日期：4月6日 暖场乐队：I Exist, Dark Horse
文：Pat Borzycki 译：Jin
在过去的几年里，澳大利亚有幸吸引了不少大牌乐队来到这片被炽热阳光烤焦的海岸——Boris, Nasum, Alcest, Kvelertak以及Earth只是其中的一小部分。现在，Black Breath也加入了他们的行列，在悉尼当地的一家舒适的Hermann酒吧进行了他们的演出。
Hermann酒吧作为Black Breath的演出场地来说简直完美不过—— 没有什么障碍，舞台离地面仅有几英寸，空间狭小的场地让你能和乐队非常近距离地接触，都能感觉到乐队已经历近几周巡演的洗礼。在Black Breath 对悉尼展开他们的攻势前，还有两支暖场乐队。第一支是本地硬核乐队Dark Horse，他们随性地选择演出曲目，同时又保持完整性，让早早到场的乐迷们躁动不已。短短的暖场期间，乐队显现出的DIY精神非常清楚地表明，他们就是喜欢让气氛燃爆。来自坎贝拉的硬核乐队I Exist紧随其后，为乐迷展现他们独特的南方硬核风格。厚重的riffs从三个吉他手（对，三个）的手中喷薄而出，与足以震倒墙壁的节奏、硬核嗓混合，让这支6人乐队主导坎贝拉硬核圈的理由不言而喻，表演期间还有真的有流血状况——某个前排乐迷肯定会不小心把那流鼻血的乐队成员的DNA样本带回家。等到I Exist的强大破坏力平息之后，就是今晚的重中之重了。
Black Breath一上台，酒吧顿时就被填满，场内急不可耐的人们已经准备好让这支Southern Lord厂牌的大使将气氛推至顶端。利落，钢铁般的开场曲“Endless Corpse”反复让台下的人欢呼不已，前排的人忘我地和主唱Neil击拳。等到乐队标志性的电锯声从HM-2失真踏板中传出，紧密地与鼓点节拍结合进入高潮，整个Hermann酒吧的人都进入近乎癫狂的状态。整个房间都快爆炸了，乐队身上的能量整晚被贪婪的乐迷们不断吸收——如果你还没被极具杀伤力的凶猛riffs撂倒的话，在你身边mosh的大汉们会很乐意帮忙。
Black Breath现场的氛围绝对紧实，我指的是比Lars Ulrich的钱包还要紧实。他们表现出了录音室的品质，从没有一刻懈怠。吉他的准确度让人咋舌，solo也全在点上。贝斯和鼓一并让歌曲的核心基础扎实到位。演唱部分的水准之高让人惊讶——Neil McAdams火力十足的怒吼，常常伴随着比录音室作品中更为延伸的叫喊，证明了他在现今硬核乐队主唱中出众的实力。音响质量同时也是超高水准。尽管从Hermann酒吧的外观来看，你可能并不会觉得这样小的酒吧能有如此的音质。乐队直来直往，没有任何多余的设备，把听众拖入了一个暂时性耳聋的状态。唯一不足的是贝斯调得有点低，但鉴于这是现在许多乐队的通病，可以不去计较。
至于曲目安排，可以说是权衡了乐队两张专辑《Heavy Breathing》和《Sentenced to Life》，没有任何EP《Razor to Oblivion》中的曲目。实事求是地说，Black Breath目前为止几乎是相似的套路，但他们仍旧选择了那些能显示他们足够牛逼的歌。从可以让人甩断脖子的单曲“Feast of the Damned”和“Escape From Death”，到甩头圣曲“Home of the Grave”和“I Am Beyond”，乐队毫不保留，让现场所有人都赞叹不已。
总的来说，这是一次美妙的演出，毫无疑问是今年我去过最棒的一场。Black Breath的现场能量和质量所向披靡，但更让人难忘的是当你意识到乐队的成员们都是多么的平易近人。他们的乐队周边铺满了一张台球桌，主唱Neil非常乐意和你聊天，谈谈演唱技巧，面对男粉丝们的称赞也只是谦虚地耸下肩。如果你足够幸运有这个机会，务必去看去支持Black Breath, 你绝对不会后悔。
Black Breath Gig Review
Over the past few years, Australia has been very fortunate with the calibre of bands that have been drawn to its sun-scorched shores – Boris, Nasum, Alcest, Kvelertak, and Earth are just a small handful of the awesome that has travelled to the continent. Now, Black Breath has added themselves to the honour roll after pummelling Sydney into submission at the quaint and cosy Hermann’s Bar.
Hermann’s Bar was the perfect venue to host Black Breath’s brand of mayhem – there are no barriers, the stage is inches from the ground, and the small size of the room forces you into an intimacy with the band so close that you can taste what weeks of touring does to the human condition. However, before Black Breath could invade Sydney’s personal space, two support acts warmed up the growing crowd. The opening act was local hardcore grinders Dark Horse. These guys casually decided what songs to play as they went along, but still held it together whilst blaring about to get the early birds bouncing. Their D.I.Y. ethic shone through their short set, making it clear that they just love to blast. Canberra hardcore heroes I Exist followed, unleashing their brand of southern styled hardcore on the crowd. Fat, heavy riffs churned out by three (yes three) guitarists mixed with hardcore vocals and rhythms tore down walls. It’s no question how they have managed to dominate the Canberra scene with their six piece presence, literally shedding blood during the performance – some frontline contester is bound to have involuntarily caught DNA samples from that nose bleed. Once I Exist’s wrecking ball set came to a halt, it was time to welcome the heavy weights of the night.
As Black Breath took the stage, the bar had quickly filled out to near full capacity and the audience ached with clenched fists for the ambassadors of Southern Lord to crank it up to eleven. The clean, steely intro of “Endless Corpse” brooded over fans as they erupted in cheer, those at the front bro-fisting vocalist Neil like no tomorrow. Then the signature buzz-saw tone of the HM-2 distortion pedal cut through, tightly thumping to the beats of the drums into a crescendo that sent Hermann’s Bar into a frenzied state of madness. The room exploded; the energy of the band feeding the voracious audience for the entire night – if you weren’t being man-handled by furious cut-throat riffs, a burly warrior of the mosh was happy to oblige.
Black Breath were tight, I’m talking tighter than Lars Ulrich’s wallet. They churned out studio-like quality songs, never faltering for a second. The guitars mastered riffage with a violent accuracy, and the solos were spot on. The bass and drums held it all together, keeping the core foundation of the songs sturdily in place. The vocals were of an amazing quality – Neil McAdams roared furiously, often holding and extending screams to durations beyond that of recordings, proving himself to be an incredibly capable front-man of the contemporary scene. The sound quality was also of a superior standard. Given the look of Hermann’s Bar, you may not have expected the best, but looks can be deceiving. The band’s straight forward, no nonsense set-up of a stack and single pedal each served to doom the audience into a state of temporary deafness. The only complaint was that the bass was a little low in the mix at times, but given that this is a problem that seems to befall many bands these days, I think that it can slide.
As for the setlist, it was an even balance between their two albums Heavy Breathing and Sentenced to Life, not touching material from EP Razor to Oblivion. Realistically speaking, Black Breath so far pretty much have one setting: “go!”, however they still picked tracks that demonstrated what badass-ery they have achieved. From neck-breakers “Feast of the Damned” and “Escape From Death”, to headbanging anthems “Home of the Grave” and “I Am Beyond”, they blasted with no mercy, putting a smile on everyone’s face.
Overall, this was a fantastic gig, easily one of the best I have attended this year. The energy and quality that Black Breath deliver goes unmatched, and it makes the experience even more enriching when you realise how down to earth and nice these guys are. As they sold merch with material sprawled out over a pool table, vocalist Neil was more than happy to chat and relay vocal tips, humbly shrugging off jittery fanboy praise. If you are ever lucky enough to have the opportunity, make sure that you see and support these guys, you will not regret it.