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Words by James Lavel

All photos by Elizabeth Sharpe (@Ummagummamumma)

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After what felt like an eternity the mighty Astrodeath finally made it back to Brisbane last night, gracing the cosey walls of King Lear’s Throne. Supporting them were Fumarole and Gutterfire. Unfortunately, A Gazillion Angry Mexicans were struck by the cruel hand of COVID right before the show went ahead. Astrodeath were here to support their latest killer single Ceremonial Blood and I can assure you Tim and Yoshi brought the goods. If you haven’t heard of King Lear’s Throne before I can’t say I’d blame you, the venue is a blacked-out window near The Zoo hiding one of the coolest dive bars in Brisbane and defiantly carries a; “if you know you know” kinda vibe.

After heading through the venue towards the band room it was instantly apparent tonight was going to get loud. Bass and guitar cabs stacked to the roof framed the stage. It wasn’t long before they fired up and started humming as Fumarole took the stage.  It had been a hot minute since I last saw these guys and they didn’t disappoint, serving up a fresh helping of tracks for our ears. The first thing that that struck me was Kurt’s vocals, I don’t remember them ever being that heavy but shit fucking yeah, they were sounding good. The low end of Dan’s bass was bouncing from wall to wall, truly mister consistent, I always enjoy watching this man tear it up behind his seriously magnificent moustache. These guys are road tested and ready to melt faces. The room started to warm up while the band moved into War Cry with catchy hooks and ripping riffs. I am almost certain I could see the paint peeling from the walls by the time they got to Ghost Smoke (my personal favourite) delivering a low-end kick to the face. Fumarole finished up their set with a magic instrumental track that kept punters glued in place.

The stage well warmed, Brisbane heavyweights Gutterfire took the stage. More members than stage space saw an injured Kev take his place in the crowd. This was the first show of the year for the guys and the first-time I’d had the pleasure of seeing Adam Dawe (Daylight Ghosts) with a four-string – filling in (and absolutely killing it) after long time bassist Mike Stevenson had to sadly step away from the band for health reasons.

Tight is a word I would use to describe these guys, multiple weekly jams and a dedication to their art have solidified Gutterfire as one of Brisbane’s not so best kept secrets. The lads kicked things off with Jack O’ the leaves, the title track from their recent LP ‘Chill’. The vocals from the crowd showcasing the love Brisbane have for these guys. They moved into Jaws of the Universe their very first single and still one of their crowning achievements. This song really has it all, catchy hooks and molten riffs that leave you salivating. As the floor space shrank Gutterfire were kind enough to gift us a brand-new track that gave me Gutterfire branded punk Stooges like energy. This is fine was next followed by another new track that was “the closest they’ll get to a Ballard”- it was shit hot. They moved into Chill and Adam joined Kev in the crowd as Shaun and Az faced off on stage. Clay keeping the whole package together with his stellar timing and ripping beats. They wrapped things up with Bonfire rounding out their set with heavy tones, thick bass and potent lyrics.

At last, it was time for Astrodeath to show us how much noise a two piece can make (the answer is a lot). Astrodeath took the stage with the unholy sound of Invasion fueled by Tim’s infectious riffs and Yoshi laying the drums on thick. Next is Humanoid Slave the title track to 2019’s self-titled beast of an album.  Tim once again throwing psychotic vocals and gnarly hooks over our heads. If Gutterfire were the standard, I don’t know how but Astrodeath raised the bar again. Leviathan rising next, another ripping track before the brutality of Darkstar washed over us all.

I’m going to take this moment to talk about Yoshi; I’m going to straight up call it and say Yoshi is the best goddam drummer in the heavy scene (fight me) if you don’t believe me go see these cats and I’ll wait for you to be wrong. Before the end of Darkstar and the following 8th house the crowd was starting to really stir and by the time the opening riff to Ceremonial Blood played we were in full mosh pit mode. This track is absolute fire and really shows the flexibility of the guys, getting experimental with chord progression and timings. Some new sounds before they hit Mountain King absolutely stoking the flame of the room into a raging fire. As their set came to a close, the boys treated us to a ripping cover of Black Sabbath’s Children of the Grave that Tim was born to sing, before wrapping it all up with Relentless Brutality. Calls for an encore stopped them leaving the stage, Tim inviting everyone up to help him sing an Astrodeath flavoured cover of Steppenwolf’s Magic Carpet Ride.

Astrodeath continue their rampage today at Mo’s Desert Clubhouse before heading back south. You can check out their schedule below.

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With thanks to Little Wing Agency

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