Deathstars - September 26, 2009 - The Corner Hotel, Melbourne, AUS
By: Sharon Brookes
Being one of the few people in Melbourne happy for the footy season to be over, I thought it right to grace a gig that no diehard footy fanatic would be seen dead at…A true shame really as the theme of the evening was all about death, drugs, destruction, deviates and other ‘D’ words too risqué to mention here (though I might be tempted later).
Familia and Ink warmed us up with their blend of hard rock and soft metal sounds. Familia were a surprise packet. Relatively speaking, they are still cutting their teeth as a band, but were truly entertaining and professional and the punters loved them. Ink has a growing following. They’re a Sydney band that has been around for a couple of years, and though more commercial sounding than many other metal bands, it’s good to see they have a loyal fan base who follow them from gig to gig like a bunch of love-struck stalkers. The commercial aspect to their music might just get them some airplay. I’m no radio programmer (and wouldn’t want to be), but hell wouldn’t it be nice to hear something a little different on radio for a change? These guys are as good as, if not better than, similar international acts and deserve airtime.
Now Deathstars are not your usual international act. Firstly they come out of Scandinavia - Sweden to be exact. Those of you reading this who aren’t metal heads like me, may not realize that the heavy stuff music wise is big business in that part of the world. Perhaps they need all the fire and deadly passion to melt off the ice and snow. Swedes’ are renowned for their ahem…heat and eroticism. Bottle that raw sexuality and you get Deathstars. They’re norty with a big ‘N’.
The band has been around for a while now, their first release being “Synthetic Generation” (2002), then the very popular “Termination Bliss” (2006). The purpose of this tour was to promote their CD Night Electric Night which was the first song they assailed us with. The first five rows of punters pushed forward as the Deathstars theatrical and musical orgy pulsated from the stage. Whiplasher Bernadotte (vocals) describes their music thus: “It’s like group sex between Samantha Fox, the Village People and Satan.” Okaaay…Get underneath the covers so to speak and what you have is a charged and emotive CD, which is in part, cathartic.
“Via the End” is about guitarist Nightmare Industries’ brother’s suicide. The band’s death-glam style means that all the big, hard stuff of life these days is thrown out there in their lyrics. The gigs are emotive…a rollercoaster ride made to feel less sickening by sexual innuendo and quips. Whiplasher talks about tasting the exotic and then the first chords of “Tongues” lick our earlobes. They work the crowd well. Fuel us with words that shock and sounds that the punters know well and sing along to.
My favourite ‘Cyanide’ comes at the end of a set that has drawn us into that comfortable darkness. Images of beautiful, tall and dark gothic windows swim in my head from the film-clip I know so well, as I’m seduced by the lyrics: “On these plains there’s a burning ruin that must be found. On these plains there’s a demon that sleeps, it must be unbound. (Run!)”
We are infused by the heavy rhythm made by Cat on guitar, Skinny on bass and Bone W Machine on drums and before we know it the band is performing the encore; “Death Dies Hard” and “Revolution Exodus”…two more of my favorites, (hell, they’re all my favorites). I wanted all of their songs and by the end of the gig I wanted Whiplasher (he does that on purpose the little bugger.) I wonder what my mother would say if I took home a man called Whiplasher? Would I care? And what is that other unmentionable ‘D’ word? It’s “Deathstars” - as if you didn’t know. It’s the new word for erotic, hot, sexy and oh so good.