Recommended Aussie Tunes:Psycroptic | The new single "A Fragile Existence" | Listen

Live Reviews : Napalm Death, Carcass & Extortion @ Prince Bandroom, Melbourne 17/04/2015

By on April 19, 2015

Images: Wylie Burchall
Words: Dilini Fredrick

As far as venues go, the Prince Bandroom seems to be the choice of many an extreme band. Doors opened at 9pm and it was the first gig I attended by myself. Now, this may be commonplace for you, but it was new to me. I was a little apprehensive just over the fact that I had to return to St Kilda,the site of my previous grievances. The crowd, however, were more familiar and of course being an international show, that weeded out the casuals. This is a cliche, but for bands that have over twenty years of touring under their respective belts, it brings out the older fan who only come out when their favourite band from when they were younger play; and the younger fan who heard them once and it changed their life. There were a lot of them.

From my vantage point (I couldn’t review this if I didn’t have one to see over the crowd) there was less long hair than usual. Just an observation. Higher ground is also recommended when things got…umm, cosy, shall we say, or else risk suffocation.

Extortion suddenly appeared on stage and they were off, to take the lead in my visions of a non-existent race. I’m fairly new to the genre of ‘grind core’, but I went with an open mind. All I ask is, have they no need to breathe? Each member immediately clashed with one another, in the most technically sound way of course. They brought to mind the image of a garage band who assault unsuspecting ears of the crowd (and neighbours) with their brutality. Each song flowed into the other like a merciless tide of noise. I may not be a fan of this particular style of metal, but I couldn’t help being drawn into ideas of blood lust. Why were their fingers not bleeding from the incessant pummelling each gave their instrument? Bit disappointed over the lack of blood. I mean that in the least violent way possible. After the tag team of vocals, it was all over. Enough said. Extortion had definitely achieved their goal of preparing the crowd for what was to come and made me a believer, for one night at least.



The seething masses gathered for the arrival of Carcass. A shred of melody was snuck into the intro as each member took his place. It was evident that these guys are a tour hardened band. You could hear all the woeful eardrums in each blasted song. ‘Blasted’ was not a pun on their heritage either, I simply need another word for ‘brutal’.

On most tickets there will be a statement which prohibits any ‘dangerous’ behaviour such as moshing or risk being evicted. Sorry, what? The devout up the front paid no heed to such trifles, clearly. Carcass seemed to be unfazed by crowd surfers just as long as, in the words of frontman Jeff Walker, they did not “butt grind the band”. Fair enough. Personally, I preferred the more intricate composition of Carcass as I am partial to a little technical death. Don’t ask me why, but their stage show put imagery from the movie Hellraiser in my mind. I envisioned cenobytes stepping through the door, coming to tear souls apart. Powerfully gory.

Seeing a band that formed almost thirty years ago, it’s a rare moment when, watching the performance, you witness the birth of the band and its history literally played out. You tap into this history just by being present and become apart of it; this is the nature of the beast that is Metal.


Napalm Death


Second headliner Napalm Death seized the stage and laid waste with intense, sharp beats. There was the occasional quick wallop (encompassing their British heritage with a word I think of as essentially English) of sound. A reconstruction of punk for metal ears. Hardcore is my limit. As I alluded to the history earlier, this became the reason I was willing to pay attention to a band who have contributed to the evolution of a sound that has its roots in punk, but appeals to metalheads whose tastes range far. Songs were mercifully short; simple one minute, or even second, and complex the next.

As a stranger to this genre, therefore holding a subjective view hopefully, I can attest to the phrase, ‘short, fast, loud,’ being born here.