After a huge run of shows supporting their latest album Never Tear Us Apart, Melbourne slam gods Whoretopsy returned home to Melbourne for one final show before heading back into the studio. OVERDRIVE was there to watch the carnage unfold.
From the moment doors opened, the Collingwood venue was immediately packed, with excitement and anticipation ripe in the air. Classic Metallica tracks played through the front bar speakers as fans made their way into the band room in preparation for Âme Noire’s debut show. The newly formed grim Deathcore outfit had already gained quite a bit of traction with their single The Tree That Bears Rotten Fruit, so the crowd was eager to see what the ex-Athena’s Wake and Epimetheus members would bring to the stage. What they did bring however, was one of the most impressive debut sets I’ve ever seen. From the moment the band took the stage, vocalist Alex Hill’s menacing stage presence and piercing vocals set the mood for how the night would unfold. The energy and brutality of their stage presence was received well and returned by the crowd, who were captivated by the precision and conviction of guitarists Grant McGuinness and Alex Bell. A few early moshers started getting fired up throughout the set, particularly when the band broke into their debut single as their closing track. The mood for the night was set, and the crowd was hungry for more.
Melbourne groove-tech riffers Annihilist were the next band to dominate the stage, with a strong hometown crowd well and truly ready to bang their heads and match the band’s energetic stage presence in the pit. Crushing riffs ensued, and the dual guitar attack of Josh Voce and Miki Simankevicius blasted the faithful fans up the front giving it their all. The crowd watched in appreciation of the technicality the band displayed, although the loud mix unfortunately drowned out a lot of the guitar work. While most fans were saving their energy for the headliners, the pit opened back up for the band’s last song, which well and truly had the crowd warmed up for the next band of the night.
I had never heard Splatterpuss before, so I was pretty keen to see what they were all about. Absolutely face melting slams and guttural howling was what myself and the rest of the crowd were met with, all performed at an A class level. The stripped back Death Metal riffage was a well needed break from the technicality of the first two bands, turning the now packed room into a sea of bopping heads. The brutal vocals of frontman Matt Turkington desolated the eardrums of everyone in the venue, while the fierce musicianship of the instrumental section provided a perfect soundtrack for all those who wanted to let loose in the pit. The samples played before songs set a good juxtaposition for the chunky slams that filled out the band’s set. Although a couple of technical difficulties briefly killed the momentum, the band relentlessly launched into their few final songs and left a standing impression with the now fully fired up crowd.
Hollow World are a band that are just going from strength to strength, and this night was a perfect display of why. As soon as the intro tape for Agartha played through the speakers, fans were already pushing and screaming, watching as the instrumental section of the band launched into their furious set, while frontman Ben Roberts walked out wearing a Donald Trump mask, and yelling “Fuck Trump” before throwing it off and belting into ‘Defiling Paradise.’ Playing a mixture of songs from their newly released album Exanimate and 2015 EP The Wrath Kept Within, fans gladly flailed around when instructed to by Roberts, screaming the lyrics when crowd favourites like ‘Patient Zero’ and ‘Misery’ were performed flawlessly by the band. The surgical and extreme playing of guitarists Theo Goslett and Michael Truscott have a reputation for leaving crowds in awe, and tonight was no exception, especially when paired with the solid rhythm section of bassist Josh Hynes and drummer Michael Hodgson who delivered their parts with ease. Their crowd interaction and massive stage show this night clearly showed why the band is regarded to as a world class act.
The massive supporting cast of bands on the bill had been a perfect warm-up, but now it was time for the main event. This was Whoretopsy’s show, and the moment they broke into their first riff, they made sure everybody knew it. For the entire 70 minutes of the band’s set, the pit didn’t stop moving, with vocalist Zac Bergholtz’s repeated calls for the crowd to keep moving giving no time to break for the energetic punters. Riff after riff, the band played crowd favourites as they progressed through playing their 2015 album Never Tear Us Apart in full. The synchronised stage moves of guitarists Matt William and Luke Graham, as well as bassist Lachlan Eddy only made their impeccable playing more impressive. The crunchy chugs mixed with speedy tech fills had the attention of anyone in the sold out room who wasn’t throwing down in front of the stage. Tying the whole thing together was drummer Jake Sproule, who smashed out his ridiculously fast beats with razor sharp precision and timing, further proving Whoretopsy’s position as Australia’s slam gods. As well as playing their latest album in full, the band also busted out crowd favourites from their back catalogue, giving a retrospective on their whole career before moving on to record their next release. This performance was not only a perfect note to leave on before taking an absence from the stage, but also a show that will go down as one of the best of the year.