170 Russell, Melbourne VIC
April 5th, 2019
Melbourne must have left an impression on Ishahn last year when he was here for the Direct Underground Festival (our Sydney coverage here). The Norwegian black metal pioneer was back again, this time with his band Emperor for the first time on Australian soil, with two packed shows in Melbourne.
Tasmania’s Ruins opened up for an almost full 170 Russell. These guys f*cking killed it, (even my wife who doesn’t like metal turned to me during their set and said “I wasn’t expecting to like this”). It’s no surprise though these guys have been crushing since the early 00’s and feature members of Psycroptic and Sea Scouts. Had Emperor not been playing, I would definitely still gone just to see Ruins. Do yourself a favour and check them out if they aren’t on your radar.
The guys from Emperor came out looking a bit more like dads than one would expect from a band that were a part of that infamous Norwegian Black Metal scene of the early to mid-nineties. The spikes, robes and corpse paint have been replaced with spectacles and plain black shirts and jeans. What hasn’t changed is the power and intensity that they have become known for. Sometimes, when you see a band that has reformed and started touring again, it can be disappointing. It can seem like they are just doing a half-hearted cash grab (here’s looking at you Black Flag). So I often go to see these bands with a sense of trepidation. That was not the case for Emperor. They were heavy, tight and put on a phenomenal performance. That one was definitely a tick off the ol’ bucket list.
Gig Review & Photo Gallery by Sean Fabre-Simmonds. Insta: @gravy_havock
Please credit Wall of Sound and Sean Fabre-Simmonds if you use published photos