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InterviewsTour Interview

Interview with Ben Ward (Orange Goblin)

Click above to see Mitch chat with Ben Ward ahead of Orange Goblin Australian Tour!

Cut from the same beer-stained cloth as the greats, UK stoner rock metal act ORANGE GOBLIN are still riding high and leading the pack in 'balls to the wall' heavy metal thunder. Emerging amid the exhilarating melee of the mid-‘90s stoner rock and doom explosion, ORANGE GOBLIN immediately endeared themselves to a generation of metal fans by simply going for it at full, beer-swilling pelt and some twenty five plus years later, nothing has changed! Moving towards 2024 it’s all hell for leather with the release of their tenth studio album, the first one since 2018's 'The Wolf Bites Back' and the first for new label Peaceville Records.

 
Being 11 years since their last trek to Australia, ORANGE GOBLIN are way well overdue for a bone jarring jaunt and have promised to pull out all the stompers for an intense and intoxicating atmosphere that will truly show the power and might these British heavyweights are armed with.
 
Earning a unique place in Australia’s heavy scene is Simpsons themed doom-rock band DR COLOSSUS. Brandishing low tuned guitar riffs and melodically driven songs that then manage to turn the genre on its head by presenting lyrics and an aesthetic based entirely on episodes of The Simpsons. A gimmick as it may be, DR COLOSSUS have earned a reputation as one of the one of the country’s most dynamic heavy acts who wield a dynamic palette of doom infused rock stomping grooves within well crafted, fun and riotously catchy material.
 
Leading the charge of mountainous riffage is Sydney’s two piece feed ASTRODEATH. Possessing a furious and intimidating sound, at a titanic reverberation that far exceeds the sum of its twin parts, ASTRODEATH belt out sludge ridden slices of heaviness that pack a devastating punch.
 
ORANGE GOBLIN with DR COLOSSUS and ASTRODEATH performing at:
 

April 9th – Adelaide, Lion Arts Factory

April 10th – Canberra, The Basement
 

April 11th – Brisbane, The Zoo

April 12th – Sydney, Crowbar
 

April 13th – Melbourne, The Croxton

 

TICKETS ON SALE at:

ADELAIDE – www.moshtix.com.au
 

CANBERRA, BRISBANE, SYDNEY, MELBOURNE – www.oztix.com.au

 
 

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Album ReviewReviews

[Album Review] Helmet – Left

Helmet to me was one of those bands who were always mentioned, songs were played, I got into them but never really deep dived into but after listening to Left, the brand new album, I will be going to change this. It’s clear that Helmets soundscape has influenced a fair amount of music over the years with their brand of alternative Metal, Punk and even aspects of hardcore influence to assist the evolution further still. You’ve got to give credit where it’s due.

Going back to have a listen to some previous albums while writing this review for comparison, Left is nothing new to their already well-established sound but a solid reminder of why Helmet are still relevant and noteworthy. Bringing their classic gritty hardcore DIY sounding production to the table once again, it brings songs like Bigshot, Bombastic and Gun Fluf to the forefront of the album, these 3 tracks were the top ones for me. Gun Fluf has this solid snare beat that just drives that song like a nail in a coffin, its killer but if you are putting on Helmet, then you know what you are wanting and won’t be disappointed in what they are doing.

The opening track Holiday sets the pace for the Left, which is fairly mid – slow tempo with Gun Fluf being the fastest track on here and an incredible moody acoustic, strings attached track titled, Tell Me Again, being the slowest, but don’t let the lack of speed turn you off, that song is worth the listen. The song starts off with some steel guitar work leading into acoustic guitar and strings behind it with melancholy vocals about that lovely narcissistic friend, yeah, you know.. THAT mate!

The album ends on this wicked jazz avantgarde style track named Resolution, completely instrumental with some great guitar work, because you know, why the hell not!? With Resolution, Tell Me Again and another track Reprise, the album inherits a decent contrast of sounds from start to finish. You have everything from open punky chorus’ with catchy vocals that will have songs stuck in your head to a chunky palm muted riff that will get you headbanging as well as the previously mentioned, mellow track Tell Me Again, that will have you reflecting on everything you thought you knew.

Left is a great album to give to someone who has never listened to Helmet, it will definitely gain them fans and surely keep the old ones happy. Go out and try a left field album of your own music tastes and find something new! You never know what you will find and like.

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[Review] Archspire @ Corner Hotel 14/10/2023

It’s been a fair while since I’ve been to a gig at The Corner Hotel, I think the last time was Bel’akor in 2022. Tonight is sold out and this place is a hell of a lot smaller than I remember but the one thing I do remember is that damn pole in the middle of the pit, anyone that’s been there knows exactly what I’m talking about. As the doors open and people flood the room, the merch line goes across the entire venue floor to the back-end bar, the bar line is then crossing over through the merch line, there are people everywhere and no one knows what line they are in, its chaos, but the sure fire thing is that everyone is keen for the line up tonight and it’s great to see a packed venue from start to finish.

Local Black/Death Metal trio Werewolves walk out on stage to a full crowd, who clearly have the local following behind them, being greeted with a whole room screaming for you as an opener must be an incredible feeling. I’ve now caught these guys 3 times and they are yet to disappoint; they are always tight and I’m sure everyone knows how freaking good Dave Haley is at drumming, the guys is a machine! They run through their set, smashing out track after track trying to fit in as much as possible with the like of Crushgasm, I Don’t Like You and Under The Ground. They get the crowd all riled up and energetic stating they are filming a clip for No More Heroes, to which they get a lot more movement going. Definitely a local band to check out if you haven’t seen them already.

Next up is probably the most talked about band tonight, Ingested. This UK based Death Metal band have come over here for their first time and are clearly loving the trip. I’ve never heard of these guys before tonight, but I walked away a fan. Right from the get-go, the singer had the crowd moving and screaming, there would have been some sore necks the next morning. Ingesteds sound reminded me of Thy Art Is Murder but with a heavier vocal style, it was unreal. They performed a tight and energetic set with the only issues being that some vocals were missing either from a mixing issue or even a vocal style mix. I noticed that some of his highs weren’t coming through and then also some of his faster phrasing work but goddamn, when it came through, it came through! What a scream on the guy! And the other issue being that the low end was a bit lost, but I think that may have been where I was standing, I was moved about a fair bit by just general crowd flow. About three quarters of the way through the set, the singer gets the entire venue floor to cut in half for a wall of death, to which, everyone happily obliged, and I saw some old hardcore moves I have seen in a long time, clearly there are some older style fans here tonight. The announcement of “This is our last song” is met with a chorus of BOOOO’s to which the singer smiles and thanks the crowd for making their trip one to remember.

Archspire, tech death from USA, I have listened to these guys a little bit since the announcement of the tour and I was keen as hell to witness the guitar work and singer live in action, the did not disappoint. Straight off the bat, wicked guitar solos and melodies are being played with the bassist following suit with some incredible handiwork, I wish I had a better view because it sounded incredible! The next thing that hit me was the drummer! This guy just didn’t make sense to me audially, and I wish I could have seen him, he just constantly blasted but the sound of his snare hits was amazing and crisp, cut straight through the mix. The vocalist had me in awe at how quick he was phrasing, it was just rapping but with a death growl style voice, I can’t imagine how hard that is to actually do and I would love to know HOW he actually does it. The whole band are incredibly skilled at what they do, and they are just as funny. In between songs was band banter of crazy introductions of members, an “I love you” snuck in at the end of a song, “First one to kiss the disco ball gets a free shirt!” and damn! I’ve never seen a guy climb up on top of people fast enough to kiss a disco ball. The ultimate thing of the night was watching people play “Twister in the middle of a moshpit! “Right hand Red!” I can’t say I’ve ever seen that in a show.

It’s these kinds of things that make a night great, unexpected, fun, incredible musicianship, packed rooms and a game of twister! It’s also what I love about the metal scene, people just want to come out to have fun and see some incredibly well played and performed music.

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[Review] Cattle Decapitation @ Croxton Bandroom, Melbourne 16/09/2023

Review By Mitch Charlton

Cattle Decapitation were the last international band I saw play live back in Feb 2020 before the world was struck with the plague and everything went haywire! It was an incredible show, it made a lasting impression and made me a fan of their music. Hearing that they were coming back I was so keen to hear and see this incredible band live once again and my god! They did not disappoint but, on to that later.

3 years later, Cattle Decapitation are back in Australia with their latest destroyer of an album Terrasite and Melbourne is sold out! This is my second sold out show at The Croxton Bandroom and the one thing I notice about this place is, it fills really quick. For anyone that hasn’t been there yet, just make sure you move to where you want to be for the night, otherwise you might struggle to get to the bar and back later.

Melbourne Deathcore quartet, Body Prison come on promptly at 8pm and kick things off with some solid chunk style bass riffage or at least that’s all I’m able to really make out. Unfortunately, I couldn’t hear much of the guitars for most of their set, even standing in front of the mix desk, as is tradition, wasn’t helping me tonight, from the looks it had a fair bit of tremolo strumming but I’m not gonna hold that against them because their frontman had some incredibly fast paced phrasing skills and definitely got that crowd warmed up for the rest of the night, throwing some merch in to the crowd to fight for it, getting more movement than I’ve seen for an opener for a while. I want to go check them out again to hopefully hear them properly.

Fallujah, another band I hadn’t heard before tonight and I was interested to see how it all came across especially after Body Prisons mix and somehow things sounded incredibly different, I could hear everything but bass this time. These guys have come across with Cattle Decap from the States and brought their version of Tech Death to show off. These guys had more backing synth and clean style vocals, incredibly melodic and some incredible musicianship, it was such a shame I couldn’t hear the bass player, some of the tapping and riffs looked unreal. These guys had the room nodding along and from what I could see a bit of a mosh pit, the room was pretty much sardine packed by this stage. It’s awesome to think that you’re coming to a Death metal show and that all bands have an incredibly different style of play and how they go about their stage, Fallujah stood out from being the most melodic sound tonight, definitely a band to check out.

Just when I thought the room was packed by the end of Fallujahs set, apparently you can fit more people in, as the crowd got nice and cosy, the anticipation grew whilst waiting for Cattle Decapitation to come out and blast us all away. Coming out to album opener, Terrasitic Adaptation, its instantaneous to everyone tonight as to why these guys are one of the best in the business and this show is sold out. First time seeing CD I couldn’t look away from either the frontman or the drummer, don’t get me wrong, the entire band is incredible but how Travis can get his voice in both of those styles live is seriously mind blowing. It must be fun for bands to come to Australia where swearing is just part of our language and culture “MELBOURNE!! How the F$#k are you C&%nts!?” Travis yells and grins, he just looked and sounded like he is having fun saying that, he does drop the C word a few more times throughout the set with a massive grin, pretty funny to watch.

The mix became crystal clear, I could hear and feel the bass and kicks running through the floor, the pit explodes as they run through the first tracks off Terrasite as well as a killer set with the likes of Bring Back the Plague, Finish Them, Forced Gender Reassignment and coming out to an encore of Kingdom of Tyrants. They know how to work their crowd and you can see that all members are incredibly grateful to be back here once again.

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Caskets – Reflections

When creating a new album, you always want to have something to say with the songs you’ve written, and you also want to do better than the previous album. Caskets have come out with their sophomore album, Reflections, which I believe does both. Metalcore is on the rise once again, that’s right you purists, go hide away from the mainstream for a while, big sing along chorus’s, chunky breakdowns and synth backing tracks are coming back in full swing, but what makes Caskets stand out amongst the crowd?

First off, you’ve got to have a wicked hook or melody and the singles released for the album Believe, Better Way Out and More Than Misery were the best choices off this album in this aspect. Believe is bouncy as hell and I had it on repeat, there are killer hooks and melodies throughout this entire album but this one got me good. The artwork for the film clip really ran with the reflections idea, crystals and mirrors everywhere! More Than Misery comes in with a massive sing along chorus and that’s gonna come across well when they hit live scene.

Better Way Out is a brilliant track, because as well as being a well written track musically, lyrically, it deals with those dark thoughts and the film clip perfectly portrays a scenario of someone not coping with that situation. With the “You are not alone, there are people who care” at the end, it really cements what they are trying to get across to their fans and listeners.

The second album is probably more daunting than the first, with the first, you write the best that you know how, you record and engineer to the best you know how. Once that first album is released, you then have a bar to go above and beyond but how do you write better? How do you record better? Caskets released Lost Souls in 2021 and they already have the next one in the barrel ready to go. They have definitely stepped up the game here with Reflections, they are sounding massive, stronger and coming out better song writers. The album will have you bouncing and singing along every time.

Having a message with your music is also what can make you stand out amongst the other bands, and I do love a band with a message. This album deals with the themes of mental health, dealing with your inner demons, ranging from a breakup song (high overview) to struggling with finding the strength to deal with everyday life. Caskets are reminding their fans and listeners that these are real issues and there are appropriate ways to deal with them. Self-care is an important message and more people do need to recognise this as a constant battle.

These guys were recently here, just as I got to do the review for this. I wish I had the chance to see them play live to give another dynamic to the review, I did hear that they dropped a couple of new ones in live though and I’m interested to hear which ones. After giving this a listen I’m hoping they are coming back sometime soon.

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Album InterviewsInterviews

Interview with Luke Ashley (Orpheus Omega)

(Mitch Charlton) Thank you for taking the time to have a chat with me, it’s been a couple of years since our last chat, you had just released Career Suicide with Triple Kill, you’re now going on tour with them, any chance some of those covers will make the live set?
(Luke Ashley) Hey mate, it's our pleasure! We want to make every show feel like a unique experience so we're pulling out some new covers for this tour alongside our latest EP.

(MC) Triple Kill have been known to have a joke or two, create some pretty damn funny content, can we expect some tour antics when teaming up with Orpheus?
(LA) Absolutely not. I still haven't recovered from the last AirBnB we shared together, it was a total party wipe. This time it's all death & taxes.

(MC)With the upcoming Questfest in Sept, I’m hoping that there’s some stage outfit ideas already in the works, any hints the fans can have for the show?
(LA)Look, all I'm gonna say is we were forged in the fires of Cheez TV. You can expect some Cease & Desist inducing homages come showtime. My favourite part of Questfest is seeing how people twist the theme. Costumes are always encouraged but a rootin-tootin 'tude is mandatory partner.

(MC)Are any of the band into fantasy games/books?
(LA)I dare you to find a metalhead who isn't! A vast swath of heavy culture is rooted in escapism so there is shared DNA. It's rare to have a conversation with Chris or Kes without them referencing Middle Earth. Matt hoards CCG, Garry is a Warhammer wiz, and let's face it – Leon is the male fantasy. We draw a lot of inspiration from media rooted in sci-fi and mythology too.

(MC) What Class would everyone be in the band in a Fantasy world scenario? Feel free to include the Triple Kill gents for some fun too.
(LA) Haha, great question! Chris could be an artificer since he spends all day 3D printing new gadgets, or maybe he's a rogue because he stays up all night watching Lockpicking Lawyer. Matt is a Wizard of the Coast with sleight of hand proficiency. Leon is a lawful good paladin, Kes is a plucky bard and I'm the tavern keeper handing out fetch quests. Triple Kill are two half-giant barbarians and three gnomes in a trenchcoat – I'll let you decide who is who.

(MC)The songs from the latest EP have been written by individuals of the band, can you explain a little about this process? How did each track come together?
(LA)For sure. Each track on Portraits was written in isolation with each member having full creative licence. It was nerve-wracking hitting play on the demo since we'd all only heard one fifth of the record. The song order and arrangements unanimously made sense; very few structural adjustments were made from first draft to master. It may have been challenging for Chris to mix but the end result is the most natural work in our catalogue.

(MC) The Portraits EP features a few guests, Andy Gillion, Jim Grey, Jukka Pelkonen to name a few, how did you come about getting these artists involved?
(LA)The wand chose the wizard. Each song was designed with specific artists in mind – people who have inspired us through our own musical journeys. I can tell you now, these folks are the real deal, going so far as to contribute musical ideas and appear in music videos. It's sublime stuff and we're very glad to have met our heroes.

(MC) Are there any Aussie artists who you would like to work with in the future, not necessarily Metal related?
(LA) Dude, it's gotta be Team Cherry or House House. Tiny but mighty game dev teams that shook the global landscape of indie gaming. They're the bees knees.

(MC) You have just released a new cover, Children of Bodom’s Hatecrew Deathroll, will this be coming into the live set or solely a video release? Why this song in particular?
(LA) You'll have to come to Questfest to find out! Finnvox Studios mastered the original Hatecrew Deathroll 20 years ago and generously mastered our tribute to the late great Alexi Laiho in turn. The track itself is a rallying cry amongst the COBHC and holds significant meaning to us both as individuals and as Orpheus Omega.

(MC) Lastly, anything in particular that is a must have on an Orpheus Tour?
(LA) Our sixth & seventh Beatles Garry & Kayne. They make us sound good and look better, never leave your house without them.

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[Review] Make Them Suffer @ 170 Russell, Melbourne 01/06/2023

Review By Mitch Charlton

How good is going out and finding new music? Nothing convinces me more to listen to a new band than seeing them live. Tonight, I found 3 new bands that I will chuck on rotation, Make Them Suffer, Fit For An Autopsy and Ocean Sleeper. This sold-out show at 170 Russell had a packed line before the doors opened and a diverse crowd from the look of the band shirts, it’s great to see people come out to support Aussie bands on their tours and this is a celebration of Make Them Suffer’s 10-year anniversary of Neverbloom.

Opening tonight is Ocean Sleeper who came out hard, straight into a packed venue and had the crowd moving from the opening riff. Utilising the full stage set up, the energetic front man had crowd eating out of the palm of his hand. These guys have a great Metalcore sound with heavy verses and melodic clean choruses that had the everyone singing along. The whole band were appreciating the night, playing to a packed venue, and celebrating with friends on their album, you could just see it in how they were playing, the drummer didn’t stop smiling the whole time. If you are after Melodic and catchy, get out and see these guys, they wont disappoint.

Fit For An Autopsy hit the stage with a force so great that the entire crowd has to start moving to keep up with the riffs being thrown around. The music just got a hell of a lot heavier; we went from heavy Metalcore to straight up Deathcore heaviness. The venue is basically fully packed by this stage, and you can instantly see that the crowd are here to have a good time, circle pits break out, everyone is headbanging and bodies are flying everywhere! These guys had a solid mix, everything was crisp, the dissonant chords used were coming through clear and the drums sounded amazing, such a hard hitter! The track that won me over was Black Mammoth, go and have a listen to this one and you will see why, then go and catch these guys live if you want more convincing. If you are into Thy Art Is Murder, you will want to hear Fit For An Autopsy.

The reason we are all here tonight, Make Them Suffer’s Neverbloom albums 10th anniversary, it’s being played in full. I had only checked out a couple of songs by these guys before tonight’s show, so I didn’t fully know what to expect. Firstly, these guys have an incredible light and sound to their experience, it’s evident that they have thought of most of, if not all aspects of their live performance for tonight. They had light bars and screens on the stage to accompany the music, it was an incredible show. We had the melody of Ocean Sleeper early on, followed by the brutality of Fit For An Autopsy and what better way to have Make Them Suffer come on who combine the two perfectly. As they progress through Neverbloom the crowd are unrelenting, they haven’t stopped all night, if anything they are going harder again for Make Them Suffer and it’s clear the band are feeding off that energy and pushing themselves harder. When Maelstrom and Weeping Wastelands start up the crowd go hard with the moshing and circle pits, the security have had minimal to watch all night, but the bodies start going hard over that front bar at this point. The singer stops at the end of the album to say thank you and that tonight is their biggest selling show in their careers, which is incredible to be apart of and witnessing, they are humbled at the fact they have come this far. They then end the set on their two latest singles, Ghost of Me and Doomswitch, which we hear their female vocals come in strong, a great way to end the night.

It always pays to get out of your routine and comfort zones to check out something fresh, you never know what you might enjoy, get out and go find some new local bands and support the scene, so that more Aussie Bands can get to this incredible Milestone.

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[Review] Vader @ Max Watts, Melbourne 26/05/2023

Review By Mitch Charlton

Its been 5 years since Vader were last here with Kreator, Australia missed out on a tour through the plague times, and this tour was also postponed once, maybe twice, but we finally get to have them back on their 40th anniversary tour and they bring with them their Polish brethren, Hate and Thy Disease, what a line up! I have been waiting for an Australian Hate show since I was about 17, this is monumental. Tonight Vader show us why they are still around 40 years later, one of the old school greatss still showing everyone else how it should be played.

Starting off tonight with a low crowd count at the stage, people went straight to the merch desk, eager to get their hands on the goods, which didn’t last long, I ended up hearing about a few people missing out on sizes of tour shirts within the first 30 mins, but I guess this is what happens when you have a killer line up and a bands first time coming to Australia. The last few gigs I have been to, I have noticed that merch running out really quick is a common occurrence, which is great but I’m curious as to whether this is due to bands not anticipating the demand or whether it’s a cost to get it made in the first place, any readers, let me know your thoughts on this please.

Melbourne’s own Vexation put on one hell of an opening set, a young 3-piece Death Metal band who everyone should keep an eye on, these guys have skills years above them, they know how to write a wicked Death Metal track and perform it with incredible energy. With a full sounding 3-piece band, they ran through a solid set of groove headbanging riffs that were then coloured with astonishing shred solos and bass runs that had heads turning from all over the venue. Their energetic drummer is definitely one to watch, this guy was keeping machine like tightness while headbanging and throwing in amazing drum fills and beats. If you haven’t had a chance to check them out yet, make sure you go and catch a show, you won’t be disappointed.

First off from the Poles is Thy Disease, this is their first time on our shores, and they show off a hard working ethic with a front man who, by the end of their set, had the crowd moving and headbanging. The crowd had grown to cover most of the venue by this stage and they had more heads moving with their brand of groove riffs and melodic solos. The only thing I was confused about was their mix, I could hear faint traces of backing synths but then there was minimal bass coming through, Vexation had a crystal-clear mix just before but, for them to have certain things missing was a bit odd. Thy Disease played a strong show and set the mood for the following bands tonight.

Hate, a band I have been listening to since I was about 17, someone who I never thought I would actually see play live in Australia are finally here. It is clear that I’m not the only one here tonight who has been waiting this long for them to come here. The crowd is thick with anticipation as the lights dim and their drummer comes out to start the intro with some rhythmic tom work that then kicked into Sovereign Sanctity. They run through a killer setlist that spans their career and get the crowd moving with the likes of Resurrection Machine, Rugia and Wolf Queen. The standout track for me was Threnody, the very first song that I ever heard of theirs, hearing this live was unreal! I hope they come back on the next album cycle, now that they know they have an Australian following.

It takes a lot of skill, determination, and grit to get a band touring and recording and Vader are here celebrating their 40th anniversary. They have toured the world multiple times and shown fans all over the world why they are one of the greatest and deserving of being here 40 years later. Vader sounds just as good live as they do on a record, their guitar tone and mix is phenomenal, everything is crisp and as it should be. Tonight’s setlist spans their 40-year career and starting off early on with tracks like Dark Age and Vicious Circle, then coming in with some newer ones Shock And Awe and Silent Empire. There is no slowing this band down, they are as hard hitting as ever and will probably still be around in the years to come! It’s impressive as hell to watch them play the way they do.

Death Metal is one hell of a genre, it has so many different takes but with bands like Vader leading the charge, modern and up and coming bands should be looking to these guys for the inspiration and the requirements to keep a band alive and strong after 40 years!

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[Review] Emperor @ Forum Theatre, Melbourne 17/05/2023

Review By Mitch Charlton

“Melbourne, are you ready to embrace the Nightside!?” I’ve always said in my reviews that I love The Forum in Melbourne, it makes every band sound and look amazing, and tonight was no different. The line out the front tonight shivers in anticipation for seeing one of the greats in the genre play one of their most prolific albums brought out. This is the second time in my life I have managed to see one of the founding bands of Black Metal play a classic album in its entirety. I was fortunate enough to see Mayhem play De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas in full a couple of years back, Cradle of Filth have been here with Cruelty and the Beast album and tonight, Melbourne gets to witness Emperor play In The Nightside Eclipse in full. If Satyricon can come play Rebel Extravaganza in full here, I’m pretty sure that would be my favourites done! HINT HINT!!

Ten years ago, I first saw The Amenta support Cradle of Filth, I’d never heard of them before that show, they then left an incredible impression on me that I went out and found a copy of their Flesh is Heir album and thrashed it for months! Then the announcement that they would be going on hiatus. I was shattered! Fast forward to 2021, The Amenta come back with a brand-new album, Revelator in 2021 and my hopes of seeing them get a little bigger, THEN comes the news that they are supporting the almighty Emperor! What a rollercoaster!

As soon as doors open, the crowd start packing the venue, although not completely sold out, it is still pretty damn full. It’s great to see the place over half full already before The Amenta start and also seeing such a diverse crowd, there are old schoolers and also younger people in the crowd, it just goes to show how influential Emperor have been over their career.

The Amenta slither out on stage to start the opening track, dressed in white shirts, ties and the skin masks from the Sere Money film clip, and then Cain, front man of this repulsive abomination of an outfit, storms the stage, in all black suit and red tie, in perfect contrast to the band. These guys have always had a flair for the theatrics of what they do, they take the art of their craft seriously and it shows in their performance tonight.

The Amenta are just as good as I remember, Cain is a commanding presence on stage and the band plays with machine like tightness. He occasionally jumps down to the bar at the front and stalks the crowd, getting in their faces, bringing them into his world of madness. They are able to create the same atmosphere live as their haunting tracks do played at home which is an incredible feat. Cain works the crowd as the band run through old tracks and new like Sere Money, Ego Ergo Sum and Teeth, just to name a few. The mix is great, everything is clear and crisp, I put it to being this venue, everyone sounds great here. The Forum tonight learns that The Amenta are back to shock and bring them into their dark world of disgust.

The reason we have all ventured out tonight, Emperor, one of the best in the business when it comes to epic sounding black metal, they walk out to the screaming crowd and kick straight off with Into The Infinity of Thoughts. Ihsahn’s voice is exactly the same as on the record, it’s incredible to hear this live, I never thought I would get to see Emperor live but seeing this album in full has been one hell of a show. I got to see him play his solo work live a few years back and he threw in a couple of Emperor tracks but this is next level, this is the true thing from start to finish. A minor technical issue causes the stop of a song a couple of tracks in and with minimal muck around they kick straight back into Towards the Pantheon. I am The Black Wizards gets the desired effect from the crowd, everyone goes nuts and when I say nuts, fans go from standing with their arms crossed, nodding to the beat to, horns up and whole-body head banging, there is minimal moshing when it comes to these types of crowds. The movement and excitement continue into Inno A Satana before they take a quick break to then come out for classics from Anthem to the Welkin at Dusk.

Watching Emperor perform was inspiring, what they have accomplished over their careers, their musicianship and skill in performing these songs, was a true sight to behold. As mentioned earlier, without the slight hiccup of a tech issue, this would have been just like the CD being put on. To play an album from start to finish as good as it was, maybe even played a little better now after decades in between, is such an amazing feat. It’s unreal to see these albums in full live, these have been some of the bands turning points in their careers. I hope that a few more bands do this type of thing when anniversaries come up. Melbourne embraced the Nightside whole heartedly! Hail to Emperor!

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