Trivium + Amon Amarth Malevolence @ Eatons Hill Hotel Brisbane [Live Review]

Review: Jack Price
Photography: Dan Maynard

The heathens are out in force at Eatons Hill Hotel, as the mass of black clad pit warriors, shieldmaidens and general fans descended to the ballroom. The next few hours are guaranteed to be a sweaty bloodbath of pure joy and brutality.

First to take the stage are hard-hitting UK outfit Malevolence, resonating their insane performance from Knotfest. As their Cops theme song opener started, a cheer rose from the crowd as the boys took to the stage with frontman Alex Taylor greeting their adoring fans. The energy is high from the entire band with guitarist Josh Baines windmilling his mane of hair, to drummer Charlie Thorpe being in perfect form.

Before jumping straight into Life SentenceAlex proclaimed “For the next thirty minutes, all I need is your fucking energy”, and energy they got! Not surprisingly, as the yorkie voiced frontman was in amazing form, considering his recent sternum injury over the course of the last week at Knotfest. A circle pit was directed by Taylor for Self Supremacy, proving what a good friend of mine said, being in the pit for Malevolence is a death wish.

The lads toned it down for a more soulful song with Higher Place with a lightshow of mobile phones lit up the ballroom of Eatons Hill Hotel. Co-Lead vocalist Konan Hall’s clean vocals are a deep and rich contrast to the brutality ejected from Taylor and the song is well received by the crowd.

“And now… we turn the energy… back up”, Alex announced to the crowd as he introduced their highest listened to track on Spotify – Keep Your Distance. Hearing it live makes the 8 million streams seem more than justified.

Then it was the crowd’s turn to sing. And not what you’d expect. The room erupted with Happy Birthday to Josh as balloons descended from the upper deck. As they said their goodbyes, people took the opportunity to go outside for some just as sticky air, visit the merch stand and get some bevies in preparation for the next band on the bill.

The viking monsters themselves, Amon Amarth then took to the beautifully put together stage, with wooden panelling either side of the drums and  a knotwork center piece upon which Jocke Wallgren‘s drum kit stood. The opening track Guardians of Asgard sounded like a war cry throughout the room with not a single person not joining in!

The electrifying Raven’s Flight followed, ringing through the night air, all the way to Valhalla. Deceiver Of The Gods gave the crowd the chance to join in with another chorus of chanting.

The fountain of youth must be located in Asgard and these behemoths have found it. Not for a moment did they tire or slow, showing true viking spirit. Johan Hegg deserves every ounce of attention from his captivated audience, with his brutal growls and outstanding showmanship. And the rest of the band are just as impressive, not faltering to keep up with the energetic crowd.

Darkness set across the land before beams of white light shot from the stage and the sounds of the ocean swelling with rage rang out from the house PA. The crowd knew exactly what was coming as they started cheering ROW! And with that, we were off on a pillaging mission to Put Your Back Into The Oar. The viking brotherhood that was built this evening showed as almost everyone in the mosh pit sat and stated to row in time as Wallgen booted the shit out of the bass drum.

Cry Of The BlackbirdWar Of The GodsShieldwall and Raise Your Horns brought around the end of the set that felt more like an epic battle than a gig. The final track from the Swiss melodic death metal Gods that had chosen to grace our distant shores this week was the epic Twilight Of The Thundergod. Thor himself would be honoured for the offering of this track and Brisbane, we were not fucking worthy. As Hegg held aloft the mighty Mjolnir, battle cry erupted from the band like a crack of lightning. Amon Amarth raised Hel with their brutalifully mastered show where everyone felt welcome and home.

Drinks were quickly bought before the crowd sucked back into the ballroom as roadies set up for the other headlining act. The atmosphere grew, this crowd was ready!

Like some ungodly beast, the Trivium smashed the crowded room with their thrash inspired metal, the explosive energy is absolutely facemelting! They opened with the bone crushing Kirisute Gomen from Shogun and the crowd was now revitalised from the half hour wait they had just endured.

Catastrophist was up next, followed by The Sin And The Sentence which were both met with cheers and screams from the crowd. The circle pit spiralled as if the band had somehow summoned a dragon in the middle of the smoky room! And being Trivium, I’m half surprised that didn’t happen, but the crowd felt the resonating energy and embodied it.

Between the aforementioned tracks, vocalist and lead guitarist Matt Heafy took the chance to embrace the maniacs that had endured the last two and a half hours of brutality, reminding them to have fun, be safe and most importantly, stay hydrated and instructed security to pass water out for anyone who needed it. What a thoughtful chap.

The next track was a little less thrashy but my personal admiration for Strife made it a definite stand-out performance of the show. The crowd loved it with people moshing and singing along, the band was at peak performance and not a single thing could be faulted.

Matt then challenged the Brisbane metalheads to beat their Melbourne counterparts with their response to Like Callisto To A Star In Heaven met with a mixture of boos for Melbourne as egged on by Heafy, and cheers at the chance to out most another city and to impress the charismatic frontman, a now glistening, sweat-covered monument of metal.

Matt took a moment to celebrate the fans and thank them for their amazing turn out and efforts tonight and at Knotfest, before shouting the all too familiar “Aussie! Aussie! Aussie!” chat to which the room screaming back a series of “Oi”‘s.

Like A Sword Over Damocles was a whirlwind of dueling guitars, chest rattling bass and drums and excitement from the crowd. Heafy‘s voice echoed through the room, egging the crowd on and on. To The Rats followed and the frontman requested a circle pit which the crowd happily provided.

A jumping crowd welcomed in The Sin and The Sentence‘s The Heart From Your HateHeafy‘s dramatically powerful voice soothing the crowd during the verses before setting these wild animals free for the chorus. You could hear the joy in his voice as the choruses were belted back at him from those on the outskirts of the pit and the upper floor.

As soon as the track finished and the lighting arrangement lowered, the unmistakable distorted piano of Capsizing The Sea swelled through the PA, and we knew exactly what was coming. Just like a crashing tsunami, In Waves slammed in like an absolute murder machine, and enticed one of the metal-dads from upstairs to run from the All-Ages area upstairs, son on shoulders, into the middle of the pit to the amazement of the entire band and crowd alike, for what I’m sure will be a moment no one will forget!

The band announced their final song, a track from their critically acclaimed album AscendancyPull Harder On The Strings Of Your Martyr. This is what the crowd had been waiting for. In unison, everyone in the venue seemed to have regained all their energy that had been well spent over the duration of Knotfest and this evening’s show, and with an explosive performance from the gentlemen from Trivium, the room shook like an awoken giant. A perfect ending to a very heavy night.

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