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Gig Review: Psycroptic + Goatwhore + Supports, Sydney

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Psycroptic + Goatwhore + Disentomb + Ouroboros + Daemon Pyre + Ouroboros + Disentomb
Factory Theatre, Sydney
27 March 2015
Review by Gary Grim
Photo by David Youdell

This night promised to be huge and heavy with 5 bands performing, 2 of whom were headliners; one band from the States playing blackened death metal and whose name conjures up images of Bovidae/Caprinae prostitution, the other hailing from Tasmania whose name…um…is like “psychotic” with an R instead of the H and another P thrown in… Okay, I don’t know what it actually means but they play technical death metal.

Starting off proceedings, however, were Sydney’s very own Daemon Pyre whose killer debut album was just unleashed a couple of months ago. This was a great band to get the ball rolling, their music being comprised of elements of traditional old school death metal but with many melodic moments strewn throughout giving their sound an epic quality at times. That said, this melody never retracted from the heaviness of these songs which were thoroughly successful at getting the now growing crowd pumped for the rest of the night. The excellent guitar solos and a strong performance by vocalist Sam Rilatt were the highlights of this set that seemed to be very short but severely brutal.

Next up were another Sydney based band, Ouroboros. I was looking forward to seeing these very serious tech-death metallers deliver their unique brand of jagged, cold and mechanical riffing but this time around they presented the audience with something more with some new material. Their usual technical style was still prevalent but now with added symphonic aspects which bore some similarities to groups such as Septicflesh or Fleshgod Apocalypse. Metal bands sometimes struggle when they try to blend orchestral elements into the mix but my first impression was that Ouroboros pulled it off remarkably well. This was another short set but it left me curious to hear the product of this group’s next studio outing.

Brisbane’s Disentomb burst onto the stage with an impressive furious energy. These guys did not mess around, they came out and played frantic, crushingly heavy death metal. Vocalist Jordan James seemed to put everything into his performance, stalking around the stage like a man possessed and spewing forth some seriously demonic guttural vocals whilst the rest of the band executed these songs in a tight but frenzied manner. Each song was like a short, sharp pummeling to the face with absolutely no punches pulled. Yet again, these guys weren’t on the stage for long but the speed and the aggression that these guys played with ensured that they got the most out of the short time they had.

When Goatwhore, coming to us from Louisiana in New Orleans, graced us with their presence, they managed to keep me wrapped for the entirety of their set. This band’s performance was everything a metal gig should be. Chunky, groovy riffs teeming with death, black and thrash metal influences, insane growls from one of the most charismatic frontmen in metal, namely Louis Benjamin Falgoust II, and a rhythm section as solid as Stonehenge. There was a multitude of hair flying about, furious air guitar, Gene Simmons style tongue exposure…and that was just Falgoust! To accompany the insanely good music was the hilarious banter between songs. Falgoust urged the crowd to either go nuts in the pit or move aside to drink whiskey and enjoy the show, he addressed fans up the front who were getting a bit too touchy-feely, cracked numerous impromptu jokes and all before introducing their song entitled Fucked by Satan. Being a headlining act, this show lasted for a decent length as the band covered their last four albums, mainly focusing on Blood for the Master and Constricting Rage of the Merciless. Goatwhore left the stage victorious and left me thinking that Psycroptic were going to have to pull out some pretty big guns to top them.

If feel as though Psycroptic did manage to at least reach the benchmark set by Goatwhore although, if the audience were anything to go by, some would say they surpassed it. As fans of the band already know, Psycroptic’s music leans more on the technical side of death metal. What this group displayed in covering their last three albums during their time on stage was that they can not only reside comfortably within the bounds already conceived of the tech-death sound but they are not afraid to explore the realms beyond said boundaries with hints at some almost prog-like elements here and there. Each song was met by aggressive enthusiasm from the pit with many fans crowd surfing to the stage to hang out with vocalist Jason Peppiatt who embraced each and every one of them before returning each stage invader to the rabid congregation. below

Whilst following an act that was surely difficult to top, Psycroptic delivered a set that was both heavy and clearly entertaining in the most brutal of ways to the gathered onlookers. All in all, it certainly reinforced the idea that I knew; Australia has some very good metal acts on offer, worthy of your support.

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