Even though Melbourne’s weather was quite unpredictable all afternoon, the one thing that could be guaranteed was that 170 Russell would be quite hot and sweaty; after all, it isn’t every day that Brazilian heavy metal icons Sepultura are playing alongside San Francisco thrash legends Death Angel!
Kicking off the bill were local thrash metallers Harlott, who really set the bar high for the night ahead; the four piece consisting of Andy Hudson on lead guitar/vocals, Jake Weber on lead guitar, Tom Richards on bass/backup vocals and Tim Joyce on drums worked their way through a seamless and really tight five song set that left this reviewer and everyone else already attending wanting more! Before the introduction to their fourth song, Hudson asked the audience if they liked punching the air and chanting “hey”, before pointing out “if you don’t do it, I’m going to come down there and stab you” which got a good laugh from the audience.
By the time Will Carroll took his position behind his drums, the venue was almost at max capacity if not already; there was just as many people eager to see Death Angel as Sepultura and they weren’t disappointed! Flying through a very tight and flawless set, opening song Father of Lies had bodies flying around and the pit moving from side to side. After finishing The Dream Calls For Blood, Mark Osegueda pointed out how Australian fans had been constantly asking the band when they would be coming back and gladly mentioned that it’s finally happened. Osegueda was then quick to point out that Australia has always made them feel welcomed and most appreciated in the past, as well as now for the third time only after two songs!
Kicking the crowd into overdrive was Claws In So Deep, followed by Voracious Souls and TUV/Thrown To The Wolves; between the amazing vocal power that Osegueda still has, the abuse that Carroll was putting his skins through, the fast paced guitar work of both Rob Cavestany and Ted Aguilar or the constant banter of Damien Sisson with the crowd, your eyes didn’t know where to look. Osegueda took a couple of moments to thank the promoters and Sepultura for the opportunity, before closing off the set with Lost and The Moth.
The energy within the crowd at this stage was electric and it was scary to think that it was only going to get higher before too long; the thirty minute wait seemed like forever, especially when you’re waiting for the one and only Sepultura! People passing on the street above must have thought the ground was shaking when Derrick Green, Andreas Kisser, Paulo Jr and Eloy Casagrande finally walked out on stage and kicked off the set with I Am The Enemy, before leading into Phantom Self and Kairos. Fans were showing their appreciation by chanting “Sepultura” between the opening three songs, which really had Green smiling widely.
The assault was only just starting as Territory, Desperate Cry & Sworn Oath and went in a blur of high energy from both on stage and in the crowd, voices and bodies becoming one as people continued to somehow tap into the energy that they had in reserve; Green took a small second to catch his breath and left the stage during the intro to Sworn Oath, which only meant he was going to come out with more passion for the remainder of the show!
Kisser has taken the time to point out that Sepultura hit a milestone this year, as they celebrated 20 years with Green fronting the band, before launching into Against, Choke and Boycott as a mini celebration, before Green kicked off Machine Messiah. The title track from the latest release had bodies flying and the crowd surging from side to side; mind you the crowd was only trying to keep up with the energy being extruded on stage!
Heading into the last third of the set, Iceberg Dances was another small chance for Green to rest his vocals before Refuse/Resist, Arise and Resistant Parasites quickly followed and went by in a blur; if fans weren’t already feeling it at this stage, they most definitely walked out feeling worse for wear after a throwback to the ‘Roots’ album; the set was closed with Ratamahatta and then Roots.
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I Am The Enemy