The first time I covered Witchgrinder four years ago on their “The Demon Calling” record and then getting to witness their show a few weeks later, and being absolutely impressed. Now with the band still going at it, Witchgrinder announced a single launch show for their latest track They Walk Among Us, with the support of an all gothic/industrial-inspired lineup that consisted of Demonatrix, Death of Art and Nosferotica, all chosen by Witchgrinder themselves.
Nosferotica were the first ones up, and there was already a good number of people in the venue that were already interacting with the group’s music. This was only the trio’s second ever show, and I felt that they had put on a welcoming impression with their take of fast-paced, underground, horror-inspired punk tunes. Nosferotica also brought up the meanings of some of the songs they performed such as Regenerator, which was about a boy that woke up with the ability to regenerate himself and decides to “fuck with people” with his superpowers.
For a more theatrical taste, Melbournian trio Death of Art came with a diverse set of songs were industrial, gothic, electronic and slightly operatic, especially in the vocals of Erin Blackie. She and her guitarist would later hand out small badges and guitar picks to the patrons in the crowd, in between tracks. Erin would also wear and use different stage props in each song, such as a purple wedding headpiece, ropes around her arms and a stake. Death of Art overall had an energetic and somewhat alluring onstage persona, and well-orchestrated music.
Next up were Demonatrix, who came with a more gothic glam rock style this time. They also had a number of anthemic rings to their songs such as So Scared and Amazing Disgrace, which made them stand out differently to all the other bands that night. They had gained a much larger audience by the time they came on, so more people were able to get a dosage of what Demonatrix had to offer. Overall, Demonatrix had an interesting take on their sound. It was pretty difficult to distinguish what kind of bands would’ve influenced them, which left the impression that they’re quite diverse, for the taking. Therefore, they were able to deliver a nice and inviting performance to those who had yet to discover what they wanted to give to their crowd. In the end, they pulled through and put on one hell of a show.
Now, for the headline act, Witchgrinder tore things up by opening with The Demon Calling, along with a number of tracks such as Boneyard, The Butcher and The Animal. Though, the main reason for Witchgrinder’s gig was to promote their latest single They Walk Among Us, which the band performed and received a great amount of positive feedback from the entire crowd. The track itself was a groovier take, compared to the more thrash material that Witchgrinder are commonly known for. Whether fans were familiar with the song or not, everyone in the room reacted to it very well and were confident that Witchgrinder would come back with some killer material for their next studio record.
There even came a point where one of Witchgrinder’s ex-bassists jokingly came onstage and danced in his underwear to Boneyard, which threw frontman Travis Everett off from concentrating on performing the song. Travis had announced that the event had almost sold out, and gave his overwhelming thanks to everyone who rocked up to the show. He had even given an old man who was considered a Brunswick legend, the opportunity to have a moment in the spotlight to perform onstage during Witchgrinder’s set. However, his guitar wouldn’t work when it was plugged in, but Travis promised him that he could do it at the next show they did.
This was probably my second time seeing Witchgrinder’s newest lineup. And I have to say, Rick, Andrew and Ryan all fit so well with Travis, and they’ve given Witchgrinder an enticing look, musically and physically. I can only say that the band’s evolving the more I see them live, one show after the next. And with the band’s selection of support acts, this was probably easy to consider this as my favourite local show of the year.