Only very few bands ever dare to snatch the crown atop Satan's brimstone head, deep within the murky depths of hell and claim it for their own. They have the flame of molten steel burning deep inside them - the desire to rock out and rock hard - to raise hell and wreak havoc on ears and bodies alike. In my local scene, there are a couple that merit such description and lavish praise. I can safely add the furious and muscular melodic death metal combo Berserkerfox to that modest yet lengthening list. The Arthouse was their the battlefield upon which they unleashed their sonic assault on a highly unsuspecting crowd. Who were these dashing young gentlemen? Why don't they look scene? Could they kick our arse with those devious stares and iron livers they posessed? Did the guitarist (Mr. Ashish Kumar, with some of the spiciest licks around) know that Dethklok aren't a real band? Or that the cyclonic and wily chops of Anannd Thambirajah would be a sight to behold, with his T-shirt set to confuse since "Jagermeister" is actually a drink?
For a debut performance, Berserkerfox rivalled the skill of seasoned veterans. There was dazzling, hulking riffery; intricate, triumphant melody and moshpit excitement the entire way through. The diminuitive but larger-than-life Daniel "Muzzi" Mozumder belted out his snarling growl with ease and confidence, filling the Arthouse with his acidic wit, adding to a thrilling and knockabout set of six songs including a rousing and piledriving rendition of timeless crowd favorite, The Trooper. Bassist Liam McRae incited madness in the crowd by perching himself atop a stage monitor and chanelling Steve Harris (Iron Maiden) in the most energetic fashion while Muzzi created his own circle pit for brutal stompin' action. Double-kick fury was the mainstay for Rory O'Donnell's devastating percussion attack, when combined with the cage-rattling rhythms and soaring melodies, made for a truly satisfying gig. Though their stage presence was admirable for the first half, the band loosened up and really gave their all towards the end. The equal parts Gothenburg and melodic thrash sound that Melbourne seems to crave is dosed out in spades by Berserkerfox...and I can't wait to get my next fix!
Photos courtesy of Locked and Loaded Photography