Friday, April 25, 2014

GIG REVIEW: 8 Foot Sativa Australian Tour by Collin Brophy

Special guests: Frankenbok, 8 Foot Sativa, Tensions Arise, Grim Demise, Blackout to Oblivion.

Venue: The Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle (NSW, Australia)

Date: 12 April 2014.

It’s been a long time since I have been to The Cambridge Hotel in Newcastle. After finishing a long day at work I made my way all the way up the coast and it felt good to return to some Novocastrian hospitality. There were a few people already in the hotel when I arrived and when it was time for the doors to open, there were quite few more ready to go in.  The locals definitely get pumped to support the local bands up here which is great to see and be a part of.

Once inside, the fans and bands member alike all mixed in having some cold beers and chatting, with the occasional fan / band member photo opportunity. There was even an elderly man wearing a suit and sombrero hat, who at one point, had a beer in one hand while waving around the sombrero with the other hand, while head banging at the front of the stage, which was very cool to see.

By the time the first band, Blackout to Oblivion, started there were quite a few fans ready for what was going to be a great night of metal from NSW, Victoria and New Zealand, all of which I have never seen before and was really looking forward to.

Blackout to Oblivion. (Newcastle, NSW, Australia)

Genre: Melodic Death Metal.

Band Members:
Matt Dodd – Vocals
Paul Scarabelli – Guitar / Vocals
Nic Nancarrow – Guitar
Legion – Bass / vocals
Corey Williams – Drums / Percussion.
Set List: 1. I Witness, 2. Persist Deny, 3. Disarray, 4. The Dark Messiah, 5. Surgeon of the Cellar, 6. Scars of a Scarecrow.

This was the first time that I have ever heard or even seen these guys, but by the end of their set I was hooked and a new fan.  I was blown away by the energy and aggression. The drummer was playing like a machine, the guitarists were amazing, the vocalist is a character and his vocal range is brilliant. The bassist is a beast of a man!  Out of all the gigs I have been to, I don’t ever recall seeing a bassist like this guy.  While playing he was menacing and brutal and ended up snapping his bass string in a frenzy. I would definitely recommend that if you get the chance to see them, then do it. I ended up getting their Demo CD and listened to it over and over again all the way home.  If you get the chance pick it up and have a listen.  You won’t be disappointed. The guys from BTO are going to start writing a new album soon, which I’m expecting to be out of the ordinary.

Grim Demise (Newcastle, NSW, Australia)

Genre: Blackened Death / Thrash / Australian Metal

Band Members:
RiCho – Vocals
Pendo - Lead Guitars
Mungo – Bass
Dave – Drums
Matt Ohma (formally from War Faction & Fusaur) is trying out as the new guitarist at the moment.  This was his first gig, on a trial basis, with Grim Demise.

Set List: 1.The Cursed, 2. Farewell, 3. For they bleed, 4.Lords of Decay, 5. Left with Nothing, 6. Wretched Harvest.

I was excited to finally see these guys as I have only heard of these guys previously, but I actually got to see them tonight. The drumming was tight and intense, the bass and guitarist were heavy and melodic all in one, the vocalist is a huge dude whose stage presence is something you can’t ignore, with some amazing vocals. I very much enjoyed their set and so did the crowd, by the sound of the applause. These guys have so much energy when on stage. Unfortunately the stage didn’t seem big enough for them but they still managed to pump out some sick Black Death / Thrash metal. Guitarist Matt Ohma (formally from War Faction & Fusaur) is trying out as the bands new guitarist.  This was his first gig with GD and he was all class.  Considering it was their first gig together the chemistry between all members was amazing. I really hope it works out for all involved. Next chance I get I am definitely going to get their album. If these guys are playing in or around your area, then I suggest that you don’t miss out.

Tensions Arise (Sydney, NSW, Australia)

Genre: Metal, Heavy Metal.

Band Members:
K. Kage – Vocals
Kyle (Kent) Barr – Drums
Daniel Ash – Guitar
James Barnes – Guitar
Buzz Burnsen – Bass.

Set List: 1. Downfall, 2. Dead Letter, 3. Maniac, 4. A Faker's Smile, 5. Innocence?, 6. In the Eye of Fire, 7. Defiance.

These guys are party animals!  They entered the stage like they own it, and tonight they did. TA like to have fun on stage.  They don’t take themselves too serious. I have heard of these guys, but tonight is the first time I have seen them live and they didn’t disappoint either. The vocalist is one of the most charismatic front men I have seen in a while. During their time on stage they started to remove items of their clothing (which, I thought was a little odd, but hey, that’s metal!!).  By the end of their set, most of the guys were just playing in their underwear. I later found out from people in the crowd that this is typical.  Their playing style is a mix of metal / heavy metal all rolled into one, which sounds brilliant. In all seriousness, if you are having a party then these guys are for you. Definitely can’t wait to see these guys again.  They cracked me up … I haven’t laughed so hard for a long time!

8 Foot Sativa (Auckland, New Zealand)

Genre: Heavy Metal, Thrash Metal.

Band Members:
Justin 'Jackhammer' Niessen – Vocals
Gary Smith – Guitar
Nik Davies – Guitar
Corey Friedlander – Drums
Brent Fox – Bass.

Set List: 1. Shadow masters, 2. Season For Assault, 3. Back To Barebone, 4. 8 Foot Sativa, 5. As It Burns, 6. Destined To Be Dead, 7. Fuel Set, 8. Believer.

Finally, after being a fan of 8FS since they brought out “Hate Made Me”, back in 2002, I get to see the machine that is 8FS live in the flesh. I missed them when they last toured around 8 years ago. To say I was looking forward to this day is an understatement. They hit the stage with full force, and smashed out a set that was heavy, tight and at times just brutal, which it’s just what I had expected from 8FS. There was very little chatting between songs so they could belt out as many songs as possible. The guys smashed out 8 awesome songs, which had the crowd singing as well. There were heaps of 8FS fans there who had never seen them live before and they were all buzzing with excitement. 8FS conquered and destroyed all that laid ahead.  Although the guys played for about 40 minutes, I would have loved for them to have played a bit longer.  Unfortunately it wasn’t to be, it was over before I knew it. I just hope it doesn’t take another 8 years for them to come back to the Land of Oz.  If you ever get the chance to see them I highly recommend them as you certainly get value for money.

Frankenbok (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia)

Genre: Heavy F@#king Metal.

Band Members:
Dan McDougall – Vocals
Aaron Butler – Guitars
Tim Miedecke – Bass
Nathan ‘Yeti’ Amatnieks – Guitars
Mik Morley – Drums.

Set List: 1. Monk Discipline, 2.Dig, Walk this Lie (fe), 3. Voodoo, 4. Inc, 5. God's Gift to No-one, 6. Last Ditch Redemption, 7. Dine in Hell, 8. Backpack & a Passport, 9. Triumph, 10. Fucken Kuntz...beards!.

Every time these guys have played, I have always somehow missed them, for some reason or another. But tonight is the night I get to see the heavy metal machine that is Frankenbok. What I can say is that if you haven’t seen these guys before, then I suggest that you do. Their set tonight was absolutely brilliant which was straight up and heavy, tight and at times just plain brutal. I honestly can’t believe that this is the first time I have seen Frankenbok.  Now I know what I have been missing all these years. The crowd obviously enjoyed Frankenbok as well, by the sound of their loud voices which wanted more songs at the end of their set. Guitarist Nathan, better known as ‘Yeti’, parents made the trip all the way from Dubbo (which is about a 7 hour drive), which was a really awesome effort, to which the crowd gave them a round of applause for coming all that way to show their support.

This was truly a brilliant gig ... so many great bands … I’ve met some awesome people (and some crazy ones too) … with whom I’ve made friends with, but more importantly some of the band members have also made some new friends / fans as well. It’s just a shame the night had to end.  They say that “time flies when you’re having fun”, and this couldn’t be truer, as this night ended on a high.  An absolutely brilliant combination of bands.

Published by Collin Brophy

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