Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Heavy Discipline

With their diseases and orgasm drugs and their sexless parasite life forms—Heavy Metal People of Uranus wrapped in cool blue mist of vaporized bank notes—And The Insect People of Minraud with metal music. Nova Express 112 ~ WSB

Until day four of mona foma I was ignorant as to the existence of Psycroptic. It has been a long time since I have seen a metal band play live. Needless to say I no longer make the scene metal-wise.

But the great thing about festivals, about these sorts of anthology of acts is that one gets to hear things they did not know that wanted to hear. Even though I no longer make the scene, I still enjoy listening to good metal. To me it is one of those types of music that forces you to move. Metal is still the best fuck off to parents and squares everywhere music, to all authority!

The band had just started their set as I walked up the street towards Macquarie Wharf. Louder and louder the music rumbled and echoed, calling to me. I was a bit wary when I walked into old MAC2 warehouse cavern with a tech-death metal playing. But I chose to keep an open mind. I wanted to judge the band on what they are trying to do, not what I would have liked them to do. I am glad I did.

Before the end of the song I had moved my way to the front of the crowd and was, if not head banging, at least grooving in my own way. For after all were not the Sex Pistols a type of metal band?

Psycroptic is a Hobart band, they have released five albums to much acclaim in the metal community and have won an international fan base playing tech-death metal. I know this because after the show I was waiting in line for a coffee and spoke with a fan.

Technical metal refers to the technical ability of the musicians. The Guardian described this type of metal “death metal with complicated bits in the vein of prog rock.” This is not the sort of band where one can recruit a friend because they look the part, one has to be able to play their instruments. If technical ability is the key, then Psycroptic deserve their position as leaders in this type of metal.

Drummer Dave Haley first captured my attention with his relentless, powerful, driving drum work. Brother Joe Haley played guitar, and like his brother he played with a savage power and speed. A replacement bass guitarist was needed for this gig. He was introduced as Sam. Like the rest of the band he was a demon on his instrument. Thumping bass lines and jumping about with the best of them. Lead singer Jason Peppiatt rounded out the band. He strode about the stage exhorting his troops to battle, inspiring frenzy in band and crowd alike. The younger ones in the front rocked hard. Long Lacedaemon hair giving them strength. The singer reminded me a bit of Brad Pitt in the movie Troy. And to my drug addled rock and roll fantasy mind his death metal screams and wails echoed down the ages the screams of the Danaans before the walls of Troy. The angry refusal to follow those who are your inferior. Screaming out the pain, horror and sorrow of ten years of futile war.

Screaming and hollering the rage and energy of working people.

I still have problems with this type of music -- but to have been there, to have been in that moment, I would not have missed it.

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