Words – Clare
Photos – Mitch

The sizzling warmth in Victoria over the long weekend was turning our city into the bowels of hell, and as we descended into the bowels of Max Watts, escaping the human-filled street of the city, I was enraptured by the thought that we would soon be blessed with a death metal soundtrack to match the hellish record-breaking heatwave currently plaguing Melbourne.

This was not only the first time I was going to see the American four-piece death metal band Sanguisugabogg perform live since their inception in 2019, but this would be the first time listening to them as well. Having seen Disentomb years ago at the Northcote Social Club alongside the ever-elusive band Odiusembowel, I could easily make the assumption that whomever affiliates themselves with this bludgeoning destructive metal would definitely be heavy as fuck by association. Turned out that assumption would be completely correct, for the entire line-up of the evening.

Deliquesce opened the Melbourne leg of the tour with some earlycomers moshing and stomping around, delighted by the sheer heaviness and chaotic energy the band had to offer. Also having only formed in 2019, Deliquesce played tracks from both albums Engineered Frailty released in 2020 and Cursed With Malevolence released just last year. Included were Vile Spectres, Eviscerated Through Flames, Hostile Contagion, and Sectarian Divide. 


Algor Mortis started their soundcheck, the guitarist picked his strings in the tune of the SpongeBob Squarepants theme song, which sparked a very gleeful and impromptu sing-along with members of the crowd. I think the kids were ready! Algor Mortis is another local band that began in 2019 and with their mix of hardcore and death metal they have been growing in popularity and with good reason, they know how to throw down. Vocalist Cecilia Keane (CC) had impressive growls that never wavered, even though she told us to bear with her due to recently being sick, she pushed through and gave a solid performance. They played some tracks off their new EP with CC telling the fans ‘I know you don’t know it, but I wanna see you acting like you do!’ The crowd complied with limbs flying around the pit in violent ecstasy. The last track of the night was Taste The Wound from their self-titled album released in 2020 joined by a guest vocalist who jumped out from the wings only to retreat to the side of the stage, flat on his back exhausted from giving his all.


Then a tight (and way to short) set from the co-headliners, Disentomb. No complaints from me though, with their unrelenting brutality this was by far the most cathartic point of the evening. The whole 35-minute set was filled with hypnotic heaviness and bone-shaking beats, and I don’t mean that figuratively, the platform where I was standing shook wildly, I could feel the violent vibrations in my sternum. This was most definitely caused by their beast of a drummer Henri, who is by far one of my favourite drummers of all time, I can’t help but watch him in awe as to how he keeps up that insane momentum with ease. Disentomb powered through some tracks in their back catalogue, and although they are set to release an EP later this year, their fans were left chomping at the bit until their next tour.


Sanguisugabogg got started early which was A-OK with the already geared-up crowd. I was not sure what to expect from a band with an impossible-to-decipher logo and track titles like Testicular Rot, Dragged By a Truck and Necrosexual Deviant, but not only were they heavy as fuck, they were fun to boot. The vocalist Devin Swank rhapsodised over the huge turnout of the evening ‘There’s a lot of fucking people here tonight. Just wanna say, thank you, guys, for keeping Death Metal alive’. The pit took off immediately with Black Market Vasectomy, Face Ripped Off and Pissed from their 2023 album release Homicidal Ecstasy, the searing intensity of the music had a galvanic effect on the pit. Especially during Testicular Rot when the lead singer proclaimed a game of ‘Murder Ball’, a footy was thrown into the audience, and the victor would be whomever could hold onto it by the end of the song. It was very entertaining for the onlookers and what seemed like a whole lotta wholesome fun for the participants.


Devin continued to whip the room into a frenzy with the chant Aussie, Aussie, Aussie and comments like ‘If u see someone standing still. Move them!’ But for the first time in a long time, I witnessed a circle pit form without any instigation from the band, just the sheer chaotic riffs driving them to it. It was CC’s turn to guest vocal for the last remaining track of the evening, she was lured on stage to intro the track Dead As Shit from the album Tortured Whole. This was a wildly successful tour filled with exceptional talent and I for one am also grateful there are enough demented people in the world helping to keep the death metal scene alive. Keep ‘em coming!


Thanks to the Max Watts crew for having us and special thanks to Lochlan Watt and Destroy All Lines for arranging media access.