Gig Review: Psycroptic, Goatwhore, Disentomb, Ouroboros & Daemon Pyre.

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Back in late March, a couple of mates and I journeyed into the big smoke, a.k.a Sydney, for an evening of metal at the Factory Theatre (which is approximately 70% factory, 30% bars and 0% theatre). The bands on the bill were: Psycroptic, Goatwhore, Disentomb, Ouroboros & Daemon Pyre. While we came primarily to see the awesome Psycroptic live show, the added bonus of getting to check out 4 more bands certainly made the $30 ticket price seem super cheap, and I am nothing if not super cheap.

Sadly, we arrived at the bar just as Daemon Pyre were finishing up their set, such are the shortcomings of being the opening band on a 5-set bill. Local tech-death masters Ouroboros played what seemed to be a 3 song set which somehow felt like 20+ minutes had passed. Starting and ending with a track from their debut album which gained the band some immediate notoriety upon release back in 2011, not just for it’s display of sheer technical prowess but because they received a $20,000 government arts grant usually given to ballet/opera to help record it. This polarised the community, with conservatives decrying the move to use their tax dollars to fund something other than what they considered art, as some kind of heinous crime akin to a teen being present on their manicured lawn. In between the known songs, Ouroboros (who were covered here in Archbaur’s TDT) gave us an entrée of what’s in store for their upcoming second album, which has been 4 years in the making. The mechanical syncopated rhythms were still present but found atop was a seductively melodic guitar layer which intertwined through the track, clearly pleasing the room.

Next up were Queensland’s Disentomb, who have been making some ripples across the Pacific amongst fans of the more brutal slamming side of DM. Beers had to be consumed so I did miss the start of their set but returned in time to catch the last few of tracks, which managed to hold my ever-declining attention quite well, no mean feat when you take into consideration that I’m not a huge enthusiast of the br00tal facets of the genre. I have it on good authority that there are some bowl-dwellers here who regard these guys quite highly taking into account their short career thus far. Disentomb are about to embark on a headlining tour through the USA, so if you’re into being pummeled by brutal cathartic slabs of vicious death metal (quadruple ‘bad review’ word-score?) check them out (dates here).

Being the only non-Australian band on the bill, it would seem logical that Louisiana’s Goatwhore could have easily passed as the headliners for this gig, as is the case over here more often than not. The band definitely treated their time on stage as though they were the drawcard of the night, which is exactly what the crowd desired. As Goatwhore ripped through a variety of tracks from their most recent albums, in particular 2014’s Constricting Rage Of The Merciless and 2012’s Blood For The Master, the droves of Goatwhorian’s heeded their call and proceeded to whip the pit up into a frenzy not yet seen on this night. The cuts were interspersed with some funny moments and which gave a welcomed intimate touch to the show. This is a rarity for the larger international acts, who are usually hitting our shores after a year or so of relentlessly touring Europe, the US and every-fucking-where else first and usually appear to be just going through the motions by the time they arrive down under, with their minds focused on going home.

Following Goatwhore would have been an issue for a lesser band but Psycroptic’s experience and homeland credibility kicked that notion right out of the door. From the moment they stepped on stage, it was clear that they are a band who have reached the point in their career where this sort of local affair is downright fun. Playing mostly tracks from their last 2 albums and 2015’s self-titled gem, Psycroptic managed to meet the expectations set by the crowd, the previous bands and almost certainly, their own. Displaying a crisp, acute sound, boundless energy (especially from the young fill-in bassist), canny use of crowd interaction and big smiles from frontman Jason Peppiatt, the band managed to muster enough reaction from the resilient but no doubt tiring blackened horde to get people stage-diving and crowd surfing their way into the night. Psycroptic are about to hit the USA, Europe and Japan for tours so stab here to check them out.

I managed to find those YouTube recordings from the awesome swanee69er who has filmed the majority of the gig in three parts. Swannee does this correctly, this is not one of those videos filmed with a tuberous vegetable either, so you can play spot the lizard while enjoying what I experienced but without the beer stains, the failed fat guy crowd surfing incident and sweat stench. At one point I tried to shunt one of my single mates close to the gorgeous girl who had taken residence next to me, only to see her jump up onstage and join in the crowd-surfing minutes later. While he may not have procured her phone number, he did garner some photos of Psycroptic in action which I will post below. Also, if you do go to Swannee’s channel, you’ll be pleased to find a plethora of great quality live metal recordings from bands such as: The Amenta, Gorguts, Daysend, Behemoth, Ruins, Soilwork, Ouroboros, Morbid Angel, The Leviathan Hex, Frankenbok, King Parrot, Rotting Christ, Aborted and many more.

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All video credits to Swannee and photo credits go to RZA.

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