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Words and photography by Elizabeth Sharpe | @ummagummamumma

As if Knotfest wasn’t enough… Monday night, metalheads united once again, this time at Eatons Hill Hotel. We are pumped and ready to be treated to an intense and far more intimate evening as Lamb Of God take to the stage with their signature blend of groove metal mastery. I absolutely revelled in their electric performance at Knotfest, my first time seeing them live – and now I get to do it all over again! Tonight they’re supported by the crushing brutality of Canada’s Brand Of Sacrifice, another band I had witnessed live at Knotfest for the very first time… I’m expecting unbridled energy and walls of sound from these two powerhouses tonight, and I don’t think I’ll be disappointed – BRING IT ON!

First off the bat, I really want to acknowledge how cool Knotfest are being with ensuring as much accessibility as possible for our underage metal-loving youth! Not only did my own son get to experience Knotfest on Sunday, but he gets to back it up again tonight. He’s having a blast, and we’re making memories that will last a lifetime.

Doors open and it’s already go-time for those making a beeline for the bars and merch stand.  The unofficial dress code for tonight makes it crystal clear that black will always be the new black. Brand Of Sacrifice are tonight’s support act and word is that, just as at Knotfest the day prior, they’ll be performing without their vocalist, Kyle Anderson. Kyle is reportedly recovering from an illness affecting his voice – we truly wish him a speedy recovery. The show must go on however, and Brand Of Sacrifice are committed to putting on a production worthy of supporting the likes of Lamb Of God, even if it is an instrumental one. 

The lights dim and the Pokemon theme song begins to play. Drummer, Chason Westmoreland takes to the stage and encourages cheers from the audience by holding his sticks high and taking his place behind the kit.  He hits the drums for the last beats of the song, signalling the entrance of the remaining band members.

They kick off the night with Dawn, an unabating assault of punishing riffs and some of the most immaculate drumming, setting the stage for what was to come. It may be an instrumental set tonight but there is a mic set up centre stage which is utilised well by the bassist and guitarist to introduce songs and really rev up the crowd. Demon King and Lifeblood follow, with each song the guys really get to highlight their technical prowess, raw intensity, and connection with each other.  The set ends with Eclipse and it’s easy to say that they’ve successfully captivated the audience, leaving a lasting impression with their relentless sonic onslaught. Brand Of Sacrifice should be commended for their infectious energy and commitment to their craft and their fans. What a set!

During the break between bands, I’m getting an overwhelmingly positive response to the Brand Of Sacrifice set, and it’s unanimous from those who saw them the day before at Knotfest, that tonight’s was the better performance.  They’ve definitely won themselves some more Aussie fans! Myself included!

As the anticipation reaches its peak, the lights dim again and there’s a roar from the crowd who KNOW it’s time! “Lamb Of God! Lamb Of God!” Lamb Of God explode onto the stage with a ferocity that ignites the crowd into a frenzy. I must admit, since I’m both reviewing and photographing this evening’s show, I have the pleasure of spending the first 3 songs in the photo pit… exhilarating as fuck!  Screaming along with, and within metres of Randy really gets the blood pumping! 

From the moment they launched into their set with Memento Mori, the venue was transformed into a moshing, headbanging spectacle. The second song and surely a fan favourite, Walk With Me In Hell sees bodies after bodies flooding across the surface of the crowd and being fished out and over the barrier by the big burly security guards.

At the end of that song, one of my fellow photographers and I catch each other’s eyes, simultaneously let our hair down (literally!) and prepare to enjoy the hell out of our last track in the pit, Hourglass. At one stage Willy even noticed my mate singing along and gave him a fist bump … his eyes lit up like a little boy’s eyes on Christmas morning. I very much doubt that fist will get washed for a while.

After Resurrection Man and Ditch, the crowd is chanting again Lamb Of God! Lamb Of God!” Randy greets the fans with “Good evening Bris Vegas” and then introduces the next song “…Now you’ve got…” to which the eager crowd responds by finishing the line with “Something to Die For!!”

Randy Blythe‘s commanding stage presence and the band’s tight musicianship kept the energy levels soaring throughout the night. More of my personal highlights of the evening included explosive renditions of Ruin, Descending, and Vigil. The crowd’s response to each was nothing short of ecstatic, with the mosh pit erupting and bodies surfing above the sea of metal enthusiasts.

That sad, sad time of the night has indeed come as Randy let’s us all know: “We’ve got one more song for you here. Then we’ve got to get on a plane for 30 hours! Back in time! ‘Cause you’re in the future here in Australia.” And the masters launch into Redneck – this is the quintessential LoG track I daresay there would’ve been an absolute riot if it wasn’t played tonight. The crowd recites the lyrics with Randy in unison “This is a motherfucking invitation” Some took it as an invitation for more crowd surfing and at one point I swear there were more feet in the air than hands.

The Lamb Of God set was undoubtedly a testament to the enduring power of their music. It was a night filled with adrenaline, camaraderie, and unforgettable performances, leaving everyone in attendance craving more of the raw energy that only live metal can deliver. Countless thanks and gratitude to Knotfest for bringing these guys back to our shores!

Thanks to Dallas Does PR

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