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:
AUG 16TH • THE BASEMENT, CANBERRA
AUG 18TH • 170 RUSSELL, MELKBOURNE
AUG 19TH • LION ARTS FACTORY, ADELAIDE
AUG 20TH • MAGNET HOUSE, PERTH
Review by Cassandra Hale
It has been a long time coming, we have been waiting patiently, and now the inaugural Knotfest was upon us. The Maggots were festering and ready to burst, the excitement was palpable, the hoards were bouncing on the balls of their feet waiting for those magical gates to swing open and let them the hell in. The colour of the day was black, it came in every possible version with only the odd orange boiler suit thrown in for good measure. Masks were plentiful strapped on with precision in various arrays which were laboriously removed for the id checks on arrival. I bet the owners weren’t quite expecting that! Eager to go hunting for all the hidden gems and scope the lay of the land before Malevolence kicked off the proceedings I set off, and man oh man what a huge area to explore. The trek to the Slipknot Museum and other offerings such as flash tattoos and a cheeky haircut felt like walking between suburbs, the area was vast but did not take long to fill. With plenty to keep you entertained and a massive amount of food options it was a great place to come and chill for those seeking some down time. There was even a tent complete with a wrestling ring which held some pretty feisty matches over the course of the day if you were that way inclined. But for now it was time to get the party started.
Hailing from South Yorkshire, Malevolence hit the stage running, wowing the masses from the first song. I was blown away by these guys. They were super tight and extremely entertaining to watch, and I did not seem to be alone as they amassed people as far as the eye could see. The circle pit made its first appearance and it was rabid, punters so happy to get amongst it. From the outside it looked to be moving at warp speed with people riding on shoulders while making the crazy annulus. A few that caught my attention were Still Waters Run Deep and Self Supremacy, and I will be looking into their back catalogue pronto, these guys were worthy of a spot much higher up the order and set the bar very, very high for the rest of the day.
Melbourne’s Void Of Vision took their place on Stage 2 and I could not believe the early turn out of people, no one wanting to miss one band. They had thousands in front of them as they blasted out their thirty minute set with, singer Jack Bergin pulling out all the stops. With blackened eyes and studded collar, he led the boys as they opened with Into The Dark and I pondered how far they had come since I last saw them. They crammed a lot into their set including HELL HELL HELL and DOMINATRIX and closing out with THE LONELY PEOPLE.
The weather remained favourable after a brief shower early on, but it did not deter a single person as they flowed back to stage one for Melbourne based superstars Alpha Wolf. Opening the pit up instantaneously the boys flew through their set with Hotel Underground being a standout. I could see how overcome they were with the turn out and they seemed humbled on many occasions during their time on stage. Sabian Lynch even taking to the speaker tower to get a bird’s eye view of the crowd. Nearing the end of their stage time they punched orange and white Alpha Wolf beach balls into the pit which were happily pounded around for the duration of the set. I was left well impressed by these guys and if you are yet to check them out get on it stat!
Making a dash to try and find a shortened line at any of the four merch counters proved impossible, they were one hundred deep at every one, disheartened I vowed to try again later and headed back to catch the end of Knocked Loose. This Kentucky based five-piece had a huge crowd in front of them as they ploughed through their set including Dead Ringer and Counting Worms. After being around for ten years they have certainly earned their spot and were eager to entertain, singer Bryan Garris bringing his energy to the forefront. One that definitely took me by surprise was Spiritbox, this Canadian outfit instantly grabbed your attention and held it for the duration of their set. Singer and founding member Courtney LePlante engaging with fans as they powered through with a set of eight including Yellowjacket, Rule of Nines and Hysteria. I can see why their sideshows sold out in minutes; these guys kicked serious arse.
Story Of The Year were earning their spot on stage 2 as the sets grew slightly longer and they threw in a quickfire 9 songs. The mosh was piping up and fans were surfing across the top with vigour. Hailing from Missouri these guys have been around a while and knew how to entertain the swelling masses treating us to We Don’t Care Anymore, Tear Me To Pieces and In The Shadows to name a few. Closing out he set with Until The Day I Die leaving the fans fully satisfied and ready to mix it up with InFlames. Hot off their sideshow with Megadeth these Swedish megastars had the punters in a frenzy, the mosh circling like their life depended on it. With a terrific span of songs on their setlist the fans were awash with happiness and had their heads banging in approval as Cloud Connected, Only For The Weak and State of Slow Decay were among the treats provided. The punters more like the walking wounded as they slammed over the barrier, many hobbling for help as they were dragged and dumped. But that is the nature of the beast and if you can’t handle the heat get out of the damn kitchen. It was at this point that a wheelchair was raised in the crowd much to singer Anders surprise, but hell, this is Knotfest so anything goes! It would be a sin not to mention Chris Broderick who was shredding up a storm, it was so awesome to see him having so much fun onstage and engaging with the fans, and while I may have been distracted briefly by his bulging biceps I tried to stay focused as they closed out with Take This Life.
Viking heavyweights Amon Amarth have a following like no other and it would be a sin to miss their set for the spectacle alone. It takes you on a historical journey, their songs forged in time, flying Thor’s flag as they navigated through passages of history with vigour and conviction. Guardians Of Asgaard, Deceiver Of The Gods and The Pursuit Of Vikings turning up the heat. As expected, Put You Back Into The Oar saw the heathen army take a seat and ‘row, row, row’ if you are yet to see this in action please add it to your bucket list it is quite the spectacle. The masses raised cardboard swords and shields which did not go unnoticed by singer Johan Hegg, their dedication unwavering. I did see one man in full Viking regalia complete with fur and I was impressed by his enthusiasm.
Northlane really did bring the heat as they turned it up to 11, our own Aussie bands stacking up with the international superstars with ease. The mania had well and truly descended as they opened with Clarity and Plenty. The stage set with LED screens from which the drum riser nestled in between, creating a terrific stage dynamic. The hoards not messing around as a wall of death was quickly established, leaving the weak to fend for themselves as the craziness arrived. Cypher, Clockwork and Bloodline all worthy additions as these boys from Blacktown were overwhelmed by the scene in front of them. Closing out with Talking Heads the boys were well spent and had earned a cold refreshment, but there was none of that for the punters who were back to it with the mighty Trivium. Anyone who has seen these guys in action knows exactly what is in store, these guys play hard and instantly turned the heat metre to 100. Matt Heafy had a smile for miles, his face ever expressive as they worked through an impressive set including Rain, Feast of Fire and Down From The Sky. The pits were intensifying which each band and they took on a pulse of their own as Pull Harder On The Strings Of Your Martyr rang out, it was Trivium’s fourteenth trip to Australia and gauging the crowd response it definitely won’t be the last.
Stalwarts of thrash metal and members of The Big Four, the highly anticipated Megadeth’s time had come. The chants of ‘Megadeth’ started long before they hit the stage, the thrash army pumped and ready to mosh. The intro to Prince Of Darkness got the juices flowing as the band unleashed with Hangar 18, Dread And The Fugitive Mind and Angry Again. Dave Mustaine in peak form and smashing out all the hits with ease. Kiko Loureiro working the stage with ease his guitar shredding exemplary, it was such a joy to watch him at work, he owned the stage and boy can he play a guitar! Their stage also came complete with LED screens and an elevated drum riser giving a terrific view of Dirk Verbeuren as he smashed the skins to within an inch of his life. James LoMenzo is the god of bass and so much fun to watch on stage, his crowd engagement is undying giving every fan an up-close experience. Symphony Of Destruction with its signature intro set fans into a frenzy and made them hungry for more. But would any Megadeth show be complete without a quick appearance from Vic Rattlehead, of course not. Peace Sells was the song when he staggered out and the punters went crazy, taking the mosh up a level and saluting this iconic mascot. There was only one song the fans wanted to finish out the set and it had to be Holy Wars, a Megadeth classic and one that left an air of contentment across the smiling faces of the pit.
Parkway Drive is a household name worldwide these days, the boys have worked ridiculously hard to forge their place in the music industry and it is now paying off in spades. Their show is a spectacle to behold and I can not begin to describe the size of the crowd that had amassed, there was literally thousands upon thousands as far as the eye could see. A sea of people moving as one so eager to regain their lost years of music and soak up every minute on offer. They don’t get much bigger in Australia than Parkway Drive and they delivered a show with every bell and whistle and then some. It had flames, it had pryo, it had smoke, it even had a drone taking in all the action. Winston McCall a born entertainer, had the crowd eating out of his hand as the band worked through their hour and a quarter set, including Glitch, Carrion and Vice Grip to name a few, his graciousness was unending to the fans and his face showed his happiness all night. The addition of strings lifted the show to new heights, the violin and cello setting a sunning scene as the sun set over Flemington Racecourse. Winston returned shirtless to start a few hearts racing as they finished out with Crushed and Wild Eyes, flames blasting off every place possible and warming up the quickly cooling venue.
The time had come to honour the name’s sake of the festival itself, Slipknot. The build-up had been one of gargantuan proportions, selling out every show in Australia, the fans voting with their hard earned desperate to see their musical heroes. It has been a long wait six years in fact, the maggot family reunited and ready to raise hell. Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5 played briefly before the AC/DC classic For Those About To Rock stilled the fans, tension was palpable the giant Slipknot banner waving in the wind across the stage, as it dropped Flemington Racecourse exploded. Disasterpiece, Wait And Bleed, and All Out Life got pulses racing and the collective mosh bouncing. Corey Taylor demanded your attention and every eye was on him as fan fave, Sulfur rang out, the stage a mass of impressive screens and lighting, flame throwers rocking the night sky. The show briefly halted while one bozo tried his luck climbing a speaker tower, but the problem was quickly rectified, and the show went on without a hitch. The stage having the trademark Slipknot drum set up on either side raised high to give everyone a perfect viewing platform while the main kit took pride of place. Psychosocial left the hoards panting along with Duality and Custer which just formed a small part of the blistering setlist. Spit It Out took the show to new levels as we all got ready to get low and hold until our preacher Corey ‘mother fucking’ Taylor told us to ‘jump the fuck up’ it was surreal moment and one that always brings the chills with it. The hold he had over the thousands was masterful to watch, the power he held in his hands mind blowing. After a quick trip off stage the night was complete with People = Shit and Surfacing what a way to finish of the most amazing day, Corey constantly thanking the fans for their unwavering support, his appreciation paramount all night.
As the war-wounded and weary made their way from the stage, their faces tired, their bodies feeling every bit their age I know with all certainty they would jump back in the pit to do it all again without a moment’s hesitation. The sound, the lighting and effects made the festival what it was, kudos to all involved your dedication and attention to detail made for a wonderful experience and it did not go unnoticed.
Knotfest Australia 2023 was a resounding success, congratulations to each and every person involved, you brought so much joy to the fans and gave them memories to cherish for a lifetime. Now we wait with bated breath until next time……
Amon Amarth, Trivium & Malevolence will be back on stage at the very first KNOTFEST AUSTRALIA kicking off today in Melbourne!
KNOTFEST AUSTRALIA 2023
Slipknot | Parkway Drive | Megadeth | Trivium | Northlane | Amon Amarth
In Flames Knocked Loose | Spiritbox | Story Of The Year | Alpha Wolf
Void Of Vision | Bad Omens | Malevolence
DATES AND VENUES:
Friday 24 March 2023 – Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne SOLD OUT
Saturday 25 March 2023 – Centennial Park, Sydney SOLD OUT
Sunday 26 March 2023 – RNA Showgrounds, Brisbane SOLD OUT
Information available at destroyalllines.com
March 24th, 2023 – Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne
Saturday 25 March 2023 – Centennial Park, Sydney
Sunday 26 March 2023 – RNA Showgrounds, Brisbane
They say time flies when you’re having fun and it’s been a hella epic ride for Sydney metalcore titans POLARIS in the last decade. So, what better way to celebrate than to throw a 10 Year Anniversary Australian tour with their friends VOID OF VISION and PRIDELANDS in tow.
Kicking off on March 3 in their hometown of Sydney and making their way across the country to Perth, the 10 Year Anniversary venues are paying homage to the debut album cycle where they sold these venues out across The Mortal Coil and Spring tours in 2017.
“Where did the years go?! Apparently, it’s been a whole decade ago since this handful of babyfaced kids from suburban Sydney finally assembled a line-up, recorded a demo and stepped onto a stage for the first time as Polaris.” Says Polaris drummer, Daniel Furnari
He adds, “Over the course of the ten years and four records that followed, we worked our way through every community hall, theatre or dive that would take us, sleeping on the floors of vans and sharehouses in the name of metalcore.
Today, this thing we built together has taken us all around the world, giving us the chance to connect with so many incredible people that now all share a role in our story.
Sometimes it feels like we’re just getting started, but as we reach this milestone it seems only right to take stock and reminisce a little about the journey so far. And what better way to do that than with an intimate retrospective tour?! We’ll be reaching right back to our early EPs and beyond to pull out some deep cuts and old faves for the first (and probably last!) time in a long while. Joining us will be our old and very dear friends in Void of Vision and Pridelands, to add some new memories to the many that we’ve already shared over the years. If you were with us back in the day at Blacktown or Sutherland, at Wrangler or the Lab, at Hot Damn or Enigma, this one is for you. You’ve all made this possible and we can’t wait to celebrate our past, present and future with you around Australia this March!”
In 2017, POLARIS released The Mortal Coil, their debut album which debuted in the top 10 ARIA charts and received an ARIA-nomination. It was followed up with 2021’s, ARIA-nominated, #3 ARIA Album chart record, The Death Of Me. They have been awarded a laundry list of accolades including triple j’s Feature Album with both albums, album of the year mentions in end of year lists and have toured across the globe.
It’s been an incredible journey for POLARIS with countless sold-out headline tours of Australia, supporting Architects and Parkway Drive around the country; five runs throughout Europe (including a series of arena shows supporting Architects, a slew of high-profile summer festival spots, Northlane and their first headline tour); four separate US tours; not to mention performing at the Download Festival, Unify Gathering in Australia, headlining Knight & Day Festival and most recently performing the 2022 Good Things Festival headlined by Bring Me The Horizon.
After unleashing the final instalment of the beloved Chronicles EP series, VOID OF VISION have not only left people longing for more, but in tandem increased curiosity and demand for what could come next. In the midst of a UK tour with Holding Absence and an appearance at the inaugural Knotfest Australia on the horizon, the band are poised to return home to continue to take the country by storm.
Melbourne-based, PRIDELANDS kicked off 2022 with the release of their highly anticipated debut studio album, Light Bends which had glowing reviews and landed them an appearance at Unify Forever in 2022 and a national regional tour with In Hearts Wake.
Set those alarm clocks and get those party vibes ready as this is a celebration you won’t want to miss. There is limited capacity and there will be no additional nights added. Don’t say we didn’t warn ya.
Tickets on-sale Thursday 19 January @ 10am Local Time
10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY
WITH SPECIAL GUESTS
VOID OF VISION & PRIDELANDS
FRIDAY 3 MARCH – METRO THEATRE, SYDNEY (18+)
SATURDAY 4 MARCH – THE TRIFFID, BRISBANE (18+)
THURSDAY 9 MARCH – UNI BAR, HOBART (18+)
FRIDAY 10 MARCH – 170 RUSSELL, MELBOURNE (18+)
SATURDAY 11 MARCH – LION ARTS FACTORY, ADELAIDE (LIC AA)
SUNDAY 12 MARCH – MAGNET HOUSE, PERTH (18+)
KNOTFEST, the destination festival brand curated by SLIPKNOT, is continuing its ever-expanding global domination with the announcement of its next location – KNOTFEST AUSTRALIA in 2023.
The music and counterculture experience created by the multi-platinum sonic phenomenon SLIPKNOT, will hit the East coast of Australia starting on Friday, March 24th at Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne, before making its way to Sydney on Saturday, March 25th at Centennial Park and wrapping up in Brisbane on Sunday, March 26th at RNA Showgrounds.
Headlined by SLIPKNOT, the hugely stacked festival line-up includes PARKWAY DRIVE, MEGADETH, TRIVIUM, NORTHLANE, AMON AMARTH, IN FLAMES, KNOCKED LOOSE, SPIRITBOX, STORY OF THE YEAR, ALPHA WOLF, VOID OF VISION, BAD OMENS and MALEVOLENCE.
A staple at KNOTFESTs all over the world, the KNOTFEST Museum will also be making its way to Australia for the very first time. The KNOTFEST Museum features a jaw-dropping collection of items from the band’s history and a fan-favorite attraction at the other KNOTFESTs around the globe. Tickets are strictly limited in each city.
Early bird pre-sale tickets are on sale at 9am local time on Thursday 3rd November here and general public tickets go on sale at 9am local time on Monday 7th November here.
KNOTFEST AUSTRALIA 2023
DATES AND VENUES:
Friday 24 March 2023 – Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne
Saturday 25 March 2023 – Centennial Park, Sydney
Sunday 26 March 2023 – RNA Showgrounds, Brisbane
SLIPKNOT’s latest album, ‘The End, So Far’ landed yet another #1 Official Album Chart position in Australia, their fourth straight #1 in a row, as the album racked up a string of global chart accolades, including #1 Album positions in the UK, Germany, Switzerland, Mexico and Top 10 in Japan, Finland, Sweden, Canada, USA, New Zealand, Portugal, Ireland, Belgium, Austria, France and the Netherlands.
About SLIPKNOT: There was never a band like Slipknot, and there will never be another. Like a spore out of the Midwest, they’ve quietly bloomed into the most uncompromising, undeniable, and unique presence on the planet whose influence transcends genres and generations. Since sowing the seeds for revolution in Iowa during 1999, these musical outliers have captured a GRAMMY Award alongside 10 nominations, scored 12 Platinum / 41 Gold album certifications around the world, and logged over 8.5 billion global streams and 3.5 billion video views to date – unprecedented for a rock act in this generation or any other. Rolling Stone cited the seminal platinum-selling 2001 album Iowa among “The 100 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time,” while The Ringer attested, “They’re the most important heavy band of their era.” In addition to marking the group’s third consecutive #1 debut on the Billboard Top 200, their sixth full-length album, WE ARE NOT YOUR KIND, bowed at #1 in twelve countries worldwide in 2019. Selling out shows on multiple continents, they deliver an irreplicable multi-sensory experience on tour and through their own festival Knotfest. With their seventh studio album, THE END, SO FAR, Slipknot are back, and nothing will be the same again.
About KNOTFEST: Knotfest is Slipknot’s own self-curated, destination festival brand, currently held in eight international locations; the US, Japan, Mexico, Finland, Germany, Colombia, Chile and Brazil. Designed as an immersive, unforgettable, ‘dark carnival experience’, the event invites you into Slipknot’s apocalyptic underworld where stunning visuals, fire breathers and nightmarish creatures on stilts set the stage for an intoxicating and memorable weekend of live music.
Stay up to date on all things KNOTFEST over at https://knotfest.com/australia/ and by following on socials.