The Black Dahlia Murder
The Factory Theatre, Sydney NSW
27th September 2018
Supported by: Aborted, Zeolite & Anno Domini
Much like any genre of music, there are a myriad of offshoots in the death metal world, but none are as instantly gratifying as your straight up, early 2000s death metal. Intensely fast, groovy and melodic with an unhealthy dose of crushing brutality. Bands that have continued this species of music continue to be wonderful, and are (you guessed it) definitely present tonight.
Sydney based Anno Domini had the onerous task of warming the crowd up as they walked in from the blustery cold. Whilst a small contingent of hardcore fans thronged about the stage, the simple, straightforward and frankly generic performance did nothing for me personally. The multi layered vocals were a nice touch but made me feel that the band could stand to lose at least one member. It almost looked like the stage was dominating the band as they ambled around the stage, not the other way ‘round. Instead of getting me fired up, this band left me feeling colder than ever.
The next attempt to ignite the fires of death metal passion were the Melbournian Zeolite. Now these guys know how to play. RS Frost was massaging his bass like a hacker in a 90s movie while Elias Kalatzakias pounded his drums as only an epileptic stenographer could. Indeed, every member of the band showcased their immense skill on their instruments (vocals included) throughout the entire show. However, this is not to say it was perfect. This show was like watching Stanley Kubrick direct Crazy Rich Asians; the skill and artistry is there, but the material they’re working with is not. Heavily structured songs and breakdowns left me wanting a bit more to digest.
But none of these flaws showed up when Aborted took the stage. Hailing from the mid 90s, this Belgian threshing machine knows exactly what they’re doing when it comes to writing brutally pulverising death metal. With the ability to create mosh pits out of breakneck drums and virtuoso guitarwork, tracks like ‘Necrotic Manifesto’ and ‘Retrogore’ clawed their way out of the amps and tornadoed around the room. Newest song ‘Terrovision’ was no different. The crowd followed suit, banging their heads as if they were controlled by a noose stuck to a metronome. The speed, skill and tempo changes of Aborted’s music create a raging inferno of energy that vocalist Sven de Caluwé uses to obliterate any sense of despondence the crowd may have held.
As the fires of the night got increasingly turbulent, it was among these scorching tongues of flame and anticipation that The Black Dahlia Murder burst onto the stage. Trevor Strand in all of his goofy glory, shrieks forth a bloodcurdling cry to kick off the opening track of latest album Nightbringers (our review here) It is astounding to actually see how he manages to get all of those words out at that speed. Running through the next two tracks chronologically was a dream come true. In fact, all of the tracks of the new album were brutally resplendent; bringing back a uniqueness and energy that their music lacked since Everblack. New guitarist Brandon Ellis took the stage like a fucking firestorm. Every solo, every single neck mangling riff bled intensity, passion and conviction, accompanied by a textbook whirlwind. The guy is a god.
Whilst they played every single song of Nightbringers (no complaints) there was no neglecting the older material, Nocturnal got a lot of love. The title track and ‘Deathmask Divine’ whipped the crowd into a diabolic frenzy; every person within four metres of the band flung themselves at each other like cannonballs in a pirate battle, sending lank hair, loose shoes and beer cans flying through the pit. The last track of the set was none other than Deflorate’s ‘I Will Return.’ One of the best closing tracks of all time, Alan Cassidy blasted his way through the drums until I thought his arms would fall off, as my own would due to the massive, chaotic mosh. After the band left to thunderous applause, I’m sure they went to “smoke the most cigarettes ever” as a reward. Well deserved. Very well fucking deserved.
Gig Review — Dylonov Tomasivich
- Of God, and Serpent, of Spectre and Snake
- Malenchantments of the Necrosphere
- Kings of the Nightworld
- Catacomb Hecatomb
- As Good as Dead
- The Lonely Deceased
- Statutory Ape
- On Stirring Seas of Salted Blood
- Everything Went Black
- What a Horrible Night to Have a Curse
- Deathmask Divine
- I Will Return
The Black Dahlia Murder – Nightbringers Australian Tour
with Aborted and Zeolite
Sept 28th – Brisbane, Crowbar – SOLD OUT