Tamerlan Empire Melbourne (Melbourne, VIC)

3 November 2018 at Reverence Hotel

It’s always heartening to see strong expressions of solidarity and community focus within our scene; this joint production between our comrades from Girthsword Promotions and Melbourne’s Cove Events exemplifys that sense of community.

Saturdays black mass at the Reverence Hotel was one of those events you’re glad you didn’t miss. Headliners, Sydney’s Tamerlan Empire whirled into Melbourne like symphonic-black metal dervishs in support of their new album Age of Ascendency. Supported by a Melbourne dominated host comprised of some of the cities finest, the gig was well rounded; an evening of impending theatrical doom, savage death and captivating acoustic performances.

Suldusk opened the evenings proceedings, an artist we were incredibly fortunate to have join us for Metal United Down Under – Wagga.

Blackened folk and shoegaze form the amalgam of their exceptional acoustic live sound, which I can tell you, dear reader, from now more than one experience, has its way of enthralling the audience and catching them quite off guard. Emily’s performance has a unique way of adding it’s own weight to performers who follow, a breath before the plunge. Pay very close attention to Lady Highfield and Co, great things are coming their way.

The theatrical content was kicked up a notch by locals Hexreign. The now two piece doom outfit comprised Drumwitch & Hexbeastia made their entrance clad in bloodied white gowns; as if ‘Bloody Mary’ had a twin sister and a penchant for the 70’s style funerary requiems of bands such as Pentagram and Sydney’s own Dawn.

The evening shifted gear with Omnipresence taking to the stage with melodeath sounds reminiscent of the late Gothenburg scene.  This was my first time seeing Omnipresence perform, but comrades at the show kindly filled me in on a good many details (joys of being newly installed in Melbourne). Whilst in all truth there were a few technical issues and green moments, the band were certainly not lacking compositionally, or in regards to being experienced performers in their individual rights. What I enjoyed was the raw intensity that shifted into drawn overarching melodies that reminded me a bit of Woods of Ypres in regards to scalar movement.

‘Blacker than the blackest black times infinity’, clutching my hand into a gnarled claw holding a particularly attractive of bread; this is what happened to me personally when Adamus Exul erupted into their set. Immense black metal with the gravity of a neutron star pounded at the audience. Comprised of local mainstays Greytomb and vocalist of Omnipresence driving the kit, A. Exul’s energetic performance was the conduit for the bands sheer power. Blackened flesh and rivulets of blood bestowed menace upon Exul, which he wielded with great effect calling the audience to action. Very damn impressive!

After a short ‘watering’ and good banter with friends old and new, the main event arrived. The invaders were about to breach the gate.

Yassa, an old brother-in-arms from back home, brings a ferocity to the juxtaposed serene overtones and passages within Tamerlan Empire‘s unique sound. Engaging, imposing and indomitable are just some of the immediate qualities that were represented by this exceptional ensemble; the brain child of founder Khan forged back in 2011. Tamerlan Empire’s performance was rich in atmospherica and exotic cultural infusions. Even the typically stoic Melbourne audience was swayed and genuinely intrigued. A few bangers flew the metal banners high during their journey of a set, giving Tamerlan a well deserved reception.

In all sincerity Tamerlan Empire is a band to pay close heed to, as many exciting prospects seem to be looming just on the horizon and will no doubt propel them strongly into 2019.

Line-up: Tamerlan Empire, Adamus Exul , Omnipresence, Hexreign, Suldusk

Reviewer: Nat Harmer