As of late, Sydney’s Bald Faced Stag has become quite a popular venue for international acts to stop through, with plenty of acts playing every weekend. On this particular night, Oakland, California’s deathcore merchants All Shall Perish dropped in with a few local acts in tow. Even before the first note hit the air, the Stag’s bar was full of punters of all ages, shapes and sizes getting ready for the evening’s musical barrage ahead of them.
Kicking off the evening’s proceedings were Hearts Like Wolves, a relatively new band to Sydney’s scene, who proceeded to get the crowd amped up and ready with their melodic metalcore stylings and enthusiastic energy from all on stage, especially vocalist Daniel Soria. Their sound is akin to Parkway Drive, but with a bit more of the deathcore influence thrown in. They have potential to become quite a name, but they need to find their own unique sound within the genre. Given time, I’d say we will be hearing more from these guys.
Next up on the were the interestingly-named Alice Through the Windshield Glass, a Sydney-based quintet who have made a buzz around themselves throughout the local scene and beyond, so I was quite intrigued to check them out. They laid out a brutal display of technical death metal/core bolstered by loads of groove and something that is rarely heard in their genre – swing and feel throughout their short set, with loads of energy and enthusiasm on tap. They seemed quite honoured to be playing here. For all of their hard work on stage, the crowd was as equally responsive, a swirling moshpit that showed no signs of ending, especially for “The Garden”. This was the final show for the band’s vocalist David Stanton, so it was a fitting send off and a set that left many a punter in awe and wanting more.
Right in the middle of the bill were the one and only Segression who really need no introduction. They have been around for quite some time, with a long and storied career that has been reactivated lately with a new album and lots of touring. Admittedly, they seemed like the odd one out on this bill and were playing to a relatively new crowd, but being the professionals they are, they slammed right through a hard hitting albeit brief set that included the likes of “The Thickening” and cuts from their latest album, Never Dead: the title track, “Gaspipe” and the brutal “Blood Lace Black Day”. As hard as they played up there – and they surely won a few punters over who were really getting into it up the front – most of the crowd was apathetic for their set, watching with little interest or filing out to the bar. Segression played their hearts out up there, and if they won over one new fan, it would have been all worth it.
As soon as co-headliners, Sydney’s Resist the Thought, slammed into their set, the room filled from wall to wall. Their melodic deathcore hit in a crazied frenzy where everyone scaled every inch of the stage from one end to the other. It was like watching a deathcore tennis match at times, I tell you. In turn, the crowd were going as ape shit as the band. RTT got a massive response with plenty of dedicated fans singing along with every word from start to finish. Frontman Rhys Giles definitely knows how to work a crowd. He was like a deathcore Bruce Dickinson up there at times. The future is only bright for RTT and they are definitely ready to move on to bigger and better things,.
There is always something in the air before a headlining act comes on. It’s hard to pin down what it exactly is. You could call it enthusiasm or anticipation, but it is like the calm before the storm and as soon as All Shall Perish hit the stage with their opening track “Wage Slaves”, the fuse had been lit and everything exploded into a deathcore filled massacre, with a seizure inducing light show and a crowd going absolutely fucking bananas with violent moshing, flailing of body parts, headbanging and plenty of stage diving (the band’s tour manager was quite busy getting people off the stage at all times). Affable vocalist Hernan “Eddie” Hermida led everything like a ringmaster with a big smile plastered on his face. Mike Tiner punished his bass like a man possessed, guitarists Ben Orum and Francesco Artusato laid down punishing rhythms with insane solos and drummer Adam Pierce kept it all together with some slick drumwork at the same time. They truly knew how to make a small venue feel like a packed arena. That’s the sign of a professional touring act. If they were somehow tired and/or sick, you would not have known it at all.
Setlist wise, it was quite heavy on their newest album This is Where it Ends with tracks such as “Stabbing to Purge Dissimulation”, “Procession of Ashes”, “Divine Illusion” and “There is Nothing Left” alongside older songs from their back catalogue. “Eradication”, “There is No Business to Be Done on a Dead Planet” and “Gagged, Bound, Shelved and Forgotten” all featured, with a guest appearance from Rhys Giles in the latter, looking like he was having the time of his life. Their hour long set seemed to fly by even with an encore and it would be hard to argue that the crowd didn’t walk away on a happy adrenaline rush, wearing their new band t-shirts like a badge of honour and being able to vent all of that pent up aggression until the next time they get perished.
Stabbing to Purge Dissimulation
Procession of Ashes
Gagged, Bound, Shelved and Forgotten
There is No Business to be Done on a Dead Planet
Royalty into Exile
There is Nothing Left
Herding the Brainwashed