Words by Shannon-Lee Sloane
Photos by Isabelle Rickards
When you’ve been hanging for your Friday night knowing you’re going to a sold out show at your most loved live music venue with all of your favourite people and a lineup of four brutal and brilliant metal bands, the night just can’t come soon enough. After a week that felt like it dragged out painfully slow I was super keen to get into the valley and head to Brisbane’s home of the heavy, Crowbar. Getting there early as always the place was already busy and buzzing with metal fans keen for a night of live music from some extremely talented musicians.
I have said it before and I will say it again and again. Melbourne has so many amazing metal bands and I just keep finding more that blow my mind with how good they really are. The talent is simply next level and Zeolite are a perfect example of that. Zeolite hit the stage with full force and started the night with an intense and mesmerizing energy that had me and everyone around me loving every minute. The whole band are seriously brilliant at what they do but for me guitarist, Grant McGuiness stole the show. McGuiness also plays in one of my absolute favourite Melbourne death metal bands, Ame Noire. His signature move of throwing one leg up higher than you would think possible and stomping it back down while whipping his long hair around and at the same time playing his guitar like it was the only thing he was born to do just blows me away. Every time the bass line dropped I felt the vibration and energy pulse through my heart, bassist RS Frost plays with a passion that creates an energy that just draws you in. Front man Fraser Mainwaring is everything a frontman should be, with vocals on point and a confidence that commands the stage. Guitarist Patrick Hass plays faultlessly and brutally and drummer Elias Kalaitzakias plays blast beats that you feel deep in your soul. The guys played an awesome set with the stand out for me being ‘Ruination’ which is their first single from the sophomore EP, ‘Sermones Mortis’.
Brisbane’s brutal death metal kings, Disentomb were up next. These guys have been around since 2009 and have a strong and steady following of fans. This was proven last night because as soon as they hit the stage the mosh instantly became much more intense. Disentomb always play a killer live show and the guys were clearly pumped to play with vocalist Jordan Phillip announcing that this was their last hometown gig for the year. They played a hard hitting and tight set finishing up with a personal favourite ‘Vultures Descend’ from their album ‘Misery’.
I had never seen Aborted play live until last night and they definitely lived up to my expectations. These guys have a massive following and a lot of the Brisbane metal crew was there for Aborted. After escaping upstairs for a quick breather, I got back downstairs just as they started to hear frontman Sven De Caluwe yell “What the f**k’s up Brisbane, you sick c**ts!”And to find the crowd packed in tight against the front of the stage. Somehow managing to weasel myself through to the front, the metal bar between the stage and the crowd was literally bending with the force from the fans who were lapping up the intensity and energy that Aborted brought to the night. After playing their first track they ran into a little technical difficulty so De Caluwe had a bit of a banter with the fans. As soon as things were sorted they were straight back into it with De Caluwe asking at one point “Are you having a good time!?” followed by screams from the fans, to which he replied “You guys sound like a bunch of girls at a Justin Beiber concert, I said are you having a good time!!?” which was responded too with extremely loud yells and cheers from everyone as Aborted launched into yet another brilliant song. De Caluwe’s deep guttural vocals are like nothing else and even though every vocalist last night was amazing, he really won me over with his talent. With the show being sold out and everyone packed in, Crowbar’s little stage was a hot box and both the band and the fans were sweating it out as the night went on. We were treated to 12 songs in their set beginning with one of my favourites, ‘Divine Impediment’.
By the time America’s death metal legends, The Black Dahlia Murder hit the stage I just had to step back from the front of the stage, I mean I am definitely not usually one to move towards the back but the combination of the heat and the intensity of the fans in such a small space was almost too much. The Black Dahlia Murder had fans absolutely losing their shit with excitement but to be honest I felt that the sound was just too condensed for such a big band which for me kind of let them down. Of course this is no fault of the band and not of the venue either, it is just the way it is. Crowbar is by far one of the best metal music venues and has been host to so many absolutely amazing metal bands over the years but it really is a shame the downstairs area isn’t a little bigger. Black Dahlia interacted with the fans in a big way, even sharing shots with the crowds and giving one to Crowbar’s main man and booking agent, Dennis. The whole band is out of control talented but my eyes and ears were focused mainly on lead guitarist Brandon Ellis. He is absolutely magic to watch and listen to and he totally killed it with his performance last night. Of course there is no way I could not mention the extreme talent and almost unworldly abilities of drummer Alan Cassidy. This guy is just a machine on the drums and even from further back I could see and feel the passion and pure magic he creates as he smashes out the songs. We were treated to a nice long set of 18 songs, the two stand outs for me being ‘Miasma’ which is the last rack from their 2005 album of the same name and ‘What A Horrible Night To Have A Curse’ from their 2007 album ‘Nocturnal’.
Another thing I absolutely have to mention is that each of the bands are not only made up of brilliant musicians, but after talking to most of them after their sets I found them all to be really lovely people too. For me to be a huge fan of a band it is so important for the bands to be down to earth and nice to their fans. This was definitely the case last night and that really leaves me going away from a gig feeling all fuzzy and warm even though I am completely covered in mosh pit bruises with my ears ringing and covered in other peoples sweat and spilt beer. After hitting up Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Hobart, Newcastle, Canberra and Sydney, the Brisbane show was the last for the Nightbringers Australia 2018 tour. All four bands killed it last night and thanks to the bands and Soundworks Direct the Brisbane metal crew and everyone who came to the show had yet another amazing night at our beloved Crowbar.