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Gig ReviewsReviews

[Review] Klash of the Titans @ Forum Theatre, Melbourne 14/02/2024

Picture a legion of heavy metal enthusiasts converging upon our Forum, each adorned in the battle armour of their favourite bands. The air spewing with anticipation as they assemble, a sea of black shirts emblazoned with all the metal bands you could think of and their logos. Some shirts are worn with the pride of a veteran, faded and worn from countless gigs, while others are brand new, freshly acquired for this sacred occasion. Me in my Killers Tee, charged and ready to go.

Opening with an electrifying surge of energy, In Flames and Kreator brought an unforgettable night of metal mastery to an eager Forum packed crowd, awaiting the eruption of metal madness to consume them in a frenzy of sonic ecstasy on a steamy Valentine’s day. With a blend of melodic finesse and raw aggression, these two iconic bands left the audience in awe with their relentless performance.

In Flames, known for their innovative fusion of melodic death metal and modern metalcore, took the stage with an explosive presence. From the moment the first riff resonated through the venue, it was evident that this was going to be a night. A night due to how cranked the bass mix was that my wobbly bits were going to wobble. Lead vocalist Anders Fridén commanded the stage with ferocious intensity, his vocals soaring over the intricate guitar melodies and thunderous drumming. Tracks like Deliver Us and The Quiet Place captivated the crowd with a frenzy of screaming guitars and a sea of fans screaming into the night.

As the stage was bathed in an eerie red glow, Kreator emerged with a sonic assault that was nothing short of relentless. With their blistering thrash metal sound, the German titans delivered a performance that commanded your attention. Frontman Mille Petrozza’s guttural vocals cut through the air like a razor, while the precision of Sami Yli-Sirniö’s guitar solos left jaws dropping in amazement. From tracks like Hate Uber Alles to tracks like Enemy of God, Kreator’s set was a masterclass in thrash metal excellence.

In Flames and Kreator proved once again why they are two of the most revered bands in the metal scene. With their unparalleled musicianship, commanding stage presence, and unwavering dedication to their craft, they delivered a performance that will be remembered for years to come. As the final notes faded into the night, it was awesome to be amidst the sea of raised devil horns, there’s a sense of camaraderie, a shared bond forged through a mutual love for the music. Strangers become friends in the pit, united by the primal energy coursing through the air.

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InterviewsTour Interview

Interview with Hugh Cornwell

Click above to see Casper chat with Hugh Cornwell on announcement of Australian Tour!

When future historians of music draw up a list of the movers and shakers who changed the modern musical landscape, there will be no doubt THAT HUGH CORNWELL’s name will be prominent amongst them. As a pioneering musician, songwriter, and performer his pervasive influence persists in the record collections of music aficionados, across the globe’s radio waves and on stages around the world, Hugh’s presence is unquestionable.

As leader of THE STRANGLERS, Hugh was the main songwriter of all the band’s most memorable songs across ten stellar albums all of whom consolidated Cornwell’s stature as a unique songwriter and musician. His lyrics to ‘Golden Brown’, from the La Folie album, and their multiple meanings, is a songwriting masterclass.

Widely regarded as the poet laureate of punk, Hugh Cornwell has also built a substantial and singular body of impressive solo albums.

Don’t miss this British Music Legend as he Performs Iconic Stranglers Hits and Classic Solo Songs with a Full Band!

“His solo work is a joy to listen to, great lyrics and wonderful guitars, and The Stranglers numbers stand the test of time, still sounding great after all this time” (Scottish Music Network)

“Cornwell’s voice is spiky or smooth as required” (Norfolk Rocks)

HUGH CORNWELL August 2024 Australian Tour Dates

Thursday 1st August The Great Club, SYDNEY (Marrickville)

Friday 2nd August Blue Mountains Theatre, BLUE MOUNTAINS (Springwood)

Saturday 3rd August The Croxton, MELBOURNE (Thornbury)

Sunday 4th August Memo Music Hall, ST. KILDA

Thursday 8th August The Triffid, BRISBANE

Friday 9th August The Gov, ADELAIDE

Saturday August 10th Rosemount, PERTH


Presale:  Tuesday 13th February, 9am Local time

General Public: Friday 16th February, 9am Local time

From: https://metropolistouring.com/hugh-cornwell-2024/

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SKILLET Announce Australian Tour

SKILLET Announce Their First Australian Tour Since 2018!

Not every rebellion gestates in darkness. As one of the best-selling rock bands of the 21st century, SKILLET continue to rebel against conventions, doubts, expectations, and rules with the intent to uplift in light. SKILLET have never compromised their integrity or their faith. Instead, they have travelled their own path to unprecedented heights with an urgent sound, undeniable energy, and unbreakable spirit.

The Wisconsin quartet have embodied rock ‘n’ roll’s evolution from day one, selling 12 million albums worldwide to date. Landmark Triple Platinum album Awake, featuring the 2x-platinum track Awake & Alive, 3x-platinum track Hero and 4x-platinum track Monster (one of the most-streamed rock songs in history with over 4 BILLION global audio streams) went on to pick up the Billboard Music Award. The band’s 2019 album, Victorious, marked the group’s fourth consecutive Top 20 debut on the Billboard Top 200. Their brand-new album, Dominion, is a testament to the band’s enduring appeal, charting strongly and with sales that truly defy the international trend of declining album sales.

John Cooper (lead vocals/bass), Korey Cooper (guitar/keys), Jen Ledger (drums/vocals), and Seth Morrison (lead guitar) —create epic, expansive and anthemic music: the type of rock that is tailor made for a live setting; and Australia will have an all too rare chance to experience the glory that is a Skillet live show this April.

SKILLET April 2024 Australian Tour Dates:

4th April SYDNEY, Metro Theatre (Licensed All Ages)

5th April BRISBANE, Eatons Hills Hotel Theatre (Licensed All Ages)

7th April MELBOURNE, Northcote Theatre

8th April ADELAIDE, Hindley St Music Hall (Mixed Licensed All Ages)

10th April PERTH, Astor Theatre (Licensed All Ages)

* VIP Meet and Great Packages Available


Presale: Wednesday 7th February, 9am Local time

General Public On Sale: Friday 9th February, 9am Local Time

Tickets From: https://metropolistouring.com/skillet-2024/

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Gig ReviewsReviews

[Review] The Original Wailers @ The Triffid Brisbane, 16/11/2023

What a strange life it must have been for members of Bob Marley’s band The Wailers.  Thrust into international stardom from their humble beginnings in Trench town, Kingston, the reggae royalty are said to have sold in excess of 40 million albums. And whilst few could understand the kind of shadow Bob Marley– legend, prophet and poet -must cast, if the band members touring today feel daunted by that, they certainly don’t show it. Al Anderson, one of the last people to speak with Marley before his passing, brought new members Chet (Lead Vocals / Guitar), Omar (Bass Guitar), Paapa (Drums), and Adrian (keyboard) with him to Australian shores this month and I was fortunate enough to get along to their Brisbane show.

Almost immediately, during their opener, I Shot The Sheriff, The Wailers let punters know that they’re not out to duplicate those old times, nor to try to replace Bob. Wise choice. The sound is fuller than one might expect of a reggae set, and though later in the night Chet allows himself to channel some of Bob’s canonical tone and articulation, in the first few songs he sings purposefully with a higher pitch, again letting us know this is about respect, not replication.  His use of ululation early on though also signals that he’s here for a good time. Stir it up comes next and dreadlocked Chet is heartened by the near capacity crowd echoing every lyric. He tells us “the singalong continues”. I was so glad to see Brisbane come out actually – it had been a scorcher of a day. 34 degrees at some point  and I, like many I suspect, couldn’t remember if Triffid’s old airline hangar was airconditioned.  It is … but the warmth of the night emanated regardless. A warmth that comes from Bob’s enduring message of peace and love, one love in fact; a message the world feels like it needs right now. Indeed, at one point Chet stresses that they’re all about love – still , not just romantic love, but brotherly love, neighbourly love, love for your family and friends.  He asks us to come together and share that love “grab the person next to you and tell them you love them” he implores.  We do. 

Could You Be Loved conveniently follows. Here, each of the guitarists is let stray a little and I start to really notice their uncharacteristic use of overdrive pedals. Though the echoey effect – a near constant throughout the set- is quite different to Marley’s own guitar tone that was fatter, chunky even, it somehow works. During Three Little Birds the band again suggests the crowd “sounds wonderful”.  My girlfriend laughs and says she’s not sure but… at a gig like this, it’s hard not to believe at least that, every little thing is gonna be alright.  In some ways, I wish Adrian’s keyboard was foregrounded more in this and some later tunes and the absence of some reggae staples like the single strumming and stripped back tone are noticeable.  But when Is this Love starts, any at all doubts and fears fall by the wayside and the message of the music is tangible in the room; smellable even.  Like many songs, this one is extended to allow individual members, this time American born Al Anderson, to showcase their skills.  It’s easy to see why Bob Marley, and later Peter Tosh, picked Al so many years ago. His skill as a lead guitarist are unquestionable and he uses the spotlight in this song to veer off track, taking us on a mind-altering journey, more psychedelic rock than reggae. Though next year, Al tells us, will mark 50 years of playing with or for Bob, he is far from a ‘has been’.  The lead guitarist, has also worked with the likes of Ben Harper and Lauren Hill and has received multiple Grammy nominations, including one in 2013. 

At this point, I am not sure if the daze in the room has gotten to me or if the trancey echo of the hangar has simply been misplaced.  Everything seems slower- a relaxed Jamaican pace takes over.  During Legalize It, a track recorded with Peter Tosh, it is Paapa Nyarkoh’s turn to take centre stage.  He does so with ease, reminding us, oddly that drums are utterly pivotal to reggae music, its heartbeat if it were.  The ultra relaxed Hypocrites off the Songs of Freedom album is next and helps to highlight Bob’s undeniable lyricism and genius for word play.  Anyone who knows the original track will also appreciate that this was the sound of the night – a more dub sound with amp-reliant guitar.  During No Woman, No Cry, the original Wailer himself, Al, extends the song with another brilliant guitar solo.  It’s starting to feel like they are wrapping up – they have played for an hour and certainly no one would leave disappointed. The reggae royalty leave the stage. 

But the crowd’s roar, spurred all the more by keyboardist, Adrian, coming out to psyche us up, entice the 5 piece crew to grace the stage again. Jamming begins the list of encores and ends with bassist and drummer, brothers in arms and in real life, joining for an impromptu jam themselves. Their improvisation turns jazz-like at one stage and the Brisbane crowd were certainly enjoying it, screaming their support. At this point, original Wailer Anderson reflects with us. He describes Australia and New Zealand as having always supported the band. The U.S and U.K were slower to appreciate us he explains. “We were too slow.. and they were hesitant to give up their disco”. Anderson also takes the opportunity to encourage the crowd to show their support on social media, where they’re looking forward to giving away lots of merch, Stratocasters even. Speaking of merch, we’re reminded too that fans can grab albums, t-shirt and more outside. “It’s not a hustle” he stresses, but can help them continue touring. Though he toured more during Bob’s time, a love for the stage is still visible. Anderson tells us he loves Australia and prays for our first nations people, for all people in fact. Song of the divine, released in 2022, comes next. This is a very spiritual song, Anderson has said, its laid back floating sound cannot help but relax the crowd further. The set ends with Buffalo Soldier. Though only posthumously released in 1983 after Marley’s death, it has become one of his most revered tracks. It is perhaps no coincidence that this was the only really political song of the night. With war and famine, hate and division persisting today, The Original Wailers chose instead, at least primarily, to remind us of love and light. The entire hangar shakes when the crowd join in to Buffalo Soldier’s chanted hook “woe yoy yoy, woe yoy yoy yoy”.  What a treat to have our voices rise with- at least one of- the legends Bob Marley created with. This ska, come Rastafarian reggae tribe have undoubtedly changed the music world forever.  Let us hope it is not too late for their message of love to change the world too. 

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InterviewsTour Interview

Interview with Richard Patrick (Filter)

Platinum-selling alternative-industrial rockers FILTER announces their first headline shows in Australia and New Zealand since 2000 as part of The Algorithm World Tour.

“Australia and New Zealand are two of the most beautiful and welcoming countries I’ve ever been to. Every time we tour, I push our reps to try and get us back there. Unfortunately, due to circumstance beyond our control like a global pandemic, it’s been way too long,” Filter main man Richard Patrick said. “Rock fans there are a very loyal and devoted bunch, and I know we will bring it when get Down Under. I really cannot wait.”

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the band’s birth. In 1993, founder and lead vocalist Patrick placed an ad in Scene Magazine in Cleveland, OH, shortly after leaving Nine Inch Nails as their touring guitarist, looking to form a band that would eventually evolve into Filter.

Patrick has spent three decades pushing the boundaries of musical expression. Filter’s debut album, Short Bus, achieved platinum status, propelled by ‘Hey Man Nice Shot.’ The success continued with Title of Record, also going platinum thanks to crossover hit ‘Take A Picture.’

This year Patrick unleashed the new Filter album The Algorithm, which has delivered a sonic revolution for fans worldwide and has been called the band’s “best record in 20 years.”

Live Patrick hasn’t lost one iota of his in-your-face, punk-meets-rock persona. He still “belts out the lyrics with pure energy and aggression” and his band always deliver an intense, in-your-face performance.

“Richard Patrick had some mega energy and was right in the middle of the crowd…I mean literally. He was crowd-surfing while singing” (Media Mikes)

 “Filter, the great industrial rock that we come to expect is back” (Rock Revolt Magazine)

 “The live energy of Filter cannot be denied” (Rock N Load Magazine)

 “Hell of a show! Great set list, and Richard's voice still burns!”

FILTER April 2024 Australian Tour Dates

Friday 5th April – MELBOURNE, Croxton Bandroom
Saturday 6th April – SYDNEY, Metro Theatre
Sunday 7th April – BRISBANE, The Triffid
Tuesday 9th April – ADELAIDE, The Gov
Wednesday 10th April – PERTH, Magnet House


Pre-sale: Wednesday 13th September, 9am Local

On Sale: Friday 15th September, 9am Local

From: https://metropolistouring.com/filter-2024/

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Gig ReviewsReviews

[Review] Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Evening @ Palais Theatre, Melbourne 7/04/2023

Review By Josh Mak

There are influential giants in the world of Classical music that have shaped what we have come to know as western civilisation. Mozart, Chopin, Bach etc…

Seldom do we think of Rock n’ Roll in the same regard as Classical, but it is no less relevant in its contribution to our society and culture.

Among the pioneers of the genre it would be unanimously agreed that Led Zeppelin would surely have a seat at that table of legends and Jason Bonham might very well be the last custodian of these sacred works of art.

The show began with the unmistakable charging rhythms, accompanied by the banshee howls of Immigrant Song and the hits kept coming as the band followed this with Good Times Bad Times and Over The Hills and Faraway.

Having been born too late to have seen the original line up perform live I’ve always had to be content with watching videos of Led Zeppelin’s concerts. For the first time in my life I got to see and hear The Song Remains The Same, Rain Song and No Quarter played live and that was a really magical experience .

I would like to spend some time talking about Led Zeppelin’s music and Jason Bonham’s role in carrying the torch not just as a fan but also as a son of what many would consider, Rock n’ Roll’s greatest drummer – John “Bonzo” Bonham.

Led Zeppelin’s music is akin to a mighty river; sometimes a raging rapid; sometimes a gentle brook. Always flowing forward and unstoppable.

Jason Bonham, together with singer James Dylan, guitarist Jimmy Sakurai, and bassist Dorian Heartsong deliver a very faithful and respectful performance of Led Zeppelin’s material. Meticulous care has been taken to not only play the songs right but also in the authenticity in the tone of their individual instruments.

Jason promised to take us on a journey back to the old ways and for awhile we would forget where we were and simply enjoy being in the moment.

I witnessed a band not just playing in sync with each other and being in the pocket but constantly communicating through their instruments with one another and with the audience. Truly a rare thing to behold in our modern era where almost no aspect of art has been corrupted in someway by the digital.

Between each song, we were enchanted as Jason Bonham told us stories of times he had spent with John Bonham and Led Zeppelin. From the grandeur of playing in stadiums to the personal memories they shared at home as a family. We were given a little peek into his world and what it was like growing up around such influential musicians.

Jason Bonham is evidently inspired by the drumming of John Bonham and has miraculously managed to capture his essence in his playing. This is no simple task and many great drummers have failed or simply refused to try to touch such sacred material.

The pacing of the set was expertly crafted and with the final four songs the band reached a level higher than a crescendo. It is genuinely hard to put into words how amazing it was so I will simply list the songs and let you the reader experience the magic as you read each title.

Kashmir, Stairway To Heaven, Whole Lotta Love and Rock and Roll.

Jason Bonham is a formidable drummer but I think the reason that he is able to do what no other can, is because of the deep connection he has with his dad. To him, before John Bonham is a great drummer he is first and foremost his father and he can take pride in knowing that he is preserving a legacy for all musicians in the present and for those that have yet to come.

You can still catch this amazing show

April 9 – The Tivoli, Brisbane

April 11 – Hindley St Music Hall, Adelaide

Tickets available here: https://metropolistouring.com/jblze-2023/

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[Review] Arch Enemy @ Forum Theatre, Melbourne 18/02/2023

In Thrash Metal there are the Big 4. Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer and Anthrax. Of the Big 4 in Melodic Death, Arch Enemy is clearly the Megadeth of their genre.

Heavy Metal is not merely a passion to its fans, it’s a religion, and in a religion – you do not turn up late to church. This was evident by how full The Forum was even before the opening act, Valhalore took to the stage.

Valhalore are described as an Epic Folk Metal band and Epic is the perfect adjective to describe how their set began. Sweeping orchestral arrangements gave way to thunderous drums that built to a crescendo of harmonized guitar melodies, complimented by the Celtic overtones courtesy of flutist, Sophie Grace.

Their music transcended the usual musical boundaries and managed to smoothly navigate its way between the violence of Black Metal and the earthy warmth of European Folk music. From the response of the crowd, you could see that they already have a strong presence and following in the local scene and frontman, Lachlan Neate had their full attention throughout the set. The rhythm section, comprised of Joseph Dipisa-Fiorenza (Bass) and Morgan Cox (Drums), was crushingly heavy and consistent.

A special (maybe slightly biased) mention has to be made to the guitar duo of Anthony Willis and Lucas Fisher. Both of whom I proudly recognise as brothers in the Ormsby guitar family. The guitars looked and sounded damn good and the finesse in which they played their instruments was the greatest endorsement one can give.

Europe might be the birthplace of Folk Metal but Valhalore showed that the Aussies are definitely on par with the big boys.

A massive banner covered the entire back of the stage and flags with Arch Enemy’s logo flanked the sides along with two Marshall stacks on each end. They began their set with Deceiver Deceiver off their latest album and man were they loud – very loud!

Alissa White-Gluz has such a presence about her that just oozes charisma and attitude as her voice tore its way through the songs and the audience. They followed this up with The World is Yours and the iconic, Ravenous from the legendary Wages of Sin album.

If there is a more sophisticated guitar duo than Michael Amott and Jeff Loomis in the metal scene today, I’m honestly hard-pressed to think of one. They play their guitars with a fiendish level of technicality that makes them appear more than mere mortals. There is no distinction between rhythm and lead roles, and absolutely no egos between them either. Riffs and solos cascaded flawlessly with a preternatural fluidity and together with bassist, Sharlee D’Angelo and drummer Daniel Erlandsson, they gave us a masterclass in showmanship and proficiency.

These days, any time a band shows up to a live gig with amps I always sit up and pay extra attention. Technology has now made it possible and much more cost-efficient for a band to omit amplifiers from their live shows. Therefore, those who choose to go the extra mile and use them, hold a special place in my heart. To the non-musicians this might seem like an insignificant detail but often it’s the sum of the most minute details that add up to make the largest impact.

The first time I heard Arch Enemy was 22 years ago when the album Wages of Sin (which has now gone on to be regarded as one of the cornerstones of melodic death metal) was released in 2001. The song Enemy Within captivated me and finally, after all this time, I got to see it performed live together in a mammoth 5-song encore that included, Burning Angel, Snowbound, Nemesis and Fields.

Sometimes we can hype things up in our mind and get disappointed by the result. However, on very rare occasions reality supersedes our imagination. Arch Enemy is one of those rare bands that has gone through various evolutions and has always come out the other side at the top of their game. This is just another beginning for them and I, along with legions of fans can’t wait to see what happens next.

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