Live Review: Goatwhore, Impiety, Ruins, Anno Domini - Sandringham Hotel

9 July 2012 | 6:21 pm | Brendan Crabb

The Germans could learn a few things about efficiency from the quartet’s no-frills delivery, steeped in straightahead brutality.

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Although battling an uneven mix, Sydney's Anno Domini compensated with sheer enthusiasm and sizeable presence. Despite still being derivative in spots (see Dark Tranquillity, among others), the melodic death/symphonic black metal crew upped their game considerably from previous occasions this reviewer had caught them. Taut and visibly ecstatic about the opportunity, Against All Godds and Condemned were standouts. 

Ruins mainman Alex Pope reportedly locked himself away in the Tasmanian wilderness for several weeks to complete their new opus. He was therefore revelling in the chance to vent any pent-up frustration borne about from said isolation via a torrent of blast-beats, frostbitten melodies and demonic growls. Playing several cuts from new disc, Place Of No Pity, (“not named after Newtown,” Pope quipped) during a mere half-hour set, Psycroptic's Haley brothers proved a suitably ruthless foil for the vocalist during a classy yet intense display of atmospheric black metal.

Impiety continued the evening's trend of performers appearing visibly chuffed about even playing the show at all, but in this case it was due to an entirely different set of circumstances. Making their first trek Down Under after more than two decades in the game, the Singaporean trio incited a considerable degree of vigorous headbanging up front, leading frontman Shyaithan to lament why it had taken the band so long to finally make the trip. While suitably crushing and workman-like in a manner only veterans can muster, their brand of blackened death was too nondescript to really resonate and at 45 minutes outstayed their welcome.

Louisiana crew Goatwhore didn't so much turn heads as snap necks during their inaugural visit to these parts as a support act a few years prior and were greeted by widespread appreciation from a rather full, sweaty room. The Germans could learn a few things about efficiency from the quartet's no-frills delivery, steeped in straightahead brutality. Imposing yet engaging vocalist Ben Falgoust stalked the stage like a serial killer while inducing hefty circle pits (and the odd stage-diver) and the rest of the band were tighter than a nun's nasty. The improved mix also boosted their relentless fusion of black, death and thrash metal. Meshing material from excellent latest disc, Blood For The Master, with an uproariously received Apocalyptic Havoc alongside blistering Gravedom and closer, Invert The Virgin, from their debut, made for a mighty potent, extreme cocktail.

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