Metal United Down Under – Canberra (Canberra, ACT)

10 October 2015 at The Basement
2015, another balmy spring evening and it's time for round 2 of the Metal United Down Under show in Canberra!

Arriving not long before the first act was playing, the crowd was mounting & the drinks were flowing. The first band in question, Dubbo's porngrind merchants Penetrated, took to the stage & began pimping out their old school, flesh-crawling style of grindcore. Rattling along at a steady pace, these guys (and girl) got the night going well and truly. Their sound is akin to earlier grind bands like Gorguts and Brujeria. Bone crushing hi-tempo blast beats, guttural unearthly growls, lots of thick low end and lucidor masks! A recipe well recieved by the growing crowd.

Following them onto the stage was local behemoths Imperilment. Unveiling their new vocalist unto the crowd, the guys got the crowd jumping & steaming along from the get go. Their new singer fit the bill perfectly, with a balanced mix of melody and sandpaper, his voice complemented the dynamics of the music behind him quite well. These guys have a mountainous sound and all their songs were precise in the delivery, clarity is certainly the order of the day with these gentlemen & their stage performance was great.

After that was Avascular Necrosis, a local black metal outfit. They set into a blistering array of tracks, coming off more like older bands like Bethlehem or Morbid, with a steady thrash influence. The tormented, other-worldly vocals sat atop a seething maelstrom of spiked guitars, low-end malice and a drummer that just doesn't know the meaning of 'calm down bro'. Atmospheric and truly entertaining, these guys cavorted about the stage with a devil-may-care attitude that didn't stop until the last twisted strains were squeezed out of their instruments.

Following this was another local band, Chud. No messing about with these guys, they dived headlong into the fray and kept the blood flowing freely. With little time between songs to recover, they just kept belting out an impressive series of tracks that had the punters enthralled completely. Including some newer tracks into their set, the thunderous and absolutely pummeling sound these boys delivered was devastating to the last. Their prescence and performance made all the more imposing with the stage completely saturated in red light, they prowled about the stage like hungry wolves.

The last band for the evening was the mighty Trollgasm from Dubbo. Excellent and very entertaining, they mix folk, death metal and thrash into a well-woven tapestry rich in myth and folklore (and Ale !!). These guys really can turn any venue, anywhere into a tavern somewhere deep in Middle Earth. They certainly had the crowd jumping, dancing and singing along with them from start to finish. In fact, they finished and the crowd wouldn't, couldn't let them go without an encore. More or less forcing the boys to play their classic track 'Hoopa Hoompa' again. The crowd would probably asked them to play it again (in fact they did), but the guys had already played the fuck out of their material & promised to return from the mists of time for future shows in the nation's capital.

Overall, I would say this gig was a great success, with a fantastic and energetic crowd that kept growing in size well into the night. A great venue with great staff and a great sound set-up, mix this with a bunch of entertaing and charismatic bands & you're onto a winner for sure. I'm certainly looking forward to the next one and I definitely recommend you check out any (or all!) of these bands anytime you get the chance.

Line-up: Trollgasm, Chud, Avascular Necrosis, Imperilment,Penetrated

Reviewer: Black Jack

Metal United Down Under – Canberra (Canberra, ACT)

29 November 2014 at The Basement
It was a warm spring evening when I descended upon the Basement in Canberra for the first Metal-Roos nation-wide Metal United Down Under show. Being a patron of the Basement for over 7 years, it was excellent to see the new changes to the venue, both acoustic & aesthetic. They really have spruced the place up beyond expectation. Ordering my beverage from the very friendly staff, I settled down at the bar to take in the changes & get ready to check out the show. Onto the bands!

The first band to take the stage was local punk-metal afficianados, Cockbelch. Wearing their own brand of tongue-in-cheek corpsepaint, dubbed 'cockpaint', the guys dug in & started belching out their excellent tunes. Somewhere between crusty, garage-driven punk & an older, hardcore metal sound, these guys prove to be very entertaining. They even squeezed in a new track (or two?) with definite 'heavy metal' overtones especially for this show. They blasted through their set, entertaining both crowd & band members equally.

Following them was Sydney's Drillsaw, who put on a great set of classic death metal. Some technicality mixed with straight-forward 'let's kill' attitude, they did a great job of showing off their skills as both individual musicians & performers, the band put on a stellar set. Very pleasing, and it was great to see their new vocalist, David Hart (psycho-frontman for Sydney's Kunvuk) leaping around the new stage set up like a hyena on steroids, settling into his new role with gusto.

Then it was time for young Canberra locals Beast Impalor to take the stage. A very tight & entertaining set was to follow, mixing Black Metal with an almost 'carnival' edge to their sound & stage prescence, it was great to see a young band eating it up & chewing it straight back out. The overall virtuosity of the band shined through, though not bogging down their ability to just get out there & rock the house.

Following them was another local band, Chud. After seeing the band many years ago with a different line-up, I wasn't too sure what to expect. Then I was completely blown away. I wasn't too sure if Satan himself or Jesus reincarnate was before my eyes. Halfway between Meshuggah-styled riffing, a Sex Pistol-esque attitude and some unnameable, almost middle-eastern sound, these guys strode about the stage like hungry vikings & laid out a stunning, blistering & very impressive set. They truly have raised the bar for local bands (and in my humble opinion, even some international acts could learn a bit from these guys) in terms of performance, stage show & overall musicianship. More of a legend, less of a myth. Definitely not to be missed, these guys exceed expectations & remind me of what Heavy Metal bands used to be in Australia. Plus, I must say, I've never seen anyone belt out some of the biggest vocals I've ever heard, play a giant 8 string guitar (with a machete) & 'chop' out a fire on their amplifier (with a machete). All at once. Fuck me. What the Sam-Hell-Fuck!

Proceeding the onslaught of Chud, was Melbournian band, Bricks. Very heavy & pummeling, Bricks hand out their brand of 90's styled, Sepultura-ish business with abandon and live up to their name quite well. Jumping about the stage, cavorting like rabid punks, Bricks truly delivered an excellent end to the night.

Make sure you catch all of these bands when the chance arises, as I found them all to be equally very entertaining. Overall, the night was well organised & ran smoothly with very little 'dead airtime' between bands. The crowd was good, with about a hundred paying punters in the venue then the band members on top, the night turned out to be quite an excellent evening. There was a great energy in the crowd & between all the bands. I would have to say this night was indeed a roaring success & hopefully the first of many Metal United Down Under shows to come.
Great sound, great crowd, great venue & awesome bands. Kudos to all those involved with getting this together, awesome job!!
Well fucking done. \m/

Line-up: Bricks (Mel), Chud, Drillsaw (Syd), Beast Impalor, Cockbelch

Reviewer: David Webb
Photocredits: Decade Three Photography (Beast Impalor Photos), Regis the Black from Reign Of Alcohol