Tuesday, 7 May 2019

LIVE REVIEW: Perturbator @ Club Red (Mesa, AZ) Sat, April 27, 2019

Words & Photos By: Nikos Mixas

So, let me start this live review out with an apology and an explanation if it appears that I don’t know what the fuck I’m writing about in regard to the band Perturbator.  I have never sat down and listened to Perturbator before I saw them recently at their Phoenix, Arizona date on their current North American trek.  In addition, you may have read my monthly column for THE SLUDGELORD entitled THE “666 Pack Review” (Shameless plug, sorry, not sorry).  I’m not so pleasant at times in regards to the bands I review and that’s mainly because they just need to work at their craft a bit more and not take themselves so seriously.  Perturbator is already an established band so what the fuck can I say about him that would influence someone whether or not they would buy his albums or going to his shows? Nothing at all…

I arrived by the time the opening act, the “darksynth” GosT, was already blasting the crowd with enough smoke to kill a small animal and enough strobes to find out if someone there might be epileptic.  I was texting with a friend about them and the only way I knew how to describe GosT to that person was to imagine for them to imagine if a couple of the Cenobites from the movie Hellraiser formed a techno+death metal band.  Anyway, GosT was decent.  “Darksynth” is not my thing, but if it comes down to listening to that or country music, darksynth would win out every time for me.  The music comprised of some uber distorted bass along with synthesizer and programmed drum beats.  Again, not so much my thing but it didn’t bother me until….the vokilz kicked in courtesy of the synth player.  I’m trying not to bash the guy too much, but it sounded like a half-ass Peter Murphy attempting black metal screams every now and then.  I think if they had a stand-alone and dedicated vocalist, it would be pretty tolerable.

After GosT, I really got a chance to look around at the people that were in attendance.  It was pretty evident that this billing attracted music lovers from several different music fandoms.  I saw everything from Brujeria/Napalm Death shirts to a couple of dudes doing their best to rip the look of Johnny Depp playing the character Raoul Duke in “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.”  Before Perturbator took the stage, I also noticed the whole wall behind the stage was actually a lighting rig.  This was not your average lighting rig and I’ll probably hate myself describing it. This thing looked like it was part of the alien mothership from “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” and could kill people.    


In addition to writing up the show, I had the uber pleasure of attempting to photograph it.  Long story short, the mothership owned me.  Sure, I got some decent pics here and there, but that wall of light rig was an absolute demon when the music started.  Perturbator, may be “darksynth” and a reason to dance your ass off when you go to one of his shows, but that light show was second to none.  The music is 100% in sync with every light.  Every beat, and there were a shit ton of them, triggered a spot on that rig.  If you’ve never checked out Perturbator live before, just do it for their light show alone. 

Now that I’m over writing about how incredible that light show was, the actual music was pretty great too.  Again, I’m writing this from the perspective that I saw them without first listening to them.  Trying to compare it to anything is difficult for me since I don’t have much knowledge of the genre.  If I could compare it to anything, it would be an angrier and heavier Skinny Puppy.  The live drums (apparently this doesn’t happen much) were a nice touch too. It didn’t even bother me that they were triggered to no end and they sounded better than most death metal band drums by a mile.  Would I go see Perturbator again if the opportunity presented itself?  Absolutely.  I would even recommend Perturbator for your average SLUDGELORD reader, that is, if SLUDGELORD readers were just “average.”