Words: Shannon-Lee Sloan
Photos: Isabelle Rickards

It’s a warm evening in Brisbane as I head into Crowbar. I get there early and it is pretty much empty but I know by 8:00 Brisbane’s home of the heavy will be packed out with metal fans ready to watch an amazing lineup. Tonight we are treated to Kaerulean, Hadal Maw, Archspire and Psycroptic. The energy from the fans is fierce and there is much talk of who they are more pumped to see. With a line up like this I am keen to see all four bands and by the end of the night, all of them had impressed me more than I even expected. Being a Thursday night didn’t stop the gig from selling out and that is another sign of how brilliant the lineup was.

I get downstairs right as Kaerulean begin their set. I recently had the pleasure of reviewing their latest EP –‘The Orwellian Dream’ and seeing them play it live in its entirety was amazing. Opening with a favourite of mine from the ‘Metempsychosis’ EP Labyrinth, Kaerulean gave it their all and having them kick off the night was a perfect start to a night of brutal sounds and energy created by the four extremely talented bands that tore up the small stage at Crowbar.

Next up Melbourne’s Hadal Maw hit the stage with an intensity that pretty much knocked me over and had me completely in awe from the start of their set to the finish. Sam Dillon is one of those frontmen/vocalists that commands your attention and even though the whole band was brilliant my eyes were fixed on Dillon as he belted out the vocals and contorted his body in a way only he can. Playing their latest EP ‘Charlatan’ in its entirety, Hadal Maw’s performance was perfection and I am so keen to see them again. Melbourne has some amazing talent in their metal bands right now and Hadal Maw have been added to my personal list of favourites.

Next up was the brutal technical death metal kings from Canada, Archspire. These guys blew my mind! From the moment they hit the stage in full force, it was a brutal attack on the ears and the mosh was intense. Looking around me it was clear that I wasn’t the only one completely in awe of the amazing performance from Archspire. Out of all the bands I have seen live so far this year, this was a huge stand out for me. Every song was delivered with an intense energy with the stand out track for me being the second last track they played Involuntary Doppelganger from their most recent album ‘Relentless Mutation’. Archspire are honestly like no one else. They are like some kind of magical mythological creature because I can’t even believe a band this good exists. This performance is one the Brisbane metal crew will be talking about for years to come.

After such an amazing performance from Archspire, Australia’s own technical death metal warriors, Psycroptic added to the intensity and magic of the night delivering a brilliant, hard-hitting, tight and brutal set as they always do. This was the second time I have seen Psycroptic this year and I am quite sure they are literally incapable of a bad performance. Jason Peppiatt’s vocals are so good and so distinctive that he gives Psycroptic a sound that can’t compare to other bands in this genre. His performance last night was perfection and along with Todd Stern killing it on bass, Joe Haley ripping it up on guitar and Dave Haley smashing out the drums, this four-piece team of talented musicians gave Brisbane an earful of pleasurable assault. They played a great mix of their top tracks opening with Euphorinasia from ‘The Inherited Repression’ and also playing my personal favourite track from the same album Carriers Of The Plague. Psycroptic are timeless and will forever draw a huge crowd wherever they play.

Catch Psycroptic on the remaining dates of their Australian tour and get your ticketHERE.