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Gig review: The Black Dahlia Murder + Supports, Sydney

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The Black Dahlia Murder + Psycroptic + Boris the Blade + Colossvs
The Factory Theatre, Sydney
27 June 2015
Review by Salla Harjula
Photo by Joel Anderson

Saturday night at the Factory. Extreme brutal death all night long.

Melbourne is well represented on the warm up front tonight. Savage deathcore act Colossvs hit the stage early on. There’s already a good-sized crowd in attendance though. The loyal mob, in pitch-black attire to the last man, is treated to a relentlessly harsh and desolate display of tight tech death. The outfit pretty much sets the tone spot on for the rest of the night.

Their fellow townsmen, Boris the Blade, I personally had somehow managed to hear nothing of before now. Boy, was ignorant me in for a rude awakening.

The five-piece launches into an explosion of violence, all compellingly abrupt bass drum patterns with low tuned guitar riffs in sync. It’s like an extreme deathcore cousin of Fear Factory with tech complexity upped to the next level. The bombshell start is the lead up to a show that leaves me pretty blown away with impressed surprise by the end of it.

Psycroptic blasts off with Cold, my absolute fave off their latest album. And so it’s doubly a shame when drummer Dave Haley’s trigger breaks, and the meant-to-be-explosive launch is inevitably crippled. He plays through it like a boss, though, and one trigger replacement later it’s time to get down to the real business.

And the real business with this band is just so ridiculously enjoyable. Vocalist Jason Peppiatt has an utterly powerful, physical stage presence along with his versatility as a growler. Both guys on the strings play super tight. And of course Haley’s artistry behind his kit is a solid joy to watch.

It’s weird how convoluted technical stuff like this can simultaneously have so much natural groove to it, but these guys achieve it and more. Awesomeness abounds especially on Echoes to Come and lightning fast (Ob)Servant.

It’s a Black Dahlia Murder night though, through and through, if you ask the audience. The already gathered, staunchly headbanging crowd suddenly triples out of the blue, when the Americans climb up and take off.

For a band that takes the Swedish-y death metal-y thing to its ultimate gear, they are surprisingly adorable on stage. Especially vocalist Trevor Strnad, with his cheerful goofball antics, and waltzing steps on any song that goes in triple time, is really kind of heartwarming. He’s a seasoned pro as a screamer too, switching between registers effortlessly.

That’s actually what one should say about the whole band. They are consummate experts of their genre, and pull off a smooth and fluid show. A smooth and fluid brutal death show of barbaric murderousness, but nevertheless. Classic What a Horrible Night to Have a Curse is the clear crowd fave, and sure enough it’s one of the most powerful pieces in the set.

The band ends on a three-song encore for an audience that might just have started a riot, if they hadn’t got their heroes back for some more. So yeah, everyone got what they came for tonight, most def.

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