Canadian Gods of War, Blasphemy, had been going about their business for near 30 years before they finally hit our shores for an exclusive show at Dark Mofo in 2018.
Fortunately, a trip across the Tasman was not required to see this aural violence recently as they returned only 12 months later to hammer the East Coast of Australia, and hammer they did.
Relatively new band Reaper got things off to a solid old school inspired start before Brisbane/Irelands Vomitor hit the Melbourne stage for the first time in years, and the echo-laden vocals, combined with heavy, aggressive death-thrash riff violence did not disappoint. I need to catch up on their latest stuff, as it is all killer!!
Then Blasphemy, after a tech problem, turned their backs on us, let the intro do its thing, and then proceeded to rip our heads off for a solid hour or more.
The ultra classics such as Demoniac, Nocturnal Slayer, Ritual and Blasphemy were all in the set, and really, they delivered what I expected.
This is not nice music, and melody is not the key here, nor musical wizardry. This is ugly, heavy Death/Black Metal that few really understand. Backs turned to the crowd during the samples, dressed in chains, gas masks and the like, pounding song after pounding song, predominantly red only lighting, no friendly banter, no we love you Melbourne crap, just raw ugly metal of the extreme kind.
Black Winds (vocals) tripped up and almost fell off the stage early on, and I am not sure if this was through exhaustion (they had a hectic schedule), a wrong move, or something a little more suss, but It did seem to take them a few songs to fully click.
This was certainly not a perfect performance, but this is not what we went to see. We came to see the Gods of War punish the crowd song after song, and that’s what they did!
When: 15 June 2019
Where: Max Watt’s Melbourne
Reviewed by Glenn Lynch
Photographed by Zo Damage