What a line-up: UK metal royalty Napalm Death; outspoken Americans, Dying Foetus; and the up and coming local heroes, Daemon Foetal Harvest. And all at the Factory, one of the finest venues in Sydney with its outstanding sound, layout, and most importantly friendly bar staff – a definite prerequisite for a metal crowd.
Wollongong quintet Daemon Foetal Harvest last year scored the support slot for metal heroes Morbid Angel, so they’re obviously doing something right. And after tonight it’s pretty obvious what they’re doing right – loud, ballsy metal (just the way we like it) plus some damn good songs. Keep an eye out for these guys.
Dying Foetus were here last year – and after missing that tour I was giddy at the chance to see them on the same bill as Napalm Death. While Dying Foetus have always been outspoken politically, they have never really been controversial and allow the music to speak for itself. Songs full of complex riffs and a blasting beat speak pretty fucking loud – and the vocals alternating between growling death and flat out metal screaming make for a real powerhouse act. The bone-jarring bash of Justifiable Homicide was a highlight, also the shotgun blast of Pissing In The Mainstream. And the delightful little ditty Homicidal Retribution really wound the crowd up. Dying Foetus are a mighty formidable quartet – if you’ve heard their latest CD Descend Into Depravity you’ll know what I mean.
UK godfathers of grind, Napalm Death, formed way back in 1981 in Birmingham. But not one of the original members of this pioneering metal act remains – although the current line-up is twenty years strong, and that’s damned impressive. Regarded as the originators of grindcore (a combination of hardcore punk and death metal), Napalm Death’s lyrical themes haven’t really changed over the years with political protest songs, anti-fascism, the evils of capitalism, and the hypocrisy of religion – clearly all fertile ground for song writing. Vegetarian vocalist Mark Greenway (and PETA supporter) was in top form, even in his few political diatribes between songs – very funny, a typical Birmingham lad with his thick accent. Bassist Shane Embury and drummer Danny Herrera held an outstanding tempo, and the guitar work of Mitch Harris was a masterclass in heavy metal axemanship (I just made that word up).
Napalm Death rolled out the hits and fan favourites (although I could have done with a little Greed Killing), with the likes of Suffer The Children, Life And Limb, and When All Is Said And Done. The epic Scum was suitably epic, ditto It’s A Mans World. Napalm Death subsequently bulldozed the fans in a short encore, which included the title track from their new CD, Time Waits For No Slave. Wow, what a gig – it’s not often Sydney metalheads get such a good dose of metal across three acts!