The Acacia Strain
Amplifier, Perth WA
December 12th, 2017
Support: Kublai Khan, Unravel and Daybreak
Welcome to the heaviest gig on Earth.
Every god damn time The Acacia Strain play a show; we all age a little bit faster. The band are inhumane in the way they perform, but more on that later. It was the perfect way to close 2017 with a delightful little death metal number just a couple of weeks before the festive weeks.
On this humid Tuesday night in Perth, the most serious metal fans flooded into the venue, sporting the most offensive black tees. See, unlike most other gigs that swing around our edge of the country, headliners like this tend to attract a certain kind of demographic, one that, if put quaintly, often does not give a f$%k.
So to get things underway, the first of two local bands hit the stage, and it’s absolutely worth stating, that after daresay a few quiet years in the Perth metal scene, it’s finally bursting some oxygen as this year has revealed some fantastic talent in the west. Daybreak delivered an extremely punchy and tight set to a room who were obviously hardcore fans by the way they moshed and enthusiastically got involved for mic-grabs and stage-dives. The band played in unison and with production that complemented their presence and efforts. Daybreak have certainly come a long way since earlier in the year with their metalcore set.
Without much time between sets, Unravel hit the stage to a growing crowd who were getting curious about another new name on the scene. The band was simply incredible. The front-man channelled Jamey Jasta and the rest of the band Hatebreed, respectively. The hardcore thrash band had the sickest hooks and transitions, really emphasising their breakdowns. Absolute head-bangers throughout the set, looking forward to seeing what these guys deliver next year, and more broadly, looking forward to the diverse options of local talent to support international tour packages next year too.
To pick things up a notch, Texan metal/hardcore band Kublai Khan hit Perth for the first time, after unfortunately missing the west-side on their Aussie tour last year. To say the band were appreciative to be here would be an understatement. It was abundantly clear that punters were keen as mustard to catch these guys live, as the crowd numbers increased drastically in time for their set, with the mosh-pit moving more intensely. The American outfit sported tracks from their brand new album ‘Nomad’ as well as hits from their back catalogue. The vocalist engaged with the crowd, thanking those who attended and to the bands for making it all happen. The set was simply fun, it was high-paced, quick and dirty, and with surprise hooks that induced punters’ undivided attention. Well-picked direct-support band, given the pressure to join these almighty headliners.
It doesn’t even matter which album they’re on a tour cycle for, not does it matter what songs are on this band’s set-list. The Acacia Strain are monsters, and everyone knew what was coming up next. Whilst a full house flooded the beer-garden outside, The Massachusetts outfit struck a bassy chord to bring in the masses; and just like that, without further ado, the death metal maestros got the proceedings underway.
Vincent Bennett was in fine form, belching out every lyric as it echoed across the venue, aligned with the eerie-low-tune instrumentation around him. Amplifier was shaking, the roof was surely about to cave in with the sheer bass of the band’s live music. The band ripped through brute tracks from their latest record ‘Gravebloom’ as well as blistering through classics from albums like ‘Wormwood’ ‘and ‘Continent’.
Bennett, in a signature outfit of shorts and a black tee, stomped across the stage, punching his water bottle to spray the crowd. The front-man is a real show-man in terms of the way he intensifies the set. The music is one thing, but his demonic presence is half of the show. For a death-metal band like this, many may say the variety is limited, but this is arguably the complete opposite. The Acacia Strain bounced between high-pace rhythmic tracks to slow chugging brain-melters across the set, each with wildly diverse sounds, just ask any fan in the crowd.
The vocalist engaged with the crowd, wished everyone a merry Christmas and sang a little jingle, turning around with his back facing the audience, and as he finished “with a happy new year” the band delivered an earth-shattering breakdown; it was beautiful.
The band played one last song, gave a wave and rapidly disappeared with no encore, I like that; simple, short and sweet. It was refreshing, why be a show-horse for the sake of it. So once again, The Acacia Strain blew the minds off Perth fans and leave us salivating for more.
Gig Review by Ricky Aarons @rickysaul90
Revisit our interview with The Acacia Strain‘s Vincent Bennett here
The Acacia Strain