29-Oct-2011 Sandringham Hotel, Newtown (Sydney)
October 15, 2011
Featuring COUGH, Clagg, Pod People, Summonus, Looking Glass, The Devil Rides Out, Daredevil, Mother Mars, Rituals of the Oak
Review and pix by Brendan Delavere
The morning of Doomsday was a fitting one, with storm clouds blackened the sky, though upon arriving at the Sando the sun was blazing high in the sky and Rituals Of The Oak were blazing on stage. Opening the event, the four piece kicked it off in true doom fashion, slow and sludgy. Unfortunately I only caught the closing song of their set.
Taking the stage next were rockers Mother Mars who over the course of thirty minutes pumped out a massive opus of heavy riffs, fuzzed out grooves and psychedelic rock. Their set featured heavily from their most recent release, Fossil Fuel Blues as well as some old favourites off Primitives. These days its more of a privilege to witness Daredevil, having reformed once more for a short stint on the Doomsday roster. Heavily influenced by the likes of Black Sabbath, the Stooges and Thin Lizzy, their 70s style stoner rock was filled with huge groovy riffs courtesy of Troy Scerri and Charlie O’Neill on guitars and Dave Tomley’s monster vocals. Pushing out seven slabs of monster rock, Daredevil proves why after more than a decade, they’re still as relevant and rocking as the old days.
Making the trek across the Red Centre were west coast lads The Devil Rides Out, opening with the pounding "Right Lane Man" and the infectious "Inheritance", a song that combines stoner rock, blues and dirty rock n’ roll. The driving guitar and rhythm section during "The Heart and the Crown" provided the perfect soundtrack for driving across the desert, whilst "Hard Love" is another gritty, rocking blues track, packed with grinding riffs, pounding drum fills and low slung bass lines. An absolutely rocking set from the Perth natives.
After three long years, Canberra’s Looking Glass have finally dropped their latest slab of thundering stoner doom, with tonight’s set showcasing some of their finest work to date. Opening with the never before played "Electric Mistress", the foundations shook under the weight of the Paine brothers' rhythm section. Sporting one of the largest crowds of the day, the three piece hammered through tracks such as "Heavy on the Hook" and the eleven minute opus "The King in Yellow" before closing with favourite "Freya" and Marcus de Pasquale's haunting voice resonating around the room.
Commanding the stage with an iron fist came Sydney favourites Summonus. Pounding the audience into submission with a healthy dose of down tuned, sludge-encrusted doom, they opened with "Burning Times", a punishing track designed to beat the audience to a pulp, much in the vein of Iron Monkey. With a just-released album, three years in the works, tonight’s set was the unofficial album launch. "Black Sun Dying" and the crushing "Black Lagoon" both received a raucous response from the fast swelling crowd, before closing with title track "Zeichen der Hex" that oozed sludge, and to quote the band, was like a brontosaurus drowning in a tar pit.
The stage filling with smoke, emerging from the subterranean waltzed doom veterans Pod People. Celebrating the ten year anniversary of Doom Saloon in the slowest fashion possible - long, slow and doomier than ever. Bassist DD was a whirlwind of hair, whilst guitarist JJ Lawhore busted out his patented doom claw. Over the course of their set, vocalist Brad Nicholson jokingly stated this was there last ever show (after this set the single word “Fin” appeared on their website). Going out true to the festival's name, they played their longest slowest doom track, "Subterranean". It was if the apocalypse was being summoned on stage. Closing with "Liar", this reviewer had just witnessed the most perfectly executed set from Pod People in years. All hail the riff.
There is only oneway to describe Melbourne’s Clagg: epic, absolutely epic. Their snail pace, feedback drenched, distortion driven doom effectively shifted the planets. This is a doom band at the forefront of Australian heavy metal, brutally crushing and deliberate in execution. If Summonus were like being stuck in a tar pit, then "Carrion" from latest LP Lord of the Deep is like being suffocated in one while molten lava makes its way down your throat. Closing with "Weedbank", Clagg are a musical landslide, filled with filthy sludge, a guttural roar and a low-end rhythm section that will melt your face.
On their maiden journey to Australia, Virginia’s Cough brought an impenetrable wall of sludge with them. The four piece are a monolith of sound and volume. With an average track length of nine minutes, it was hard to tell where one track finished and another started. Forty minutes of psychedelic drone, drenched in feedback and a bass line that was ripped from the bowels of hell. Losing myself in the swirling sounds, suffocating and hallucinogenic, Parker Chandler’s vocals were haunting and demonic, invoked by sin. Drawing their set to a close in a wall of white noise, it was hard to believe after that much intense, down tuned riffery that the Sando was still standing on its foundations.
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