Thursday 5 November 2015

CONCERT REVIEW: DEATH VOMIT (INDONESIA) live @ Step Inn, Fortitude Valley, Brisbane, 15 September 2010

DEATH VOMIT with tour promoter and financier Jason Hutagalung (XENOPHOBIC RECORDS) (centre, third from left), 2010 Australian tour
My Rating: 92%.

Yogyakarta-based death-metal band Death Vomit made history in the second half of 2010 by being the first Yogyakarta band and second Indonesian metal band (after Burgerkill from Bandung) to play shows in Australian cities. I attended the last concert of the tour, at a hotel called Step Inn in the Brisbane entertainment and nightclub district called Fortitude Valley or just “the Valley”. Death Vomit is Oki Haribowo (bass), Roy Agus (drums) and Sofyan Hadi (guitar/ vocals). 

Death Vomit was the fourth band on the bill for the metal show that night and it was the headline band. Step Inn is the primary metal venue for the sub-tropical city of Brisbane (population 1.5 million). It is a traditional working-class pub (hotel) which has not been modernised and gentrified to cater for the new young professional class in Brisbane. Step Inn shows attract the dedicated death-metal crowd wearing denims and leather and the death-metal uniform, known throughout the world, of black tee-shirts featuring spiky and unreadable band logos. Because it is a pub most of the venue’s revenues are from beer sales. As I entered this night the group of young guys ahead of me, dressed in Cannibal Corpse tee-shirts, were asked to produce photo ID cards. As a matter of habit and reflex I then showed my ID card to the security. Everyone had a great laugh as I am 43-years-old and with turning grey hair! Furthermore young guys in Australia don't wear Obituary tee-shirts (sadly). Because it was a licensed liquor venue only those aged 18 and above can enter so Death Vomit’s guys would have found the audience very different to a typical Indonesian show where most fans are teenagers (for example Bleeding Corpse’s show at Cibinong on 8 October 2011).

Sofyan and Oki with DEVO merch
Death Vomit started playing around 8pm. There was a crowd of around 70 or 80, of all ages from 18 upwards to 40s or 50s. The crowd was different from an Indonesian crowd by being older as heavy-metal in the west now has a 35 or 40 year history and older fans are now aged in their 40s and 50s. A row around three deep of fanatical metalheads was headbanging up the front, as you would see in Indonesia, but then there was a few metres of empty space and a second group of metalheads stood at the back, beers in hands, and just watching the show. This group may have been a little alarming to Death Vomit as they seemed so still like rocks but actually they had to stand still as beer is served in glasses which break if dropped on the floor! 

I could see Death Vomit was nervous; they took time to start their set. The second they started they were brilliant as usual. The band members won over the crowd by their aggressive and yet very cohesive and professional performance. The band does something rare as Sofyan uses death-metal growl vocals but these are echoed by Oki’s high black-metal shrieks. The only way to improve for DEVO might be more guitar solos by Sofyan (or add Ralph Santolla as the fourth band member!!) The three or four Australian metal fans I spoke to after the gig were very impressed by the band. Yogyakarta’s metal ambassadors had passed a major test! Former vocalist Agung, who died aged 22, would have been very proud of his band. Australia waits for more bands from the Yogyakarta back streets and college campuses!

See also the two interviews with DEATH VOMIT (one more to come) posted in "DEATH VOMIT" pages of our website - choose English or Indonesian.
[By Kieran James, first written for, 19 November 2011].
Oki Devo @ Roman Catholic Hospital, Jogja, when Roy's son Jordy was born, October 2011
Left to Right: Corna Irawan (DEVO manager), Corna's sister, Oki Haribowo, Roy Agus, October 2011
Left to Right: Kieran James (Busuk Webzine), Oki Haribowo (DEVO bassist), Ms. Nilu (, Unknown, and Corna Irawan (DEVO manager) @ Jogja October 2011
Left to Right: Oki Haribowo (DEVO bassist), Kieran James (Busuk Webzine), and Corna Irawan (DEVO manager) @ Central Yogya, October 2011. This place can be seen in the intro to Flames of Hate DVD.

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