Crowbar, Sydney NSW
30th January, 2020
Support: Our Last Enemy
The air is heavy, sticking to the skin and cloying the airways like a gelatinous oil slick. Whether it is the unnaturally heavy humidity, or the anticipation for the night’s main event is unknown, but it does lend a certain sense of urgency to the queue forming outside the Crowbar.
Amassing in the dark grotto that is the band room, the crowd mills about in near silence before Sydney based quartet Our Last Enemy make their way on stage in grey paint and ripped cloth. Launching into their set with little preamble, the wall of sound explodes from the speakers in a sudden onrush of air and dim light. Channeling the likes of Korn and Fear Factory, this band wears their influences boldly – some would say maybe too much. Classic synth sounds bookend the almost indistinguishable riffs pulled from a time oft forgotten. However, the drums were of a higher caliber, injecting a much needed essence of groove and energy into the show.
Escaping the rising tide of moisture permeating the air in the band room while the red velvet curtain covers the stage is a blessing, but it’s not long before the crowd dives back into the depths of the waiting darkness. This time, the chatter and excitement is visible. A strobe flashes, a series of lights bathe the crowd in white, eyes roll in sockets, espousing euphoria and bliss… Perturbator is about to start.
‘Birth of a New Model’, opener of the latest album sets the atmosphere aflame with excitement. Lights rove over the crowd while others strobe, imprinting the writhing form of James Kent onto the retinas. Older tracks like ‘Future Club’ and ‘She is Beautiful…’ stir the crowd into a frenzied mass of dance moves generally seen at underground warehouse raves, and your average metal concert both. The throbbing bass and dystopic melody infect the entire room until they are all roiling in pools of their own sweat and glee. It is undeniable that Pertubator has captured the hearts and souls of metalheads in some uncanny, magical way.
This was not more apparent than when the latest album was on display. New Model exhibits a decidedly darker and crunchier tone, allowing the masses to let their necks loose. ‘God Complex’ hits like a wave against a cliff face; janky tempo changes amidst a churning of soaring, climactic atmosphere, from where you tip into oblivion. Bodies properly dripping with sweat at this point, the air so thick it feels like suffocating inside a sauna, the night continues. Brief respites could be found within the eerie confines of ‘Vantablack’ but the night was generally one of electronic turmoil.
Stumbling out the damp and into the still warm night, one could only feel displaced. Just moments ago, in the wash of rainbow lights and strangling heat, what was witnessed was two of the most enigmatic performers to grace the Crowbar, glimpsed only behind a veil of smoke and glare.
Review by Dylonov Tomasivich (@DRTomasivich)
Birth of a New Model
She is Young, She is Beautiful, She is Next
Corrupted by Design
She Moves Like a Knife
Diabolus Ex Machina/Weapons for Children
Humans are Such Easy Prey
Tactical Precision Array
The Cult of 2112