• Evil Invaders III - thoughts.

    Giu 14 2011, 10:47

    Fri 10/Sat 11 Jun – Evil Invaders III

    Four years on from Evil Invaders II, the third instalment finally took place this weekend. I wasn't fortunate enough to attended either of the first two, but I wasn't going to miss out on one of the 300 tickets to Evil Invaders III, which sold out well in advance.

    The line up would originally consist of 16 bands (the gig flyer is accurate for original intended line up) spanning two evenings at Sydney’s Bald Faced Stag hotel, though a few changes occurred and only 15 bands made it in the end. Those to drop out from the original flyer were Witchrist, Taipan and Heresiarch.

    The Friday night kicked off with Erebus Enthroned, who's somewhat simplistic style of Black Metal really impresses me, and has done the last few times I’ve seen them. Stage presence amongst these guys is superb even when playing to only a small crowd, carried largely by vocalist Nihilifer, who I find gives off a very destroy-your-life-for-Satan type vibe. I think they would have been better suited to a late night closing slot, but they were certainly worth turning up early for.

    Innsmouth were up next and actually a little disappointing given the quality of their releases and standard of previous shows I'd seen. This stemmed from some sloppy playing that a touch more time in the rehearsal rooms would surely fix, but the riffage remained enjoyable nevertheless. The sets pinnacle was definitely Aloof With Cloven Hooves, and guitars/vocals were quite impressive at points.

    Two, or maybe three new songs were showcased by Ignivomous, which seem to have less of that straight-up OSDM flavour the demo/EP had. Seems like a logical progression from Death Transmutation though. My memory is hazy from inebriation by this point, but I think they played Bloodshrines and A Weak God Withers, which were certainly highlights.

    Performing for the first time in Australia were Trench Hell, who've oddly managed to play in Europe before here. Awesomely, dirty thrash material presented with enough conviction to gain crowd response comparable to that achieved by GotH. No mean feat, considering the 'cunts' they were playing to. I'm not entirely how extensive their log of material is to draw from, but they certainly played everything I wanted to hear from the releases I own. They also threw in a cover of Evil Invaders by Razor. It also might have just been because they share a bassist, but I found myself wanting to see TH do a show with Shackles some day. One of the better sets of the weekend.

    Finally I had my chance to catch Swarth era Portal carry out one of their live rituals, and their only one in Australia for 2011. More intense than the last few occasions I'd seen them I think, but that might just be because it's still fresh in my mind. Either way, I pretty much stood there in awe of those guitarists writhe over the 8-string fret boards in a contortionist manner. Sourlows was far and above the high point for me, but in general I prefer their Outré material, so I may be biased.

    Raven Black Night I did not see. After a day travelling and boozing, sleep was more desired.

    The Saturday began at a relatively early 4:00pm, and it only took a couple of James Squires to cure the previous nights hangover. Grave Upheaval held the early slot, and seemed to have enough hype to lure a respectable number of patrons back to the venue in time to see them. For the next 30-40 minutes they spewed forth some of the filthiest Death Metal I've had the pleasure of seeing live. Heavier than a fucking heavy thing, and the slower moments only accentuated the feeling. I lost track of time, but they seemed to end abruptly after a short discussion between members and a "that's it" type comment to the audience, but still remain probably my favourite band of the weekend. I also didn't realise two of the members were from Impetuous Ritual (and Internecine Excoriation *nostalgia*), but it seems anything those blokes touch turns to Death Metal gold.

    I'd only picked up Hellbringer's EP a week before this gig, but it was enough to have me interested in seeing them. They were much younger than I expected (? as to why really), but they certainly played well. A bit of thrash always seems to go down well live. The Rapture seems like somewhat of a signature song with it's "Satan hear my call... verse. They also played Armoured Angel and Slayer covers which seemed to go over particularly well with the crowd. There is certainly some potential here..

    Kill For Satan were a surprise for me, as I didn't realise they were playing the gig until they went on stage. Entertaining live show, but were somewhat overshadowed on the night by other bands in my eyes, but this view might be confined to myself. I think maybe they come across as a little too polished for the blackened thrash sound, but the crowd seemed appreciative of them. I spent much of their set hoping they'd play Spawn of the Maelstrom, but it wasn't to be.

    I don't really know much about The Corps, but I had assumed they were an older band re-united or something along those lines. Not sure if that assumption was right, but it could be. Turned out they play some pretty rockin' tunes that would suit opening for a band like Motörhead perfectly. Top band to head down the pub and have a couple of beers too. Not much more to it than that.

    Impetuous Ritual were who I anticipated most. I'd seen them once at an ANZAC Day weekend show the previous year, and they'd changed their bass player since then. The set was pretty much flawless, with most of the material being from their album, and one new song entitled Ruins (from the set list I nabbed). The appearance of the band members combined with the wall of sound they emit is evil as fuck, and I was loving every second of it. Very highly recommend that anyone who gets the opportunity to see them live does it.

    Black Jesus were another band I didn't know much about, but from the first song I saw it sounded kind of core-ish, but not bad. Wasn't enough to keep me from wandering to the kebab shop down the road for one of the only feeds on the weekend.

    Assaulter are one of those bands that seem to lose something when they put their sound on record. I generally find their releases pretty forgettable, but in the live setting they come to life. I'm not overly familiar with their material, though I figure a lot was from the recent Boundless LP. I really enjoyed watching them from the back of the room, and I was really only at the back because they drew enough people in to make accessing the mid/front difficult without treading on peoples toes. They just have the right energy for the style of blackened thrash they're doing.

    Cauldron Black Ram replaced Witchrist, who would have fit in amazing well on a bill with IR I think. CBR however do their thing very well, and were certainly a worthy replacement. The set list would have catered to most with a good variety of material, and I can't help but be reminded of a Bolt Thrower influence in some of their riffage. Not many bands make me want to actually get involved with much of the headbangin' action, but CBR do the job every time. Certainly a very professional outfit, given they play tunes about all sorts of underhanded and unscrupulous behaviour. And yes, I just googled Skulduggery.

    D.usk, the new embodiment of Disembowelment, probably had the most to prove of all bands in attendance that weekend. For myself, and I imagine many others, diSEMBOWELMENT seemed a legend that we'd never see in the live realm. d.USK changed that. Two of the five were original members, and seem to have gelled extremely well with those picked up in the reformation. I think I remember seeing the Ignivomous vocalist post on a forum that he was auditioning for the vocals role, but after seeing them on the night I'm glad he didn't get it (take no disrespect to the Igni guy, I just think that it shows they knew exactly what they were looking for, and they were prepared to wait until they found it. He may have even declined it for all I know, it just seemed so cohesive is what I'm trying to get across). d.USK played 40+ mins of the most immense sounding Death/Doom metal I've heard, and the atmosphere created was great enough to match, if not surpass that found on the d. releases. Most of the material was from Transcendence Into The Peripheral, and the faster sections seem to go over better live than on record. Crushing stuff. Give these guys a little more time to garner some attention, and I would not be surprised to see these guys playing MDF or European festivals. I was absolutely amazed by them, and I went in sceptical of their ability to match the hype created by the original band.

    Overall Evil Invaders III was a concert that rates at the very top of the tree for me. Very well promoted, organised and run by the man behind The Coffins Slave distro. Everything seemed to run smoothly, bands close to being on time, sound quality was good and no sign on douche bags at the venue that I noticed. Very much worth the $$$ spent travelling to get there. As soon as d.USK finished playing I was already hoping there would be an Evil Invaders IV, and I don't think that's a thought that is going to fade any time soon.