Gig Review: Cattle Decapitation + Revocation @ Pelly Bar - Frankston, VIC
Headliner: Cattle Decapitation
Support: Revocation + Chasing The Void
Venue: Pelly Bar, Frankston VIC
Date: Thursday, February 20th 2020
Review by Wojtek Tomczyk
Photos by Hayley Scott
Very few bands in the modern era have the means to draw legendary status in the music industry, whether it be because of lyrical content, musicianship or pure drive. Cattle Decapitation and Revocation have made their mark in the world as legends, and to see the two American outfits perform on the same lineup is an event that should never be missed. Trekking their way down to the southern suburb of Frankston, there was already a decently sized line of punters before doors opened, with many anticipating the onslaught of blast beats and riffs that are to come. The venue itself, The Pelly Bar, was different to what Cattle usually play in Australia, having performed at the inaugural Max Watts House of Music the night before but seeing these two international acts in a smaller bar is a treat anyone would be dying to see.
Local opener Chasing the Void started off the night strong, playing tracks from their recently released self-titled EP such as ‘God of War’ and ‘All is Lost’. Vocalist Riley put on an incredible performance, showcasing his powerful technique and range, whilst maintaining a consistent tone. During their show, it wasn’t difficult to notice that the live mix had way too much low end, which unfortunately drowned out the guitars to the point of inaudibility. Regardless of the issue of the live mix, the Mornington Peninsula based outfit do have a lot of potential and were a great fit for this show.
There are very, very few bands with the technicality and prowess of Revocation. Guitarist and overall musical overlord David Davidson is renowned worldwide for his incredibly progressive and clean playing style, and the chance to ever see him perform is one all musicians crave. Opening the set with the title track of their latest release, ‘The Outer Ones’, the American quartet blew into an onslaught of blast beats and riffage, performing tracks such as ‘Of Unworldly Origin’ and ‘That Which Consumes All Things’. The clarity of the live mix was evident and complimented each instrument perfectly, but one thing that cannot be ignored is the performance of drummer Ash Pearson, formerly of 3 Inches of Blood. Pearson’s technical chops are out of this world entirely, and it was almost surreal to see such a professional, energetic performance. After closing their set with ‘Communion’, the crowd almost immediately lit up in the excitement of the performance that was to come next.
As the dust starts to fade, tensions begin to rise. The Death Atlas has begun to spin as ‘Anthropogenic: End Transmission’ creeps its way into the venue. Opening with ‘The Geocide’, every single individual in the room knew exactly what performance they were in for from our Vegan overlords, Cattle Decapitation. As a whole, the Californian quintet are one of the tightest death metal acts in the world right now, and are speaking the words we all truly need to hear, and to that alone, they have earned their respect in their respective genre. Performing tracks off of Monolith of Inhumanity and The Anthropocene Extinction such as ‘Prophets of Loss’ , ‘Forced Gender Reassignment’ and ‘Your Disposal’, Cattle constantly kept their energy and stamina whilst constantly playing at tempos 280bpm plus, and it was almost extraordinary. Vocalist Travis Ryan knew he had a strong command over the crowd, occasionally running in for a crowd surf, spitting on the roof (or even trying to catch his mucus in his hand) and actions like that really added to the actual narrative aspect of their songwriting. Guitarists Josh Elmore and newcomer Belisario Dimuzio had a much stronger connection as musicians since the last time they were down in Australia in February 2018, and that is definitely due to the writing process and first official collaboration on their latest release, Death Atlas. From the intense synchronized tremolo sections to the harmonisations, they were locked in as a team. Finishing their set with the 9 minute extravaganza ‘Death Atlas’ and an encore of renowned track ‘Manufactured Extinct’, Cattle once again proved that they are the leaders of the future of Death Metal.