Finishing off a tour with a sold out show is always a great send off, particularly an Australian tour in Brisbane as there typically isn’t the same crowds as you would expect as elsewhere around the country. But a Friday night international metal show is a rare occurrence here, and as celebration for the occasion, Brisbane’s crowd turned out in full force. It helped that the lineup featured two international acts in the shape of Aborted and The Black Dahlia Murder, with local crowd favourites DISENTOMB and Melbourne’s Zeolite joining along for the ride, but the line to get into the venue just after doors had opened was far greater than I could have imagined.
Zeolite took the stage first and put on a great show for those that had managed to get out early. While their set commenced with the steady line of fans streaming in, the band made great use of their time on stage. There was a lot to enjoy from their set from the ferocity of the vocals, to the dissonant guitar patterns painting a hauntingly beautiful atmosphere. The band used the relatively intimate stage well, mixing with fans in the front row without compromising their performance in the slightest. I would have liked for their set to have run longer as it felt like they were just starting to get into a groove before they had to finish, but they were an incredible act to open a brutal evening.
Local act DISENTOMB were second up for the night, performing in their home town for the first time since their return from the United States earlier this year, and the ‘sloom’ kings certainly made sure that their final performance of the year was a solid one. The confines of the Crowbar as a venue has always given the band the best way to experience their sound, and on this evening it was no exception. Crushing blasts, accompanied by their bleak guitar tones and the brutally guttural musings of vocalist Jordan Phillip meant that the crowd that had gathered at this stage were left truly gobsmacked. These guys really know how to bring a crushing party, and with the added benefit of performing on their home turf, the band absolutely relished every moment they were on stage and brought an energy that was reciprocated by the crowd.
Aborted were the next band on stage and were actually performing one of their first shows since the release of their latest album Terrorvision. Aborted didn’t waste any time in putting on a brutality masterclass that had the whole venue receptive from the opening salvo. Sven De Caluwe is an absolute machine on the microphone, and it’s amazing that how he can continue to sound as good as he does at such a speed. Likewise, drumming powerhouse Ken Bedene demonstrated again why he is revered as a drummer in death metal circles, with his powerful blasts resonating fiercely among the confines of the venues walls.
With their set primarily focusing on the latest album, the crowd was given the opportunity to experience the extremely new material live, but the band did throw in some classics to cater to those who have stuck with the band through their career. Unfortunately, they copped a few technical issues throughout their set — minor hiccups that didn’t destroy the overall vibe, but ones that the band probably would have preferred not to have all the same.
Closing out the night, The Black Dahlia Murder really capped off an impressive evening. Acting as the most polished band, The Black Dahlia Murder didn’t need to offer any extravagance or theatrics to get the crowd excited. Vocalist Trevor Strnad spent no time with formalities before launching into a full frontal assault on the crowd. Likewise, guitar combo Brandon Ellis and Brian Eschbach had the full benefit of a receptive venue sound system, accentuating their tones and helping bring out the finesse in their performances, while the crushing drum blasts from Alan Cassidy were resoundingly powerful that they resonated deep within my chest from the back of the venue.
The bands setlist focused predominantly on their latest effort Nightbringers, with over half the set comprising those songs, with other cuts interspersed. While the Brisbane crowd seemed like the old guard that would want to hear older material, their positive reception through the entire show really exemplified the type of band that The Black Dahlia Murder is, and that no matter how far they have come as a band, that there will always be a legion of fans to support them.
While it seems like The Black Dahlia Murder are in Australia almost every year, the band still manages to pull massive crowds showing that their appeal is yet to wane. Bundling an act as prestigious as Aborted into the mix elevated this show far beyond expectations, and left the crowd leaving depleted of energy, yet high in spirits after an enjoyable evening, giving the band a fitting conclusion to an incredible tour.