Crowbar, Brisbane QLD
November 15th, 2018
Supports: Siberian Hell Sounds and Lo! and YLVA
Awash in a foreboding red light, Siberian Hell Sounds take to the stage.
Two seconds later, the band prove their name to be fairly apt as the sounds they make in a live setting are no doubt being recorded for future use in one of the nine circles of hell itself. The guitars and drums pummel you into the ground, while their frontman sounds as if he were possessed by a demon as his screams take your soul and devour it, leaving you feeling like you’ve been eaten alive from the inside out and all you have left is a husk.
Lo! at this point in their career need no introduction.
A sonic assault on the senses, their mixture of hardcore, post-metal and whatever else they feel like goes over particularly well as the crowd is bashed in the face repeatedly by riff after riff of crushing sonic devastation. Frontman Sam Dillion is a particularly menacing figure as he looms, half-naked, sweating over the crowd, screaming into their faces, his eyes pop noticeably out of his head like he is about to pull you apart with his bare hands.
YLVA on the other hand, crush you in a different sense.
Combining the best of Neurosis, Isis, and Cult of Luna, the band comes to the stage bathed in blinding white light. Their songs displaying a breathtaking depth of texture and mood as they extend guitar chords until they break, dragging you down into the depths of their foreboding mood and menace, before exploding and sending the crowd into a hypnotic frenzy of slow rhythmic headbanging.
Amenra is playing their first show in Australia tonight.
Cloaked in his ceremonial garb, vocalist Colin H. Van Eeckhout wiry frame faces away from the crowd. He begins the show hitting the roof with a metal pole. Over and over again in rhythmic succession, the instruments join in slowly, dripping in foreboding, intoxicating menace until the room explodes and you’re left in awe as Eekhout screams out his tortured voice into the depths of your soul, while black and white images play repeatedly over the band.
The second song sees the crowd finally join this ceremonial procession in full force, the crowd bang their heads over and over again to the slow, heavy riffs, while Eekhout spews forth light and shade with his shattered, fragile soft voice, before rending the world beneath you in half with his lacerating, sorrowful words.
Removing his shirt at some point, he finally faces the crowd, obviously enthralled by what he is weaving onstage. Dripping in sweat and twitching as if possessed. The floor opens up as bodies pile in and join their master in his trancelike procession. The instruments pummel you until you can feel every drum, guitar riff and bass line throughout your body.
Their final song sees bodies bang over and over again to the powerful piece being performed on stage. Eekhout screams out his soul until the final notes ring out of the venue. Afterward, there is no goodbye. The band simply leave the stage and you walk out of the room a different person.
As if you’ve just had your body put through a meat grinder and now you’ve come out the other side a different person.
Gig Review by Kaydan Howison.
November 17 @ Max Watts, Melbourne