It was on the day of Thursday, the 21st of April in the year 2016, that the IPHYB gods from high atop Mt You’ll Coward handed down to two lowly reviewers, Dead Parrot and Noun The Plume, the task of reviewing death metal bands at The New Globe in Fortitude Valley. Such a trying task should never be attempted on an empty stomach, so our two intrepid reviewers met up beforehand at a sausage slinging house of ill repute to reinforce their guts with cured swine phalluses and tankards of ale laced in smoked swine hooves to discuss a strategy for the journey ahead.
But more on that cured swine flesh later.
Arriving at the venue, the usual scene of black-on-black attired metalheads were huddled in groups catching collective cancer in the clouds of their cigarette smoke. This was a breed of people that Dead Parrot was surprised still existed. There have been too many downgrades and offshoots from what these people would call “metaaaaal” (in that way they do when aggressively screaming it at a camera with the horns hand sign in every roving crowd shot on every band ever’s tour video … ever) for these people not to die out. Or, at least relegate their long black hair, torn up leather pants, and patch ridden denim jacket-vest to a shrine-o-glory-days in a small section of the garage and be staunched upon by the responsibility of life’s less broooooootal moments. Like nappy duties. Or paying a hooker to check your junk for the herpes because you’re too embarrassed to go to a doctor, even though she’s probably where you got it from in the first place, and your middle-of-the-road white-bread wife is besties with the doc’s hotter loud mouth bitch. You figure if the hooker doesn’t know what to look for in the herpes department then you, my friend, are closer to being fucked than when your old man stuck it in your old lady when she was eight and a half months pregnant with you. Passing swiftly by said metaaaalheads, the first physical hurdle of the night was upon us – the crazily steep stairs down to The New Globe. I’ve never heard tale of it happening, but I’m pretty sure some drunken fool is going to tumble down those fuckers one day and do themselves a disservice and then sue the venue, ensuring we are all less one more mediocre venue for mediocre bands to splooge their mediocre music in and around. No wait. Those stairs are a great idea!
Deft of foot, we made our way safely down the treacherous path to arrive in the foyer. Further fortification was purchased at ye olde new globe (read globe-ay) bar, and we then strode bravely into the depths of the live music room.
The first band to take the stage were regular IPHYB pincushions Exiled In Eden, who boldly proclaimed that they were about to ‘fuck our ear pussies’. Our ear pussies!? Girl not in those shoes #Zsnaps #Blacktitude. Young Mustaine on stage left then proceeded to belt out a slew of plucky, mistimed, fumbled notes as some butchered form of intro before the rest of the band joined him in run-of-the-mill stock heavy riffage. We were surprised at the depth of ability and talent by the vocalist or incomprehensible-ist as we came to know him. Not only did he growl, but was able to pig squeal AS WELL! And by ‘surprised’, we mean put to sleep. And by ‘depth of ability and talent’, we mean the sound of a hundred black cocks in his mouth forcing long pre-vomital utterances (yeah, it’s death metal, so you can pretty much guess what he saying and you know you wont be able to understand any of it without a lyric sheet). He would be a prime candidate for CJ’s vocal masterclass to help flush out those last few pesky syllables. The rest of this outfit were just as inspired in their choices. The guitarists hadn’t been told the eighties were a thing for hipsters and unpaid cocaine bills. There was more windmilling than a town with a hundred windmills trying to mill some wind during a windless drought. The opening track had exactly 0 original riffs, with the typical descending chromatic A-tonal down tuned powerchords that a thousand other bands had done before them and to a slightly less yawn inducing degree. I’ll give the band one credit though – for breaking away from their more modern counterpart’s rules on song writing. It took them four solid minutes to reach the first breakdown. We know. We timed it. There were several entertaining moments though, chief of which being the band stopping mid riff. This was the first time in 20 minutes that we realised the presence of a bassist on stage. There he was, chuggin’ along one top-string-picked-note at a time, before being hidden away by the band’s other instruments as if he was the embarrassing retarded third cousin of some bitch a member once fucked, and hiring the bassist was the price for dat third shelf fresh-from-the-dunnies pussy. Mmmm bogan poon.
After about ten minutes it became clear that the drummer had been playing the same medium BPM and quarter-note beat the entire time. Which I guess, is okay. But when your singer announces that “This next track is also another fast one”, and the drummer sticks to that same mid-paced backbeat more than my cum stuck to the last bitch’s face I blammed on, then you have a bit of a problem. Give me some fucking dynamics would ya, bud? “We’ve only got one more song” is probably the most sublime sound this band has ever made. This was followed up almost immediately by proudly proclaiming that the subject was “Earth reclaiming” and “Taking back what we took from the Earth”. Thick fucker is thick. The band gave us some more guitar fumbles before a fizzle out ending like that last sigh of a fart after an epic bout of dysentery. Maybe all that shit could be utilised to fertilise a field of flowers or something. Praise Gaia.
Exiled in Eden: 3/10 chakras opened
Now back to dat swine flesh:
Plume’s choice of sausage for the night was the double smoked bratwurst, served on a crusty bread roll with sauerkraut, mustard, and tomato sauce. The sausage itself was of good size and proportion and had that crunchy, almost squeaky texture of a good smoked meat stick. The sauerkraut was pretty bland and was easily masked by the condiments. It seemed to only be there to provide some moisture and mushy consistency to the meal and help you choke that roll down. Also, even though double smoked the smoke flavour of the brat wasn’t that strong either. None the less it was hearty and satisfying dish.
Doubled Smoked Bratwurst: 3/5 mystery meats.
After returning from the bar with fresh drinks in hand (we needed them), we were ready-ish to witness Melbourne based progressive death metal dudes The Hazard Circular. Wait, is that jerky on the merch stand?
Now, we did look this band up before they played. It was on their Facebook that we discovered that The Hazard Circular call themselves a ‘progressive’ band. And really, that’s all the info we needed to review this joint. We could zone out knowing that this band would either have a special obsession with the key of Zero Sharp, or amaze all with their not so enigmatic brand of only slightly technical 4/4 riffs. I think its a fair statement that The Hazard Circular are about as progressive as my old Nan’s outspoken view that all black people should be lynched alongside ‘the gays’.
The drummer triggered the first of many samples, which turned out to be yet another drum and guitar intro where the music is E.Q.’d to sound like a distant radio getting closer. I may be old and jaded about the music scene, but fuck me! If I have to hear another cliche’d sample which crescendos into the first song of a band’s set, I will bend that band’s drummer over and shove his fully sick beat pad up his arse and rape the play button with both his drum sticks. The samples continued with BOTH GUITARISTS playing the same simple riff over and over. I guess progressive death means taking vaguely Meshuggah-esque rhythms and adding a sampled melody over the top. And when that sample is a guitar line (and a fucking piss easy one at that) I have to question why the fuck have you two guitarists acting like a single chimp masturbating to itself in a mirror? What is the point, a Hazard Circular jerk? This occurs throughout their set and is pretty much our main gripe until several songs in when the drummer discovers the bassdrop button.
Pet peeve number 235659: Unwarranted and characterless bassdrops. This band wasn’t building any tension in any of their tracks to warrant the four thousand uses in each song. Changing to a beat with the same feel? Why not hit that bassdrop yo! Wanting to accent the fact that no changes have actually occurred in the dynamics? BAAAAASSSSDRRRROOOOOPPP SON! #Sinewavz4dayz
This band desperately wants to sound like it’s a spaceship embarking on an epic journey but actually sound as bland as a day old cow pat that’s a day old.
The Hazzard Circular – 4/10
It’s not hard to enjoy a good sausage, especially when that sausage has cheese in it. I partook of the Cheese Kransky, which got crushed by my teeth harder than any of the night’s bands were able to crush the Globe Stage. A low bar to reach. The texture met my taste buds with a certain rigid confidence. It was to be the only time that night I would enjoy anything hard entering my body. I’m not sure if that’s a joke about gay sex or a sleight on how weak the shows line up was. They were soft af, is what I’m saying.
Cheese Kransky – 9/10 Ritualistic phalluses
So what’s next, then? More more-ness of growl, chug, squeal, repeat? What can we expect from this Brazen Bull? Out on stage strolls a gawky looking character with his belly exposed in an unbuttoned Lowes grade, bro level party shirt and cargoes followed by a denim vest (check) and black T (check) clad guitarist in board shorts (che-whaaaa?) and a bass player in a sacri-sacrilegious white T and skinny jeans. We were too distracted by all of this to notice the drummer, who’d probably slunk in shamefully and immediately hidden behind his kit. Smart man. Well this ain’t no fashion show, and hopefully it’s a tell that we we’re about to listen to something a bit different.
Announcing themselves as a party-grind band (which explains the vocalist’s shirt I guess), they launch into a frantic blur of notes, chugged rhythms, pick-slides, pinch harmonics, pounding bass, and drums and hardcore-esq yelled vocals. OK, we’re both kind of into it. The initially jarring visual the band gave off was soon overridden with the sheer no fucks given attitude of their music and the pieces all fell into place. Between the short bursts of music which spoke towards the grind portion of the party-grind moniker the vocalist engaged in witty banter with the audience and held the crowd well, proving himself to be a rather enigmatic front man in the end. Good for him. Top point would of been when he acknowledged the jerky on the merch stand.
In honour of their playing style we’ll dress this one poorly and keep it short.
Brazen Bull: A slightly confusing but enjoyable 6/10?
Before we get to the headliner, let’s talk about the true star and saving grace of the night, the Rauchbier that accompanied our entrail encased butchers scraps. Sporting a beautiful dark amber colour and stout-ish viscosity, the Rauchbier, which is Germanic for smoked beer, dumb arses (unless you speak German and then in that case it’s dummarschs), is akin to blending a pound of bacon until it is liquified, and then scraping the fat layer off the top and straining it so that all you’re left with is the resulting liquid gold. Plus alcohol. So good.
Bacon drink: 9/10 rashers
Upon the conclusion of the Brazen Bulls set, Dead Parrot decides he can’t take it anymore and abandons the mission in a vain attempt to preserve the one minute scrap of joy he still feels from music, leaving Noun The Plume to go it alone. The Samwise to his Frodo just. Fucked. Off.
That’s right bitch, you’re MY Samwise! (DeadParrot: But bro, Samwise did EVERYTHING!)
Miazma takes to the stage to a fair applause. They kick into their first track and instantly Australia’s renewable energy issues are solved as we’ve now got ourselves a wind farm going on in here! Flaying hair from both the stage and audience combined to near cyclonic proportions as Miazma worked through their set. What to say of their sound? Honestly, by this point, if you didn’t know what to expect then what the fuck are you doing here? Conversely, if you expected anything more, then the same rules apply. Hailing from the Northern Territory, the part of Australian so uncared for that they’ve never bothered to make it a state, even though it covers a decent chunk of the mainland (and if it wasn’t for the fact that Western Australia wants to keep it around just so that it has something to pick on we would just hand it over to Indonesia and be done with it), means that they have a lot of time on their hands to practice, so they are tight as shit.
Things are going well for the guys, and the audience are lapping/milling it up until about two-thirds in when they hit a snag, and I’m not talking about the bratwursts we’ve been reviewing. Actually now that I’m thinking about it, I have a sneaking suspicion that that’s were Dead Parrot’s gone, to choke down more cheesy sausages and wash them down with pints of Rauchbier. That bastard! Why didn’t I think of it first! Fucking Judas of a Samwise motherfucker. Oh yeah Miazma, so old mate on bass blows out a string and also just. Fucks. Off.
Now you’d think, as a touring band especially, that they’d be prepared for this. Back up bass? Pack of strings? Borrow a bass or string from any of the other bands that were playing this show? The Hazard Circular had two in different tunings or maybe take Exiled in Eden’s bass as they weren’t really using it anyway? Nup? Nothing? After the rest of the band had finished another track the bass player jumps back on stage sans bass and joins in for some dual vocals. Credit where credit’s due though he had some pipes and the dual screaming worked rather well. He jumps back off after that song, content now to just kick back, drink beers, and watch the rest of the show but the main vocalist isn’t having it. He gets called back up to keep doing dual vocals and earn his keep. Well, as said, the duet approach actually worked quite well for them, and, after all, did it really make that much difference to not have the bass? Trees falling in forests with no one around to hear them, one hand clapping and other metaphors that mean no, it didn’t.
So they crack out the rest of their set with more windmills, distorted guitar chugs, and widleys, screaming x 2 and double kicking to infinity. The usual. As it came to an end they let us know that their tour had been sponsored by the Jerky company as seen on the merch stand. Jerky is kind of cool and it would make a lot of sense in terms of survival for when your van breaks down on the wrong side of Uluru but maybe next time hit up a string company to sponsor your tour?
Death would be preferable to living in the Northern Territory so they get a 7/10 for adding the metal part.
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