Live Review and Photos by Bird
An all day gig needs to be held in an open venue with a beer garden, or divided area where it is possible to sit and have a beer while the bands you aren`t interested in seeing play. This is to my mind, the single biggest downfall of the Gaelic club, and worked, I think, to the detriment of Brute Force Fest. After arriving at the venue a little after 11 (this is not dedication, merely convenience as our accommodation was only a block away) and sussing out the lineup, my friend and I decided that seeing as how the first band we were really keen on seeing, Transcending Mortality, didn`t begin until 4.30, we should warm a couple of seats at the pub next door. Ducking in and out of the Gaelic club over the next few hours in an attempt to justify arriving so early, we agreed that were it possible to sit anywhere but on the floor, or sit nearby and half watch the earlier bands, then we would have done. The turnout was a little disappointing, possibly as a result of the crap venue, or maybe the change in headliners (although this is a pretty poor excuse). The acoustics also were a bit much for most of the day, as it sounded like the sound engineers had set the master faders for a room full of considerably more people than were actually present. On the upside, there was some great merchandise available including a heap of both local cd`s and imports (including an Aura Noir cd that I had been chasing), and the awesome bar staff were quite liberal with the Jagermeister.
I had heard lots of good things about Transcending Mortality and Vespers Descent, and so was dead keen to check them out. Transcending Mortality reminded me a little of Primal Fear at times, but with considerably more thrash and death influence. According to their website, there will be an album in May or so. Check it out, or if you can, see them live, it`s well worth it.
Perth`s Vespers Descent, to put it simply, were fantastic. They played technical death metal that encompassed a number of influences, including some more melodic elements. I thoroughly enjoyed them and only wish that touring in Australia were easier so that I could be sure of seeing them live again. That said, they have snared some pretty impressive supports in the past, and so I`m sure the opportunity will arise again.
The next two bands, Infernal Method and Mortal Sin show just how much a change in lineup can affect how you perceive a band, even if the songs are the same.
Last time I saw Infernal Method play was at M4TB 2003, with a different lineup. I really liked them back then. This time around they played a good show but I found some of the technical elements I had really liked last time lacking. I have to put this down to a number of factors - particularly the small crowd and venue (read - lack of energy). They play the sort of melodic death metal that I really like, and I believe that generally they are a great live band. I simply didn`t get into it as much this time round.
Mortal Sin kicked some serious arse, and although my friend commented that she didn`t like the new lineup so much (she thought they were veering to far from their original thrash sound), I had to disagree. In contrast to Infernal Method, they performed with pure electricity, and I feel that if only there had been a bigger crowd the room would have gone off to these guys.
The Furor played some heavy as fuck no bullshit black metal. Having missed seeing them the last couple of east coast support slots they played, it was great to be able to check the westerners out. I was blown away by the fury and pace of Louis` drumming as well as lead vocals. The guitarist and bassist did a phenomenal job keeping the pace and playing technical BM riffs and the bassist`s gutteral backing vocals were brutal.
Profanation came as an odd surprise with the singer wearing a pair of overalls that made him look rather like a bald German farmer. Their website describes them as `fucking brutal deathgrind`. Deathgrind certainly, but I did not find them especially fucking brutal. They weren`t as good as I had expected them to be, and could only confirm the opinions of some friends of mine who had played a gig with them in Canberra the previous night - They are good at what they do, but really kind of boring.
Pathogen (and the withdrawn Psychroptic) was my main reason for attending this show, and they did not disappoint me. The new drummer did a top job, and it seemed to me that they have tightened a lot since last time I saw them supporting Children of Bodom last year. Standing up the front, headbanging and windmilling away, I managed to give myself whiplash that hurt more than my hangover the next day. Michael`s vocals are shredding and he channels pure energy into his performance. I got the impression that he has become a lot more comfortable in his role since joining Pathogen. Aiden, Glen and Dave played solidly and have also tightened as a unit since I saw them last. Aidens gentle atmospheric leads break into furious and rhythmical riffs which come together beautifully with the other instruments.
As we originally were heading to Brute Force to see Pathogen and Psychroptic, I couldn`t really understand why Lord ended up as the replacement at a show primarily focusing on grind, thrash and death acts. I saw Dungeon a few times in the past and always got into them. As with Dungeon, Lord play the sort of irresistible power metal that finds you punching your fist in the air whether you want to or not. Having come to see a lot of heavier bands, I wasn`t really in the mood for Lord, but still managed to get into it a bit, and most of the audience (which had increased in size somewhat over the last three or four bands), loved it.
By the time Lord finished around 12, I had had massive and long day, so declined to head to Newtown for more drinking and teetered of to my accommodation where my friend had crashed out earlier.
It was a great show with a lot of potential, and a lot of bands played with a lot of energy despite the small audience. I earnestly believe that in the right venue, this gig could have gone off, and some of the bands to whom I may have given a not-so-flattering review would have played a lot better.
The lineup from the beginning of the day was as follows:
Zero Degrees Freedom
Scarblind (formerly Deadspawn)