Reviewed by Bec Hennessy
I’m just in time for local outfit Schoenberg Automaton which I’m happy about, as I have been wanting to see these guys live for a while. The vocalist snarls – deranged and channelling Jens Kidman over a schizoid sound. It’s crazy and good, but let down by some sound issues. Melbourne’s Feed Her to the Sharks invoke said implied feeding frenzy in the crowd with their brand of metalcore that comes with a side of synth which is a nice twist.
The Australian contingent is wrapped up by A Breach of Silence, another local Brisbane band. A few minutes in I’m standing there raised eyebrows doing that sideways “can you believe this shit?” look. Singer Rhys looks and sounds like your metalcore frontman and they sound like a metalcore band. Until Bassist Blair steps up to the mic and unleashes a Bruce Dickinson wail, and the power metal guitar licks kick in. Looks like I just discovered ‘powercore’ apparently. I’m not totally sold on it, but you can’t help being caught up in the enthusiasm and stage presence of these guys (and I’m not the only one). These dueling genre vocalists both have mad chops. I know the genre mash might sound weird. But if you were standing in that room tonight it would somehow make sense to you, I couldn’t help but smile and respect the hell out of these guys.
Upon A Burning Body bring their Texas pride in a big, brutal way. Appearing through fog, resplendent in their gangster threads, Danny opens his mouth to scream and the crowd goes ape-shit for these dudes (I think that’s the first time I’ve ever used that term, it seems to be the only one that fits). An instant circle pit is conjured to maximum velocity by The Don. His vocals are punishing and backed by guitars that shift from heavy and low to faster hardcore riffing. “Texas Blood Money”- their party song if you will – is wildly popular and has the crowd singing along loudly to the closing refrain, spinning that circle pit to a wobbly breaking point. The masses follow the Boss’ every command, splitting and reforming the pit. They have a dominating sound and a dominating stage presence that had me transfixed not just by the band themselves but the ardency of the audience. Don’t fuck with Texas indeed.
I felt like it was gonna be hard act to follow for Born of Osiris. The crowd is rocketing towards a crescendo with each act. They arrive to rapt applause and a sea of devil horns. They don’t have the crazy abandon of the previous act, but that’s not what they are about. Tight, heavy riffs bleed into melodic prog guitar that melts into ambience. It’s a tightly controlled chaos; foreboding drum beats growled hardcore vocals. What sets them apart for me and what I most enjoy most about them is their melodic guitar operatics and their swathes of symphonic ambience. However these elements didn’t really shine through tonight. The brutality was there but I wanted the beauty. Still, the room was heaving and I was concerned for the structural integrity of the Tempo’s floor rebounding underneath us. ‘Two Worlds of Design’ in particular was a highlight though, the keyboards stealing back some spotlight. All whilst the lead singer is surfing the crowd and never missing a beat. Finally ‘Singularity’ drives the audience to delirium.
I see happy sweaty faces as I leave, and really – isn’t that all that matters?