Sunday 12th Oct 2008
The Metro Theatre, Sydney
written by Goran
Reunited finally and touring, Carcass back in Australia for the first time in 15 years supporting old material meant we fans were in for an unforgettable night of old school death metal. My good mate Oliver was immensely pumped up before this show and telling me for a while not to miss this concert under any circumstance as it would be as good if not better than Iron Maiden’s Somewhere Back In Time Tour. Boy was he not wrong! From the first minute the band delivered brutality, brutality one demands and would expect from only a handful of favourite bands.
Due to various commitments I have neglected the idea of going to this show but thanks to good friends Soundworks Touring who secured my media pass and guaranteed me joining Oliver, and his girlfriend Daniella, I was over the moon (advantages of running banner ads and promoting local scene). Deni is new to the metal scene, but thanks to us has now also been to Children Of Bodom and Opeth shows. Impressive for someone who is a metal virgin. Pretty soon she will be a metal warrior.
The show was at the Metro Theatre, a very popular but relatively small venue which is located at the heart of Sydney. We came at a time when the local band Beyond Terror Beyond Grace were finishing off so we only heard a song and a bit. They played an intense grind death and kept the small audience awake enough to keep them in the mood. I believe HailMetal has reviewed them in the past as being a solid opener (at Behemoth gig from memory). The sound was insanely loud and that continued on to the second band Daysend. These guys play a combination of things: hardcore death metal or hardcore thrash with screamo vocals with arpeggio guitar shredding - a little over the top I thought but ok. Their set was extremely loud and left me temporarily deaf. Oliver wasn’t impressed at all and had no problem labelling the band a borderline mallcore/hardcore. For term newbies, he didn’t think it was metal.
The band played well over forty minutes covering a lot of songs including a ballad with repetitive vocal screams which was I had a feeling one of their more prominent numbers. The band did manage to get the numbers needed behind them but they were all just standing still – my guess was waiting for the next band.
As is always the case with The Metro Theatre the background tunes echoed on as we awaited just over half an hour for the main band - the legendary Carcass. The stage was well darkened with two posters on each side of what looked to be limb remains or part of human anatomy, and a blank screen in the background (for image projection) helping set the atmosphere. Not long and the first images shone through (and it was the classic Necroticism artwork) with an instrumental intro getting the crowd erupting as the band got out and continued into the song “Inpropagation” followed by “Buried Dreams”.
Jeff Walker’s unmistakable vocal intonation reflected the passage of droning riffs, those classic Carcass riffs that have the power to make everyone increasingly violent. The sound was very sharp almost as good as on CD. Unfortunately for Jeff a propelled plastic bottle hit him in the head, but like true professional completed the song before telling the crowds that the next person to throw anything would receive a stampede of punches in the face by people nearby. The remark was greeted by a thousand cheers and there was no more trouble. I’ve got to say the venue did have security walking about doing their thing. I assume it was to protect anyone foolish as Jeff wasn’t kidding.
The band covered an equal amount of brutal songs (from Necroticism) as did melodic ones (mainly Heartwork). Personal favourites were hard to pick but I’d mention “Corporeal Jigsore Quandary” being of destructive nature and “Carnal Forge” a brutal riff fest with such amazing solos. Mike Amott on guitars was blitzing through most of the set and demonstrated once again to Sydney audience that he is one of the best guitar players and soloists in the free world. I particularly enjoyed his showing at Arch Enemy in 2005 as he was unstoppable. Here he put that performance to shame.
The riffs just kept coming from one legendary song to the next. Drumming was superb, very tight. Ballistic double kicking busting our ear drums, thank you Mr Daniel Erlandsson. The galloping sound on “This Mortal Coil” was also solid live and got the crowds into it. “Embodiment” followed soon after and the place was clearly going off.
On more than one occasion Jeff took opportunities to talk on microphone and at some stage introduced “Keep On Rotting in the Free World” as being from a “last new album”. When a 12 year old material is introduced as new material you can always count on me to show my appreciation.
The depth of material was well represented while projection above showed footage of body autopsies, prostate diseases introduced as song for the ladies (British charm?), brain remains and other organs being cut up to pieces. The rest of it was all PG as animations were mainly of wars, infantry and images of concentration camps all befitting the message of lyrics. An image of a stabbed bird by a bayonet (musket dagger) was a little too much. The set was over an hour and a half long with band squeezing in approximately 20 songs.
It’s difficult to fault a band with so much experience like Carcass. The sound was above average thanks to their crew, who resolved issues that previous bands unfortunately suffered from. By the end of it I have completely thrashed out and this time around I was the one, and not Oliver, who created a huge circle-of-trust with hardly anyone around (they were all outside it). Normally we see that phenomena around Oliver as he is known to bang fairly intensely.
There was no encore, but by that time it was already next morning and people were left with a dose of Monday Carcass hangover. Anyone that missed this gig should kick themselves hard every time they listen to Carcass. It was one of the greatest death metal shows I have ever been to. Shame I could not see the Death logo sticker on one of the guitars that Oliver noticed - I guiess I was standing too far. Apologies yet again for crappy cam quality. They don’t do this gig justice. Good on you Soundworks for bringing the band out. Top marks!
Corporeal Jigsore Quandary
Incarnate Solvent Abuse
No Love Lost
Edge Of Darkness
This Mortal Coil
Reek Of Putrefaction
Keep On Rotting in the Free World
Rotten To The Gore
Exhume To Consume