words and photos: Nathan Goldsworthy @odin.imaging
“…As the crowd slowly spewed onto Liverpool St, I stood there with a massive smile on my face. Only a couple of days in, and I’m already calculating how I can return next year.”
Despite the large influx of visitors to Hobart during the festival, at its core, it it still a small country town at heart. Meaning, for those of us who are use to the privliages of living in 24/7 cities, you might be surprised and perhaps a little insulted, that you cant order a pizza in Hobart after 6pm. You’ll go to bed hungry. But, have no fear as ‘The winterfeast’ is here to save you. The feast features incredible food and drink sourced from local butchers, farmers and distillers. You are spoiled for choice with over 70 stalls providing you with some of the most mouth watering local produce and artisan cocktails you could dream of, not to mention with a pitched roof adorned with neon crosses and raw candles atop of tables the length of the building, it is an instagramers wet dream. Can you say aesthetic? I recommend you get yourself a season pass as to avoid lines and as most places shut early, it ends up being one of the few places you can catch a bite to eat after you’ve spent the day at a gig. Just a word of warning though, bring your wallet, shit can get pricey!
So after I’ve satiated the beast, I’m fueled for another huge night.
The second major draw-card for my attendance of Dark Mofo this year is its annual ‘Hymns To The Dead’. Curated by ‘Chalky’ from Southern extremities, the production consistently showcases exclusive international artists who often have a huge cult following. First to break the silence this year was New Zealands Heresiarch.
Armed with their latest album Incursions, chaotic blackened death metal flooded The Odeon. Aggressive and evil vocals rising above the tremolo riffing played to perfection. Heresiarch aren’t anything original but what they do, they excel at.
The crowd was slow getting amped however Zhrine came out guns blazing and lit a fire under everyone’s ass. With just a short trip from Iceland Zhrine, with their buttoned up to the neck collared shirts, looked like they’d walked into the wrong building. That was until they started playing. With haunting vocals and powerful music its hard to believe these guys have only been playing together for 5 years (not always known as Zhrine)
Recently Iceland has gained a reputation for producing some fantastic left of center bands, lets add another one to that growing list. Zhrine have a well developed, sophisticated sound for this relatively new band. Blistering tremolo onslaughts, slow burners for tension, big chunky riffs that lean more on the death metal side of things as well as monstrous doom lurches. These guys get placed along side Deathspell Omega for all the right reasons.
Since seeing them perform live, they’ve now secured a position on my most anticipated albums list.
Funebrarum wasn’t having a stagnant crowd. Their energy and enthusiasm (as well as constant call to action) got even the most unenthused head banging. One of, if not the pinnacle of the new wave of old school death metal, Funebrarum take the vintage death metal sound and add some extra aggression and polish to bring it to a new era.
For our main course, a candelabra and deer skulls adorn the stage, its almost complete darkness except for a strobe light expertly positioned behind the drummer. The strobe light kicks into action revealing the bands silhouette. They spend the night playing with their backs to the crowd, they played facing a strobe light, symbolic of their title, Dragged Into The Sunlight.
With a sound that creates complete despair (and lighting that creates the same for us photographers). Combining a expert mix of doom, black and death metal causing my eyes to roll back in my head in utter satisfaction.
With absolutely zero crowd interaction, as the stage went dark they disappeared… leaving us all satisfied, but wanting more.
Our fifth and final course were Mystifier, “from the land of Sepultura”. Playing exclusively for Dark Mofo in Australia they combine styles from all over the map, but Mystifier paint heavily with their Brazilian brush. Beelzeebubth on guitar and Diego DoUrden on bass put on a real show for the crowd, pulling out all the rock poses in the book.
As the crowd slowly spewed onto Liverpool St, I stood there with a massive smile on my face. Only a couple of days in, and I’m already calculating how I can return next year.