Live Review: Nasum, Psycroptic, Dyscarnate, Captain Cleanoff

21 August 2012 | 9:33 am | Tom Hersey

It's a tour that nobody thought would happen with a line-up that nobody can believe is happening. Yes, spirits are high as punters file into The Hi-Fi, as long-active Aussie grinders Captain Cleanoff get stuck into blasting through cuts like Hardcore Fashion Parade.

The mood remains ebullient as England's Dyscarnate bring their brand of tough guy slam to tonight's bill. While repeating the maxim that those up the front “bang their fucking heads!”, Dyscarnate tear through newer efforts like Kingdom Of The Blind and The Promethean with boots firmly planted upon the foldback, arm muscles contorting and bulging with the formation of every new guitar chord.

Every time Tasmania's Psycroptic play a show, even a support slot, they have the whole audience eating out of their collective hand. Tonight is no exception; the band present the technical death metal of numbers like Ob (Servant) with a liveliness and excitement often missing from the genre.

Nasum stride across the stage and it takes roughly four-and-a-half seconds for this exhumed version of the band to verify their veracity. The four living Nasum members together sound more rehearsed, more in sync with one another, than almost any other extreme metal band you're going to see. Guitarists Jon Lindqvist and Urban Skytt work through the firebomb riffs from efforts like The Black Swarm and Circle Of Defeat with the precision of death metal players; they stop and start on a dime, perfectly in sync with one another, and the crowd for the most part can only watch on in awe. Against the precision and speed of the axemen, bassist Jesper Liveröd is loose and punky and drummer Anders Jakobson's blasts have a wonderful grindcore swing to them.

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As phenomenal as the band's musicianship is, the real weight of tonight's performance rests on the shoulders of Rotten Sound vocalist Keijo Niinimaa. Stepping in to fill the role of Mieszko Talarczyk, Niinimaa's pig squeal is a faithful tribute to the late vocalist, and it keeps to the middle of the mix to allow the band's riffs to absorb the focus.

Leaving The Hi-Fi, there's a pervasive sense that this feels like an example of a band doing the whole reunion show deal the right way, without any lingering suspicions of 'cash grab'. One last slog across the world, where the band's surviving members make a statement about the incredible musicianship and combustible chemistry that permeates their string of late-'90s/early-'00s releases. Hopefully, this statement will inspire extreme music fans to revisit those records and listen to some of the music penned by Mieszko Talarczyk. What greater tribute to a musician could there be? Maybe a statue? I don't know...