‘Extreme technical death metal’ is all I knew about anything going to Lion Arts on Sunday night but the turnout was massive and it was a high energy face melting night with a crushing line up featuring Melbourne based legends Werewolves, UK death metallers Ingested and Canadian outfit Archspire proving that you can in fact boogie to death metal.
I was at doors to greet Werewolves as they have now solidified themselves as a high impact gruelling act guaranteed to get the party raging. No surprises they nailed their set kicking off with Know Your Place the low vibrational hum is weirdly soothing while high pitched spiralling riffs unleash unrelenting chaos to the soul. Sounding incredibly tight at such a dizzying speed, David Haley on drums left me wondering once again how that level of percussion is even remotely humanly possible while the seamless blackened vocals of Sam Bean just don’t quit. The crowd were all there in the moment, the kind of music that grounds yet stirs, everyone seemed as paralysed as I was. Feet stuck to the floor but still moving to the sound. The pit did not open until last track and crowd favourite I Don’t Like You which finished the set with a frenzy.
Ingested kept the energy insanely high with their groove infused core shaking jumpy break downs and ruthless blast beats inciting one of the rowdiest crowds I have seen on a Sunday night for a while. Frontman Jason Evans aka The Slam King took command of the punters straight up as the venue filled up, taking to some comical emotional blackmail crowd control (“we flew half way across the world for you, you can move half way across the room”).
The banter was constant and the crowd participation impressive with circle pits and a wall of death being facilitated by the cheeky vocalist to tracks such as Invidious and Better Off Dead Finishing the set with Echoes of Hate Evans farewelled the audience yelling “Peace and fucking love!” having performed what felt like a death metal dance party to a packed room of sweaty uninhibited ravers.
Archspire fired up and wasted no time throwing everything they had into the pit. Did I just hear video game music? Yes. The whole set was like a variety hour of extremely fast and sophisticated extreme metal with so many different elements, each one rich and loud. Introducing themselves as ‘The fastest band in the world’.
Oli Peters entertained the crowd with his oftentimes cringey dad jokes between tearing the joint apart with his incredibly deep and aggressive scat vocals. Their set was largely tracks from 2021 release Bleed The Future opening with track of the same title and going out with Drone Corpse Aviator while the audience did not stop moving in reckless abandon. In case anyone is wondering, yes the Twister mat did come out briefly before it flew up into the air over a rabid unruly mosh pit while the smell of god’s lettuce intensified.
It was hard to catch a breath with such a ferocious stack of acts but it’s the kind of dance party I can get around. With such quality sound and high impact energy, the night was just the workout needed to cancel gym the next day.
Live Review By Bec Scheucher