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Gig Review: Sydney – Napalm Death + Supports

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Napalm Death + Carcass + Extortion
The Factory Theatre, Sydney
18 April 2015
Review by Matt Bolton

Always a good venue sound wise The Factory seemed like the right place for this mammoth bill this evening. Having a history with this venue, twisting my ankle on the way to the toilet at the Amorphis gig, there was going to be no injuries tonight. This night was going to be something else.

Openers Extortion from Perth were one tight hardcore outfit. The four-piece packed a punch from opening song with a circle pit going mad behind me. The band didn’t fuck around with any talking in-between songs, smashing through 23 songs in thirty minutes. With songs such as Pull the Pin clocking in at 21 seconds you can see why. Fast drum beats, monster riffs and heavy bass lines leading the way Extortion never disappoint. Vocals dominate the set with intense hardcore roars. Ending the set with a very special guest Barney of Napalm Death this got the crowd into a frenzy, if they weren’t already in one.

After the perfect opening act for the night things were about to get even more intense with the sounds of 1985 blasting through the P.A. Carcass took the stage ripping into new track off their latest phenomenal release Surgical Steel being Unfit For Human Consumption. Jeff Walker keeps the crowd amused in between songs with his humour, referring to his band as “pommy bastards”. The front row looked good looking to Jeff but he was lying cos he couldn’t see in front, being “blind as a bat” as he called it. “Is anyone there?” Jeff asks the crowd who respond with a giant cheer.

Dissing Dave Mustaine and Megadeth, referring to them as one of the shitty bands Jeff’s humour is in fine form tonight. Jeff’s shrieks were surreal as were the riffs of Bill Steer and Ben Ash. The samples before both Incarnated Solvent Abuse and Corporal Jigsore Quandary let the crowd know what was coming next. The drumming of Daniel Wilding was stellar providing that familiar beat to start on the latter, and those amazing riffs and solo from Incarnated Solvent Abuse were highlights. Delving into their lengthy back catalogue; Genital Grinder, Pyosisified (Rotten to the Gore) and Reek of Putrefaction were good to hear. Keep On Rotting In the Free World and Buried Dreams were also highlights. Finishing off with Heartwork it’s no wonder the mighty Carcass returned to our shores after the not so recent Surgical Steel tour. It was great to witness their flawless technical musicianship second time round.

The smoke set the stage as Napalm Death made a much welcomed arrival. Barney moves around the stage like a mad man. So full of energy after an amazing 34 years, Napalm would have to be the hardest working band out there. Belting through Vision Conquest and I Abstain it was a great intro. Barney knows how to work the crowd and if the man didn’t take up singing he could have been a comedian. “Waiters at your service, delivering grind on a plate,” jokes Barney, also apologising that their guitarist couldn’t be there tonight, “Tonight we have Munky from Korn. Are you ready?” Going back to first release with title track Scum and mixing it up with new tracks off Apex Predator. A great selection with, Smash a Single Digit, How the Years Condemn, Cesspits and the ambient, Dear Slum Land Lord.

Shane Embury belted the bass like a beast throughout set with Munky doing a great job and Danny Herrera providing blast beats and drumming like a demonic god. Throwing in a cover of Dead Kennedys classic Nazi Punks Fuck Off for good measure and squeezing in You Suffer twice, with Barney asking the crowd if they noticed the big lead up to the song. Suffer the Children was a definite highlight for me.

The Australian Death Crusher Tour proved to be an event of monstrous proportions. Leaving the gig with a smile on my face it got even bigger as I caught Jeff Walker on the way to the tour bus with a box of Pizza hut in hand. I shook the man’s hand and congratulated him on a killer show. This night was really something else.

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