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Photo by Denis Radacic
Photo by Denis Radacic

Malignant Monster/Iconoclast/Earth Rot Capitol

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Perth heavyweights Earth Rot brutalised the early time slot with an unapologetic assault of their guttural metal. The guttural quality is no doubt shaped by J.P Bridgeman’s glottal and throaty style. Bridgeman’s vocals remained sepulchral throughout the epic old-school breakdowns and Tom Slaughterhouse’s riffage is filthy to say the least. All band members boast an impressive CV, but a highlight was certainly the fill-in from Louis ‘Disaster’ Rando on drums, of The Furor and Malignant Monster notoriety. Earth Rot finished up with Black Smoke, from their debut album, Follow The Black Smoke, which culminated in quite the windmill party and a seriously impressive opening slot.

Iconoclast was up next with an unrelenting deathcore that maintained a shocking intensity from the first note right until the last. Frontman Mitch Macari delivers your garden-variety metal vocals but on the rare occasion will rip out a sensational velociraptor-styled scream that’ll send a chill up your spine. Bassman Chris Van Swam is a maniac and adds an edge to the band’s stage presence. Iconoclast treated fans with some new material and, in turn, the fans went mental in the fight pit. 

And now, for something completely different: Malignant Monster. Cain Cressall is renowned for his stage show but it’s really the unique vocal style that carries it through. The same can be said of the musicianship too; there is so much going on in the structure of the sound, from ambient melancholy to thrash, which calls for serious consideration. Jarrod Curley’s guitar playing is insanity, moving from doomy riffage to the speed of lighting like he was flippin’ burgers.

A tide of Everblack shirts surged forward to indicate that it was nearly time for the Detroit bonecrushers The Black Dahlia Murder to hit the stage. This band is hard working, both in their writing ethos and on stage, with frontman Trevor Strnad constantly moving around the stage and never failing to engage with the crowd. It must have worked because a bright green bra got hurled onto the stage.

But all bras aside, it’s BDM’s wall of sound that has seen them thrive as global metal mainstays. The music is of course tight, as you would expect from a mature band and the live delivery of some of the classics breathed new life into the veterans’ touring act.

The Capitol gig was the first show back after a six-month break but the vibe was more like a party than a gig. It was clear that the band love what they do and Strnad even professed how much he missed and enjoyed playing live. He was a genuine dude that made sure everyone had a good time so it’s no wonder fans stay loyal. While there was no talk of the upcoming September release, Abysmal, but the band have stated that the album is recorded and apparently “gross”… just the way we like ‘em. Throughout the night there were more fist pumps than I’ve ever seen and just when you thought there couldn’t be more… there it is: the double fist pump.


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