Crowbar, Brisbane QLD
June 1st, 2017
Supported by: Amicable Treason, Earth Rot
Have you ever imagined what it’s like to witness the end of all life? You’re just standing on the edge of a cliff as the world burns below – humans screaming as they sacrifice countless lives to whatever god they believe in. Every ancient being of myth, exterminating us all in some final untold calamity.
Well, that’s what it’s like to be at a Fleshgod Apocalypse concert.
Up first are Brisbane heretics Amicable Treason who take to the stage armed to the teeth with an onslaught of groove metal weapons straight out of the bronze age. Fill-in vocalist Hamish McSorley commands the room with his powerful presence, emanating pain and anger through his raw, versatile vocal gymnastics. Guitarists Eric and James Moors add to this with their monumental riffs – the kind of riffs that compel you to bang your head or die from resisting their call. They’re a great act, even if their calls for a wall of death are met with everyone standing around, waiting to move back to the stage; as five drunk people run into each other. Which will never not be as comical as it sounds.
Subsequent prophets of the apocalypse Earthrot from Perth employ their blackened death metal with delirious abandon – megaton sized riffs smash you at an almost superhuman speed. Vaguely reminiscent of Anaal Nathrakh but with a more groove/death metal slant, Vocalist Jared Bridgeman stalks the stage, howling like an undead banshee out of the pits of hell while his cohorts create a maelstrom of calamity for your eardrums. The band prove once and for all Sanzu aren’t a fluke when it comes to death metal extremity from the far-flung realm of Western Australia and leave you more than ready Fleshgod Apocalpyse.
Appearing onstage tonight dressed as undead conductors, risen from the pit of Hades itself. The battle cry of “March Royale” from their latest magnum opus King fills the small, intimate venue with anticipation – the haunting tones giving way to the fury of “In Aternum” which swallows the crowd whole in religious ecstasy and sends us all to the sweet embrace of the rapture. Heavily focused on their new album with only a few older tracks such as the majestic “Pathfinder” thrown in. It’s hardly a problem when your body of work is this strong.
The addition of live vocalist Veronica Bordacchini invokes images of a priestess singing praises to the nameless gods – the bloodcurdling anguish of lead vocalist Tommaso Riccardi cleaving the world in two, as the crowd give their bodies for sacrifice at his altar. It’s much easier to think of this as a battle for you life, instead of a simple gig as songs such as “The Fool” and the threatening almost doom slab of “Cold as Perfection” consume your very being with open-armed incantations to the end of the world.
I cannot overstate how tight the entire band are tonight, especially drummer Francesco Paoli who is the backbone for this symphony of death and destruction being conducted onstage. This is most evident on earlier songs from the Agony album, the faster drumbeat reverberating throughout your bones until they’re ready to break.
Ending their set with the punishingly heavy “In Honour of Reason” it’s a devastating reminder of everything this band has done tonight as they invoke the aural equivalent of end of the world for a final time before leaving the stage and disappearing into the night. Which leaves everyone else to pick themselves off the floor, attempting to convince themselves the minotaur isn’t real and the world really isn’t burning in flames.
Revisit our chat with guitarist Tommaso Riccardi here
Fleshgod Apocalypse – Australian Tour
Earth Rot, Rise Of Avernus and The Seer
Saturday, June 3 @ Max Watts, Melbourne
Hybrid Nightmares, Earth Rot and Hollow World