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LIVE: SLAYFEST – Perth, 23 Mar, 2019

| 1 May 2019 | Reply

LIVE: SLAYFEST – Perth, 23 Mar, 2019
Capitol/Amplifier, Perth, Western Australia
Review & photos by Damien Crocker

Slayfest – Perth metal’s big night out, a feast of new and old, local, national and international bands bringing together the head bangers of Perth to take over Capitol and Amplifier in a sea of black. Slayfest asks how much metal can you squeeze into six hours, then adds more for good measure.

Blackwitch kicked the juggernaut into gear, playing to what was an already fairly full Amplifier, and the throng of early punters got a taste of the heaviness that would build across the night. >From the outset the pace was relentless, with fifteen acts playing across three stages, and the event selling out just before doors opened meant that every bit of free space was utilized.

It was great to see strong support for local acts on the smaller stages, especially with some of the scheduling conflicts with the big stage. Local stalwarts Dethlahem still (deservedly) managed to pull a solid crowd despite having the unenviable time slot playing opposite headliners Phillip H. Anselmo & The Illegals, and they didn’t disappoint.


Freakvibe, Bayview Suspect, Beerfridge and Rat King held it down on the Warehouse stage drawing in solid crowds from the beer garden and making the most of the more intimate setting, using the opportunity to get amongst the gathered mass.

In scenes reminiscent of Choke’s comeback set at last years Slayfest, Battle Sword Steel Master returned to open on the big stage, providing a humorous edge to the night with their majestic viking inspired power metal. The guys in Battle Sword had clearly taken a leaf out of Choke’s live performance book as they paraded around with grand moves, tight pants (and loincloths) and tongues firmly in cheeks.

Back on the Amplifier stage the show rolled on, from Potion’s psych metal, Loose Unit’s desert rock grooves and Black Rheno with vocalist Milla manically prowling the stage, there was plenty to impress and I’d been keen to catch full sets from all of these bands in the future.


The Slayfest tradition of bringing back classic Perth Metal bands has been a highlight with Vanadium last year, and this year local legends Pathogen were the comeback kids for the night. Their highly anticipated return to the stage was clearly welcomed by the restless crowd and they didn’t disappoint, sounding as good as ever, and great to see their trademark windmill head banging back in action. Guitarist Aidan Barton went Coyote Ugly, wandering down the side bar to bring the show to the back of the room as he continued to shred through classic Pathogen tracks. Given the success of the show it will be interesting to see if this spawns a permanent reunion, the demand certainly seemed to be there.

Come and Get It, the theme song from the 80’s Peter Russell Clark cooking show, heralded the arrival of King Parrot to the stage and set the tone for their set. King Parrot – riotous, irreverent, extreme and bloody good fun. It’s a hectic show, with the band charging around the stage and vocalist Youngy heading out to surf across the audience and get up on the barrier to interact with the hardcore fans packed in the front, further feeding the energy in the room.

With Capitol bursting at the seams by this point, many held on to their positions on the barrier in anticipation of the return to Perth of former Pantera front man, Phil Anselmo, with his headliner outfit Phillip H. Anselmo and the Illegals.

Anselmo emerged with his trademark snarl, but it was clear he was enjoying himself, engaging with the crowd all the way through the night. The first half of the set ran through super heavy Illegals tracks including Little Fucking Heroes, Choosing Mental Illness, Photographic Taunts, Bedridden and Walk Through Exits Only. If the crowd wasn’t going crazy enough, things went though the roof when for the second half of the set they changed pace and launched into a barrage of Pantera classics. Mouth For War, Becoming, Walk, I’m Broken, Fucking Hostile, Domination/Hollow and A New Level all saw Anselmo in fine form, having lost nothing in the two and a half decades since he first ripped up a Perth stage. No room to move was an understatement with the capacity crowd whipped into a chaotic frenzy and every spare inch of the room was filled like a pressure cooker, as tracks from one of the biggest, stadium filling metal bands of the last few decades were compressed into a room a small percentage of the size that they were when they were originally played for a Perth audience. Phillip H. Anselmo & the Illegals – giving Slayfest a new level of domination!

Those needing a break from the Pantera chaos in the front room were lucky enough to catch Palm, coming in from Osaka, Japan and giving us a dose of hair and hardcore, another great example of the gems you get to see thanks to the careful curation of event organisers.


As the post gig Capitol crowd started to filter in, Psychonaut closed the night in fine style, guitarist Mark De Vattimo always impressing with his mastery of his Destroyer and humorous banter.

Props to the organizers for an awesome night, but good luck for Slayfest 2020 – the bar has well and truly been set!

Category: Live Reviews, Photo Galleries

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