Enigma Bar, Adelaide SA
October 19, 2022
Supports: R U N, Apate and Relapse
“The wires are f**king cut. All the walls are down.” – ‘Lightshow Paralysis‘, Chad Kapper, Frontierer 2015.
These lyrics screamed by frontman Chad Kapper from the metallic mathcore quintet Frontierer on the last show of the five-piece’s whirlwind Australian tour acted more than poetry or storytelling; this message became a proverb and rallying cry for what the outfit execute when they bring their destruction to a stage. Even though the event landed on a Wednesday night, a challenge in Adelaide unmistakably, the smaller audience and intimacy built the intensity for every band playing on this night which reached a peak and brought: “All the walls down”.
Local progressive moshcore outfit Relapse began their wreckage technique fusing the sounds of Candiria, Loathe and at times Emmure which to their credit, provoked more crowd members to engage properly with the live music presented as well as brought more into Enigma bar. Vocalist Ethan Robinson is unhinged in the best way possible; often exiting the stage to join the crowd, two-step dance to his own band and force the overall energy to escalate in the venue. ‘Confined‘ was a beast unleashed, with a provocative metal solo from guitarist Jacob Johnson-Firth as well as some synchronised deathcore moves with bassist Andrew Vaiciulis. ‘Sabotage‘ was practically every aforementioned influencing outfit put into a blender to create an adventurous cocktail that will be hard to forget in the best way and ‘The Vice‘ called upon earlier Cane Hill‘s sound explorations excellently. Relapse are about to embark on an extensive tour with Melbourne’s Rumours – keep your eyes and ears open and perhaps bring your two-step shoes and moves.
For Lochlan Watt, these run of shows were not only to showcase the remarkable post-blackened metallic hardcore of R U N – although this was carried out astonishingly; these performances were a celebration. Mr Watt in rather devastating news only months ago had been advised that his cancer had returned and he was going to require further treatment. Very recently he received an update from the medical professionals that on further investigation he was in fact free of cancer. Therefore, this showcase on this night was to embrace this wholeheartedly. The five-piece came wasted no time in making Enigma bar their home, which Lochie had done numerous times in previous outfits; undoubtedly though this home had an aura that was uplifting in metallic spirit. Playing songs from the magnificent mini-album For You Will Never Find Peace Within Your Quiet, there was an additional glimmer radiating from Mr Watt that all within the walls. The cover of The Goo Goo Dolls ‘Iris’ was understandably re-purposed to a heavy metal formula, however the lyric: “Cause I know that you feel me somehow” the frontman screamed had an entirely new meaning, a spiritual element that was immeasurable. 2023 will bring a lot more from R U N and the world is ready to take flight with the band, more than admiringly.
Brisbane’s Apate were in actual fact an ideal choice to be the main support for this tour – whilst the quintet are not essentially mathcore they are exploratory with their metallic and hardcore fusion. Vein.FM would be a suiting comparison, but this correlation still just scratches the surface. At times the five-piece delve into Deftones-inspired moments, which may then blast their onlookers with break-beats The Prodigy would appreciate and then an uppercut of Code Orange derangement would stupefy those who witness it, extraordinarily. ‘Flesh Feeder’,’Spit You Out’ and ‘Pallor Mortis’ all captured this synthesis, the real highlight came in the form of ‘Gasoline Anthem‘ with vocalist Zakk Ludwig preaching in screams “I will never be like you” with the same vigour of the message: “F**k you I won’t do what you tell me”. It must be noted that guitarist Caleb Patch is an animal on stage, brilliantly – donkey kicks and spins in pure recklessness overtake him and it is a marvel to watch.
Four Scottish gentlemen and an American fellow humbly walk into a venue, they are polite, softly spoken and overall marvellous people. They then equip themselves with instruments, they ensure that these are working in as perfect order as possible, then they fall into a hypnosis. The room becomes almost too dark, there is just enough visibility to recognise swaying bodies on stage, lost in a haze of brooding sound and all the while they are building a tension and unrest that is immeasurable. Silence, momentarily, then EXPLOSION. These five men are now Frontierer and they have cut their wires and they are here to break all the walls down.
As per the 5th edition of Heinemann Australian Dictionary, the definition of performance is: “To act, sing or dance in front of an audience”. That is not what Frontierer execute, they attack unrelentingly and the onslaught in all honesty stirs the molten lava of the underworld. As a matter of fact, this is the best way to visualise the five-piece, they are a volcanic eruption of devastating proportions – the lava though is metallic mathcore and it is awe-inspiring.
High octane doesn’t capture it, insanity barely defines it; mania, lunacy and even psychosis almost defines it, however that still feels scarce. Guitarist Dan Stevenson is simply possessed with his delivery, a famished cheetah who hunts and climbs with speed beyond human and his best match is the mastermind and fellow guitarist Pedram Valiani who is just as rabid. Chad Kapper impossibly doesn’t waver in his vocal transmission, he doesn’t miss a beat or a screamed note, just slithers similar to a snake to take the front of the stage when the cheetahs are not lost in their hysteria.
Tracks from all three albums Orange Mathematics, Unloved and Oxidized were transmitted with ‘This Magnetic Drift‘, ‘Bleak‘ and ‘Lightshow Paralysis‘ bursting almost ghoulishly out of the quintet as monuments of the onslaught. Again, this doesn’t quite define watch actually took place.
In 2017 one of the greatest mathcore outfits The Dillinger Escape Plan played their final show in a saddening celebration of a phenomenal career. There hasn’t been a band that can take their limelight, however it does need to be said, especially for this writer, that Frontierer‘s volcanic lava can chip away at the mountain they left behind.
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