Stay Gold, Melbourne VIC
December 21, 2019
Support: In Vanity, Vatic and Advocates
Coming completely out of nowhere, new Melbourne metalcore band Lune has exploded out of the gates with debut singles ‘Ghost’ and ‘Manipulator’. To kick start their live career, they hit Melbourne’s Stay Gold with other local heavy hitters for a hotly anticipated show.
First up was a new band I’d been keen to check out for some time – In Vanity. Recently dropping their djenty-deathcore debut EP Nodus Tollens, the group blistered through the EP in full with an extreme vigour that was very impressive for such a new band. For the first time, they were joined on-stage by guest vocalist David Vernon from Belle Haven and Wither for the EP’s single Burn. Their performance was quite tight-knit, and there was no room for a reprieve, as the crowd was hit with breakdown after breakdown. The band clearly take great stage inspiration from bands such as Alpha Wolf, especially with guitarist Forest Stevens almost being a double for Alpha Wolf’s own Sabian Lynch. Although it seems there was a somewhat forced attempt to look ominous and intimidating, which detracted from the atmosphere a bit. Special props to vocalist Ryan O’Connor, who hit each guttural growl with a bellicose standard. This is a band to watch out for.
Another relatively new band, and one I’d only heard stellar things about, was Melbourne’s Vatic. Smashing through their set with mostly songs from their 2019 EP Inhibition the band showed that this isn’t a new field for them. With the room now a bit more packed, the band certainly drew much awe from the crowd with their very well-rehearsed and sonically powerful performances of songs like ‘Shade’, ‘Elegy’, ‘Songbird’ and ‘Lament’. While Vatic displayed a high level of musical proficiency, their stage presence seemed a bit lacking, with most members aside from singer Matt Payne looking rather sedentary. Regardless, it was clear the band has made a name for themselves, and the turnout showed. Overall, Vatic are certainly on the right track to play some big shows and create some phenomenal music, with their musical horizon having a virtually limitless room for expansion.
Finally, before Lune hit the stage, was NZ turned Melbourne metalcore outfit Advocates. This show marking the last appearance for vocalist Detlyn Raven, who still retains the title of coolest name in the scene. Detlyn displaying just how powerful his voice can be, the band spared no time in smashing through songs off 2016’s The Complex Truth EP and more recent singles like ‘Wither’, ‘Abaddon’ and ‘Detachment’. It was evident that this was a very emotional set for the band, especially with Detlyn displaying an ardent approach to his last show, relishing each word he projected onto the crowd. While not the greatest reception I’ve seen Advocates receive, the ones who were there took it all in and appreciated their last time seeing the band perform with the current lineup. It will be interesting to see where the band go from here, with some songs definitely in the vault, one can hope they don’t see the band falter from their current high position within the metalcore sphere in Australia.
Sporting a large backdrop, the hotly anticipated melodic-metalcore Lune took the stage soon after and the reception they received from the very start was remarkable. Sporting ex-members of I, Valiance, Blind Oracle and Architects of Evolution, it was overwhelmingly clear Lune were taking their birth to the live heavy music scene incredibly serious. From the moment the band stepped on stage, vocalist Nathaniel Smith stopping to take it all in before violently launching into ‘Mirror Image’, which set a very hulking tone for the night, showing that Lune is not here to mess around. Up next, recently released single ‘Manipulator’, which was prefaced by a blunt, yet compelling call from Smith, “Fuck abusers”. With the final breakdown in ‘Manipulator’ hitting, the crowd went crazy with moshers uniting into a frenzy of limbs. To see such an intense reception from a new band with only two singles out thus far was a spectacle, and shows the scene in Melbourne, and Australia is far from dead.
There was no time for breaks yet, launching without interlude to the thus far unreleased songs ‘Exit’, ‘Misery Dialogue’ and ‘Modern Bone’. This gap where the crowd was unaware of how the songs flowed gave a chance to truly appreciate the ferocious performance Lune had strived to provide. A cacophonous sensory assault kept precisely in time by drummer Harrison Mills and spearheaded by guitarists Krys Smith and David Freeland, also greatly accompanied by bassist Tyler Hendley. Lune showed how inordinate their scope for remarkable performance is. Technically tight, physically dominating and emotionally consternating, Lune showed what it is to have honed their craft and have a passion for performance – prior band experiences clearly coming through in what was a performance one would expect from bands many years their senior.
Finally stopping for a moment of relative calm, Smith voiced to the crowd what this show, and final song ‘Ghost’, means to him: “Once, I walked past a group of my friends and it was like I wasn’t there. This song goes out to all my family and friends. I’m sorry I’ve let how I feel make you think you weren’t loved. I love you all so fucking much.”
Being the last song in the set, and an evidently haunting one for Smith, it was, much like the rest of the set, exceptionally emotionally charged. With Smith putting on his best vocal performance of the night, jumping in between impetuous growls of real pain and ethereal melodies that created such a significant dichotomy, it had to be witnessed to truly understood and appreciated.
With the release of their debut EP on the very near horizon, Lune is undoubtedly destined for a quick rise. I don’t know what the future holds for the band, still, if it’s anything close to their sensational first performance, I can see them being up there with Australian heavy music stalwarts in no time at all. One thing is for certain, much like a timeless painting or professionally crafted sculpture, Lune is a band that one must see to believe. Do not miss them when the chance arises, trust me.
Gig Review by Darcy Lock @DarcyDTD