Tribulation – Gig Review 18th June @ Crowbar, Brisbane

Supports – Chemical Cascades and Anatomy
Crowbar, Brisbane
June 18th, 2016

Black metal has always been a special form of extreme metal; the visual aesthetic, the guitar tones that sound like they were spewed forth from some unknown void and the religious mysticism that permeates every aspect of the culture have always allowed it to remain elevated above other forms of extreme metal. Tonight further exemplifies why this genre continues to persist as Brisbane’s Crowbar hosts some of the best examples of this genre I have seen in a long time.

Local Brisbane conjurers of mysticism Chemical Cascades are first up and have perfected the art of utterly destroying your senses. Their sound, vaguely reminiscent of the well-worn path trodden by Wolves in the Throne Room, weaves a spell that stays trapped inside your head, their riffs leaving you awash in a sea of unrelenting despair. Lead singer Masokist screams and squeals atop their aural sensory experience and adds a layer of depth to the unholy communion. The guitars solo and move between fast and slow passages with ease, leaving the crowd to bang their heads.

Next up are Australian legends Anatomy who recently returned from the grave and have crawled out of this abyss armed with their Norwegian influenced old school blackened-death metal to show all of the new kids on the block how it’s done. Their old school influenced chaos causes many people in the crowd to lose their heads in a sea of hair as they match the intensity of the sonic experience being vomited out upon them. Vocalist Marty jokes along with the crowd as he consumes cans of beer and takes people back on a journey to the 90’s. His banter between songs becoming increasingly incoherent as he appears to becoming drunker as the set moves along. However this doesn’t affect any of his potency on the actual tracks as he screams along with his band and rides us all into the darkness.

Finally it’s onto Tribulation who in their relatively short time (for a band) have managed to create waves in the black metal scene with their musical output. Coming to Australia from Sweden for the first time and bringing their new album Children of The Night along with them. They are the whole black metal package as they appear onstage covered in copse-paint which adds a depth of theatricality to their set.

Starting things off with album opener ‘Strange Gateways Beckon’ lead singer Johannes Andersson summons forth an almost sexy quality as his screams are interwoven with guitarists Adam Zaars and Jonathan Hultén masterful melodic compositions. This is further exemplified by the tunefulness of the next song ‘Melancholia‘ which continues the almost erotic quality of their intoxicating black metal and causes everybody to move their bodies as they are engulfed by the masterful performance onstage.

This is broken up by their older tracks which change up this sexiness for a more traditional but no less potent form of black metal which turns the crowd into a living organism of banging heads and moving bodies. Each member plays their part perfectly, especially the two guitarists who sing and leer at the crowd as they help complete the spell being conjured.  Ending the set in a rather abrupt fashion with the amazing ‘When the Sky Is Black with Devils’ they have everybody losing their collective minds for one final time before leaving the stage and making everybody wish they could have stuck around for a little longer.

By Kaydan Howison


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