Friday, May 23, 2014

GIG REVIEW: “Origin” - The End Of An Entity: Australian Tour 2014 by Collin Brophy

Venue: The Cambridge Hotel Newcastle (NSW, Australia)

Date: 10 May 2014.

Special Guests: Grim Demise, The Seer, Eternal Rest, A Million Dead Birds Laughing.

I finished work and then headed up the freeway to The Cambridge Hotel in Newcastle. There was a small crowd already inside the venue when I arrived. Once Grim Demise started there were a few more people in the venue. Unfortunately due to another show around 20 minutes down the road which started earlier than this gig, this amazing gig with some truly talented bands didn’t get the crowd which it deserved. I spoke to a few people who were also disappointed with the turnout, with roughly only 100 people turning up for this gig. Because of the low crowd turnout, the crowd that was there was treated to what was an amazing gig, and it felt like our very own private gig. 

Grim Demise (Newcastle, NSW, Australia).

Genre:  Blackened Death / Thrash / Australian Metal

Band Members:
RiCho – Vocals
Pendo - Lead Guitars
Mungo – Bass
Dave – Drums
Matt Ohma - Guitar

Set List: 1. Evil, 2. For They Bleed, 3. The Forgotten, 4. Left With Nothing, 5. Wretched Harvest.

I saw these guys around 5 weeks ago for the first time and they were brilliant … and that was Matt’s first gig with Grim Demise.  It looks like he has settled in very well with the band. Tonight’s gig is different as these guys stepped up to the mark big time as the opening support for Origin. From the very start of “Evil” right to the end with “Wretched Harvest”, Grim Demise were fantastic.  Unfortunately they only had enough time for 5 wicked songs. The band was having a lot of fun on stage and they even set the vocalist up with a song with clean vocals, which surprised even him as it wasn’t meant to happen.  He said, “They made me do it”.  After their set, I ended up getting their album called “Nameless Graves” which I started blasting on my way home.  I got so engrossed in the music.  It was fantastic. I wasn't paying attention to where I was going, due to head banging, and ended up driving in the opposite direction … I took an extra 30 minutes to get home … but that was OK as I got an extra 30 minutes of blasting this album.  Stay tuned for another CD review … lol!

The Seer (Newcastle, NSW, Australia).

Genre: Symphonic Death Metal

Band Members:
Ryan Huthnance - Vocals and Guitar
Daniel McInnes - Guitar
Allan Swaffield - Bass
Tom Taylor - Drums

Set List: 1. Thanatos, 2. Timeless, 3. Condemnation, 4. Demise of the Gods.

I last saw The Seer at the start of the year and they were brilliant, and tonight they were even better. With a new album under their belt, they were ready to let lose with some new songs off the album. As usual they were very tight and intense. Due to time restraints, they only had enough time to smash out 4 incredible songs. After their set, I ended up going to their merch stand and pre-ordered their new album.  I can’t wait for it to arrive.  This was The Seer’s second gig for today, as they came straight from their set at Hexham’s (Newcastle) Metal Bloody Metal festival to the Cambridge. The Seer have been pushing themselves and their music, to the limit in their performances, that they have been selected to support two of their biggest influences, the brilliant “Septicflesh” and the amazing “Fleshgod Apocalypse”, on the Australian tour, in early-mid May 2014, at The Manning Bar in Sydney.  Just goes to show that hard work does pay off.  Good luck guys and I look forward to seeing you all again.

Eternal Rest (Brisbane, Queensland, Australia).

Band Members:
Lochlan Watt – Vocals (The Racket)
Mick Hunter - Drums
Jake Kaiser - Guitars
Chris Clark - Guitars
Jannico Kelk - Bass

Genre: Death Metal

Set List: 1. Manifestation, 2. Preaching the decimation of spheres, 3.New, 4. song, 5. Onset of destruction, 6. Remnants, 7. New song, 8. Prophetic.

I haven’t seen Eternal Rest for quite some time and I was really looking forward to seeing them. Last time I saw them I really enjoyed the show.  This time was no exception.  It’s obvious they have grown as a band.  They hit the stage and just smashed it. I have always enjoyed their sets as the music is heavy.  Their stage presence was awesome and they always seem to have so much fun on stage. They played some new songs which were brilliant. For some reason I have always admired the way both Jake and Chris play guitars.  I can’t explain why, buy you just have to watch them live to see what I mean.  They have a presence on stage that commands respect.  They are both very talented guys who complement each other with their playing styles and technique.  This is not to take anything from the rest of the members in the band … the bass player is a real character, the drummer is insane and the vocalist demonstrated great range and talent.  Eternal Rest always put on a great set, but tonight’s set was just brilliant.  The time went by too fast and their set was over before I knew it.  It’s amazing how much these guys have matured in such a short space of time.  I look forward to seeing these guys live again and to any future albums.

A Million Dead Birds Laughing (Melbourne, Australia).

Genre: Death Metal/Death Grind

Band Members:
BB - Guitar.
DT - Drums.
SA - Bass.
DL - Vocals

Set List: 1. Conduit, 2. Seppuku, 3.VII, 4.Rashomon, 5. Defaced, 6. Nest, 7. Beast, 8. Fortress 9. Defiants, 10. Agony, 11.Warlord, 12. Imperium, 13. Axiom, 14. Empress, 15. King, 16. Zombie.

I know of these guys, but have never seen them live before tonight. AMDBL were fantastic, very heavy and brutal. These guys have to be seen to be believed how really good AMDBL are.  DL’s vocal range is some of the best I have heard live. AMDBL have a cult like following. From what I saw and after witnessing their brutal assault on the Cambridge, I can understand why. This was AMDBL’s first ever gig at Newcastle and hopefully they will return in the near future. AMDBL brought out a new album at the end of last year (2013) called “Bloom”.  It’s a very heavy, intense and brutal album.  They played some songs tonight off the new album to which the crowd loved. AMDBL have been playing some insane supports over the last 12 months.  They played the Sonic Forge Festival, The Australia Day Party, support for Nile & The Face Tour 2013, as well as Psycroptic’s 'Inheriting the Sickness' Australian Tour 2013 as well.  So these guys know a thing or two on how to destroy a venue or two with some seriously heavy music.  If you get a chance to see these guys, make the effort … you won’t be disappointed.

Origin (Kansas/California/New York, USA).

Genre: Death Metal

Band Members:
Jason Keyser - Vocals
Paul Ryan - Guitars/Vocals
Mike Flores - Bass/Vocals
John Longstreth - drums
Set List: N/A

This was my first time in seeing Origin, and from what quite a few people told me, I was in for one hell of a show from these guys. Vocalist, Jason, definitely knew how to work a crowd.  He is a very charismatic front man.  He is a great entertainer with a lot of energy, never stopped moving around the stage and continuously involved the audience. Drummer, John, played like a demon.  He is easily one of the best drummers going around in the Death Metal scene today and is just amazing to watch live. After watching him play, I’m surprised the drum kit still existed in one piece after the set.  Mike, the bass player, was ruthless with his bass.  He beat it, flogged it, slapped it and brutalised it, in the most musical sense of the way!!  I have never seen anyone brutalise a bass like he did tonight. He was like a man possessed.  Guitarist, Paul, was fantastic.  Some of the riffs he played were unbelievable.  The things he can do on the guitar has to be seen to be believed. 

Vocalist, Jason, said he wanted to see a one man “mosh pit”.  There were a couple of people who put there hands up.  Only one was chosen and he “moshed” by himself until others joined in after a couple of minutes. A solo “mosh pit” was the funniest thing I’d ever seen.  From were I was standing I had a very good view of the crowd and of the stage, and when the 4 person circle pit got going, I couldn’t help but laugh. The funniest part was when Jason wanted a 2 man “wall of death”.  The singer from Grim Demise, RiCho, said he would be in it.  I’m not sure what happened, but another dude got in and RiCho missed out. Jason counted down, and the 2 man “wall of death” started.  One of them got smashed, but he was ok. I couldn’t stop laughing at them because it looked so funny from were I was standing. All during Origin’s set there was 3-5 man “mosh pit” and 3 man “circle pits”.  Everyone there was enjoying themselves so much.  The band really knew how to make the most out of getting entertainment out of their fans.  Unfortunately, when their set was over, the cheering and the roar of the crowd was very loud, considering the turn out was limited. I definitely want to see Origin again when they return to our shores.  We were very privileged that the crowd was not very large, as we had our very own private performance where the band was able to interact more with the fans.

What a fantastic night of metal with some brilliant Aussie metal and Origin (USA) which at times left me speechless. I was lucky enough to have picked up 2 albums from AMDBL, one from The Seer and a Grim Demise album.  Unfortunately, I spent my “allowance” on the Aussie bands merch and wasn’t able to grab an Origin CD at the end of the night, but I will definitely be picking up the Origin CD when they release their new album in a couple of months. 

By Collin Brophy 

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