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Live Reviews : Kreator, Vader & Direblaze @ 170 Russell, Melbourne 08/09/2017

By on September 9, 2017

Images: Shane Henderson
Words: Anwar Rizk

Last night was sheer chaos from start to finish. I’m always blown away at how supportive and passionate the metal scene is in this town. And last night was no exception when it came to Kreator, Vader and Direblaze performing in Melbourne. Regardless of the sub-par weather, Melbourne has to offer at the moment. The hordes of metal descended upon 170 Russell in droves. A mixed bag of old school and young metalheads filled the venue up rather quickly when local supports Direblaze hit the stage.

Direblaze have a unique thrash and death metal combo which definitely hit the sweet spot for many, myself included. An eclectic mix of old school thrash meets classic death metal. Think Morbid Angel and Possessed meets every thrash band, ever. Their assertive and dominating on-stage presence and tight musicianship made it rather effortless to win over the crowd’s admiration and applause. The band put on an impressive set featuring tracks from their brand new EP ‘Smelted Reformed and Doomed’ and self-titled album. No doubt winning them a new legion of fans. If you’re in Melbourne on October 21st check out Direblaze at the Brunswick Hotel. It’s a free gig so there is no excuse. Click here to find out more.

After Direblaze laid waste to the entire pit section it didn’t take long for Vader to hit the stage. The crowd were wind up like a corkscrew waiting to burst. It didn’t take the crowd long to literally go apeshit once Vader introduced themselves and opened with ‘Tempest’. A sea of bodies flooded the mosh pit. The crowd lapped up the band’s energy and dispersed it in massive waves of controlled aggression. Bodies were slung across the barrier and people left the pit battered and bruised, but continually went back for more. A definite sight to behold.


Vader played a rather impressive set-list featuring tracks from the band’s new album ‘The Empire’, out now via Nuclear Blast Records, plus ‘Tibi Et Igni’, ‘Welcome to the Morbid Reich’ and going as far back as ‘The Ultimate Incantation’. Vocalist, Piotr Wiwczarek was overwhelmed with the response, and you could definitely see it in his eyes. The whole band was not only humbled by the crowd’s response but grateful to be back in Australia. The first time I saw Vader perform live was at Summer Breeze Open Air back in 2010. And I have not been disappointed seeing them ever since. If you’re catching Kreator on their remaining Australian tour dates and have yet to see Vader. I strongly urge you head in early and catch the chaos unfold. Just be prepared for some bruises.

Once Vader was finished crushing the audience’s senses to a pulp, it was only a matter of time for the Teutonic German thrash metal machine to hit the stage. Fans prepared themselves physically and mentally as the clock ticked away until the 11th hour struck. Silence hit the stage for a brief moment but was quickly engulfed in flames and confetti cannons as Kreator opened with “Hordes of Chaos”. The epitome of the entire night. Just sheer chaos.


I’ve seen Kreator many times before. Obviously on bigger stages across Europe with thousands of people around me. But seeing them perform at 170 Russell in Melbourne really makes for a (the use of a better word) spiritual experience. Being so close to the action you have no choice but to raise your fists and be apart of the whole experience. If felt like the entire venue was literally in the pit with everyone else. Getting involved with gusto. It was pretty much the Vader moshpit dialed up to eleven.

The setlist? Absolutely perfect. Hand picking tracks from the brand new album, ‘Gods of Violence’ out now via Nuclear Blast Records, plus ‘Phantom Antichrist’, ‘Hordes of Chaos’ and everyone’s favourite ‘Endless Pain’ and ‘Extreme Aggression’. The band themselves were in fine form belting out track after track with no sign of slowing down. Mille’s screeching voice influencing people go harder. Literally turning the moshpit into a blender of frail bodies, blood and sweat. And I definitely saw a couple of tears too.

This was definitely one of the biggest shows to hit Melbourne and will no doubt be on my top list of shows for the entire year. Those in Sydney and Brisbane who were fortunate enough to score a ticket for the now completely sold out shows won’t be disappointed. Special thanks to Metropolis Touring for another top-notch tour package.

Saturday 9th September – Sydney – Manning Bar
Sunday 10th September – Brisbane – The Zoo


Anwar is the editor-in-chief of Metal When Anwar isn't busy promoting tours, interviewing bands and reviewing awesome music, he loves to collect metal vinyl and play video games. Follow Metal Obsession on Twitter and Facebook