Crowbar, Brisbane QLD
9th March, 2019
Supported by: Hybrid Nightmares, Kaerulean & Consumed
The number of people that had decided to skip Download Festival’s disgusting, depraved toilets and see Anaal Nathrakh instead, was heartwarming; a small crowd overall, but an energetic and passionate one to say the least. The throat tearing brutality would have to wait a bit longer though, we have opening bands to discuss.
Consumed exhibit a sort of blackened grind that is not entirely unique, but very listenable. Blast beats, fast and sharp guitars and the angst-ridden throaty screams you’d expect. The Crowbar feels like their very domain; the low ceilings, the small stage, they thrived in this environment. However, the music on offer just wasn’t very dynamic or interesting. By far the best part was when they slowed everything down in the last two songs, a guitarist diverting his Aaron Turner vocals into the mix to sludge up the stage and add a bit of contrast to it all.
When you can hear influences in a band’s music, it’s good. It often helps you pinpoint where they’re working from, what they’re goals are. So I must posit that Kaerulean’s goal is to sound like Between the Buried and Me and The Faceless with no divergence. Musically, the band jumped all over the spectrum, from a calliope inspired tinkling to a classic death metal chug, and indeed everything in between. A whispering growl, a screamed exhortation, Devin Townsend cleans… It was all just too much. Too much to be shoved into one show let alone an entire discography. The disjointedness heavily affected any sort of connection that one might have had with their music, unfortunately.
Hybrid Nightmares, on the other hand, know exactly what their niche is. Despite not liking being called black metal, they play a relatively blackened form of modern metal. Recalling Dimmu Borgir at times with a very ‘Puritania’ vocal style, Loki threw his voice around a multitude of new and old songs. The drumming was by far the most enjoyable aspect of their presence; smooth and dynamic at all times, switching from blast beats to snare heavy sections to buoy up the atmosphere, Batman (don’t ask) worked the kit to its fullest whilst headbanging like a bobblehead attached to a ceiling fan. The show was lacking a real sort of electric energy, but the songs themselves were competent and sometimes, that’s enough to get you through the night.
But the time had finally come for this tiny stage to host the leviathan of the abyss; Anaal Nathrakh. Immediately launching into the single off the latest album, ‘Obscene as Cancer’, the previously sleepy crowd erupted like a volcano. Banging their heads and limbs like it was the last night on earth; and from the absolute misanthropy of Mick Kenney’s inner mind coming from the speakers, they could be right. ‘Forward’ saw some of the craziest crowd interactions, with a wave of crowd surfers suffusing the room, pretty admirable for a room of such attendance.
One thing I must say is the stage presence of the band was quite welcomed. Joking, conversational and just excited to be there, Dave Hunt shared some tales, some humorous, some heartfelt, but always sincere. It’s quite a thing to see him instantly switch to the brutal persona that growls, howls and tears a rip in the souls of all present the moment ‘Bellum Omnium…’ or ‘Between Shit and Piss We are Born’ proceed onwards. The older songs have aged well, like a mummified corpse Hunt’s screams have only gotten better and his cleans… Well, you listened to Some Kind of Horror.
The setlist ranged from the pretty old to all through Desideratum and The Whole of the Law. It was these latter songs that really got the crowd moving. The massive ‘Monstrum in Animo’ and the evil ‘Depravity Favours the Bold’ created a nihilistic black hole in the crowd, sucking all who weren’t wary in to never be seen in the light of day again. But the highlight was really the possessing force of the encore, ‘The Joystream.’ The unintelligible demonic tongues that make up the bulk of the track, paired with Kenney’s insane as shit programming resulted in an absolute annihilation of the self. Never before has a night of music been so dismissive of the human race.
- Obscene as Cancer
- Monstrum in Animo
- Depravity Favours the Bold
- Hold Your Children Close and Pray for Oblivion
- In the Constellation of the Black Widow
- Bellum Omnium Contra Omnes
- Forging Towards the Sunset
- More of Fire than Blood
- Submission is for the Weak
- Between Shit and Piss We are Born
- Do Not Speak
- The Joystream
Reviewed by: Dylonov Tomasivich