The Black Dahlia Murder
Max Watt’s, Brisbane QLD
May 11th 2017
Supported by: Unravel, Whoretopsy, Putrid Pile,
Walking into Max Watt’s Brisbane, the atmosphere tonight can’t really escape the elephant in the room, whether it’s the discounted merch on the walls or the comments being yelled from the crowd. Let’s just get it out of the way, The Faceless aren’t here tonight and I didn’t buy a discounted shirt (the merch girl not so quietly telling me it was “probably a good idea”).
Who fucking cares anyway? The Black Dahlia Murder are here and they’ve brought a group of amazing bands along with them.
The first of these great live acts tonight are Perth act Unravel who set about pulverising you into the ground with megaton sledgehammer sized riffs. Their gargantuan sound just fills the room, leaving the lucky punters who bared witness to drown in a sea of chaos and despair. There’s very little head banging going on, but that’s to be expected given their opening band status. Given the time and opportunity, this up and coming band will be one to watch in the future.
Subsequently Whoretopsy heralding from Melbourne (all the best bands come from Melbourne) don’t really need any introduction at this point.
From the very moment they walk onto the stage, Whoretopsy employ their brand of death/slam whatever metal to great and devastating effect – the level of ferocity being churned out almost defies explanation. Vocalist Storma is unfortunately missing from the tour, but Zac Bergholtz is more than an adequate replacement – stalking the stage with menace and rage that has punters eat out of the palm of their hand. The technical wizardry does more than enough to send many people in the crowd into fits of moshing rage and head-banging fits – further proving Whoretopsy to be one of Australia’s most important death metal talents.
Following on from Whoretopsy is one-man death metal act Putrid Pile who for the uninitiated (me) performs all of the instruments himself and plays them all through a drum machine/backing track. I’ll be honest, maybe it’s just me, but I honestly just don’t get it?
Though judging from the half-hearted head-banging witnessed during the performance, along with the people just sitting down or starting at their phones – it’s safe to say I might not be the only one. Now don’t get me wrong, the songs themselves are undeniably talented, even if the vocals are pretty generic at this point in death metal – but when looped through the speakers as opposed to being played live, it just sounds a little off. This is further exasperated by the constant stopping to program another one of the songs and because of this, it slows the whole performance down. While bands like Godflesh have managed to turn this into an art, Putrid Pile comes off as sloppy.
So now the time has finally arrived, for The Faceless… oh wait.
Instead The Black Dahlia Murder (who I haven’t seen since the Soundwave Festival when Five Finger Death Punch played into their set and got bottled on the stage) are finally here to party the roof off the fucking venue.
This band never disappoints and from the beginning, the venue is nothing but a maelstrom of flying limbs and sweating bodies as the punters give lead singer Trevor Strnad their blood, sweat and tears – his hulking from moving about the stage – waving his hands around like a possessed drunk conductor, commanding a death metal symphony. The rest of the band, in particularly lead guitarist Brandon Ellis only add to the drama by crafting a tightly woven machine around their manancial conductor vocalist and add new life to the solos of the iconic death metal music.
Plenty of fan-favourites are played tonight with lots of attention on older material from the Nocturnal days such as opening song ‘Everything Went Black’ and the enthralling ‘What a Horrible Night to Have a Curse’ which continue to captivate. Meanwhile newer songs like ‘Vlad, Son of the Dragon’ showcase the new addition of more elaborate gang vocal performances, which only add to the drama of a live show. The shining hour is of course given to my favourite song ‘Raped in Hatred by Vines of Thorns’ not only because it’s a song about The Evil Dead but it contains some of the catchiest most infectious moments of their entire career.
The band even manage to throw some shade at their missing tour mates by dedicating a song to all “the bands who did turn up” because there’s nothing like a bit of shade to make your metal show feel complete. Special mentions also go out to the Pink Power Ranger crowdsurfing and moshing in the pit and an extra special shout out to the male punter who threw some pink underwear onstage – you’re not fooling anyone mate.
Honestly, there wasn’t a moment of this show that wasn’t completely unforgettable, The Black Dahlia Murder are only growing tighter as a live unit the further they get into their illustrious career – the only mistake you’ll make is not going to see this band in the flesh at least once in your life. Take a break from Mario Kart 8, forget about eating for a week – I promise; this band is worth it.
Photo Gallery courtesy of Gethin Hill (Gethin Hill Photography)
Please credit Wall of Sound and Photographer if you repost.
The Black Dahlia Murder
The Black Dahlia Murder – Australian Tour 2017
with Putrid Pile, Whoretopsy and Unravel
May 12th – Manning Bar – Sydney
May 13th – Corner Hotel – Melbourne