"Dallas Toler-Wade assured all that "We will never fucking stop.""
Straddling the worlds of death metal and metalcore with various stop-overs in between, this varied bill sought to be inclusive, rather than exclusive within an oft-factionalised heavy music world.
That said, the openers grappled to elicit a significant response outside of a modest crop of diehards down front. Well-honed Melbourne squad Whoretopsy's slam-laden death and sickening lyrical outlook was an appropriate start to proceedings. Fellow Melbournians Feed Her To The Sharks seemed a tad misplaced, musically and aesthetically. Kudos for attempting to establish audience interaction, but saccharine clean vocals and electro touches weren't endearing to many, or overly convincing.
Unearth's mid-tier status commercially has long belied their knack for consistently strong records and energetic performances. The metalcore Mass-holes' 45 minutes reinforced their work ethic and engaging personality, although they too were greeted by some folded arms while others instead opted to consume beverages outside. Conversely, pit ninjas were finally compelled to unleash their roundhouse kicks on the dance floor, material from 2004 breakthrough The Oncoming Storm (This Lying World, Endless, In Flames-channelling Zombie Autopilot) clearly favoured.
The room filled out somewhat for Nile, indicating the majority had paid primarily for the headliners. Usually renowned for tighter-than-a-miser's-wallet shows, assorted technical difficulties hampered the Americans, and stage curtains attempting to close mid-set afforded unintentional humour. However, after also regaling recent road hardship tales, guitarist/vocalist Dallas Toler-Wade assured all that "We will never fucking stop" as they ploughed into selections from latest disc What Should Not Be Unearthed and genre staples Defiling The Gates Of Ishtar, Sarcophagus and Black Seeds Of Vengeance. George Kollias's algebraic drumming and ferocious blast-beats reiterated his virtuoso status; axeman Karl Sanders' bowel-loosening grunts the ideal foil for Toler-Wade. The middling, albeit passionate attendance also perhaps contributed to the evening rarely reaching any truly spectacular heights, but as far as displays of Egyptian-obsessed tech-death it was a more than serviceable outing.
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