Bald Face Stag, Sydney
24th June, 2016
Supported by The Murdering, Gutter Tactic, Under Night’s Cover and Exist Within
Upon walking through the monstrous cold that set over Sydney and into the Bald Faced Stag, I could only hope that the plethora of bands playing tonight could strip some of the frost from my bones with the musical equivalent of a fireplace; a wish that the bands on stage tonight granted wholeheartedly.
First band, Exist Within played a heavy, headbangable set of tracks that nicely set up the night. Throaty, confident screams were the name of the game whilst a great drumming performance laid the backdrop for the catchy riffs that the band were laying down. Every song on the set was played well, but not being familiar with their music, they tended to blend together. Nonetheless, intentions of checking out the band for the future are there solely based on their live performance.
Up next was another local band, Under Night’s Cover. If one could imagine a mix between power metal and punk rock, this’d be it. All technical issues aside, this young band played an interestingly good set, with their guitarist hammering out some brilliantly good guitar solos and their vocalist showcasing a set of pipes that you simply don’t see anymore. The overall dynamic of the band was energetic and entertaining, it’s clear to see that they thoroughly enjoy playing live music and will only improve as time goes on.
From here on, the bands became unrelentingly heavy, exactly what the night was asking for. Enter Gutter Tactic, my new favourite local band. It’s not often anyone sees a band that instantly piques their interest, but this band did exactly that. Blending insanely heavy technical riffs and the most thundering drums the world has ever witnessed, they constructed a sound akin to Carnifex but with more technique and catchiness. However, the most commendable performance was put on by their vocalist, offering some of the most brutal shrieks and growls ever witnessed, Gutter Tactic aim to be the aural equivalent of paint stripper, in the best way possible. Hitting harder than a cannonball and crackling with more energy than a malfunctioning power station, this band is a definite must see.
To follow up Gutter Tactic’s astounding performance, death metal quartet The Murdering took to the stage to get the crowd moving. Much to the extent that the previous band drew on influences from black metal, this band’s sound was practically oozing groove. A prominent bass led to copious head banging in the front of the crowd and those present appeared to finally loosen up from the cold outside, getting a little more cooperative. Song after song seemingly got heavier and heavier, a trait that was applauded by the crowd and yours truly, the band feeding off the energy that was offered to them. Playing a few songs from their newly released EP From Hell was also a bonus, as those songs were laden with deep growls and a guitar tone that honestly sounded as if it was, from hell.
After the warming up that the bands had given The Stag, everyone was well and truly ready for Chronolyth to tear up the stage. slathered in thick black paint, the band took to the floor, blending in with the darkness, only becoming visible when Ascension opener ‘Atrophy’ segues into ‘Facing the Ash’, devastatingly heavy, it sounded better than I’d ever hoped, Chronolyth take control of the night, pumping out song after song of death metal brutality. The less experimental songs on their latest album translated to intense spectacles of crushing sound when played live; Hamish McSorley’s vocals reverberating around the room in throat tearing brilliance, reminding me of the glory of melodic death metal.
Highlight of the set was ‘Live to Destroy’, culminating every aspect of their live show into a coalesced, solid form. The drumming of Michael Gee took on new life, getting even heavier, almost crushing my chest with the force of the double kicks: sending the crowd into its most energetic state yet. Transitioning into ‘The Heresy (Crucify Your God)’ the stage was quite a sight. All members of the band totally absorbed in their music, giving it their all while the black paint adoring their bodies drips and smears across the stage. Everything about it was transcendental and spot on, let no one tell you that Chronolyth put on a tame live show.
In my naive wishes for a volatile performance, Chronolyth delivered everything and more. I asked for a fireplace, they gave me a blazing inferno, not just stripping my body of frost, but practically scouring my body into ash. An amazing end, to an amazing night.
- Facing the Ash
- Bitter Reflection
- Unified Hatred
- March of the Forsaken
- Live to Destroy
- The Heresy (Crucify Your God)