A horde of Adelaide metalheads welcomed the end of the week with massive bang overs after Death Metal giants Cattle Decapitation with special guests Fallujah sold out Lion Arts Factory on Thursday night and left me wondering how the building is still standing. The venue has been delivering the goods lately with a consistent stream of international heavy acts and I’m still unsure how they manage to contain so much noise in there, but as usual the bands unleashed unrelenting chaos shaking the foundations and creating one hell of an atmosphere for energised fans.
Up and coming Melbourne based blackened deathcore outfit Melancolia opened the night with their hauntingly brutal set to a full house complete with synchronised light show, setting the mood for an industrial death party. With Alex Hill at the helm boasting an unsettling demonic vocal style and presence, it seems Australia have finally produced their very own Dani Filth. Having only formed in 2022 before being signed by Nuclear Blast and playing their first ever gig supporting Thy Art is Murder, these guys came out of nowhere, but they already have a solid fan base and many punters had made a point to catch their performance. They have hit the ground running with their flawless sound and shiny new album HissThroughRottenTeeth which everyone got a taste of. If this is the standard now for Australian Metal bands starting out, we are definitely the lucky country.
Fallujah amped up the crowd even more with their incredible blend of melodic tech death and hardcore fused with some sneaky groove elements and extremely slutty power solos. Starting with a moody synth backing track, their set took off with an almighty roar before it felt like almost pure vibration from the sheer speed and volume of their track The Bitter Taste of Clarity. Honestly, I thought my teeth would actually rattle out of my face, and I quickly realised why everyone had been talking these guys up for weeks before the show. Very few bands are able to master that perfect balance of brutal but soothing sound and these guys nail it.
Kyle Schaefer’s vocal range is outrageous from dank deep gutturals to theatrical alto clean singing, oftentimes seemingly not even breathing between the two extremes. In addition to the intimidating quality of the front man, bass player Evan Brewer could be a one man show with his animated command of a 5-string adding to an already deep dark rhythm and harrowing break downs. Finishing with Artifacts from latest album Empyrean Fallujah played a brief but intense set also delivering older and wildly popular tracks The Void Alone and Carved From Stone.
Much to my horror, Cattle Decapitation started tearing the joint apart twenty minutes early while I was outside foolishly thinking the mass movement back to the stage had been set off by soundcheck. By the time I realised what was happening, inside was just bodies spilling out of the main stage room and it was a whole vibe. Synchronised head banging throughout the crowd to the quality of sound being performed by the big boys was impeccable, their stage presence far too grandiose for a venue of that size let alone a ceiling. Playing a hefty stack of tracks (no, seriously the set list was on two pages for those that collect them) there was a large focus on brand new album Terrasite and a good number of favourites from previous 2019 release Death Atlas with 2015 track Pacific Grim in there and encoring with 2012 track Kingdom of Tyrants to appease the long-term loyal fans. Vocalist Travis Ryan’s depth of sound and performance energy is immaculate, and he is in better shape than ever. Obviously he is in that special league of rockstars that seem to age backwards.
Literally ground shaking and exciting, the show was just far too much fun for a weeknight, with an incredible bill of bands to witness and a euphoric crowd soaking it all up. While many of us are still suffering the consequences, the night was a good endurance match for those of us in training for the warmer months when the onslaught of these enormous international heavy artists intensifies.
Live Review By Bec Scheucher