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It’s a steaming hot day in Brisbane, and the temperature is about to get even hotter inside The Brightside as the Night Of The Living Shred takes over.
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Featuring some of the best new, up and coming and established bands in death metal, hardcore, slam and horror, the punters that are filing into the venue are certainly in for a treat.
And serving up the first tasty bites of the day are local up and comers Puncture Wound. They bring the brutal nice and early to the growing crowd who are keen to wreck their necks. From the opening note the Brisbane fivesome are relentless, pummeling the crowd with their classic death metal sound.
Despite nerves before the set, drummer Alix Bandiera is all poise and class behind the skins and vocalist Gene Waltham is a beast behind the mic. And despite losing some of his vocal power midway through the set, he recovers well and growls at the crowd menacingly as they move through their released tracks like Indiscriminate Slaughter, Gorruption as well as treating the fans to a brand new number; Anthem of Agony. If you dig your old school, no nonsense death metal, then you should certainly give them a listen.
A growing crowd are eager to check up the next newcomers on the bill, Adelaide melodeath band Freedom of Fear. Frontwoman Jade Monserrat is an absolute powerhouse behind the mic as the band move through some older tracks like Amorphous and freshies from their upcoming release, which is expected in the middle of this year. Their set is energetic and by the end of it, they have a heap of new fans in the crowd.
Crave Death are the next to hit the stage. The Brisbane band, led by their ferocious frontwoman Candice Bankovacki, are the first band to really get the pit opened up and moving to their brand of hardcore metal. They have some great tunes and as someone who is seeing them live for the first time, it’s awesome to see how well their recorded tracks translate to the live stage. They are certainly making a name for themselves in this scene, keep an eye on them as I expect they will be playing bigger shows before you know it.
According to the set times, Adelaide band Dyssidia are next to hit the stage but a late arriving flight for one of the members sees them swapping set times with Wraith, who graciously played earlier to allow Dyssidia to play to their full potential. It’s an example of how great the Australian metal scene can be, with bands happy to help each other out wherever they can.
As the show continues however, this reviewer is very excited to finally be seeing Sydney fivepiece Wraith for the first time. And wow. Just wow. They have SO MUCH ENERGY. The antics, the constant movement, the organised chaos and the absolute passion that was thrown into this set completely blew the punters away. Blasting through tracks from their debut EP The Pale Hollow and throwing in a fun cover of Slipknot’s [sic], they had the crowd in the palm of their hand from start to finish.
The day is well and truly turning out to be an excellent one and we are only four bands in! This reviewer feels like a nap after that performance though, that’s how energetic Wraith were, just to make through the rest of the talented bands due to play.
With all members finally at the venue, Adelaide prog metal band Dyssidia have hit the stage to a good crowd eager to see what they can do. And despite the later start, the band haven’t let the issues of the day rattle them and they play with energy and passion. The voice of frontman Mitch Brackman is part angelic and part ferocious, and while their music is powerful and uplifting, it’s a perfect compliment to the previous set of chaos and gives the crowd a chance to catch their breath and really be immersed in the talents from the musicians on stage.
Up next are another band of consummate professionals. Melbourne death metal band Zeolite had a huge 2018, and from the way they look onstage tonight, it’s clear they plan on taking their music and careers to the next level this year. Their set is slightly marred by some small tech issues at the beginning, but they recover nicely to belt out tracks from last years EP Sermones Mortis, and the crowd responds well. It’s nice to see the other bands also getting in the pit, mixing with the punters and enjoying the rest of the music on offer today. One highlight is Whoretopsy vocalist Zac Bergholtz commandeering the mic from Zeolite vocalist Fraser Mainwaring towards the end of their blistering set.
I Shall Devour are stalwarts of the Brisbane scene, and they know how to turn it on for their fans, even after an eighteen month break. Stripping back their deathcore metal tunes to a rawer, more thrashy sound, the band belt through new tracks Spit and With Darkness, alongside older crowd favourites from the release The Misanthropist, which the crowd just eat and eat up. Expect to see more from I Shall Devour in 2019 as they brutalise stages around the country.
Darkcell’s atmospheric energy is contagious and the crowd is captivated the second they walk on the stage. Lathered in black paint these rockstars are experienced in entertaining a crowd. Their thick riffs and visual aesthetics wowed punters galore. The industrial abrasiveness that made you want to dance was a refreshing addition to the bill.
A Night In Texas turned heads by opening with a large growl that resonated around the room. The abundance of intense, hard hitting sounds was incredible. Transitioning seamlessly through breakdowns and melodies while keeping high energy the crowd couldn’t get enough. Necks would be sore tomorrow as by the end of the set the whole room was head banging.
Last but not least Whoretopsy was due to dominate the stage and did they ever. They really were a crowd favourite with their hard hitting melodies and power. The hard chunks of groovy riffs had the entire pit moving. It was a beautiful sea of headbanging locks of hair. Vocalist Zac Bergholtz was not shy as he interacted with the crowd (and did cheeky things with a six-inch Buzz Lightyear toy). He bellowed hard hitting and deep growling vocals complimented by a brutal slab of death metal. Captivating and vibrant, Whoretopsy cannot be faulted. They finish off the huge day in true undead shred style.