Make Them Suffer
Stay Gold, Melbourne VIC
October 22, 2022
Supports: Gravemind and Starve
Over the last few years, one of Australia’s finest metalcore outfits, Make Them Suffer, has overcome every obstacle in their path, from cancelled tours to being separated from one another by state border closures, lineup changes and other issues. However, with overcoming struggle comes growth, which defines this class act. Melbournians were lucky enough to witness this group’s first show post-pandemic at Full Tilt Festival earlier this year. The then four-piece played so well that it was almost hard to believe that they were forced into having a two-year-long break from performing. This time, the circumstances were different. Gathering at Stay Gold in Melbourne’s northern suburbs, we had the opportunity to watch this band perform at a small, intimate venue, perhaps for the last time (due to their rapidly growing and already sizeable fan base). This performance was the first opportunity for fans to catch a glimpse of new member AlexReade shredding on stage with the band, so it is no surprise that every show on this tour was sold out.
I arrived at the venue to an extraordinarily long queue of eager punters waiting to enter the building. The excitement levels were high as UNIFY Forever alums Starve kicked off the night’s festivities, and just as you would imagine, this talented bunch has no issues when it comes to warming up a crowd! From the moment this Melbourne-based four-piece walked on stage, it was clearly evident why they have become known as one of Australia’s most exciting up-and-coming acts to watch in a live setting. Vocalist Jordan Dunbar makes it hard to direct your attention towards anyone but him, it is thrilling to watch him as he stalks the stage from left to right, demanding your attention while flawlessly executing his vocal delivery. Joining on vocal duties during ‘Sour Times‘ was Tom Drizners from Adelaide band Ovtsider, just as they did at UNIFY Forever. Catching the crowd by surprise, the band performed the opening riff of ‘Blind‘ by KoRn, which managed to intensify the crowd’s moshing and left us starving for more. Starve has had an incredibly successful year due to their dedication and hard work, and I anticipate this band to be touring the world within a few short years.
Up next was Melbourne-based heavy hitters Gravemind, who have faced their own challenges throughout the pandemic and emerged with a new line-up. This bunch only amplified the energy within the crowd that Starve created. New vocalist Bailey Schembri executes the band’s older songs with sheer confidence, as if he wrote them himself, including the performance of the track ‘Echo‘ from the group’s 2017 EP The Deathgate, for which Starve’s vocalist joined in on stage for guest vocal duties. Throwing in a rendition of a yet-to-be-released single, the packed-out room full of heavy music fans agreed with the song’s fast and aggressive nature, showing their support by head banging, throwing fists and spin-kicking in the mosh pit. Finishing out their set with a sizable circle pit during ‘The Entropy‘, the crowd gave their nod of approval to the future globe trotters. This Greyscale Records act seems to have found their feet again after its unforeseen line-up change, and good riddance to that!
After a 20-minute delay, it was finally time for Perth’s own Make Them Suffer to show off their new and improved line-up in front of the avid crowd. The five-piece stormed the stage to a roaring cheer from the crowd before guitarist Nick McLernon, who was sporting his trademark safety goggles, began playing the opening riff for ‘Hollowed Heart’. As the music began I was taken away by the impressive lights show that was on display in addition to the music, which seemed to add to the already impressive display of talent. It’s become evidently clear just why frontman Sean Harmanis has a reputation for being one of Australia’s strongest metalcore vocalists. Despite his disapproving outcry of his ‘aging dad body’, he sounds better than ever as he returns from his three-year-long forced break from touring.
Once the band finished their performance of ‘Ether’, Sean acknowledged that Make Them Suffer has recently released a new song titled ‘Doomswitch’ that has new dynamics for the deathcore-turned-metalcore bunch with “one of those new dynamics just so happened to be standing on stage”. Melbourne’s metalcore community showed their approval for the band’s latest addition with a thunderous roar as Sean yelled “please give it up for Alex Reade” before breaking into the new track. If I didn’t already know, I easily would have assumed that Alex was a long-time member of the band, she has slotted into the group so seemingly effortlessly. Easily switching from keyboard to keytar without any issues, it’s abundantly clear that Reade, who was playing in front of her hometown crowd, is a well-rounded musician who will manage to take this group to new heights.
Despite this tour being the first opportunity for the Perth-based quintet to play songs from their latest full-length album How To Survive A Funeral, they also took the chance to please older fans with tracks such as ‘Widower’, Vortex‘ and ‘Blood Moon’, which just so happened to produce the biggest wall of death that this small venue has quite possibly ever seen. Finishing off the set with the new crowd favourite sing-along ‘Erase Me’, the sold-out room still wanted more as they chanted for the encore that they didn’t get.
After a few turbulent years, Make Them Suffer are back stronger than ever, ready to take the throne as Australia’s next biggest metalcore export as they head over on their first USA tour in years. Make Them Suffer are a powerful band at the moment, and they seem hungry for domination.
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