18 March 2016 at Valve Bar
Totalitarian opened this action packed evening with their hardcore/death metal. I have to admit that I missed the band, and after listening to their track entitled “System Bleeder”, I regret it. The mix of hardcore and death metal vocals works really well, giving you the opportunity to do whatever the hell you want – may it be moshing, head-banging or hardcore dancing (sigh). Definitely a band I would check out the next time I see them on the bill of a local line-up.
The second band of the evening is Honest Crooks, a deathcore/beatdown metal band. It was the first time I saw them play live. Although I quite enjoy their music online, the band did not have the relevant sound that would make you go “Whoooaa, heavy man!”. The singer had a decent variety of vocals up his sleeves, mixing from hardcore to deathcore to slam death metal. Of course, they had breakdowns, and they were heavy. I’m not sure if the mixing was to blame or if it was their equipment but it was a pity that they did not have a better sound. Crowd wise, there was enough karate dancing that I thought the zombie of Bruce Lee would pop up to teach them some moves. Once again, this belongs in martial arts movies, not the pit.
Deadspace from Perth reminded me of a Kylesa/Satyricon hybrid with their intense black metal riffing and a heavy dose of stoner rock sound with raw and aggressive vocals. Deadspace brought some musical variety on a night dominated by death metal/deathcore bands and frankly, it was a welcomed breath of fresh air. Nothing wrong with death metal in general, but it’s pleasant to be thrown out of your comfort zone and discover a new band, especially when it mixes a copious amount of melodic elements and nihilism. The band played the Blacken Open Air Festival on 26 March with heavy weights Distentomb and King Parrot, and I truly hope they got a good crowd because they deserve it. Check out their online EP “The Promise Of Oblivion” as it only costs 5 bucks, and that my friends, is dirt cheap.
Zeolite, a metalcore band with Djent influences came all the way from Tasmania. That’s dedication. When you think of Tasmania, you think of the devil, an extinct tiger, massive forests and good food (two headed people anyone?), but the guys smashed the place up. Firstly, their combo was face melting, energetic and polished. Secondly, good sound, that’s pretty important, right? The bass was fucking heavy, and the vocals were ferocious. I had a listen to their self-titled EP on Youtube, and this is quality stuff, the drums are precise and technical, the vocal patterns varied and the guitars work, unlike many Djent bands nowadays had a mixture of crushingness and melody. Definitely a band to check out if you like Meshuggah, Five Foot Ninja and Bleeding Through.
Then it was time for Orange based death metal band Infested Entrails to hit the stage. This time as a three piece as guitarist Lyndon had a hand injury. Surprisingly, the combo still sounded heavy with their groove inspired death metal minus a guitar and bass (the band does not have a full time bass player). The band focuses on an old school death metal sound, and hands down, they do it really well. Lyric wise, the band will shit on anything that moves with song titles like “Born with a barbed wire cock” and “Raped by zombies” (that’s how you catch some serious STDs). Onlookers were pretty pleased with the three piece’s performance and had the occasional mosh and plenty of head-banging in store for the Orange lads.
Melodic death metal band Hollow World has some issues with their sound as it could have easily been much bigger and meaner. Despite the occasional ear piercing guitar sound, it was easy to see that the band had very capable musicians. I had a listen to their feature song “Weeping Willow” and it is fast, melodic, varied and reminds me of Soilwork from time to time with massive Black Dhalia Murder influences. Already people started vanishing from the gig, it was getting a bit late you see, but Hollow World played as if they had a full room, something we can appreciate as the boys travelled all the way from Melbourne and still managed to have fun.
I have seen the Canberra based Death Metal band Tortured several times, usually a five piece band wearing black uniforms and corpse paint. Those guys are well known in the Sydney scene, having supported bands like Carcass and many other international heavyweights. I was a bit surprised to see a sudden change in the line-up as they are now a 4 piece band (shows you how often I leave the house) with new members, as I only recognized Brendan and Yuri on guitars. The remaining crowd was familiar with the work of Tortured and head-banged through the band’s whole set.
Finally for the piece de resistance, Melbourne slam lords Whoretopsy made their way to the stage. The lads drove all the way from Melbourne in a brutal 10 hours ride, and it ain’t easy when you travel with four big boys and a freaking giant. Speaking of giant, it was Whoretopsy’s first Sydney show since Lachlan Eddy, original member of the band came back to his original rank. Shit got emotional, and then it was a falling wall of slams after slams. I have to admit, I was grinning the whole time and got my phone out to film “Highschool Sweetheart”, which was the cherry on top of the Slam cake. It was just pure fucking brutality. The last time I saw Whoretopsy was when they supported Nile and Unearth, and they got the sound they needed to smash their way through unfamiliar onlookers and turn them into instant Whoretopsy fans. People moved through their set, intense head-bangs for the slam bits and Storma’s vocals were just filthy savage. Whoretopsy has a few international dates happening soon, but in the meantime save some $$ as they are supporting Cryptopsy nationally with I Valliance. If you love your brutal slam, check out those madmen.
Line-up: Whoretopsy, Tortured, Hollow World, Infested Entrails, Zeolite, Deadspace, Honest Crooks, Totalitarian