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LAMB OF GOD, BRAND OF SACRIFICE: Eaton’s Hill Hotel 25/03/24

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Words by Jimmy Glinster

Pix by Squirty G

After another massive drive up to Eatons Hill Hotel, I got held up out front busting for a piss because the security wouldn’t let us in until doors open. I guess they are just doing their job, and I’m probably just having a whinge for the sake of having a whinge because I took the time to do a little walk through with my selfie stick before I headed for a piss in the immaculately clean toilets.

Anyway, enough about my bladder. I head to the bar to grab a JD as well as a very conveniently placed Bacon and Cheese Traveller pie. While there I run into Art Cruz, who I apparently toured with back in the day when he played with Winds of Plague. Lucky Dan Maynard was there to reintroduce us because I’m shit with names and faces. Turns out I have a really bad memory too because when I asked Art when he got the new gig, he reminded me that he’d been playing with them for 7 years, which started just after that very Devildriver tour we were both a part of. It helps to do your own research, or so I’ve heard.

With all that pre-show ramble out of the way, the stage darkens, and the Pokémon theme songs rings out over the P.A. Shortly after that wraps up and some much darker and heavier noise kicks in. Brand of Sacrifice then take the stage and absolutely destroy the crowd with some massive riffs.

It turns out the band is playing instrumentally tonight because their singer is sick. The same thing happened yesterday at KnotFest, but luckily, Krispy and I got to interview him in Melbourne before he lost his voice. Krispy seems to think my question about the bands pop sensibility may have upset him and made him rethink his life.

It doesn’t sound very poppy in here though, it’s heavy as fuck and the lack of vocals lets the samples and electronics push through the mix a little more. These dudes just keep pushing out monster riff after monster riff and the crowd are getting into it as much as they can. Their guitarist asks the crowd to split for a wall of death and they happily oblige.

It’s obvious that it’s just not as much fun without some bloke screaming at you and spitting all over you though. And as much as a I like instrumentals … this one is a bit long winded for me. Credit where credit is due though. at least they still came out and put on a show.

Another call for a circle pit gets exactly that, and the breakdown the band just dropped ripped me a new one. I’ve got no idea what any of these songs are called because no-one is screaming the song titles at me in an inaudible rumble. I also got no assistance from our photographer Squirty who had one job, “get a photo of the set list”. The set list doesn’t really matter though because all in all it’s a massive show, vocals or not. I can’t wait to see these guys when they return in full force! We all get a few minutes to settle as the stage switchover takes place, and when we start hearing line checks I know things are about to get serious. This does go on for a little while though, but goddamn those guitar tones sound killer so I continue to wait patiently as the stage crew spend a fair bit more time fucking around.

Lamb of God finally enter the stage, and they spend no time fucking around by blasting into Memento Mori. The place is now packed, and the crowd are fucking banging their heads and bouncing around like absolute maniacs. Walk With Me in Hell further whips the crowd into a frenzy and the crowd take their chance to start screaming along in the choruses. Vocalist Randy Blythe then makes his token jump from the drum riser mid song, and we all know this shit is serious!

This band has always been about the riffs, and the riffs just keep coming. Fists full of horns are constantly raised in the air and the crowd screams along at every opportunity in Hourglass. The band then disappear off stage for a moment and we are all wondering what is going on, but then the intro for Resurrection Man plays and they very quickly rip back into it. After a couple more tracks the string slingers take a chance to do another quick guitar switch out, and now we’ve all got something to die for.

As I take a quick look up at crowd on the mezzanine, I notice the ceiling and realise that this place is way too nice for a metal gig. The ceilings are reminiscent of a cathedral with their renaissance architecture. It reminds me of a church which I guess is quite fitting for a band called Lamb of God. And to be honest, they are blowing the roof off this place so those ceilings may not look too good tomorrow.

At this point I’ve decided to move from my position side of stage as I’m in the direct firing line of all the crowd surfers running back out to the pit from behind the barriers. It’s intense, as they come running out one after another, and they don’t give a shit about me standing there with my selfie stick trying to make reels and write a review. Oh yeah, I do that shit now too, I even have a fucking Tik Tok apparently. You might see some footage of the show on there if ya care enough to look!

A couple more guitar changes punch us through a few more bangers and into Omens before another guitar change. It’s a tuning thing in case you are wondering, it’s not just to show off the guitar arsenal. Well, maybe a little bit of that.

An hour in and it’s starting to feel like we are getting near the end of the set. At least for this old fella anyway. The pit a still going fucking hard though, as is the band, and if they don’t ease up soon though, I might be Laid to Rest.

It’s a true testament to the band, the promoters, and the metal scene in Australia to see so many metal rednecks back it up two nights in a row and still pack out the venue. KnotFest, it’s been a blast. Let’s all do it again in 2025!

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