Photos by Chris Symes
It was an almost nostalgic feeling seeing a line forming from Amplifier as I walked down the alleyway towards the doors, I can’t tell you how many years it’s been since I’ve arrived at a metal gig in Perth and witnessed a crowd this large. It was a bloody warm one on Saturday night and I knew it was going to be absolutely sweltering inside this venue.
As the crowd began pouring in, it became more and more like a sardine can, jam packed with beards, long flowing hair and of course the trusty metal show camo shorts. Local post-black metal act Illyria played their first chord and to my surprise everyone piled in from the smokers area into the main band room to witness these guys, it’s not a consistent thing you see at shows like this as you usually have some elitists specifically there for the band on the shirt they’re wearing or those that only rock up for the headline act so well done Perth, you stepped up your game hugely on Saturday night.
Throughout their set the crowd grew larger and much more alive, people were head banging, cheering and clearly enveloped in the ambient musical tones combined with Ilija Static’s raw, emotional vocal style, chopping and changing from heavy to atmospheric and even introducing clean vocals at some point, the performance was an ever-evolving journey that not everyone in the crowd expected to be on but one we clearly all enjoyed. The perfect act to open for this bill, easing all attendee into what would shape up to be a very, very heavy night.
After a brief break outside for some fresh air, we all piled back inside to witness the tech death masters Revocation at work. With 2017 being their last visit to Perth fans were waiting in anticipation to experience the powerhouse these four men bring to the stage. Vocalist Dave Davidson isn’t afraid to take charge and get the crowd moving, encouraging circle pits and moshing, demands of which the crowd certainly met and continued to meet throughout the night. Guitarist Dan Gargiulo and Davidson work seamlessly with their dual vocalisation combined with their other worldy guitar skills, the roars from the crowd expressed just how impressed everyone inside that venue was. Davidson seems to have adopted Aussie favourite slang and enjoys using it as much as the crowd loves hearing it, declaring “We didn’t come here to fuck spiders” mid-set. They certainly didn’t come here to mess around and powered through their set playing tracks from their ‘Outer Ones’ record and delighting fans with ‘Madness Opus’ from their 2014 record ‘Deathless’ before ending their reign on stage with “Communion” which had the crowd absolutely buzzing and once again proving they absolutely are the leaders of their chosen genre.
By the time we cleared a venue the second time, you could literally feel the heat coming off of people as they walked past you and as much of an uncomfortable experience this was, spirits were high and fans were all loudly discussing just how excited they were to witness the devastation that is headline act Cattle Decapitation. By the time they had started there was literally no way into the main room, the venue was beyond packed and everyone was crammed up against each other. The intro from the latest record ‘Death Atlas’ began, I felt goosebumps raise on my arms and realised I am finally about to see Cattle Decapitation live.
The band were running on 3 hours of sleep but no one would have noticed, Travis Ryan’s vocal control is beyond spectacular before seeing them live you would question whether it was capable for a human to do this live but let me assure you, Ryan is most definitely capable. ‘Death Atlas’ is an impressive piece of music on record and an even more impressive one live, with the mix of lighting and samples all senses were being sparked and it was an experience like no other. Ryan is a master of his art, sprawling and contorting his body on stage making the grind core sound booming from the entire band even more visually enticing. A setlist mixed with new and old including clear crowd favourite ‘Forced Gender Reassignment’ saw everyone in that venue moving, a keen fan even climbed the post in the middle of amps and screamed along to every word whilst another fan was thrown in the air towards the front of the stage and crowd surfed for what seemed like the entire night.
After the music had finished, concertgoers continued to party and reminisce on the show they just saw. Everyone spoke about how dumbfounded they were that artists like Revocation can play as well as they did and Cattle Decapitation can bring such a huge devastation of sound to life in the way they did. After such a successful turnout, let’s hope bands like these two don’t take so long to return to Perth and we begin seeing more and more metal heavyweights in our city.