THE IRON MAIDENS
Gallery By ROGER BROOKS
Gallery By ROGER BROOKS
ALL PHOTOS CONTRIBUTED BY SHANE HENDERSON
The line of punters went all the way around the corner and halfway up the colourful Hosier Lane as I arrived at the iconic Forum Theatre. Full disclosure, South Africa’s Seether and I have never crossed paths before but it was obvious they have quite the following here in Oz. It was quite a mixed bag of fan, covering all ages even reaching the 40+ seasoned group like myself.
Opening the night were Melbourne rock outfit El Colosso who ripped into their first song Leather Head to a quickly filling floor. Although there were some minor feedback issues throughout the set vocalist Matt Cooper had the crowd paying attention with his exciting stage persona. Its worth checking this band out, but you will have to wait until they return from their up coming tour of Europe.
Melbourne had all the support acts covered as our very own Orsome Welles filled the second slot. Right from the get go bassist Matt Mander caught my attention with his energetic moves, covering the stage with ease. Singer Michael Stowers looked quite dapper in his hat and vest and brought a huge presence to the stage, this could be said of the whole band all giving off an infectious energy that was reciprocated by the expanding crowd. Orsome Welles put in a stellar effort and if prog rock is your thing you would be a mug not to check them out.
While everyone enjoyed the supports it was Seether they were here for, opening with Stoke The Fire from the latest album Poison The Parish, the crowd exploded as they worked through Gasoline and Let you Down. The floor a mass of constant motion as the fans bounced to the beat singing loud and proud. Rise Above, then Betray and Degrade to heavy things up bit, it was every fans dream. Words as Weapons had everyone singing along followed up by Save Today which slowed the pace and gave everyone time to catch their breath. Country Song was a funky tune that had the fans bopping.
Driven Under another nice addition to the setlist. Singer Shaun Morgan was a man of few words but he let us know Seether were happy to be back in Australia and hopefully it won’t be as long before we see them back here again. Fine Again, and fan favourite Broken had the crowd singing and giving Shaun a brief reprieve as they took over the vocals. Bass player Dale Stewart and touring guitarist Corey Lowery were enjoying every minute, their use of the stage was fantastic, keeping the sweaty fans not knowing where to look. John Humphrey was a master of his kit, his energy amazing all night, lucky he left a little in the tank for the final three, Nobody’s Praying, Fake It and Remedy. The fans clearly overwhelmed by the trifecta of hits seeing out the nights proceedings.
As we all filtered back out into the cold Melbourne night it was evident we will be counting the days until Seether return to our shores, and hopefully it’s not too long between drinks.
Review Contributed by Shane Henderson
It’s been three years since Seether were last in Australia, but a mid-week gig didn’t prevent fans from filling up Sydney’s Metro theatre. The rock scene is very much still alive with the venue looking full even before the support act had started.
Hailing from the Blue Mountains, Red Bee took to the stage. A tight alternative hard rock three-piece band consisting of brothers Daniel Silk – the lead singer and Jim Silk – the bassist with Ian Dunn on drums. Their seven-song set showed off their style and ability to warm the crowd up, encouraging their cheers and announcing they were honoured to be there. During the set they told the crowd their new album Silent Enemy is “shit hot.” Before their last song they revved the crowed up further with some banter and gave it all they got before making way for the headlining act.
The crowd was excited, chanting while they waited. Seether graced the stage with their game face on. Opening their set with Stoke the Fire the first track from their 2017 album Poison the Parish. Next up was Gasoline an earlier song from their first full length album Disclaimer. This flash back saw the crowd erupt as they gave into the guitar riffs and heavier drums played by John Humphrey. Following through with more heavy songs from a variety of albums – Let You Down, Truth and Rise Above This – the band kept the energy levels high for the beginning of the set.
Lead singer, Shaun Morgan took a short break to greet the crowd for the first time, “thank you guys, so much. This is pretty fun.” The crowd cheered loudly but it was a short conversation, with the band seeming to have a ‘on with the show’ kind of attitude. The audience was not at all complaining and were straight back into head banging as Betray and Degrade kicked in followed by Words as Weapons where the
sing-a-longs really began and bassist Dale Stewart and touring guitarist Corey Lowery were enjoying themselves dancing around the stage. Save Today from 2014 album Isolate and Medicate slowed things down, almost to give the crowd a chance to rest. The almost five-minute song was more than enough of a break and as the intro to Country Song came on through the speakers, there was clapping, the whole venue was grooving to its fun beat and once again the floor was bouncing. Driven Under slowed the room down again before the band shared some of the bigger hits with the crowd.
The guitar intro of Fine Again began with the crowd cheering and jumping right into singing along. With only two members of the band on stage, a different addition of crowd favourite Broken followed and had Morgan not needing his microphone as the crowd did all the singing for him, for the most part. Heading into the finale of the night, Nobody Praying for Me and Fake It revved the crowd up again. With almost no talk or breaks throughout the night other than instrument changes, Morgan paused the show again for another moment of thanks, telling the fans that they “raised the bar for the rest of the of the tour” with Sydney being the first show of the Australian tour. Closing out the night with Remedy, Seether gave the crowd any and all energy that they had left.
The tour was in support of their most recent album Poison the Parish but the setlist was full of fan favourites spread out across the bands discography. If anything, this added to the crowd’s enthusiasm and showed how the band has stuck to their dark and moody ways, even with their on stage look and presence but never faulting in energy and enthusiasm. With promise of visiting sooner, the audience which was full of old and new fans alike left the venue very pleased!
Review Contributed by Carleigh Ingram
Gallery by Carleigh Ingram
We had a chat with Jake Kiley of STRUNG OUT ahead of their mighty tour down under!
Exploding onto the southern California punk scene, STRUNG OUT were one of the first bands signed to Fat Mike’s Fat Wreck Chords, issuing their debut album in 1994. It was the band’s sophomore effort however that truly proved Mike’s faith in the band was so very well placed. ‘Suburban Teenage Wasteland Blues’ was thirteen chucks of socially aware punk speed pop metal riffage that guaranteed carnage every time the play button was hit on the dash. Hear these songs played live and you’re talking something else again – a veritable maelstrom of shoutalong moshing craziness resulting in ringing ears, sweat soaked tees and huge smiles on the faces of ecstatic fans.
22 years later and STRUNG OUT are a monster of a band, and for the first time ever the band are playing ‘Suburban Teenage Wasteland Blues’ in it’s entirely. From the biting “Firecracker” and siren call of “Somnombulance” to the fraying id of “Bring Out Your Dead”, “Solitaire” and “Wrong Side Of The Tracks”, these are songs that that will suck you in and leave you joyously wasted.
But wait… there’s more!
It wouldn’t be a STRUNG OUT show without shotgun blasts such as “Analog”, “Calling”, “Blueprint Of The Fall” “Ashes” and “Matchbox”. Yea verily the gods of punk have smiled upon the faithful with the promise of nothing but the best – a show jam-packed with attitude, speed, creativity and energy.
Machine-gun drums, scorching guitars, hard-hitting basslines, and an in-your-face singer with more melodies than Top 40 radio – there’s no-one like STRUNG OUT and ‘Suburban Teenage Wasteland Blues’ is one of the defining albums of the Californian punk scene. Don’t be an idiot…get tickets for this and get them now!
Strung Out Tour Dates:
Thursday 21st June: MAROOCHYDORE Sol Bar
Friday 22nd June: BRISBANE Brightside
Saturday 23rd June: GOLD COAST Miami Tavern
Saturday June 24th BYRON BAY Byron Bay Brewery
Tuesday 26th June NEWCASTLE Small Ballroom
Wednesday 27th June BATEAU BAY Long Jetty Hotel
Thursday 28th June SYDNEY Factory Theatre
Friday 29th June NARRABEEN Narrabeen RSL
Saturday 30th June MELBOURNE Croxton Hotel
Sunday 1st July MELBOURNE Frankston Pelly Bar
Wednesday 4th July ADELAIDE Fowlers
Thursday 5th July BUNBURY Prince of Wales
Friday 6th July HILARYS Northside Tavern
Saturday 7thJuly PERTH Hell Hole
Pre sale: Wednesday 28th March 10am – 11.59pm (local time)
General sale: Thursday 29th March 10am (local time)
Following their explosive exploits on tour with Leprous (Norway), both in Europe and Australia, Melbourne 7-piece tribal progressive/psychedelic rock live-wire AlithiA will be joining The Contortionist (USA) & SikTh (UK) on their upcoming ‘Clairvoyant’ Australian Tour in May.
AlithiA’s sound delves deep into the realm of psychedelic tribal post-prog rock. The band embraces heavy percussive grooves, new wave Blade Runner-eque synth blasts, and melodic vocals with an emphatic punk attitude resulting in one of the most unique and diverse live shows to infect your senses.
“Taking the main room to a different psyche with their trippy, tribal-driven psychedelic rock and ambient flavours, AlithiA’s uniqueness captivated onlookers.” – Rolling Stone Magazine Australia, Jan 2018
AlithiA has previously completed 4 European Tours, including their most recent EU Tour with Leprous and Agent Fresco (Iceland) in late 2017. In addition, they’ve toured Europe with acts such as sleepmakeswaves, Tides From Nebula (Poland), and Vulture Industries (Norway). In Australia, they’ve supported influential groups such as Animals As Leaders (USA), Alcest (France), The Ocean (Germany), Mother’s Cake (Austria), Dead Letter Circus, Ne Obliviscaris, and Caligula’s Horse, plus monumental appearances at Bigsound and PROGFEST.
American modern progressive metal innovators THE CONTORTIONIST return to Australia as part of their Clairvoyant Tour, joined by special guests UK djent-metal pioneers SikTh -who will be making their first ever Australian appearances!
Critics and fans admire their intelligent approach to the crushing riffs of tech-metal, which becomes more vibrant with elements of ambitious post rock and jazzy / fusion-infused virtuosity. Even when angular riffs, odd time signatures, and devastating breakdowns give way to hypnotic, ethereal, and trancelike musical meditations, THE CONTORTIONIST are never lacking in total power.
On the steady climb to their latest album Clairvoyant (2017), THE CONTORTIONIST lay claim to a genre within a genre all their own. On Clairvoyant, the band’s distinctive fingerprints remain, even as their atmospheric flourishes broaden to encompass ever-richer textures and mine the beauty of simplicity.
For the entirety of their career, THE CONTORTIONIST has proven capable of being equally at home on tour with Deftones, Periphery or TesseracT, thanks to their dynamic combination of metal’s blunt precision with the adventurous spirit of prog-rock heroes like Rush and King Crimson.
In whatever THE CONTORTIONIST endeavours to do, they have committed to never surrender to the path of least resistance, always challenging themselves and their audience.
SikTh are one of the Great British pioneers whom have shaped heavy music. The Watford mathcore sextet devised their own Morse code of metal – ultimately leading to the birth of the djent metal almost a decade later.
A career-defining set at Download UK Festival 2006 saw SikTh poised for greatness but it was not meant to be as the band disbanded not long after… Little did they know how prophetic their ideas would prove to be! In the years that followed, the djent revolution would reinvigorate tech-metal – with many of its key practitioners citing SikTh as a primary influence.
It’s more clear than it’s ever been that SikTh were way ahead of their time and with one of the best albums of 2017 now under their belt in The Future Is Whose Eyes?..The djent-metal kings have returned!
Touring May 2018
Wednesday 2nd May – Brisbane, The Zoo
Thursday 3rd May – Melbourne, Max Watts
Friday 4th May – Sydney, Manning Bar
Saturday 5th May – Adelaide, The Gov
Sunday 6th May – Perth, Rosmount Hotel
US Progressive Alternate rock act CIRCA SURVIVE are headed here in May and STM had a great chat with Colin Frangicetto about the upcoming tour!!!
CIRCA SURVIVE will be returning to Australian shores in May 2018 in support of their latest album The Amulet. After a successful run of shows in 2015 the Philadelphia alt-rock outfit are here to prove once again why they’re one of the most exhilarating live bands that alternative music has to offer.
“The greatest chemistry with the crowd all night” – The Lantern
“the audience is entranced and each person is immersed in a transcendent experience” – Jamwich
With their signature mix of spacey hardcore sounds and progressive rock CRICA SURVIVE bring a interesting and colourfully decorated atmosphere. Soaked with the intense passion and emotion the band produce on their albums, it flows through the band and into the crowd to produce a live show that leaves fans both exhilarated and exhausted.
“It is a primal, animalistic experience to witness Circa Survive” – Under the Gun Review
WATCH: Lustration (Official Music Video) – click below
“With hands raised and bodies pressing towards the stage the crowd became part of the show, passionately singing every word with the band“ – Jamwich
The Amulet is the sixth full length album from the band out via Hopeless Records/ In an unapologetic fashion the band has pushed the boundaries with its intricate and unconventional sound. This is one of those albums you’ll want to put on your headphones and get lost in, as the band takes you on a journey through loss of innocence and acceptance. The band has since completed a co-headline tour with AFI and touring around the world, finally it’s Australia’s turn…
“For a brief moment in time we were able to let go of all the troubles of our world… navigated by our beloved Circa Survive.” – Jamwich
CIRCA SURVIVE May 2018 – Australian Tour Dates
Thursday 24th – Adelaide – The Gov
Friday 25th – Melbourne – Corner Hotel
Saturday 26th – Sydney – Factory Theatre
Monday 28th – Brisbane – The Zoo
Wednesday 30th – Perth – Rosemount Hotel
Pre-Sale: Wednesday 20th December, 9am (Local time) – Friday 22nd December, 8:59pm (Local time)
On Sale: Friday 22nd December, 9am (Local time)
It was battle jackets and pony tails as far as the eye could see as I hit 170 Russell for a night of madness and mayhem with the mighty Overkill. It has been a few years between drinks since Overkill last toured and the punters were keen to get their thrash on, many turning out early to get prime position on the barrier. The large Overkill backdrop behind the stage teased us of what was to come as we took our spots for the warm ups.
Melbourne was represented well with the two opening supports both hailing from our wonderful city. Direblaze opened proceedings with a short but sharp thirty minute powerhouse of thrash to get the expanding crowd pumped. With riffs being spat out at a blistering pace their set was not for the faint hearted and they certainly packed as much into their slot as possible. With support gigs for Kreator and now Overkill I think we will be seeing a lot more of them in the future.
The line at the merch stand was relentless and I was glad I got in early as most shirts sold out quickly, it really was a case of you snooze you lose. We know it’s not easy for bands to travel to Australia so we always show our support by buying a shirt of two just to let them know how much we appreciate their efforts to come and play for us.
Harlott filled slot 2, listening to them taking five minutes to do a quick soundcheck I knew immediately it was going to be killer. Their opening song blew me away, the sound was fast and furious and lacked nothing, it was balanced perfectly and the singer Andrew Hudson was a terrific front man. While their thirty minute set may have been short in duration it was huge on talent and they had the floor packed and headbanging in quick succession. Melbourne never disappoints with its live music scene and if you haven’t seen Harlott get out there and find them you will not be disappointed.
The last of the hoards piled in ready for the veteran thrash metal kings Overkill, and the age of the punters really did determine that they were long term fans from way back when it all began. The green lights that radiated the stage set the tone for the opener, Mean, Green Killing Machine, the mosh was immediate and it was fierce as Bobby Blitz’s trademark vocals rang out. Performing as four piece Overkill lacked nothing in sound, it was classic thrash at its finest and the fans absolutely lost their minds. The drum riser was large and we got to see the newest recruit to the band drummer Jason Bittner in full flight. What a demon Jason is on the kit, double bassing and skin hitting that had to be heard to be believed, he is the perfect fit for Overkill and left nothing in the tank all night.
D.D. Verni and Dave Linsk covered the loss of the rhythm guitar perfectly with some superb shredding, both sensational all night. With such complex music they make it look so easy which is no easy feat for any musician let alone thrash masters. Bobby left the stage frequently when his vocals weren’t required, keeping hydrated side of stage then literally launching back out to rip out the lyrics. Hello From The Gutter, Goddamn Trouble and Wrecking Crew to name a few as they worked their way through the impressive set list.
The mosh never faltered, the punters revelling in the craziness, all being smashed from pillar to post. The worst offenders were a few crazy chicks who had a death wish, constantly throwing themselves into the madness only to be spat out to ride the wave again and again. The crowd surfers were plentiful but with a few hard landings many may be in need of a chiropractor come tomorrow.
Bobby’s hands almost puppeteer like as he called to the fans via his expressive digits, he looked extremely fit with guns to rival a man half his age. On several occasions he grabbed guitars picks and handed them to fans, a terrific gesture that is always appreciated. I Hate, Horrorscope and Coma blew the roof of 170 Russell, add to that Infectious and Hammerhead and I am sure they band are ready for a well deserved rest. But not quite yet! After a very brief moment off stage they are back to finish out the night, and Bobby screams ‘Grandpa is gonna kick your arse’ as they launch into Elimination and Fuck You. This last song saw middle fingers held high as the hoards screamed ‘we don’t care what you say, FUCK YOU!’ a very fitting finish to a night of metal thrashing madness. With a show of this stamina I have no doubt Overkill will come visit us again, as age definitely isn’t playing a factor in slowing them down any. I speak for all when i say we will be more than happy to get our arses kicked one more time!
Review Contributed by Cassandra Hale
ALL PHOTOS CONTRIBUTED JAIDYN HALE
After a completely SOLD OUT Australian Tour of epic proportions in 2015, Heavy Metal Icons MACHINE HEAD are set to make their triumphant return in 2018 and this time around they will be armed with their new album ‘Catharsis’ which entered the Australian ARIA Charts at Number 10.
“How the fuck are Machine Head getting better this far into their career?” – metalsucks.net
MACHINE HEAD have flown the flag for truth, integrity and creative desire in metal, starting with the earth-shattering prescience of 1994’s classic ‘Burn My Eyes’ and continuing through to 2014’s ‘Bloodstone & Diamonds, producinga series of albums that consistently redefined the very notion of heaviness and music while upholding an invigorating lyrical narrative that has turned the band into one of the few in modern times that can boast an unbreakable connection with the hearts and minds of the metal faithful.
“Machine Head totally blew the roof off, the doors open, and the windows out, blasting through selections spanning the entirety of their 20+ year career.” – metalsucks.net
With 7 Top 30 ARIA charting Albums and monstrous heavy weight songs like “Locust”, “Imperium”, “Now We Die’’, “Halo”, ‘’Aesthetics of Hate’’, ‘’Ten Ton Hammer’’ plus many more, it’s no wonder their Australian fan-base are chanting for their return. Machine Head shows are the next level of live experience. Front-man Robb Flynn is one of the most charismatic front-men in the world and they have towered above the competition with a ruthless determination and dedication to the cause.
“The crowd stomped their feet hard & chanted “Machine Fucking Head” until they reappeared creating an over whelming electric atmosphere so thick in density it was possible to see it.” – louderthanwar.com
A MACHINE HEAD live show is as much about the crowd as it is about the band. MACHINE HEAD do not just perform and leave – you’re in for highly energetic show, with bodies flying everywhere! Prepare yourselves to be bludgeoned by a wall of sound and leave the venue with ears ringing, voice boxes shredded and bodies crushed. MACHINE HEAD obliterates any notion that veteran bands can’t sustain their passion and intensity while also setting a new standard for sonic destruction and virility along the way.
“Unadulterated metal at its best and what better band to deliver such pummeling music than MACHINE HEAD.” – TheRockpit.net
Don’t miss the return of the mighty Machine Head to Australia.
Machine Head: Catharsis Australian Tour Dates
Tuesday 17th July: Adelaide, HQ
Wednesday 18th July: Brisbane, Eatons Hill Hotel
Friday 20th July: Sydney, Enmore Theatre
Saturday 21st July: Melbourne, Forum Theatre
Tuesday 24th July: Perth, Astor Theatre
Pre-Sale: Wednesday February 21st, 9am (Local time) – Friday February 23rd, 9am (Local time)
On Sale: Friday February 23rd, 9am (Local time)
New Album ‘’Catharsis’’ out now on Nuclear Blast Entertainment: