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Live – BASTARDFEST, Perth – 27 October 2012

| 30 October 2012 | Reply

The Civic Hotel, Perth, Western Australia
27 October 2012
By Dani DeVille

With all my batteries charged and the first cold beverage of the day under my studded belt, I’m off to Bastardfest at the Civic Hotel, eager to be one of the first punters to bounce through the doors.  Greeted by the usual crowd of familiar faces, the elite of Perth’s die-hard metal fanatics (you know who you are), it’s time to put on my specks and hitch up my trousers for ten full hours of head-banging, body-slamming insanity.

Silent Knight carries us into the battle ground that is Bastardfest on the back of their galloping bass drum and on the wings of soaring vocals. The crowd builds quickly from a mere smattering of people to a small legion, nodding to the beat in knowing approval. Silent Knight is Perth’s only power metal band and it’s refreshing to see something different, especially with a band that are clearly so passionate about their music.  Our Sydney readers will be able to check these guys out at Steel Assassins on Friday 2nd November (the festival itself is on 2nd and 3rd November 2012 at the Sandringham Hotel), returning to Perth to support Blaze Bayley and Paul Di’anno (ex Iron Maiden) on 24th November at the Civic Hotel.  Silent Knight’s album, Master Plan, will be released in early 2013.

The main stage grinds into gear in a maelstrom of shiny locks with the grating rumble of Death Dependant, Perth-based, meat and potatoes, thrash metal goodness.

Darting back to the Den stage, I catch the fresh-faced crew of Paradise in Exile.  This young deathcore band uses the limited stage space of the Den in a novel way, with guitarists Travis and Lewis and bassist Jesse lining the front of the stage and vocalist Damien throwing himself into the crowd.  Damien paces restlessly back and forth, like a caged beast.  He walks miles for his audience.  There is no doubt that this band has massive potential.  They capture the gaze as they break down and bounce to their own groove. With the release of their EP, The Liberation, in June of this year, Paradise in Exile is a band that deathcore fans should keep their eyes on.

It’s now Cold Fate’s turn on the main stage, delivering our second dose of thrash for the day.  Charismatic front man Paul could not seem more comfortable on stage.  He is in his element riling up the crowd.  These guys put on a great show that is almost impossible to look away from, tearing into their songs like ravenous hyenas into live, squirming flesh.

Back in the Den, Emerald City takes the stage in a display of pure, unadulterated spunk.  These hard rockers play as if to a much larger audience with lead man, Sal Abate, urging  onlookers forward with pleading, seductive vocals.  Sal is a throwback to the glory days of rock with his wild mane and crisp, clean vocals.  He feeds off the crowd as it grows and surges forward.  The rhythm section beams widely as they churn out their endlessly catchy riffs.  Finally I no longer feel out of place with my KISS Hotter Then Hell T-shirt!  For those of you who kept to the main stage (why these guys weren’t on it, I’m not entirely sure) you MISSED OUT!  I need to see more of this band.  Unfortunately that will have to wait until the end of the year when Emerald City will support classic Aussie rockers Raise The Flag in a series of gigs on 14th, 15th and 16th December.  Their EP, Unleashed, and single Show and Tell (released last year) will keep me rocking until then.

When Animistic ascend to the main stage, they have a job to do: Blowing our faces off with brutality. A job they do very proficiently.  As Tris, on bass, grins cheekily to himself, seemingly amused by an anecdote only he is a party to, front man Kam “6”5’” McDerch screams off the side of the stage in a grinding, guttural roar, hitting both the highs and lows with equally impressive force and precision.

Death Fucking Cunt (or DFC as they are named in the program so as not to upset the political correctness police) are the next band to assault the Den.  I felt personally threatened by DFC, as if they might, at any second, hop off stage, neck my pint and glass me in the throat.  As far as experiences go, DFC is definitely one of them!

Catching mere glimpses of both Advent Sorrow and Mhorgl, I am instead ushered outside to indulge myself in the “suckmeoff snags and bastard burgers” (thank you Brendon and Jim) before returning to the main stage for Enforce.  Well- known and well- loved front man, Guy Bell’s vocals have the qualities of a fine, aged whisky: Strong, complex, fiery, smooth, yet still giving you the confidence and motivation to head-butt someone.  With their relentless, crunching guitar hooks, Enforce consistently deliver first-class, in-your-face thrash to their audience with absolute reliability.

Next on my agenda is Empires Laid Waste.  There is a definite tribal vibe about these lads, with vocalist Pete screeching like the banshees of olde and bringing out everyone’s inner Viking.  It is in this atmosphere of a post-tribal-war free-for-all that I witness the first body slamming of the day. The night is gearing up and we are ready to explode.

With the musty, manly stench of the increasingly sweaty Den thick in my nostrils, I march back to the main stage for Psychonaut.  With guitars held aloft like mighty phalluses and wandering fingers, hungrily exploring every fret of every string, this is potentially the sexiest band of the night.  Drummer, Luke Aumond, is clearly visible centre stage, bare-chested, heaving and rising from his stool to punish his kit hard. Mark De Vattimo’s gallant efforts to lead the now heavily inebriated crowd in a sing-along don’t quite work out.  As Bruce Dickinson will attest after attempting to teach the Soundwave audience some of Iron Maiden’s new material in 2011, rhythm does not appear to be Perth’s strongest point, especially when pints are under $10.

Now aroused, I’m back at the Den and Sensory Amusia are in full swing.  I’m captivated by vocalist, Jarod Bridgeman who intermittently looks as if he is wrestling with his microphone in an increasingly desperate effort to stop it crawling down his throat and laying eggs in his neck.  He tears at is hair like he’s just realising it shouldn’t actually be part of his scalp.  It makes for a deranged, jarring and utterly compelling show.  Jarod’s brutish vocals, reminiscent of pigs being trodden on, combined with his psychotic stage antics, the fact that no one has apparently thought to open a window in the Den all night and the fact that my pint is now warm, Sensory Amusia fall just short of being offensive to all five senses at once… I get the impression that to say otherwise would be missing the point.

So much are my sensories amusiaed and indeed overwhelmed, a drink break is inevitable and unavoidable.  Unfortunately missing Melbourne-based progressive metal maniacs Alarum and Perth-based blood rockers, Chainsaw Hookers, I mentally and emotionally prepare myself for the onslaught of Fuck… I’m Dead.

Fuck I’m Dead isn’t just a band you go to see. It’s a band that happens to you. And when it does, you know about it.  They are clad in short-sleeved white shirts and black ties, drenched in blood and carrying a butcher’s cleaver.  If it weren’t for their aprons I would be thinking the Mormons’ approach to conversion was taking on a more sinister twist.  The music is short, fast and brutal. It is furious, thunderous chaos.  They pack a lot of songs into their set, including, amongst others, Bare Foot and Shitfaced, Grave Desecrator, Inject me with AIDS, Code Brown, Shotgun Facelift and Licky Webster.  Although I struggle to understand lyrics which are screamed at me by a giant, bald man with a meat cleaver, I can only assume that last song does not end well for Little Licky.

Desecrator is the last band to appear in the Den.  They are proper, old-school thrash and they come at you like a wall of sound.  For those hard enough to brave the mosh pit, the atmosphere is one of revolution.  Desecrator delivers a rolling, rambling, thrill-ride of thrash, whipping the crowd into a frenzy and loving every second of it.

Last in the night’s line-up are Queensland-based, black metal outfit, Astriaal.  As the band strikes up, a hooded and masked figure glides up to the mic and, with open arms, lets out an unearthly, chilling scream.  Not an inch of flesh is visible. It is unsettling.  Aggressive screeching is interspersed with otherworldly, Gregorian-style chanting. It is melodic, menacing and nothing short of impressive.

Bastardfest has treated Perth to deliciously satisfying selection of subgenres, the stages and sets running like clockwork.  Once again the vile and perverted minds behind Bastardfest have delivered us into evil, for which we are all eternally grateful.


Category: Live Reviews

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