cannibal Corpse, Deicide and Morbid Angel, go and check out their label's website.
Fourth place is for Sydney's own old school death metal band CRUCIFORM. I've seen them a few times but I was plastered at most gigs I went to, so it was possibly the first time I fully appreciated the music and could remember what their set was like in the morning. When they started playing, the room got heavier, hotter and unpleasant in a good way. Those guys have been dooming their way around since the 90s, so you could say that they know what they are doing. Something I found mind blowing is the fact that the drummer is the lead vocalist as well. I can't multitask for shit so to me that's beyond mental, and he's nailing it too. Check out the link below for their whole set.
Finally the headlining act made it's way to the stage, QLD's Laceration Mantra. I remember opening a gig of those guys back in 2011 when it was the first time I saw them live, thinking, "Shiiiieeeeet, that's heavy!"
The four piece was smashing it from the start with vocalist/ bass player Rob yelling to the crowd "Here we fucking go" and bang, pure brutal death/ black metal, no bullshit. They were, in my book, the heaviest band of the evening (well, I love death metal and Grindcore, so that's that.) and everything, from the musicianship to the performance, were just excellent. The drums were fast, heavy and precise, the guitar solos plentiful and true to the death metal genre and the vocals raw and loud. Laceration Mantra just released a new album called "Infested" and is playing Hobart, Brisbane and Adelaide from June 15. If you would like to check their set, see the link below: