The Factory Theatre, Sydney NSW
November 8th, 2018
Supports: Tamerlan Empire and Gutter Tactic
Super-group Sinsaenum hit Australian shores for the very first time, after the recent release of their sophomore album, Repulsion For Humanity. So far, Sinsaenum have released three EP’s and two full-length albums, their debut album Echoes of the Tortured in July 2016. Sinsaenum features guitarists Frédéric Leclercq (DragonForce, Maladaptive) Stéphane Buriez (Loudblast), drummer Joey Jordison (VIMIC, ex-Slipknot), vocalists Sean Zatorsky (Dååth and Chimaira) and bassist Heimoth C. Krueger (SETH, Decrepit Spectre). With a lineup of such calibre, one can only anticipate a world class act.
As with most shows, there are some hiccups, this one was no different. Just two days before showtime, support act Heathenspawn, unfortunately, had to withdraw from the show, due to a medical emergency with one of their members. We send our best wishes to the band and hope that all is well. Sydney’s 5 piece Death Metal band Gutter Tactic, rose to the occasion, after returning from a recent tour of Japan, with Cattle Decapitation and The Black Dahlia Murder.
Arriving at Sydney’s Factory Theatre around 6:15pm, I was surprised to see so few people waiting outside the venue, especially since the Meet & Greet was set for 6:30pm. I hoped this was no indication of the crowd size tonight and reassured myself that people might still be making their way into the show, after their day at work. With soundcheck running over time, the Meet & Greet didn’t get underway until well after 7pm and doors for the actual show were pushed back until around 7:45pm. This brought those punters that were running late, some time to get their arses to the venue.
At 8pm Gutter Tactic took to the stage, sadly not many more people had arrived by this time. Despite the lack of attendance and the irritating blazing lights, Gutter Tactic put on a fun show for those of us that were there to enjoy it. Mikey Teagarden is a powerhouse on drums, he’s always impressed me and continues to do so. I guess Joey Jordison was also impressed, as we caught him behind the curtains, catching a sneaky peak. Nick Moller shreds on guitar and delivered some tasty solos, all with a huge grin on his face. Newcomer Roan Critchley, donned in his hilarious “Pizza Slut” T-shirt, fit right in and makes it seem like he’s been part of the band since it’s inception. I always likened John Reed on bass, as the “class clown”. Johnno was always down for a laugh and a party, it’s great to see him so focused and on top of his game now. Nice work Johnno! Front-man Nic Webb is an absolute riot, with a mane of hair that is the envy of every girl. Nic contorts himself about while bellowing out some demented death growls. It’s been an absolute delight watching this band grow, endure line-up changes and progress into the tight unit they are today. Although a limited crowd, Gutter Tactic had a small mosh pit happening down the front, and were well received by those of us watching.
Next to hit the stage was Sydney’s Tamerlan Empire. Although formed in 2011, I’d not heard these guys before. I was both shocked and surprised. With the sound of Middle Eastern music and the sight of high ranked Assassin mercenaries, complete with Syrian saber; this six-piece had me deadly curious. My initial thought was “Holy shit, it’s Assassin’s Creed, live on stage”. I couldn’t take my eyes off these guys and was seriously intrigued. Their sound was large and I could picture them being part of a huge theatrical production, with their atmospheric style of black metal. To be quite frank, I’m not typically drawn to this style of music, but these guys pulled me in. To my absolute delight, while my eyes were fixated on the band, I thought I recognised the bass player. “Surely that can’t be right? My eyes are playing tricks on me”, were my thoughts. I quickly grabbed my phone and went to the band’s FB page to throw a like on it, and sure enough, there was already an invite to like the band page from said person. Botir, you cheeky so and so! Blown away is a massive understatement. This band evoked many emotions and thoughts in me. While the meditative, in prayer like vibe from Vizier on keys made me feel calm, this was counteracted by the savage vocals from Yassa and the intensity in his eyes. That guy thrusting his saber around was hungry for blood! Add to this Khan on drums and Ghorr, Ilon and Botir on strings, these guys did a fantastic job combining symphonic black-metal with Central Asian Middle Eastern melodies and rhythms. Even Joey Jordison left the confines of the band room to come and check them out, only to be bombarded by fans wanting photos, which made him retract back in to the band room. I’m definitely keen to check Tamerlan Empire out again and highly recommend checking out a live show.
Finally, the moment we’d all been waiting for… The glaring lights now turned down and thankfully the room had filled a little more. Still a disappointing crowd for a band with so much talent, but that’s Sydney for you. Very hit and miss at the best of times, being a weeknight didn’t help matters. Regardless, we were all here to enjoy Sinsaenum, a show that promised to be of epic proportions.
Joey Jordison in his rightful place, on his throne behind the drum kit, while Frédéric Leclercq, Stéphane Buriez and Heimoth stood in front of the drum riser facing Joey. Red lights showered the stage, the trio turned to face the crowd with their horns held high. A drum intro from Joey saw the fans cheering, Fred leading the trio into the start of the new album title track ‘Repulsion for Humanity’. Sean Zatorsky came marching on to the stage like he was on a mission. Jumping on to the platform at the front and letting out an almighty growl.. “Hatred….” It wasn’t long before the crowd were throwing fists in the air and moshing about. Sean whipping his head around with his glorious waist-long beard in tow. Fred and Stéphane exchanging positions, to showcase their talent to the crowd, while Heimoth kept his place, banging his head as he slapped his bass.
The lights went down again, as Sean called for Sydney to “step the fuck up and come closer to the stage”. With a bolt of light ‘Sacred Martyr’ began. Fred delivering some scorching solos and Joey kicking out some brutal skin poundings. An energetic song that had the crowd bouncing. I really enjoyed the transition throughout this number. Sean’s growls are straight out of the abode of the damned.
“Fuck yeah Sydney, how’s everybody feeling tonight?” Growled Sean, before introducing Sinsaenum and the next song, “about murder and death and Splendor and Agony” (from Echoes of the Tortured). Fuck me, this was some of the most technical music I’ve ever witnessed. For anyone that had doubts in Joey’s capabilities these days, this song obliterated them all. Blasting his drums like the skin master that he is, demonstrating his full potential. ‘I Stand Alone’ up next, my favourite track from their latest album. Again, great passages and riffs, encouraging everyone to sing a long. Fans are having an absolute blast and despite it being a small crowd, Sinsaenum don’t seem to give a fuck, they are having fun with us.
Including the title track, the next three songs were from Echoes of the Tortured – ‘Condemned to Suffer’ and ‘Gods of Hell’. A juicy guitar duel between Fred and Stéphane opening ‘Gods of Hell’. Stéphane experienced some technical difficulties before ‘Final Resolve‘, which he dealt with as quickly as possible. The rest of the band continued on like the true professionals they are. Sean had the crowd roaring “crush” and feeding off his every word. Stéphane breathing an obvious sigh of relief when he was back in action, and the crowd cheered in support. ‘Inverted Cross’, another track from Splendor, before bashing out a killer rendition of the Melvins classic, ‘Hooch’. Sean announcing “this song is one of the greatest songs ever written”. I think Sinsaenum may have made the greatest song, just that little bit better. Judging from the crowd’s reaction, I’m sure they all agreed.
“This next song we’re going to play is from an EP we put out over a year ago and I need to see you moving this shit, like you were trying to do earlier. This is the black & white EP, it has a fucked up looking skull on it. It’s about destroying everything you love and rising from the Ashes“. Heads were banging, almost as hard as Joey’s pounding. I loved the bass in this song but found myself mesmerised watching Fred move his fingers and making it look so easy. That man is a weapon!
‘Army of Chaos’ had Sean waving the Sinsaenum flag with pride, while the crowd joined him in chanting “Chaos”. Sydney this is our last fucking song, let’s see what you’ve got” as they cracked open ‘My Swan Song’. Sinsaenum left the stage and the lights went down. “One more song, one more song”, came the demand from the audience. The band returned to finish off ‘My Swan Song’, Sydney giving their last efforts as a show of appreciation and respect for what we witnessed tonight. Whistles and cheers came from the crowd, the band shaking hands with us and stopping to get a photo with the audience, before departing the stage.
Sinsaenum put on a great show. They are living proof of their dedication and love for Black and Death Metal. A flawless performance albeit one small technical glitch. An all-round great night, by a bunch of world-class performers.
Gig Review by Trudy Johnson
Repulsion for Humanity
Splendor and Agony
I Stand Alone
Condemned to Suffer
Gods of Hell
Echoes of the Tortured
Hooch (Melvins cover)
Army of Chaos
My Swan Song
Revisit Sinsaenum‘s Joey Jordison co-hosting our Wall of Sound: Up Against The Wall podcast episode #58 right here
Photo Gallery courtesy of Mick Goddard (MickG Photography)
Please credit Wall of Sound and Mick Goddard if you repost.
SINSAENUM – Debut Australian Tour
November 10th @ Max Watts, VIC