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[Review] Void Of Vision @ Factory Theatre, Sydney 13/08/2023

Review By Megan Milner

It was a night of international mayhem as Thailand’s very own ANNALYNN, the US powerhouses Varials, and Like Moths to Flames joined forces to set the stage ablaze but it was the Australian metalcore titans, Void of Vision, who truly stole the show. After back-to-back sold out shows in Brisbane and Newcastle, the spotlight is on Sydney’s Factory Theatre where the frenzy continues. 

ANNALYNN’s debut Australian tour kicked off with an exciting start, drawing in a crowd eager to catch their set as the opening act of the night. They wasted no time diving headfirst into a high-energy set that had the venue buzzing. A particularly memorable moment saw one of the guitarists jumping in the middle of the mosh pit, kicking the air while delivering a chunky riff! What struck a chord beyond the music was the genuine kindness and gratitude each band member radiated in response to the warm reception from the Sydney crowd. This connection between performers and fans added an extra layer of magic to the night, setting the stage for a hell of a night. 

Varials shattered the silence with heavy vocals that felt like a punch to the gut. The bass in their breakdowns hit so hard, you’d think they were trying to rearrange your internal organs. Hailing from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, these guys brought the melodic heavy vibes that made you want to throw down. The frontman was a whirlwind, engaging the crowd with infectious energy. Choreographed guitar swings during breakdowns left the audience spellbound, and the closing anthem Stigmata, with its battle cry of “This is a holy war, death to all who fail” was a fitting finale. What truly set them apart was the constant dynamic movement of each band member, a visual treat that matched the auditory onslaught. After the show I learnt their original vocalist, Mitch was involved in quite a serious van crash returning home after a show and was on doctor ordered rest. We wish him a very speedy recovery!  

Then, Ohio’s Like Moths to Flames grabbed the baton and ran with it. The crowd packed in tighter, fuelling the energy as livewire lead singer Chris Roetter moved like he was born on the stage, commanding attention with every move. The backup vocalist, belted out cleans that could rival anyone’s, adding a new layer of intensity. With piercing eye contact and demanding interaction, the crowd did not stand still for their entire set. The lighting might’ve been a bit flat, but the performance was anything but. As their set came to a close with Bury Your Pain it was evident that every band on the bill was elevating their game, leaving us eagerly awaiting what the headliner had in store. 

It was time to brace ourselves for the Aussie ambush, Void of Vision! As they took the stage, the lead singer Jack Bergin sports a spiked balaclava that hinted at the madness to come. The Factory Theatre, the very same venue where I had witnessed Bad Omens’ first-ever headline show in Sydney earlier this year, was now the stage for yet another unforgettable show. The memory of that night, cut short by lead singer Noah Sebastian’s vocal troubles, lingered in my mind as I watched Void of Vision’s lead singer, adorned in a similar mask, command the stage with unstoppable force. 

With tracks like BERGHAIN, they sent us spiralling into a sonic vortex, balancing raw heaviness with melodic finesse. DOMINATRIX came to life, and the energy was off the charts, their choruses were like anthems, by the leather-and-chains-clad band, a sight far from your stereotypical metalcore scene. The drummer showed off with stick-spinning tricks, he may not have been up front with the guitarists and vocalists, but he was showing us he could move just as much and add to the visual element. Their foray into a heavy dance beat, ASMR transformed the atmosphere, showcasing the band’s versatility. HELL HELL HELL and the entrancing GOTHIKA REMIX shook the venue, a testament to their mastery of diverse genres. 

INTO THE DARK emerged as a standout track of the night and an undeniable favourite for many, myself included. The energy was electric, with every soul in the crowd seemingly knowing the lyrics by heart. The chorus ignited a unity of jumping that reverberated through the floor, creating a palpable connection between the band and their dedicated fans. As ALTER and THE LONELY PEOPLE made their appearance, there was a subtle sense that the set was winding down. But just when you thought it was over, Bergin made a triumphant return to the stage with a guitar in hand, signalling the beginning of Angel of Darkness

In the end, this concert was a metalcore lover’s dream, and the resilient Sydney crowd who braved the weather were rewarded with an unforgettable night of musical brilliance. The grins were as wide as the mosh pits, and it was clear that new favourite bands had been discovered. The sea of newly adorned merch was a testament to the connection forged between artists and their fans. As the echoes of the night’s performance lingered, one thing was certain: this wasn’t just a concert; it was an immersive experience that left a lasting mark on everyone fortunate enough to be part of it.  


You can still catch Void of Vision at the following dates: 


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[Review] Kisschasey @ Metro Theatre, Sydney 14/05/2023

Review By Samantha O'Neil

More than 20 years after they formed in Melbourne, two times Gold Certified Australian rock band Kisschasy are back on tour. After a successful appearance at Good Things Festival in 2022, 7 years after their last national tour, Kisschasy announced that all four original band members – lead vocalist Darren Cordeux, bassist Joel Vanderuit, guitarist Sean Thomas and drummer Karl Ammitzboll, would be coming back together to do it all again country wide. 

The band originally announced 9 shows, stopping in at most major cities, as well as Wollongong, Newcastle and Torquay. However due to overwhelmingly high demand, the final tally of shows came in at 15, and now included stops in Perth, Tasmania and Gosford, with most shows completely selling out. 

Friday’s show is the band’s second Sydney show, the first taking place back on the 3rd of May, and was added as a response to how quickly the first round of tickets sold out. The first show was held at Crowbar in Sydney’s Inner West, while Friday’s show was hosted at the laudable Metro Theatre. With its cozy ambience, it is the perfect setting for fans to gather and enjoy one of Australia’s most iconic, but relatively short-lived acts. 

The clock strikes 8pm and punters file into the venue, many racing to find their spot in front of the stage while some stop at the bar and others heading straight for the merch table, whereupon any purchase comes a free CD from Cordeux’s current band, Daz & the Demons. 

Opening the night was Melbourne based singer-songwriter and self-proclaimed ‘Australian mutt’ Bec Stevens, who was followed by Adelaide’s up and comers Towns, who brought their unique blend of flavours, most dominant being 90’s pop punk and Australiana. 

While the openers were a delightful look at talent being produced in Australia right now, by the time their sets were over, the thrill in the air was palpable. Looking around, the crowd was conspicuously older. Having been out of the spotlight for so long, it seems like the people in attendance were all there to take a mosh down memory lane, which felt special. A room full of people bonded by the fact that over 15 years ago they listened to a band that really led the way in bringing this particular brand of pop rock to Australian audiences.  

Finally, the lights go down for the last time and before you can say Perfect Way to Meet, the band is on stage and the show is underway. An impeccable choice of opening track with its first lyrics drawing parallels to the last few hours and what’s about to come. 

Two hours ‘til doors

With my patience running short

I am shaking in my seat

As I grind my fucking teeth

While I would have paid good money to see Kisschasy perform their second album Hymns For The Non Believer backwards, forwards and sideways twice over, the setlist is littered with the best songs from it. The lesser known, but haunting nonetheless, Ugly Birds In A Beautiful Cage appeared around the middle of the set, while the other tracks from HFTNB were top and bottom heavy.  The band played 3 tracks from their third album Seizures, and a handful of tracks from United Paper People, including a fan favourite Face Without A Name which had the crowd unsure whether to dance or mosh. 

Towards the end of the main set, Vanderuit, Thomas and Ammitzboll exited the stage, leaving Cordeux to perform a few songs on his own, first of which was The Shake. To the crowd’s surprise and pleasure, Cordeux is joined on stage by Australian pop royalty Amy Shark to perform Dinosaur, on which her smooth vocals complement Cordeux’s, as if they were always meant to be there. Cordeux ends his solo slot with the beautifully eerie Black Dress

The final 3 songs Do-do’s and Woah-oh’s, Spray On Pants and Opinions Won’t Keep You Warm At Night play like a dream. The crowd seems to morph into one entity, a sea of people moving together, completely at the whim of the music. Closing out a night of good old Australian pop rock and musical nostalgia, Opinions Won’t Keep You Warm At Night steals the show by an overwhelming margin, transporting everybody to a time when its timeless lyrics and angsty beat lived rent free in your head. 

Not only has the tour been successful, it put their first album United Paper People back on the Aria Charts, coming in at #8 on the 24th of April, for top 10 Australian Albums. As well as this, they released a special edition vinyl of UPP, which hit #2 on the charts for top 10 vinyl albums. The fans, as the band put it, ‘revived an album released 18 years ago’, so it’s not surprising that part of what made the show feel so special was the frenzy of passion emanating off the crowd. 

Having never had the chance to see the band perform live while they were still together, their 2023 reunion did not disappoint. Their stage presence and energy really filled up the room, providing confirmation that these guys are still seasoned pros. With as much angst as they had 10 years ago, the only way you can really tell that it’s 2023 Kisschasy is from the band’s matured looks. No more are the daggy long sleeves and scarves, instead replaced with stylish tee’s and button downs. Opinions might not keep you warm at night, but Kisschasy sure will. 

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[Review] In Hearts Wake @ Metro Theatre, Sydney 28/04/2023

Review By Samantha O'Neil

The year is 2006, Google is buying YouTube for $1.65 billion, Pluto is being downgraded from planet status and 5 friends from Byron Bay are coming together to form a band which they would call In Hearts Wake.

They were likely unaware that 17 years later, as established heavy weights of the genre, they would be touring the country, playing their first studio album Divination from front to back to celebrate its release 10 years prior.

I’m sure they weren’t thinking that on an otherwise uneventful Friday night in April 2023, the band would be playing their first show of the Decade of Divination Tour. That they would be headlining at the legendary Metro Theatre in Sydney to a room of people who have come along that night to re-live an album that seemingly means as much to the fans as it does to the band.

Sporting an impressive list of opening acts, the show got started with Australian bands The Gloom In The Corner, a metalcore band from Melbourne and Diamond Construct, a metal band based in Sydney.

Third on the roster was Stray From the Path, a hardcore punk band from Long Island, New York. Fronted by charismatic Drew York, Stray From the Path were exceptional. SFTP had a look and a sound that was straight out of the heyday of the punk era with a stellar performance, worthy of its own headlining tour. Their high energy had the crowd completely transfixed the entire set, York even stopping the show at one point to make sure everybody knew that whoever you are, you will always be welcome at a Stray From The Path show. They were the perfect choice to warm up the audience.

As captivating as they were, eventually Stray From The Path had to wind down their set to make way for the main event. The stage transition was so smooth and efficient, giving the crowd only just enough time to grab a drink from the bar before the lights were down again and the final ride was about to begin.

All of a sudden, someone in a reindeer onesie appears from the left of the stage with a cardboard sign and a handwritten message that says, ‘Make some noise’ and the crowd complies. Guitarists Eaven Dall and Ben Nairne, bassist Kyle Erich, and drummer Conor Ward all emerge on stage and the reindeer rips off the head to the onesie to reveal that of vocalist Jake Taylor smiling underneath.

Almost immediately, they begin the first song Neverland (The Star) and it is mere seconds before the entire crowd is jumping.

Somehow it feels like no time has passed before they arrive at track 8, Shapeless (Judgement). Taylor begins speaking of the love and appreciation that the band has for the people they have made music with and without revealing what is to come, the crowd seems to know exactly what he’s saying. They start to chant. ‘Adrian, Adrian, Adrian’ and just as if the crowd had summoned him, Adrian Fitipaldes appears. Taking a break from his new career as a psychologist, the former vocalist of fellow Australian heavy metal band Northlane takes the stage with IHW to reprise his feature on the track, and it is one of the standout moments of the night.

Other notable moments include the impromptu game of capture the flag mid show and the extra 7 songs outside of the Divination track list that the band performed, their energy not waning for a second. 

In live music, a lot goes into the overall experience. The venue, the openers, the energy of the performers and the vibrancy of the crowd will all affect the feeling you get when you walk away from the show. Whether by design or by complete accident, all the ingredients were mixed together to perfection, to create the type of gig you hope never ends, where each song bleeds into the next and you never even think to check your watch because the time seems to just disappear.

Music can be such a unique and multi-faceted tool. Not only does it give the artists an outlet of expression, it can also be a sanctuary to those who listen, the lyrics potentially providing somebody their first instance of relating to something, of being understood. It can make us realise that we’re not alone in the world, and upon further research, it would seem that is exactly what Divination was to a lot of people. The intimate feeling of the Metro Theatre is superb at providing the perfect setting for the band to deliver such a special show, celebrating an album that even after 10 years, means so much to the fans.

In Hearts Wake ‘Decade Of Divination' Tour

w/ Stray From The Path (USA)

The Gloom In The Corner

Diamond Construct

 Tour Dates:

Thursday 4 May 2023 – Max Watt's, Melbourne

 Friday 5 May 2023 – Unibar, Adelaide

Saturday 6 May 2023 – Metropolis, Fremantle

Tickets from inheartswake.com

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