Words – Clare
Photos – Mitch
We returned to the Corner Hotel in Richmond last Saturday night to experience the ‘Tech Trek Australia’ tour, a night of technical and extremely brutal death metal featuring Canada’s ‘Archspire’, England’s ‘Ingested’ and our very own ‘Werewolves’ from right here in Melbourne, and in true Melbourne style, the show was completely sold out.
The crowd was ushered in filling the venue wall to wall with bodies, a voice sounded from a low lit stage, ’So… is everybody here?’, the spotlights illuminated the figures from ’Werewolves’ and they launched straight into their set of blackened death-grind performed with extreme metal ferocity. With only three members you cannot believe the sound that was produced, but seeing as though each instrumentalist comes from a metal background, this super band of sorts, formed in 2019, was a worthy addition to stand aside ‘Ingested’ and ‘Archspire’ and a good representation of what Australia has to offer. The set was a balanced selection of 8 tracks from the band’s discography featuring songs from all four of their studio albums. Highlights included some killer dual guitar work, super fast drumming, and some enthusiastic fist-pumping from the crowd during the filming for a video clip. Halfway through the set, they played the track ‘Under the Ground’ from their newest album ‘My Enemies Look and Sound Like Me’ which was released just this year, and to complete the set were the tracks ‘Crushing Heaven’s Mandate ‘ from the 2022 full-length album ‘From the Cave to the Grave’, ‘Showering Teeth’ from ‘The Dead Are Screaming’ released in 2020, and ‘I Don’t Like You’ from the 2021 album release ‘What a Time to Be Alive’ where the bassist ironically chose to tell the audience ‘I love you all!’. It was a solid set to open the night.
Although we experienced delays to the evening, ‘Ingested’ graced us with their impressive presence 2 minutes ahead of schedule, so I was already sold. Formed in 2006 in Manchester, this four-piece death metal band has released six studio albums and surprisingly was performing in Australia for the first time ever. Frontman Jason Evans, known to his fans as the Slam King, came out on stage with guns blazing, and I mean that literally, his sleeveless shirt exposing his herculean arms, ‘Oh my fucking god… Melbourne, make some noise!’ a booming cheer rose up from the crowd. They opened with the track ‘Impending Dominance’ from the 2020 album release ‘Where Only Gods May Tread’. The room pulsated with a tumultuous energy, every single head in the audience banging in unison. Before they played ‘Invidious’ from ‘The Level Above Human’ released in 2018, the vocalist thanked us for making them feel so welcome and instructed the room to start a circle pit ‘It’s the easiest game in metal’. This was immediately followed up with the first wall of death for the night ‘There are two rules, nobody moves until my signal, if anyone falls down we pick ‘em up. Take care of yourselves and take care of each other, we are all here for a good time. From their 2014 album release ‘The Architect of Extinction’ they performed ‘I, Despoiler’ and from an earlier album ‘Surpassing the Boundaries of Human Suffering’ released in 2009 they played ‘Skinned and Fucked’ which they admitted they don’t play much anymore but were dedicated to their OG fans. In talking to fellow patrons in the crowd, I found were many who had attended the night specifically for ‘Ingested’, so maybe the next time we see them it will be on a headlining tour. This was a phenomenal performance though, well worth the wait!
‘Archspire’ have received the reputation of being a super tight band that are unbelievably proficient performers. This was correct, they started ahead of schedule and gifted us a prodigious performance filled with antics, jokes, and of course some incredible instrumentals. Their set began with an announcement over the loudspeaker that the performance by ‘Archspire’ had been canceled and instead, they would be replaced by ‘five old, balding, alcoholic losers’ but low and behold, the stage flooded with light and presented to us were the self-deprecating members of ‘Archspire’. These Canadian clowns entertained us for eight tracks packed into a tight set with frontman Oliver Rae Aleron, who although gives off a menacing Manson vibe, is a charismatic goofball who slipped in some stand-up between tracks with jokes about kiddie porn, bestiality, and sodomy (don’t flip out, they were just red herring shock topics which lead to jokes about diarrhea, small penises and of course, Oliver’s super saggy balls).
There were so many highlights of the set which included crowd participation like when one pit member climbed up a friend and planted his lips on the mirrored ball that hung from the ceiling, mere seconds after the vocalist offered a free tee to anyone who could kiss the disco ball. At about halfway through the set a Twister mat was thrown into the pit, and after a few spins, the dial landed on ‘WALL OF DEATH!’. Before the night was over, two volunteers were invited onto the stage for a shoey contest which ‘Archspire’ just had to experience while in Australia because apparently, apart from Kangaroos, that’s what Australia is known for now. The two participants were battling each other for a free tee shirt (not an Archspire band tee though and instead turned out to be a crude hand-drawn image of Chris Hemsworth being fucked by a Koala). The set focused on the 2017 album release ‘Relentless Mutation’ and the most recent 2021 studio album ‘Bleed the Future’ with the encore track ‘Drone Corpse Aviator’ closing out the night, the mosh pit swarming with crowd surfers.
Thanks to the Corner Hotel crew for having us and a special thanks to Cult Etiquette PR.
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