26 February 2016 at The Factory Theatre
Arriving early to the Factory before doors opened we were caught unaware by the sad depressing sounds of indie pop emanating from the bottom floor of the factory. Luckily for those of us with ears the doors opened soon after and we were greeted by the sounds we craved, black metal. With the back half of the factory floor curtained off it helped create that cosy dungeon atmosphere in which this dark metal thrives.
First band to hit the stage was Pestilential Shadows. Having heard of but never had the chance to see live before I was pretty keen to see how these go. Needless to say but I will anyway, these home-grown Sydney guys kicked the night off in true black metal fashion, in full corpse paint and with enough spikes to make Dimmu Borgir jealous. As soon as the riff was laid and the sticks hit the skins, the head banging started. Within the first two songs a fair number of those ghosts who blend into the side of the wall moved in and started getting into it as well. Throughout the entire set the instrumentals were insanely tight and you could hear the effort these guys had put into making their live set. The vocalist Balam, whilst still good at the start picked up and found his stride after the first couple of songs and howled the walls down around us.
Next up was Ruins, now this is a band I am familiar with. These black metal demons hail from the forgotten realm (wasteland perhaps?) of Tasmania. With a twist of death metal infusing their songs, when these guys hit the stage they hit it harder than Chris Brown hits Rihanna. Within the first couple of songs a pit was starting to break out and by the end of the set it had grown to a small but decent death circle. I should probably add for those who are unaware but there is 0% traction on the middle of the Factory’s floor once properly lubricated with beer. This was the first time in quite a while I have had the pleasure of catching Ruins at a show and they did not disappoint with new songs and old favourites played with roaring power and technical finesse.
Last up the band we have all been waiting for 1349. This being the first time these Norwegian black metal masters have graced our shores meant this was not a show to be missed. With the crowd bellowing as soon as 1349 took the stage, they wasted no time and launched straight into the aural hellfire. By the second song the pit had fucking erupted from one side to the other, sadly by the forth song the security guards at the factory were stopping the pits from forming. But fuck it, if we cannot have our pits then we can head bang till we rip spines from our back and I’ll damned if there was not a few who did not try. As I am rather useless as a person I forgot my notepad and sadly cannot list for you all the set highlights. However the song name I do remember is “I Am Abomination” mainly because it’s an accurate description of my memory. From what I have heard it was not Frost behind the kit for this tour but Sondre Drangsland and his drumming on this one was, as throughout the night was downright fucking impressive. Ravn gurgled and screeched and assaulted our ears with vicious glee as Archaon and Seidemann’s wall of sonic power slammed through our faces with no remorse.
Sadly in Sydney there are all too few Black Metal gigs, let allow one of this calibre. This was a massive night and props should be given to direct touring for bringing these guys to our shores.
Line-up: 1349, Ruins, Pestilential Shadows
Photocredits: Mira Live Photography