[LIVE REVIEW] Meshuggah w/ Thy Art Is Murder @ 170 Russell, Melbourne 14/03/2017

Review Cassandra Hale

Last night it was back to 170 Russell, a great intimate venue to get up close with your favourite bands. I do enjoy gigs at 170 Russell but it is not known for its ventilation and Melbourne had dealt us another hot day so we all knew what to expect.  I really must point out that I think the lack of lighting is bordering on dangerous, my point was definitely proven when I entered the ladies only to find a man walking out, he looked as confused as I did, it was so dark you could not see the men from the women. Not that there were many women, we seemed to be outnumbered 100 to 1. I found a nice spot a little distance from the stage under an industrial fan which served to keep me cool all night

Thy Art is Murder played a short set of 45 minutes to an enthusiastically brutal fan base, this deathcore band hailing from Sydney relished in the craziness their fans brought to the floor, the singer even taking to the crowd for a surf. While deathcore is not necessarily a genre I enjoy I can see that the black t-shirt clan that turned out definitely did. Singer, Chris McMahon had a few chats with the audience stating his struggles with drugs over the past year and advising everyone to be sensible, and enjoy life, hopefully his words were taken on board, you never know it might save someone’s life.

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Swedish extreme metal band Meshuggah have a massive following in Melbourne, with tonight being one of two shows at 170 Russell, if merchandise was anything to go by there were plenty of t-shirts getting a run!  An hour and a half set comprising of 14 songs played out to intense moshing and head banging. Clockworks, Born in Dissonance and Sane a terrific opening trifecta to set the tone for how the evening would play out. The sound was sharp and the lighting and laser shows were a spectacle worthy of White Night! The top twelve songs finished up with Bleed a definite crowd favourite. Heads were nodding on auto pilot, all totally consumed in the music, some even with eyes closed completed absorbed in sound enjoying every last second, or maybe just giving their retinas a rest from the fierce light show.

Lead vocalist Jens Kidman was a man of very few words, just a quick hello and thanks for your support, I would have liked to see a little bit more interaction with the crowd but clearly it didn’t seem to worry them much. A never ending steam of bodies surfed over the top during the course of the night, many coming down to earth with a mighty thud, and maybe a broken rib or two. Security was working overtime and it is one profession I definitely do not envy.  I watched the sweaty bodies bouncing around from the comfort of my breezy position and was very happy with my fore thinking.

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An encore of two comprising Demiurge and Future Breed Machine got fists pumping and sweat flying for the final few minutes, the moshers not wasting a single note of the Swedish metal machine that is Meshuggah in full flight.

The army of spent fans filtered out onto Russell Street another awesome gig under their belts, and I am sure a large portion will be back again tomorrow to do it all again.