With so many sold out Metal gigs in Melbourne over the past numerous months at a plethora of venues across our great city, it would be negligent to not now consider, call and claim Melbourne to be the Heavy Metal capital of our great nation!
With that judgement declared and carved in grandiose non legible death metal font upon stone let me review yet another crushing evening of sheer brutality at Melbourne’s Max Watts. Opening the evening was local lads Remains, who I unfortunately did not get the opportunity to witness due to tardiness thanks to being blockaded by numerous of our great cities continuing road upgrades so my sincerest apologies to the members of Remains for missing their show!
Taking command of the stage next was Revocation from Boston. If you are unfamiliar with Revocation and are a fan of extreme music then, shame on you for starters and secondly rectify this travesty and become acquainted with this quartet immediately. Blistering precision death/thrash inspired brilliance. Sure we’ve all heard text book death metal that infests the various sonic outlets available to us that sates our desires for new and old music alike, but what sets Revocation apart from the rest? There are beautiful little nuances that shine through like a beautifully polished nugget with the clearest being main vocalist and lead guitarist David Davidson’s shredding some of the best and decipherable brutal lead breaks I have ever heard. Second point is Revocation’s note perfect clarity live sound alongside their gatling gun execution of a billion beats per minute sonic assault performed with the obligatory hair windmill courtesy of all on stage.
Playing tracks from their crushingly brilliant 2018 opus The Outer Ones as well as others, the beast that was Revocation were a perfect and, it would seem, the obvious choice to warm up the stage for Cattle Decapitation.
It is very very clear to all who know me plus those that read my reviews and interviews on my adoration for Cattle Decapitation. In the last eight years they have without question released three genre defining and important metal albums. The latest being Death Atlas. Released in November last to worthy accolades and making many (including mine) album of the year title I reckon every country in the world is salivating at having the pleasure of witnessing Cattle Decapitation play before them. Last weeks Oz wide tour was Cattle’s third trip to Australia with each becoming more and more captivating and seeing a hunger and unrelenting drive and brutal deliverance that emanates from the pores of all five members. On vinyl it is one thing to hear Travis Ryan‘s mind blowing and genre bending vocal delivery but seeing and hearing him do it live is quite the other. Contorting his body into a rubbery mixture of shapes to hit notes it would seem it is clear the Ryan goes to great and extreme lengths to be a vocalist and frontman unlike any other. Josh Elmore is an incredible lead guitarist whose distinct razor wire attack and sound, alongside Travis’ vocals define the Cattle Decapitation brand. He was incredible to once again behold yet this time magnificently accompanied by new bass player Olivier Pinard of Cryptopsy and Belisario Dimuzio on rhythm guitar who both in the studio and live add a new fuller and complete sound to Cattle Decapitation that we as fans and listeners never thought they needed. Backed by the machine that is Dave McGraw, watching and listening to that man blast on drums is a sight indeed. His lack of movement and sheer ease of skin pounding execution defies the senses. I have seen very few drummers capable of what he did live. Thomas Haake and Gene Hoglan to name the few! Live Cattle’s setlist consisted solely of tracks from the aforementioned last three albums being Monolith Of Inhumanity , The Anthropocene Extinction  & Death Atlas  Crowd highlight was without question “Forced Gender Reassignment” from Monolith which I absolutely loved but seeing and hearing tracks performed from my favorite album of last year live just left me leaving Max Watts stunned and speechless. Personal faves of the evening were “Bring Back The Plague”, “One Day Closer To The End Of The World” & the brilliant “Time’s Cruel Curtain” left me fucking floored. But truthfully Cattle Decapitation’s entire performance was nothing short of incredible and perfect. From front of house sound to band execution and deliverance. Their next tour or album for that matter can not come soon enough IMHO! m/ m/