Cult Leader Brisbane (Brisbane, QLD)

10 April 2019 at Crowbar

Thanks to Carbon Sunset for organising the evening with Brisbane being the first of the East Coast tour, starting the night with the dark theatrics of Empress hailing from the Gold Coast. My first time being engulfed in the atmospheric Gothic metal boot gazing sounds. Enjoying the slightly uncomfortable feeling as the Matriarch of the band Chloe, lifted her frock, scaled the barrier and proceeded to invade the audience to crouch and shriek to emphasise the crescendo of the last song. Empress released their first self titled album in 2017 and have recently finished their 2nd album, to which I am looking forward to hearing and catching them live once again. Empress is available here – empressempress.bandcamp.com

Second local support were Descent, this being the second time seeing them and the music stands out to be more death and black metal based, whereas the vocals are definitely leaning down the hardcore avenue in my ear, to which is a different combination.  Super impressive string section. If heavy blasting continuous beats are your thing check out their 2018 release Towers of Grandiosity here descentmetal.bandcamp.com

For those watching at home I may be biased but I feel that LO! are one of top metal acts in the vibrant Australian scene. Coming on stage with a haunting introduction and launching full tilt – no holds barred. This is the third and definitely not the last time I have experienced the bands live intensity, with all members contributing to the palpable energy – riding on the waves of groove, to quiet orchestral guitar pedal loops, to head swirling death metal LO! are definitely hard to pigeonhole which is refreshing. From the first time seeing them live they caught my attention instantly, not just with Sam Dillion the ringleader conducting the crowd with his spirit fingers, but fantastic structure, interesting highs lows and time signatures that all flow seamlessly and get the audience moving whilst still holding the brutality that makes them one of the finest in this land of Oz. Leading us through track favourites off the 2017 Vestigal album such as Glutton and the tribal drums of A Tiger Moths Shadow to finishing the set with the infamous Orca. I heard an interview and a little birdy stated that they are recording, which excites this little black duck and I look forward to seeing them at the Dead of Winter Festival in July. They have also toured with artists such as the excellent Amenra, Anaal Nathrakh and The Black Dahlia Murder. Get the LO! down and take my rants on board catch these fellas live. Check out their web and artistic videos – to help warm you up to see them when they next wipe the stage. music.lookandbehold.net

Utah legends Cult Leaders first tour to this fine country had many excited to see them. Formed in 2013 from the ashes of their previous highly praised band Gaza, Cult Leader have a definitive following that soak up their extreme metal. With their 4th release named A Patient Man on the Deathwish Inc. label, they show that even with such extremes they can tone back the noise and have melodic tendencies. Full of hump day energy, all members had their Energizer Bunny batteries charged and blew the roof off the basement at the Crowbar. Pounding bassist Sam and drummer Casey had the low bass vibrations rattling my skull as Mike on guitar and the pipes of doom from Anthony Lucero kept us surprised by the range from screams to clean vocals that you could take home to your Mother. I wish them well on their Aussie tour as they pound their way down the coast with LO! in tow. My New South Welsh and Victorian comrades catch them whilst they grace our shores before they jump over the ditch. www.cultleadermusic.com

Line-up: Cult Leader, Lo!, Descent, Empress

Reviewer: Tina Summers