Psycroptic, Ruins @ The Rosemount Hotel (Perth, 6 June 2009)

From one extreme end of Australia to the other: Tasmanian bands show Perth how it's done.

It was bitterly cold out in the Rosemount's beer garden, but that wasn't the only reason so many of the early arrivals were inside to check out Deathfuckingcunt. Perth's newest all-star grind team played a fun set in front of the Rosemount's spinning disco ball of death, and if it got a bit messy in the middle, or there was some unexpected mic feedback: chalk it up as part of the experience. The merch stand was doing a roaring trade for fans wanting to surprise and delight their families and coworkers with a lime green DFC logo t-shirt.

Next up were Perth's Nails of Imposition. This was the second time in a week I'd see them play - the first being as opening supports for Morbid Angel at Club Capitol - and they were definitely a lot more relaxed about this gig. They were also no doubt happy to be elevated from the first opening slot.

Nails played a tight technical set - guitarist Val Macukat in particular was in neck-snapping good form, and vocalist Matt Goodwin was geniunely funny between songs, dispensing demo CDs to the crowd with the warning "it's not a porno, but it will do". The set was capped off with a new song, Main Course Foetus.

The venue was starting to fill by the time a corpse-painted Ruins took to the stage. These Tasmanians play a style of drum-driven black metal with scads of groove - appealing even to punters who might not consider themselves black metal afficionados. While the core band is made up of vocalist and guitarist Alex Pope and Psycroptic drummer Dave Haley - what is it about black metal duos? - they brought along session bass player Kai Summers and borrowed Psycroptic guitarist Joe Haley to complete the lineup. Playing songs from their recent release Front The Final Foes as well as material from Cauldron, Ruins managed to win over anyone in the crowd not already there to see them.

Stagehands not being able to tell which way around the Psycroptic logo was supposed to go when placing two large banners provided a moment of hilarity as the stage was prepared for the headline act. More punters came in from the cold - in the end, not a bad turnout at all for these technical death masters from the other most exteme end of Australia.

Kicking off a feral set with an old song, The Isle of Disenchantment, Psycroptic proceeded to aurally beat the audience into submission with the title track from 2008's Ob(Servant). Dedicating the next track to all the Tasmanians in the crowd (and there were apparently some), shirtless frontman Jason Peppiat revealed that the tattoo on his chest was, in fact, the Tasmanian coat of arms, and had been freshly inked earlier that day. Impressive dedication!

By the time Skin Coffin came around, the crowd had been worked up into a frenzied state for the evening's finale, and both band and audience gave it their all for a truly epic finish. Psycroptic deliver some crushingly heavy goods and are well-deserving of the reputation they've developed.