Supports – Circles, Tria Mera
June 2nd, 2016
Subjecting the world for the first time to my lama unicorn shirt; I felt slightly out of place amongst the endless sea of black t-shirts. But all was forgotten as the sea of black swallowed me whole and the first band of the night came onto the stage to assault the crowd with their homage to the Gothenburg sound.
Local Brisbane act Tria Mera start things off with a furious set that smashes everyone straight in the face from the first note. Lead singer Ben Davis channels the spirit of seminal contemporary ex-Killswitch Engage frontman Howard Jones in both the looks and sound department; commanding a massive presence on stage as the bands stolen At The Gates riffs shake the very floor to the foundation.
Circles on the other hand probe deep into the galaxy that was forged when Karnivool played their first riff and using that template these guys carve their own niche into the ever-growing tapestry of modern day prog metal. The guitarists are particularly impressive as they weave poly-rhythmic structures around the lead singer’s hypnotic vocal gymnastics. Unfortunately I do feel like maybe Circles were an odd choice for this tour and perhaps would have been better suited to a crowd that actually care about their brand of metal and as they end their set tonight – I get the sense that people just didn’t “get it”.
Now finally it’s onto Fear Factory; which makes it officially the fourth time I have seen them. This time sees the band return after the now defunct Soundwave Festival managed to withhold payment from them and also sees them return with their strongest album since the often heralded classic Mechanize.
Logging into Skynet and uploading the one-two attack of ‘Demanufacture’ and ‘Self Bias Resistor’ helps destroy any sense of musical fatigue experienced from Circles as the pit opens up and swallows half the floor. Everything from beer to sweat are collectively thrown about in equal measure and causes everyone to lose their collective selves as beer and sweat as the band kick of the beginning of a powerful performance.
Frontman Burton C Bell is on particularly fine form; his vocal coaching lessons seemingly paying off with only a few stumbles tonight – which I’m sure is great to hear for anyone who had the misfortunate to see them at Soundwave last year (this guy). Meanwhile guitarist Dino Cazares downloads Sarah Connor from Judgement Day and blows everyone to pieces with his machinegun riffs that are particularly violent during Obsolete opener ‘Shock’.
Strangely enough – some of the biggest highlights of the night come from brand new album Genexus with the song ‘Soul Hacker’ causing the crowd to overclock their human mosh machine into the danger zone and the classic Soul of the New Machine song ‘Martyr’ causing the walls to shake as Dino strips the very paint from the walls. Ending tonight with ‘Replica’ results in all manner of insanity as the moshpit turns the sea of black t-shirts into a black hole that threatens to pull everyone into the soul of the new machine – before promptly leaving everyone to dance to Rick Astley as it blares over the speakers.
By Kaydan Howison
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