Psycroptic, Goatwhore, Disentomb, Ouroboros, Daemon Pyre, The Factory Theatre, Sydney, 27/03/15

5 heavy hitting bands for the price of one, what more could you want?

Australian metal fans are actually rather spoilt for choice. I know we usually get the short end of the stick when it comes to international tours and festivals, but to compensate for that we seem to have collectively tapped into a creative ether and generated some truly astounding home-grown talent. Tonight’s show is just one such example of this, with 4/5ths of the bill being made up of the cream of the Aussie death metal crop. Oh, and Goatwore too.

First act for the night was Sydney’s own Daemon Pyre. I’ll have to be honest and say that I only managed to catch about half of their set, which is a shame, because I quite enjoy their brand of melodically infused death metal. Their debut album released earlier this year was quite satisfying and it was great to see that they came off quite well live too. At The Gates/Heartwork worship it might be, but these guys are good at what they do and I expect good things from them in the future.

Ouroboros was up next. In the 4 years that have gone by since the release of their first album, fans of the band have increasingly cock-teased at the prospect of hearing new material. Given Ouroboros even gained some national notoriety because of the $20,000 grant they received from the Australia Council for the Arts to record with a real orchestra, I was particularly interested in hearing anything new they might play. Well, it must have been my lucky night as even though it was an extremely short three song set, we were treated to some new material. It’s hard to critically appraise new material as you’re hearing it live for the first time, but it sounded decent, with a very Septic Flesh kind of vibe to it. However, Ouroboros was gone as quick as they came. A short but sweet set.

I must admit, I’ve never been a fan of the “so br00tal bruh” type of death metal that spawned from Suffocation’s blueprint back in the day. As such, I wasn’t particularly hanging out to see Disentomb. But, despite me having zero expectations, the band managed to simultaneously blow my socks off and convert me into a fan. There are a lot of bands that you can never fully “get” until you see them live, and Disentomb definitely fall into this category. The sheer stone-face brutality (redundant, I know) of their set had me leave with a smile on my face and a copy of their new album, Misery, in my pocket.

For many, Goatwhore was the main draw of the night, but personally I felt they fit perfectly as main support. Not only to help Australians get over the cultural cringe of always having to have the international act headline, but also because Goatwhore’s meat and potatoes metal is best enjoyed in a serving of 45 minutes or so. The band also clearly relished this role, as they tore through a ripper of a set. Vocalist L. Ben Falgoust II is a commanding frontman, able to slip back and forth from a frontman possessed by Satan to the casual dude who wants to share a drink with you after the show, he is a big part of what makes the band so enjoyable to see live. That, and the fact that Apocalyptic Havoc will always bring the mosh.

Last but not least was Psycroptic. Despite the fact that they’re a Tasmanian band, it always feels like something of a homecoming when these guys play Sydney, and the vibe in the room couldn’t have been more warm and welcoming. If they were feeling any pressure to meet the high standards set by the 4 bands that preceded them, they handled it beautifully. Indeed, this was perhaps one of the most high-energy sets Psycroptic has ever played. They managed to meet the challenge laid down by the supports and use that momentum to plough through a set of songs from their last three albums, including this year’s self-titled effort. The pit was a sea of flailing bodies and more than one person managed to get on stage to give vocalist Jason Peppiatt a hug and dive off. The band was truly on blistering form.

With Psycroptic’s set complete, the night was over. What an amazing showcase of what Australian heavy music has to offer. This was definitely one of the best gigs I’ve been to recently and I hope to see more bills of this type in the future.