The Tivoli, Brisbane QLD
February 13th, 2020
Supports: Descent & Revocation
Men and women line up around the block, smoking, laughing, enduring the endless rain leaving Brisbane awash in a technicolour nightmare, while the looming sign of The Tivoli illuminates those in attendance with the realisation that Cattle Decapitation has made it to town.
Descent takes to the stage under a banner of wailing feedback and darkness, before the flashing strobes bombard the crowd with the threat of a seizure somewhere in the depths of their future. Their opening status is more than evident by the lack of movement in the crowd, who seem more interested in the merch stand than they are in a band who perform an adequate set of competent, grind-whatevercore.
Revocation has the pit open in the darkness with nothing more than a single note. The crowd flail about endlessly, with sweat and beer permeating the atmosphere as, vocalists David Davidson and Dan Gargiulo tradeoff with each other, and grind our bones into dust with blistering solos, interesting guitar tones and songs that do nothing but force you to give the band and yourself every inch of energy you have left in reserve.
And now for the main event.
Opening the show with nothing more than an instrumental track, while the backdrops are illuminated in red, the crowd waits with bated breath, as the notes wash over you with their calm aural potency. Walking onstage, the crowd roars to life, as Travis Ryan opens his mouth and spews forth calamity and decay in equal measure, with the willing hoard before him consuming it all, like a pit of zombies thirsting for warm-blooded flesh.
The crowd push themselves beyond comprehension in the first few songs, with flying bodies and windmills bursting around you in fits of uncontrolled abandon. The band responds by bombarding you with a proverbial cornucopia of death metal stylings, the last three albums they made, showcased in all their glory tonight, with songs such as ‘Forced Gender Reassignment’ sending the crowd into an absolute maelstrom of limbs and crowd surfing bodies.
The last song before the encore slows their music down to a crawl, with the almost doom metal riffs pulling you down into the void, making you feel like you’ve just had your soul cut into pieces under the weight of their oppressive atmospheric destruction.
Honestly, whether it’s the pig squeals, grindcore sections or technical aspects, along with the unique clean vocals that sound as if they were filtered through the world’s most broken and brutal fucking computer system. There will be a moment, maybe it’s in the pit, maybe it’s watching Travis Ryan stand over you and rip his voice raw – where you will realise, there is no other band in the world like this and what you are witnessing should never be missed by anyone.
Gig Review by Kaydan Howison
Photography by Luna Rae Sawyer
Cattle Decapitation – Death Atlas Australian Tour
Friday 14th February – The Factory Theatre, Sydney
Saturday 15th February – Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle
Sunday 16th February – The Basement Canberra
Wednesday 19th February – Max Watt’s Melbourne
Thursday 20th February -Pelly Bar, Frankston
Friday 21st February – Enigma Bar, Adelaide
Saturday 22nd February – Amplifier Bar, Perth