The wellspring of musical talent that runs through Perth is not just limited to family-friendly radio tunes, with Amplifier bar long being a beacon for local metal fans, from all degrees of the extremity spectrum. And at the most brutal, most extreme end of the spectrum, the Perth death metal scene has a multitude of dedicated stalwarts; several of whom banded together to support Kimura in launching their debut EP Kintsukuroi on that most brutal and apt date of Friday the 13th. They were supporting either on stage or at one of the many stalls selling their wares as part of the event’s merchandise expo; a unique event highlighting the unity and enthusiasm that typifies the Perth metal scene.
Dethlahem opened the evening’s musical smorgasbord in a flurry of blast beats and trill picked riffs, their tight performance lead by their Carlton Draught-chugging frontman’s twisted humour, including the introduction of the delightfully-named “Cunt Guts.” Enforce followed up in punishing fashion, opening with a cry of “Sick Sick Sick” and never hitting the brakes for their whole set; a veritable battering ram of death metal fury and unrelenting technicality. Psychonaut added a touch of silliness to proceedings with their frequent Star Wars references and shameless classic-metal sensibilities; the high-pitched vocal on “Crushed Metal Zombies” being a particular highlight. The night’s main event took to the stage with flags hung high, proudly displaying “KIMURA” to the faithful. Led by their wild-eyed bass player, the five piece blasted through cuts from their EP, a fitting send off for their departing guitarist. The group’s shared musical ability is impressive, their playing as tight as it is brutal, augmented by the sincere humility they had in thanking all the bands for supporting them on stage or in sales. They left the bar high for the night’s closers Death Fucking Cunt, but the notorious ever-presents of Perth’s metal community rose to the challenge, capping off the night in fantastic fashion.
While occasions such as these, as saturated as they are with intensity and volume run the risk of seeming dour or – dare I say it – homogenous, Kimura’s launch had a certain sense of fun that permeated the entire venue. From the date-appropriate bloodstained plastic hockey masks that were handed out at the door, to the inexplicable teddy-bear mascot running around (and humping the companion I’d brought with me mid-headbang… although truth be told I feel worse for the bear than I do for my friend) and the sheer level of support from other acts not on the performing bill – but still there in heart and in merch – waves of black-clad, sullen looking young people have never seemed more friendly and welcoming. There was a sense of community in the air, a thread that bound everyone from front and centre headbangers to the drunks guys at the back bar.
Both Enforce and Psychonaut treated their fans to songs released more than a decade ago, all the way back in 2000. It may not look that long ago on paper, but to the individual, these are lifetimes. Whether new to the scene or a well weathered piece of the furniture, the support and dedication of the fans and the performers in the death metal scene is truly something to behold. An amazing night, and hopefully the birth of a new tradition in the merchandise expo; Kimura have delivered their EP in sensational style, and set the pace to all to follow.