A distinct combination of an absence of live shows around the world and Your Grouchy Friend’s immense pride in the quantity and quality of metal emanating from his home town of Perth Australia lead us to another live review of yet another amazing live show in Australia’s isolated westernmost outpost. Included is a special video of The Furor in action, and please be sure to scroll to the very bottom for all the links for all of these fantastic bands.
Depravity, having released their magnificent latest album “Grand Malevolence” last December, finally had the chance to launch it at a show befitting its glory a week or so ago. Joining them in the celebration of new releases were The Harvest Trail, launching their excellent debut “Instinct” and The Furor (solo project of insanely talented Depravity drummer Louis Rando) offering up their latest “Obliteration Matrix”. In capable support were two of the fresher acts to the Perth scene Ashen and Doomcave.
The vagaries and demands of modern life (and equally or more so the commercially driven insistence of venues to hold shows annoyingly early in order to convert to lucrative “nightclub mode” as quickly as possible) meant that sadly the opener Ashen was missed on this occasion. Please check out their debut single here, because the quality these guys bring is unmistakable – get in early (he said without a trace of irony) because there is real promise here.
Doomcave struck immediately at the chest with a monster sound – not sure if anyone else has experienced this, but there are venues at which the sound in the bathroom is a barometer for the room itself, and a quick trip to the men’s proved striking in terms of sound quality. After returning to locate and anchor himself in the best sounding spot in the actual venue, Your Grouchy Friend was incredibly impressed with the work of this band. Originally a solo project, the vocals really jumped out – Aiden Vestgaard is a talented young man he absolutely crushed it up front. The bass sound sat incredibly well and was a great omen of the sound quality that would pervade the night. There is a real fluidity to the arrangements, a feeling of chordal movement and cadence that can be so easily lost in the realms of extreme metal. Vestgaard’s compositions exemplify the way in which Black Metal has evolved so far beyond a standard template and at its best has become arguably a more textural and complete artform than Death Metal. A very engaging set that had those present really well warmed up for the trio of album releasers to follow.
Louis Rando: This should be a more known and respected name in extreme metal around the world. It turns out Depravity’s mad drummer is far, far, far madder to the point of ballistic insanity when he turns out for his solo project The Furor. Releasing his latest album “Obliteration Matrix,” Rando turned up the intensity from the moment he hit the stage. Opting to go it alone on stage on drums and vocal with his other parts tracked, this man brings incredible energy, and it is a testament to an evolved scene that nary an eyelid was batted at the lack of frontline on stage – moons ago such a setup would attract mindless nay-saying from some quarters. The use of banners either side of stage narrows the field of vision and brings all focus to the drum riser where it is fully deserved. The ferocious intensity of The Furor simply has to be felt – check out the video below to see the carnage…
It must be admitted that Your Grouchiness had not had the pleasure of experiencing The Harvest Trail in a live setting, nor listening to them at all. Having bands of this quality in ones own backyard and failing to engage in them is simply a travesty – no doubt we have all done it over time at some stage or another and it really does feel stupid! The Harvest Trail brought with them a swagger and personality that is distinctly Australian – they play bloody hard but don’t seem to take themselves too seriously. Playing a bunch of tracks from their recently released debut “Instinct,” they had the crowd going off. In putting together the gig they deserved thanks for their logistical and promotional work before they placed a foot on the stage. Best to leave it to their music video below for stylistic description, but sonically their mid-heavy, presence-laden guitar tones cut through incredibly well giving them the best sound of the night. The searing tones and biting chugs one associates more with Thrash Metal than Death Metal are so much kinder on the ear in most live settings and this was no exception. With a full album fresh off the presses, make sure you check these cats out.
Last of all, the big guns, Transcending Obscurity’s finest band (in this humble opinion)… Depravity. Having had the opportunity to watch them three times in the last six months in no way diminished the experience of their big launch. Sheer magnificence. Their intricacy, creativity and downright brutality never cease to impress. Stalking the stage, vocalist Jamie Kay was in fine form and indeed spirits – the finest Death Metal vocalists prove so often to be the grinning, joking types, some keeping that side of things off stage for theatrical purposes, but not this one – he has an unmistakable character that endears him to his audience. If you are still yet to explore this band then you really must – best song of the night and off their latest album “Grand Malevolence,” “Barbaric Eternity” is simply incredible and is an even wilder journey in the live setting. Wildly lurching between delightfully off-kilter riffery, to bludgeoning brutality, to a wide open interlude and back again, this song is flawless. “Grand Malevolence” has had its praises sung far and wide and rightly so – in the words of an Australian music luminary… “Do yourself a favour.”
Here is all the info you need to stay across all these killer bands.
The Harvest Trail