As we all know, covid has been a pretty rocky time for the majority of the music industry, but one band in particular felt the true strain of the pandemic’s unrelenting trail of destruction…
Aussie metalcore greats Make Them Suffer released their stellar album How The Survive A Funeral back in June 2020 and because they had members spread all across Australia (between Melbourne and Perth) there was no way they were able to regroup to get together for anything live music related – from the minute the pandemic kicked in – due to border closures and constantly changing concert restrictions.
Flashing back to 2020, the band were on tour across Europe alongside Spiritbox and After The Burial when they received word the world was closing and they had to head home abruptly after their March 11th show in Switzerland. From there, they remained in their home states of Victora and Western Australia, biding their time until they could once again share the stage together.
With constant border closures (and WA’s strict closure up until March 3, 2022) ruining any plans put forward, vocalist Sean Harmanis told us during our chat backstage at Full Tilt Festival yesterday that he’d lost his day job and moved back in with his Mum back in Perth in order to keep his head above water – and from there he (and all of us) waited for the second they’d be allowed to end our suffering…
That moment came at 2:10pm AEDT on March 26, 2022 when the band returned to the stage at Full Tilt Festival Melbourne (full coverage here) amidst a vigorous round of applause from those eager fans who had made their way into the venue early for the reunion of a lifetime. Busting into ‘Hollowed Heart‘, the boys wasted no time reacquainting themselves with the scene as guitarist Nick McLernon and bassist Jaya Jeffery rocked the f*ck out – shredding like there was no tomorrow. We were all captivated by drummer Jordan Mather‘s performance while Sean bellowed into the mic – releasing a torrent of built up rage he’d been waiting to unleash upon the world for over two years.
The live debut of ‘Fake Your Own Death‘ was something special – I don’t know if it was planned, but Sean sharing screaming duties with the crowd during the chorus was well received. There were ninjas kicking in the mosh, push pits galore and plenty of amateur screamers coming out of the woodworks to share the experience together. ‘Vortex‘ was up next and the sharing of vocal duties continued with the band encouraging the crowd to sing the melodic sections, previously sung by former member/keyboardist Booka Nile. The blast beats still packed a worthy punch to the chest (seriously, the bass and drums of this song always hit hard but we really felt them today) and the keys/synth were played over a backing track. The big moment of Make Them Suffer‘s live debut of ‘Contraband‘ was one for the history books with the entire tent singing along to the melodic chorus while Sean screamed his heart out. With our eyes locked firmly on the stage, it was hard not to notice the smiles shared by Nick, Jaya and especially Jordan up the back of the stage behind the kit – all of which were infectious.
The set took a much heavier turn for the rest of the performance with deathcore classics like ‘Uncharted‘, ‘Blood Moon‘ and ‘Widower‘ playing in succession and causing mayhem in the pit. It was at this moment Wall of Sound co-editor Ricky Aarons, writer Adam Rice and I were discussing that they might head back to a heavier direction for their live shows moving forward – without the use of synth and keys. The best word to encapsulate this gig was “heavy”. From the minute the boys hit the stage, they were unrelenting in their pursuit to leave their mark upon the scene again.
‘Ether‘ wrapped up the show with not one single person standing still for its entirety – the fans came in droves, gave their all (running into each other and slinging apologies left, right and centre in the process) and I feel like this was a cathartic release for not only MTS, but Melbourne’s heavy music community making their return to live gigs again.
Despite some minor sound/level issues, Make Them Suffer tore up the stage and reminded us why they’re still one of the best local talents we have in Australia and it’s safe to say they left us all gagging for more.
As mentioned earlier, we managed to snag a candid chat with Sean Harmanis after their set and you better believe we touched on EVERYTHING you’re dying to know about their comeback. With hints of a national How To Survive a Funeral tour, potential Neverbloom 10-year Anniversary plans and Sean’s side-project Onslow – there is stacks to get excited about as Make Them Suffer makes their way back into our lives. We’ll be following them every step of the way…
Stay tuned for more killer content from Full Tilt Melbourne during the weeks ahead.
Words by Paul ‘Browny’ Brown Insta: @brownypaul
Fake Your Own Death
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