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Live Reviews : Disentomb, Whoretopsy, Gape @ Brisbane Hotel, Hobart 27/07/2019

By on August 1, 2019

Last Friday the metal fans of Hobart were treated to a fantastic death metal bill including Gape, Whoretopsy and Disentomb. While Mephistopheles and Zeolite were also slated to appear at the gig, an unfortunate set of illness and injury meant that both bands were unable to play. Nonetheless, a sizeable crowd, especially for a gig at the Brisbane Hotel, turned out for a night of punishing, brutal slam.

Gape opened the evening with their established brand of depraved, sex-themed slam. Gape are a veritable fixture of the Tasmanian death metal scene and a large crowd had already formed, keen to mosh, for the opening song ‘Sludge Puppet’. Slam and brutal death are not usually my thing, but it was nearly impossible not to move or mosh along with the heavy rhythms pumped out by the band. The crowd responded in kind, always keen to see a local band, and the pit was quickly established. Rarely is a band so heavy that you can feel it viscerally, but Gape is one of those bands. They clearly understand their material and their audience well and had picked a good set of songs to hype up the crowd.

Melbourne brutal death band Whoretopsy was up next. I was immediately impressed with their tight, punchy sound that was very well balanced in the live mix. This is always a difficult feat, especially in an unfamiliar environment, and speaks to the experience of the band converting their recorded sound to a live setting. The crowd was likewise impressed with opening track ‘The Bone Collector’ and its colossal, heavy riffs. Whoretopsy had huge energy and were very engaging, delivering the hungry Tassie crowd exactly what they wanted. Frontman Zac Bergholz had great command of the crowd and fed off their enthusiasm well, backed up by the stellar musicianship of the rest of the band. While I didn’t feel their sound quite as viscerally as I did with Gape, Whoretopsy’s riffs were even stronger and groovier, likewise demanding that you move with them. With another excellent set tucked away, the crowd were keen for the headliner act.

Disentomb did not disappoint the crowd, making the long trip down from their Queensland home well worth it. Their cohesive sound was less of a ‘kick-you-in-the-face’ assault than the previous bands but suited their more technical brand of brutal death metal well. While their music was less suited to mindless moshing, due to the speed and technicality on show, Disentomb was nonetheless engaging and heavy. A number of songs were taken from their recent release The Decaying Light and sound just as heavy live as they did on the recording.

Disentomb were also conscious of the importance for Australian metal, thanking the crowd for their support of local, Australian death metal several times during their set and dedicating the song ‘Undying Dysphoria’ to the bands who were unable to play this evening. The doomier, atmospheric songs stood just as strong as the intensely technical songs on the set, and the crowd were with them the whole way. ‘Chthonic Gateways’ provided a high-energy mid-point with some impressive vocal moments that provided the crowd with plenty of moshing moments. Closing song ‘The Decaying Light’ worked extremely well live and closed out what was an excellent night celebrating the band’s 10th anniversary. Overall, a fantastic set of bands were on show who all performed well and delivered an engaging live experience.

About

Ben is a metalhead originally from Sydney, who has now moved to Hobart to pursue a PhD in Australian extreme metal. When not studying, writing about or playing metal, he can be found playing video games, browsing Reddit, knitting, fending off his cat or helping out at his local church.