After slaving away at his day job, this reviewer found himself city-bound as there was going to be the smell of napalm later that evening; what better way to unwind after working all day than heading off and watching the one and only Napalm Death tear up the stage!

Descending upon Max Watts at just after 7:30pm, there was only a handful of people awaiting the opening of doors at 8pm: those who arrived early didn’t have to wait long before getting to see some great home-grown talent, as Black Rheno graced the stage at 8:15pm. Milla was leading the assault on vocals, taking advantage of every available inch of stage space dancing around Nano who melted faces off with his insane guitar work; Dougy wasn’t taking it easy by any means, as he was giving the skins on his drum-kit a great workout! Unfortunately Black Rheno only got to play for 25 minutes, but those who came down early were treated to an exceptional performance and those who didn’t come down early missed out on a band that have most definitely earnt their opening spot on this tour.

Lock Up came out on stage at roughly 9:10pm, to a much larger crowd than that in attendance during Black Rheno: the mosh literally appeared out of nowhere though, as 30 seconds before the set started, there was only a couple of die-hard fans on the rail! Kevin Sharp came out and led the troops through an impressive 35 minute set that kicked off at just after 9pm; even though this was the first time in Australia for Lock Up, Sharp looked like he felt right at home coming out to perform in bare feet. Let’s not forget the reason why Sharp feels right at home is because he spent a lot of time here back in the 90s and is good friends with such home-grown talent as Blood Duster. The energy was frantic from start to finish as Lock Up tore through 11 songs; those in the mosh was only just warming themselves up for what was to come.

After only a twenty minute wait, the still growing crowd were treated to another first time performance: Brujeria graced the stage donning their signature face masks, with Juan Brujo donning not one, but two massive machetes in a leather sheath having from his hip! A die-hard fan pushed his way to the front of the mosh so that the band could see the Mexican flag that he bought, much to their appreciation; this was shown in the energy that Brujeria was showing on stage throughout their 16 song, 50 minute set-list which ended with ‘Marijuana’, their heavy metal version of the ‘Macarena’. Another highlight of the Brujeria set was during ‘Consejos Narcos’, when not only did they get a fan from the crowd to assist the crowd in chanting “Si” or “No” at appropriate times, but also a joint being passed around between the front row of the mosh and El Sangeron.

The massive turn out of fans didn’t have to wait long for Napalm Death to grace the stage at 11:05pm; Shane Embury (gracing the stage for the third set that night!), Mitch Harris and Danny Herrera assumed their positions to the much appreciative roar of fans, as they waited for Mark ‘Barney’ Greenway to join them! After making the crowd seem to wait forever (it was only realistically a minute at most!) Greenway joined the stage to an even louder roar of appreciation. After launching into ‘Apex Predator’, the crowd was treated to 65 minutes of non-stop carnage; both from within the pit and from on stage, as bodies were flying and Napalm Death were matching the energy in front of them. ‘Silence Is Deafening’, ‘When All Is Said And Done’ and ‘Smash A Single Digit’ kept the bodies flying in the pit; those on the outside were in danger of being knocked down by the bodies flying out of it!

Greenway took a few seconds out before ‘Stunt Your Growth’ to show his appreciation for the Melbourne crowd, which erupted in a sweaty frenzy. The bodies kept flying through ‘Continuing War On Stupidity’ and ‘Stubborn Stains’, as songs were thrown at the crowd as hard and fast as they get played! ‘Scum’ took those in attendance on a trip down memory lane, all the back to the very first Napalm album; ‘The Kill’ and ‘Deceiver’ kept those dedicated fans on the rail earning their spot as the mosh pit behind them was just pure and absolute carnage. Holding the world record for the shortest song, ‘You Suffer’ was over in the blink of an eye; coming in at 1.3 seconds if you weren’t expecting it, you would most definitely miss it!

‘Unchallenged Hate’, ‘Suffer The Children’ and ‘Everyday Pox’ came at the audience hard and fast, Max Watts proving the perfect venue choice to host Napalm as from both an acoustic and intimate perspective there was no way to improve the set! ‘The Code Is Red…Long Live The Code’, ‘Victims Of A Bomb Raid, ‘Twist The Knife (Slowly)’ and ‘Dear Slum Landlord’ lifted the energy to another level somehow; those on the rail were most definitely going to be sore this morning! The first cover of the night to be performed was ‘Christening Of The Blind’ before Napalm Death followed up with ‘How The Years Condemn’; the second cover of the night, which is a long-time fan favourite and set-list staple ‘Nazi Punks Fuck Off’ was the second last song of the night. Napalm Death drew their set and the night to a close with ‘Adversarial/Copulating Snakes’ before the band spent a few minutes showing appreciation to the fans by throwing out picks/set-lists and shaking hands.

 

SET-LIST

Apex Predator
Silence Is Deafening
When All Is Said And Done
Smash A Single Digit
Stunt Your Growth
Continuing War On Stupidity
Stubborn Stains
Scum
The Kill
Deceiver
You Suffer
Unchallenged Hate
Suffer The Children
Everyday Pox
The Code Is Red…Long Live The Code
Victims Of A Bomb Raid
Twist The Knife (Slowly)
Dear Slum Landlord